Ironheart became an instant fan-favorite following her MCU debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Known for her role in the Shaka King film Judas and the Black Messiah, Dominique Thorne brought Riri Williams to life, perfectly portraying the brilliant young girl with a strong admiration for Tony Stark.
With her self-titled Disney+ series confirmed to release in 2023, MCU fans can expect to see a lot more of Ironheart. Although she doesn’t carry the same historical comic pedigree as her mentor, Iron Man, Ironheart has appeared in several excellent comics over the years.
10/10 Ironheart Made Her First Suit In Invincible Iron Man Volume 3
For new Marvel readers looking to get into Ironheart comics, Invincible Iron Man (Vol. 3) by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato Jr. is the perfect place to begin. Taking place shortly before Civil War 2 — one of Marvel’s most significant comic events — Riri made her comic debut in issue seven of the series and made her first full appearance in issue nine.
In the comic, as Riri discusses the sudden disappearance of Iron Man with her college roommate, Sharon, campus security opens her door and finds her wearing her first Ironheart suit. Informing campus security that she’s likely dropping out of school, Riri takes off into the sky for her suit’s first test flight.
9/10 Ironheart First Met Iron Man In Invincible Iron Man (Vol 3) #12
In Invincible Iron Man Vol 3 #12 by Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Deodato Jr., Frank Martin Jr., and Clayton Cowles, Ironheart officially met Tony Stark. Taking place amid the events of Civil War 2, Tony suddenly appeared in Riri’s garage, introducing himself to Riri and her mother. After some convincing, Riri pulled back a blanket and revealed the pieces of metal that made up her armor.
Although Riri’s mother was quick to admonish her daughter for risking her college scholarship for such a reckless activity, Tony stepped in with a word of advice and told her that trying to stop Riri was pointless. This comic served as a great first meeting between Riri and Tony and pointed out the two’s shared love for rebellion.
8/10 Ironheart Joined Team Iron Man In Civil War 2
The sequel to the massive Marvel comics event, Civil War, Civil War 2 was a crossover event by Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez, and Tom Brevoort. A similar premise to the first event, Civil War 2 revolved around two separate factions of superheroes, one led by Iron Man and the other led by Captain Marvel.
Seeing visions of a dystopian future, a young Inhuman named Ulysses informed the Avengers of his visions, setting off a chain reaction of panic. Even though Riri Williams didn’t play an overly significant role in the event, she appeared many times throughout and even impressed fellow team members with her homemade suit.
7/10 Ironheart Took On Doctor Doom In Infamous Iron Man
Certainly one of the more unusual Iron Man titles, Infamous Iron Man is a twelve-issue series by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev. Set after the events of Civil War 2 — during which Tony Stark was placed in a coma — the series revolved around Doctor Doom as he assumed the mantle of Iron Man.
Naturally upset by this, Ironheart pursued Doom throughout the entire run and had a face-to-face encounter with the villain in issue eight of the series (colors by Matt Hollingsworth and lettering by Clayton Cowles). Capturing Doom and handing him over to S.H.I.E.L.D., Ironheart proved her capabilities as a hero, having defeated one of the most important villains in Marvel.
6/10 Ironheart Took The Mantle In Invincible Iron Man Volume 4
Running for 3 volumes with a total of over fifty issues, Invincible Iron Man was the main Iron Man comic for nearly ten years, starring the iconic Tony Stark. However, things changed for volume 4 of the series, as Riri Williams’ Ironheart took over as the main character.
Running for eleven issues, volume 4 of Invincible Iron Man was written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art from Stefano Caselli, Kate Niemczyk, and more. Sporting the classic Iron Man colors of red and gold throughout the entire run, Ironheart established herself as a more than capable superhero in the Marvel universe and set the groundwork for a much more remarkable career.
5/10 Ironheart Joined The Champions In Champions Volume 2
Certainly one of the best teams of teenage superheroes in comics right now, the Champions were formed after Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, and Nova quit the Avengers. Creating their own team, the trio recruited several young heroes from around the Marvel universe, like Patriot, Wasp, Bombshell, and more.
A perfect candidate to join the team, Ironheart became an official member of the Champions in Champions Vol 2 #16 by Mark Waid, Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba, Edgar Delgado, and Clayton Cowles. During her first storyline with the Champions, Ironheart told Viv Vision she was uncomfortable working with a team, but she quickly acclimated herself and became one of its most important members.
4/10 The Champions Went To Space In Infinity Countdown: Champions
A crossover story that led to the events of Infinity Wars, Infinity Countdown revolved around Hank Pym pursuing the restored Infinity Gems that reappeared after the multiverse was restored. The storyline spanned several titles, including Daredevil, Black Widow, Adam Warlock, the Champions, and more.
In Infinity Countdown: Champions, a two-issue storyline by Jim Zub and Emilio Laiso, Ironheart and her fellow Champions went to space to rescue the Nova Corps from Warbringer, one of the event’s main villains. This series recorded a significant moment in Ironheart’s superhero career: her first loss.
3/10 Ironheart Made Her Solo Debut In A Self-Titled Series
After years of being a side character in Iron Man comics, as well as a significant player for the Champions, Ironheart received a self-titled solo series in November 2019. A twelve-issue series, the entire run was written by Eve Ewing, with art from Geoffo and Luciano Vecchio.
Certainly among the essential Ironheart comics, Ironheart (Vol. 1) was a tremendous service to the character, as it further developed her superhero career and showed readers that Ironheart was more than just an Iron Man legacy character. As the most significant source for pure solo Ironheart content, this series will likely influence her Disney+ series.
2/10 The Champions Expanded In Champions Volume 3
A ten-issue series, Champions (Vol. 3) was created by Jim Zub and Steven Cummings. A major turning point for the Champions, the series revolved around their expansion to becoming a global team by officially adding members like The Locust, Pinpoint, and Power Man.
Throughout the series, the Champions encountered the demon Mephisto, who used his cunning and influence to torture the young heroes. Under Mephisto’s influence, the villain Blackheart corrupted members of the Champions to join his side, and he started by corrupting Ironheart.
1/10 Young Heroes Were Banned In Outlawed
Also one of the best comics for new Ms. Marvel fans, Outlawed is a one-shot comic by Eve Ewing and Kim Jacinto. A significant moment for the young heroes of the Marvel Universe, the story centers on the Champions shortly after the U.S. Government passes a law banning superheroes under the age of 21.
As a result, members of the Champions, like Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, and Ironheart, are forced to flee as they’re pursued by an agency named C.R.A.D.L.E. — the Child Hero Reconnaissance and Disruption Law Enforcement. This comic does features emotional development for Ms. Marvel and Ironheart as close allies, especially as the two’s friendship gets tested with significant stress.
NEXT: Ironheart’s 10 Closest Allies In The Comics