It Took the MCU Just 3 Years to Replace Iron Man with Teen Superhero
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever introduced the character of Riri Williams aka Ironheart, a teen superhero meant to replace Iron Man who died saving the world in Avengers: Endgame. But the MCU fans feel it is too early to forget Tony Stark.
The newest installment in the Black Panther franchise featured the character of Ironheart played by Dominique Thorne. Ironheart's MCU name is Riri Williams, and she is a genius teenager capable of building sophisticated technology from an early age.
In Wakanda Forever, her first invention, a vibranium-detecting device, complicates her life as Talokan's King Namor swears to kill the scientist who created the device that led the U.S. government to his vibranium-rich underwater kingdom. Shuri and Queen Ramonda agree to protect Riri, which results in the war between Talokan and Wakanda.
To prepare for the war, Riri builds herself a suit that closely resembles that of Iron Man, but is noticeably weaker in a battle.
This appearance and the upcoming Disney+ show revolving around Ironheart confirm that the writers of the MCU went down the same path Marvel Comics did, putting Riri Williams in Iron Man's place, a move criticized by many Marvel fans.
While in the MCU it was not shown whether Ironheart had any connection to Tony Stark, in the comics, Stark was Riri's mentor. After Iron Man fell into a coma, Ironheart took his place. Many fans felt that Ironheart was a hastily written character, specifically created to replace Iron Man, and lacked depth and complex nature. Besides, many felt that a role of a young super genius had become generic due to overuse.
As for the MCU fans, they share a similar sentiment. Many feel that replacing Iron Man is an impossible task that shouldn't even be attempted.
At the same time, Young Avengers are coming and nothing could change that. So viewers are to expect someone younger to take Tony Stark's place eventually.
But it feels a little weird that the MCU creators went from Iron Man's death to his replacement in such a short period of time and without any separate story explaining this move. Probably, the Disney+ series Ironheart coming out next year will serve as a backstory of Riri taking Tony's place, but fans still feel it to be too premature.
As one of Marvel fans wrote on Reddit, "I don't want an Ironheart show or movie yet. There are hundreds of characters we could get to before we get another Iron Man."