Some people will say that Riri Williams hasn’t quite deserved a solo series yet, but what dictates when a hero is ready for that kind of spotlight? Do you share the spotlight with other heroes till you unfortunately get shoved to the background? No. This right here is where readers need to be to see the world of Riri genuinely take form. She has a home and community to protect, ambitions to chase, and some friends to make along the way. In just two issues so far we are off to a good start where everything comes down to Riri becoming more than a product of tragedy.
Just the start of this issue led us in a good direction for Riri when experiencing another flashback which shined a light on this Daija who she admired so much. This is an endearing storyline they have created because it’s not often that you will see Riri with this kind of connection to another person. This was someone older than her, but all the same someone who put themself out there to help her through a trying time as a kid. Those are the kinds of people who stick with you in your head, even as you grow up. Then they took things a step further pressing forward with the friendship of Riri and Xavier. Riri can be the type of nerd who enjoys her space and lack of interference, but here’s this guy who has gotten past her shields and is allowed to offer a different perspective to things she would naturally overlook.
With that said, I also appreciated some time put into interactions between Riri and her mother. Once Riri became Ironheart and started tackling bigger and better things, we have slowly seen less and less of her mother in the present. It may have only been one scene, but it was handled marvelously for the fact that someone is able to engage with her who sees through all the layers. Not to mention it is always welcomed to have someone around who she isn’t allowed to be herself around. This may not be a longterm fix to her recovery, but having someone in your life who will remind you of what’s important for your happiness isn’t something to ignore.
When it was time to take some direct action, this mission came with an interesting twist. I enjoyed how this has not been straightforward considering this isn’t the first story we have followed like this. Who managed to turn up to Riri and for what reason shook things up in a way that cut through the questions that would have carried this story more than needed. Pacing and momentum are key at a time like this, and so far this creative team is nailing it. All of this also led to a confrontation which introduced us to a new kind of enemy for Ironheart. One who pushed her to reveal a dangerous mindset that she has been thrown into. How Riri engaged this enemy was creative because of the steps this creative team has taken to show that she’s not just another person in a suit who blasts people.
Another solid issue for the interior artwork. Compared to the issues before, this one was a lot more intimate for Riri and those who she has surrounded herself with. It makes a huge difference that this art team has had the chance to draw Riri in a more vulnerable state than she has been in the past. Everyone brings out something different in her. Frustration, regret, feelings of content, anger. All things that you would expect someone like her to experience at this age. The design to this new enemy was sleek. The color scheme was also unique for having a lot of blues used for someone who is more of a ninja. If anyone questioned if this art team could handle a fluent action sequence, this issue puts some confidence in their ability to pull it off. Every action flowed very well into the next and the agility of these characters was smooth. That aside, the lettering I should say has been impressive as well for the continued distinction given to all these various voices. Ironhearts in particular considering the colors put into hers.
Ironheart #3 was both action-packed and personal in the best of ways. It helps that through this chapter we are also able to understand the point in time that this series is taking place for Riri. She is in a place where she has so much to prove, and little room to look for help from anyone but herself and present company.