New story time for Riri Williams. After an exciting first arc closing last month, I was anxious to see what came next for Ironheart’s adventures. The first story arcs are great for setting the foundation of what the book has to offer, but the second is usually what helps instill that sense of investment in what follows. We have that as well, and now we are approaching a third where it is a bold new frontier. Especially when this issue before the next is bold enough to send Riri searching after another missing friend.
Why I say bold, is of course because it always is to do something twice. Fortunately the reasoning is what makes the biggest difference here. I was more worried with the idea that this tied into something that happened in Champions. You always want to be wary of making readers feel as if they missed something. It was good for us that this was actually one of those exceptions since the most you needed to know was that Miles made a deal with Mephisto and ran off once he came clean. That’s as much as we know, and as much as the Champions know. From there, that made it simple to jump into finding Miles to make sure he was okay after an experience that would worry anyone if the person was left alone.
The fact that it was Riri who took up the job of searching for Miles is what makes this interesting. She was the last person you would expect to step up, and it works for the focus of this book being Riri trying to be a better person. That means going out of her way to help someone who she’s never actually gotten along that well with. As I said above, her reasoning for that was important.
Now this trap they found themselves in was the highlight of this issue for the fact that it forced these two who don’t normally get along to work together. The trap itself was creative for one that isn’t normally used in superhero stories. Not to mention the villain orchestrating this trap wasn’t a face we have seen before. It was all refreshing, even including the way that Riri and Miles interacted with each other. This could have been that typical cliche moment of drama shared between the two of their age, but it was appreciated that a different route was taken towards them working through their initial tensions. Because of this, the greatest takeaway from this issue was growth for both of them. I don’t think you could have asked for anything more or less from them at this stage in their lives.
The artwork for this issue was appealing for the fact that there was a balance struck between the focus on characters and action. In general this was another personal mission for Riri, and we could see that expressed through all the emotions that this search for Miles put her through. The determination, self-awareness, even the goofiness in the face of a situation that she is trying to handle with grace. All of it was written right on her face because Riri is a girl who tends to wear her emotions on her sleeve. Even if she doesn’t say what she feels, she will emote it in some way. That aside, I enjoyed the boldness of the colors too. Especially when it came to the natural colors of the snow forest setting. While you expected things to get a bit explosive with Ironheart, it didn’t take away from the beauty of the environment.
Ironheart #6 was an excellent one-shot issue that I do admit we should be able to see more of from superhero books. We got a definite start to a story, and a finish. Riri continued to work on herself, and in the process Miles was also able to fix something about himself that we had the opportunity to follow here instead of having to look out for the next Champions or Spider-Man.