Graphic Novel Review: Invincible Iron Man Ironheart: Choices

Invincible Iron Man Ironheart: Choices

Invincible Iron Man Ironheart: Choices - Credit: Archant

The girl with the heart of iron is here!

(Panini Books)

Alongside Jessica Jones and Miles Morales, Riri Williams will prove testament to the legacy which Brian Michael Bendis has left at Marvel Comics after 17 years with the company.

His tenure has been very hit-and-miss, with acclaimed runs on Avengers, Daredevil, Ultimate Spider-Man and Alias contrasted with less successful spells penning X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy. The writer’s initial approach to Iron Man, featuring long-term armoured Avenger Tony Stark, was very much in the latter camp, but things changed for the better when Stark was taken out of play following the devastating events of Civil War II.

As well as focusing on the redemption of Victor Von Doom in the Infamous Iron Man book, Bendis introduced another perfectly realised creation in its Invincible companion title in the form of teen genius and would-be superhero Riri, who basically made her own suit of Iron Man armour in her garage.

Despite being supported in her endeavours by a downloaded copy of Tony Stark’s mind, Riri soon discovers first hand that playing hero is not as easy as she expected, even when going up against the likes of D-list villains Will o’ the Wisp and Lady Octopus. But those confrontations pale into insignificance following her first international escapade, which finds the 15-year-old named the new Queen of Latveria…

With Bendis’ time with the company shortly coming to an end, and Riri’s place in the future landscape of the Marvel Universe as yet unknown following the imminent return of the real Tony Stark, this series may prove to be the last proper opportunity to showcase the character for some time.

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If that is the case, then we should make the most of her time in the spotlight, just in case she ends up reduced to padding out the ranks of the Champions/Avengers/Guardians et al, or making a guest appearance in the next continuity-shaking crossover event.

A genuinely likeable character, Riri’s heroic journey is charted with care and realism, and ensures this series stands out as one of Bendis’ all-time best.