Writer: Eve L. Ewing / Artist: Luciano Vecchio, Matt Milla / Marvel
Ironheart #2 is about building family. It may not be overt, but check it. We start with a flashback of pre-teen Riri Williams in a high school situation that she is intellectually able to handle but in no way socially prepared for. Enter Daija, a beautiful, thicc, real, young woman who is keepin’ an eye out for our girl ‘til she learns how to do it for herself.
Elsewhere in the Storyline
Back in the present it is becoming clear that self-care is a thing Riri still hasn’t mastered. I appreciate the reality of the emotional labor Ewing pens into the script. In this issue we see the internal struggles Riri has as herself and as Ironheart: a Venn diagram that is getting closer and closer to a perfect circle. We see her fighting to protect all of the places she calls home and dealing with the fact that one person – even a genius – just simply can’t. Her anger at that realization is slow-burning and something that I think will continue to haunt her throughout the run. It also serves as a way to outline the people and places who are essential to who Riri is as a person and a superhero.
We have the neighborhood store that is a quintessential part of the culture. (Bodegas and mom-and-pops all the way.) The possibly, maybe, new best friend that you say you don’t want but knows you to an annoying extent. (Shout out to friends who text when you don’t text back and bring you food cuz they know you forget how time works.) The mom who knows more than she should about everything which is both wonderful when you need it and incredibly invasive when you don’t. (Yeah. You.) Oh yeah, and that one family member who swings by without knocking and stays for dinner like your door wasn’t locked. (STAY. OUT. OF. RIRI’S. LAB. Consent tho.)
Last but not least, the still-not-dealt-with issue of Ironheart’s new A.I. being basically the ghost of her best friend. You know. The one that was shot in front of her. It’s probably fine though, right? Definitely shouldn’t talk that through.
Talk To You Next Issue, Homie
All of the players are lined up – including the mysterious villain group – and the stress of a Boston/Chicago commute is definitely going to take its toll. Luckily, this creative team is clickin’ on all cylinders. From Ewing’s excellent and nuanced script that gives depth without being overwhelming, to Vecchio and Milla’s beautiful, accurate, and VARIED depiction of the entire POC cast.
Riri’s life feels authentically dysfunctional in all the right ways. I want to watch her grow and learn. I can already tell that this is a character who will logic her way into my brain and teach me something about myself while she’s there.
9.5 Subway Rides in the Beta Suit Out of 10
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou
Reading Ironheart? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.
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