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Iron Man Legends
by yo go re

Sorry, Marvel, but hearing this girl's name will always only make me think of Randal being a dick in Clerks: the Animated Series.

A certified super-genius, Riri Williams turns a dorm room project into a high-tech, high-flying suit of armor - and becomes a force for good.

Tony Stark sure likes to half-ass things, doesn't he? There have been two events called "Armor Wars," which were all about Tony hunting down any characters whose armor or equipment utilized or were even based on any of his tech, because he felt responsible for any damage they'd do; fast-forward 30 years (of real time - probably about a month in comicbook time), and Riri Williams' orgin is that she managed to reverse-engineer a suit from outdated armor she somehow got her hands on; you can't "reverse-engineer" something without access to the engineering, so she definitely had more than paparazzi photos to go by. At least she wasn't just downloading Mark I blueprints from the internet or anything.

Riri's first suit was thick and mostly immobile, but she's a smart girl, so it wasn't long before she worked out some upgrades and was flying around in something sleeker. The angular look of the armor is reminiscent of the Iron Man Mk.51 - you know, the one we said shouldn't have been included in the Black Panther tie-in line? You can really tell they were designed at about the same time. They've even got the same kind of pointed faceplate on the helmet!

The Ironheart armor definitely looks feminine, but not in an over-exaggerated way - which is to say, it's got wide hips and a chest that goes to the front more than to the sides, but does not have a metal thong and giant boob-cups. The shell is smooth, with some shallow seams suggesting panel lines, and there are areas neat the pelvis, armpits, and throat that look more flexible than metal. The arc reactor in the center of the chest is a vertical hexagon, rather than a more traditional "Iron Man" shape (circle, triangle, etc.), though she does have a triangular node on her forehead and ones on the back of her hands that-- hey, look at that, they're shaped like hearts!

The suit is a nice, strong red, with gold accents on the fingers, biceps, abdomen, inner thighs, and toes. The "flexible" parts are dark grey, and the repulsors are bright blue - a brighter blue than what's used for her eyes. If there's supposed to be any gold on the back of the suit, Hasbro hasn't painted it here; her entire back is just red. From the few pictures we could find of her not facing the camera, that does seem to be correct.

The reason we said Ironheart would have been a better offering for the Black Panther Legends than Iron Man is that she has the advantage of not being an old white guy. She is, in fact, a young black girl. The toy includes an alternate head showing her unmasked. Or unhelmeted, I guess, since we see her entire head, hair and all. When she first appeared she had a mighty poof of natural curls, but maybe she decided that was too hard to cram into a helmet, which is why she decided to cut it short in the back and a little longer right in front.

Her articulation is predictable: swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, balljointed chest, swivel/hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, and a barbell neck/head joint. She has alternate "repulsor blast" hands, but those don't have hinges, just pegs to fit into the forearms.

Ironheart includes repulsor palm blasts, like a lot of Iron Man suits do, but because her hands are smaller, the blasts needed to be new to fit - a smaller flare at the base. We also get two grey dust cloud pieces that can either fit around the wrists or the ankles and swirl out around the energy blasts. Is that a thing that happens in the comics? It does look pretty neat as a toy, and contrasts against the dark blue blasts in a lovely manner, but since she's the first to ever have anything like it, it does feel somewhat out-of-place. What's the deal?

The Build-A-Figure for this series is Ursa Major, and Ironheart has the left right leg.

There have been three major versions of the Ironheart armor: the orignal chunkmeister, this one that's best described as "Iron Girl," and then one where she starts forging her own identity. That third would make for a nice toy, too, but this is definitely the one you want to start with.

-- 09/03/21

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