Eve Ewing Tells Superhero Riri Williams’ Story in Marvel’s ‘Ironheart’

By Sameer Rao Aug 21, 2018

Sociologist and author Eve Ewing told the Chicago Tribune yesterday (August 20) that she visited Wakandacon with a nearly impossible secret: Marvel tapped her to tell the story of Riri Williams in a new comic series. 

"I wanted to walk up to strangers and shake them and be like: ‘I’m writing a comic book for Marvel’—just random people that I saw," she recounted. "It was so hard. Never have I been so tempted to break a secret and be like: Guess what? I have something amazing to tell you!’"

She unearthed that amazing news in her interview with the Tribune, as well as a series of tweets: 




rntEwing told the Tribune that she infused "Ironheart" with a keen understanding of Black life in Chicago, her and the superhero’s shared hometown:


I think the really exciting thing is really building out Riri, not as just Ironheart, but who is she as a person? Specifically, what does it mean to be a teenage Black girl from Chicago? Somebody who has lost family members to gun violence, somebody who understands the realities of the community is going to bring something very different to questions about justice and who the good guy is and who the bad guy is and what you do about that. She’s also a teenage genius and because of that, she skipped over a lot of social things—she went to high school when she was very young, she’s already in MIT, so Riri is not really great with her peers, she doesn’t really have any friends. Being a genius and knowing how to fix stuff and build amazing gadgets doesn’t necessarily make you a happy person. So how do you figure out how to use the power that’s available to you and how to connect with and be accountable to the people around you?

“There are heroes all around us, and anybody can be one," she added. "I love Shuri, but I think it’s also exciting to have an ‘around the way girl’ superhero. Shuri’s a princess; Riri takes the No. 4 Cottage Grove bus to get places. I want people to feel there are superheroes all around us.”

"Ironheart" will debut on November 7.


*This post has been updated since publication to reflect the correct release date of "Ironheart."