Marvel’s Armor Wars movie can take away a great deal from how Phase 4 handled Ironheart’s first MCU story in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Armor Wars has an important lesson it can learn from Tony Stark’s replacement in the MCU. A proper successor to Iron Man emerged in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever when Dominque Thorne’s Riri Willaims suited up as the Marvel Comics superhero, Ironheart. Sometime in Phase 5, the tech genius will be leading her own Disney+ series, and much like Iron Man himself, she could play crucial roles in future MCU movies.

Of course, Ironheart isn’t the only superhero with a connection to Iron Man to have a place in the MCU’s future. There’s also Don Cheadle’s War Machine. In addition to making an appearance in Secret Invasion alongside Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, Iron Man’s closest ally in the MCU will headline Armor Wars, a movie based on the comic storyline where Stark had to track down his stolen armor designs. By all indications, the MCU’s Armor Wars will also involve the theft of Iron Man’s technology and the consequences that come with it.


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Riri Williams Uses Stark Tech – But Is Not Defined By Iron Man

Riri Williams in her Iron Heart helmet

In contrast to Armor Wars, Ironheart is already in an excellent position to tell a story that doesn’t hinge on Iron Man’s legacy. It was established in Wakanda Forever that Riri used Stark tech to build her Ironheart suit. However, the movie kept Riri from being defined by Iron Man’s accomplishments by only letting his tech serve as a tool needed to bring her own ideas to life. The movie emphasizes this notion that Riri is a genius in her own right and not someone who’s simply copying Iron Man.

Not only that, but she’s not trying to emulate Stark or purposely follow in his footsteps. In the comic books, Marvel created a personal connection betwen Riri and Iron Man by revealing that he supported her in her efforts to become a hero. Honoring him after his apparent death was a huge motivating factor for her later on, but Wakanda Forever leaned away from that – and rightfully so. Iron Man left an important mark on the MCU that can’t be erased, but at the same time, it’s important that Marvel move on to new characters and new stories. Ironheart doesn’t need to be shaped by his story, and Wakanda Forever’s handling of her characters suggests that won’t happen.

Armor Wars Needs To Avoid Being Too Much About Iron Man

A promotional image of War Machine from the MCU.

Looking at what kind of story Armor Wars is in the comics, the planned MCU movie is poised to have much greater ties to Iron Man. But if War Machine’s entire mission in the series is to preserve Iron Man’s legacy, it’ll risk giving too much attention to a piece of the MCU’s past. Similar to what Black Panther: Wakanda Forever did with Ironheart, Armor Wars should include Stark tech, but not go as far to make War Machine’s character journey dependent on Iron Man’s role in his life. A better course of action would be to let War Machine stand apart from the Armored Avenger and to showcase him as his own character, as opposed to an extension of Iron Man’s story.

NEXT: Riri Williams’ Stark Suit Sets Up Another MCU Project (Not Just Ironheart)

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