I come from the fire city
fire kissed us and laughed / and even now the rust climbs the walls, red ivy /
Eve. L. Ewing is Ironheart!
Riri Williams is forging a path of her own, and writer Dr. Eve L. Ewing has big plans for IRONHEART ahead! The Chicago-based poet, scholar, and artist is ready to put the spotlight on Riri’s smarts and sense of justice, and she’s adding some of her own hometown into the story. IRONHEART #1 will make its debut on Wednesday, November 7 with artist Kevin Libranda (CHAMPIONS) bringing Riri to life on the page. Marvel.com spoke to Ewing and series editors Tom Brevoort and Alanna Smith to see what’s in store for Riri Williams in her solo series.
Marvel.com: What’s your perspective on Riri Williams as a person? How would you describe her as a friend to those around her?
Eve L. Ewing: She’s still kind of figuring out the whole “peer relationships” thing. She’s a deeply caring person with a good heart — she just needs to work through some of the awkwardness. Early in life, Riri got the message that she was different. Incredibly special, but different. And to compound those feelings of difference, she lost some of the people that she loved the most in the world, including her only real friend. Aside from that, because she went to high school and then on to MIT when she was still really young, her sense of some of the rites of passage that most of us go through is a little off. But she’s growing!
Marvel.com: Similarly, what’s your view of Ironheart the Super Hero? What does she stand for as an icon?
Eve L. Ewing: Ironheart symbolizes what happens when you combine incredible strength and might with a sense of love, care, and a true desire for justice. Not just punishment or showing off or short-term solutions, but real justice. Not to be corny or overly literal, but that’s what it means to combine the power represented by “iron” with the moral compass represented by “heart.” Riri’s identity and the place where she comes from means she sometimes has a different perspective than some of her peers on how to deal with people who are doing wrong. There’s a reason she doesn’t just go around blasting everybody to high heaven because, to be real, she definitely could do that if she wanted. But she’s a very tender person at her core, and she doesn’t just want to be a senseless weapon.
Marvel.com: How has your background in academics helped influence your take on one of Marvel’s most scholarly Super Heroes?
Eve L. Ewing: One thing I’ve had to wrestle with is that if you’re a black women at a place like MIT, where Riri goes to school, or down the street at Harvard, where I went to graduate school, the social environment was kind of constructed without you in mind, and these institutions ask you to make a lot of compromises that you have to navigate. That’s definitely something Riri will be dealing with. More broadly, she and I have a lot in common, and it’s been so fun to write her so far. Not just as a black woman, but specifically as a black woman from Chicago, and an awkward nerd, and someone who’s spent a lot of time in Cambridge. In everything I write, I always try to illuminate a strong sense of place. It’s been really fun to bring out little details of those places. Shouting out Chicago in particular is pretty much my favorite thing.
Read the rest of this interview here: https://www.marvel.com/articles/comics/writer-eve-ewing-is-bringing-ironheart-into-the-spotlight