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The Internet was wrong.

I have receipts. I was researching the rumor Riri Williams‘ (played by Dominique Thorne) was going to appear at MIT for the sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Almost imperceptibly, the Internet was wrong. I almost missed it. I Googled Williams ‘first appearance’ and her creative team.

The entry says Riri Williams’ first appearance was in Invincible Iron Man Vol 2, #7. I was just about to go with that. This is the Internet and I used Google, right? I knew the writer and artist were Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato.

That doesn’t feel right, went my gut. When I’m tired, I take what the Internet says as gospel because I can trust my instincts to sniff out something that doesn’t seem right. After the day I had, I double-checked.

There was one other thing to consider. I was standing in for the the Editor of Scifi.radio, just for a week, and I needed to be SURE. My gut was right. My disappointment was palpable. And hunger-inducing. My gut demanded Oreos in payment. Luckily, I had some.

Riri Williams first appearance in the comics was in Invincible Iron Man Vol 3, #7. Be right back. Have to get those Oreos.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Riri Williams will be played by Dominique Thorne and slated to appear in the sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever directed and written again by Ryan Coogler. Thorne previously starred in Oscar winners, If Beale Street Could Talk and Judas and the Black Messiah. Thorne’s appearance was received favorably last year when it was announced she would be getting her own series on Disney+. Since both sets feature MIT, it is suspected Thorn’s cameo will be as Riri Williams, not as her armored alias, Ironheart.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige informed Comicbook.com: “We’re shooting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, right now, and the character of Riri Williams, you will meet in Black Panther 2 first. She started shooting, I think, this week before her Ironheart series.”

In the comics, Riri Williams, a young prodigy, reverse engineers her own super-powered prototype armored exoskeleton, similar to, but unique from, Iron Man’s using stolen technology from MIT. Stark, impressed by her designs, sponsors her heroic identity. They come to respect and rely on each other and at one point, she is carrying around Stark’s consciousness as the AI for her armor. Williams stars in the Invincible Iron Man series for a time before striking out into her own comic series, Ironheart. She also appeared in the recent Champions series and the animated movie, Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be in theaters, July 8, 2022. Ironheart doesn’t have a premiere date for Disney+ but keep an eye out for her in the movies until then.

Don’t trust the Internet, kids. It’s full of insidious lies. Double check everything. This has been a public service announcement.

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Thaddeus Howze
Thaddeus Howze

Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and activist creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California.
Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.

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