Riri Williams had just recently been introduced to Marvel Comics as Ironheart, Iron Man’s successor, in 2016. The epic character caught fire, and now, she’s already in the MCU as well, portrayed by Dominique Thorne in Black Panther: Wakanda forever. With rumors swirling around about Riri’s sexuality, fans wonder; is Ironheart gay, straight or bisexual in the MCU & comics?
Ironheart’s sexuality has yet to be unequivocally confirmed in Marvel Comics. She was kissed by a girl once but didn’t reciprocate, so we can’t say she’s bi or gay for sure. In the MCU, however, sources suggest Riri Williams will be bisexual.
Now, we haven’t seen any relationship blossom into something romantic for Riri in the new Black Panther movie, but there’s some stuff to unpack that could suggest in which direction the producers are going and how. Let’s get to it.
Who is Riri Williams?
Riri Williams is a relatively new character in Marvel Comics, so it’s understandable that a lot of people aren’t really familiar with her. So, let’s share the most important info on Riri’s comics history so far to learn how she became Ironheart.
The character first appeared in Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2 #7 in 2016 and only became Ironheart about a year later. Riri is a brilliant, super-genius teenager who can match the most prolific minds on the planet, like Bruce Banner or Tony Stark.
The 15-year-old built her first machine when she was three years old. For one of her school projects, Riri created an Iron Suit out of scrap metal, which ultimately led her to become Iron Man’s protege. After becoming Ironheart and donning her own Iron Suit, she joined a team of young superheroes known as Champions.
Her comics history might not be long, but it’s already awesome and rich in storylines. There were even some romantic threads being pulled, but Ironheart’s sexuality might not be clarified just yet.
Is Ironheart gay, bi-sex, or straight in the comics?
As I’ve mentioned, Riri Williams hasn’t been around Marvel Comics for long, so there weren’t many romantic relationships that she has been involved in so far. There’s still to be a confirmation about her sexuality in the comics, and for all we know, Riri might be asexual for now.
I mean, she is quite a young girl still trying to find herself and chisel deeper character, and she was more focused on her intellect and superhero work. Riri didn’t dive into relationships that lightly. That being said, there was one particular romantic thread that seemed to have been going in one direction but was then cut off abruptly.
In the storyline, Weird War One, Ironheart and Vivian Vision are both members of the Champions and end up in Weirdworld. Viv’s feelings for Riri have been evident for a while now, and she finally lets it be clear by kissing Riri.
However, although it seemed that everything was heading in the direction of the girls falling in love, Ironheart abruptly ends the encounter and turns Viv down. Some fans were disappointed, and as it seems, so was the writer of the story himself.
Jim Zub shared on his Tumblr profile a semi-cryptic message suggesting that he pitched the idea of Riri and Vivian being in a relationship to Marvel, but they shut it down:
“Sometimes you have romantic plans for a story and they get vetoed partway through.
If you read a comic by me and wondered why a clear romantic thread just seemed to end for no apparent reason…yeah…maybe that wasn’t my choice?
Maybe, just maybe, it hurts me too.”
So, for now, all we know is that Riri wasn’t into Viv Vision, at least not in a romantic way. That doesn’t exclude the possibility of Ironheart being gay or bi-sex, but for now, it seems she is either straight or asexual.
Will it be the case in the MCU, though? Well, according to rumors, Marvel might just correct the mistake they made in the comics.
Is Ironheart gay, bi-sex, or straight in the MCU?
So, we don’t have confirmation in the comics, apart from Riri rejecting a kiss from Viv Vision. What about the MCU?
Ironheart was introduced in the MCU in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and is soon getting her own TV series in Disney+. However, even before that, the MCU version of Riri was rumored to be canonically bisexual. Those rumors still circulate among fans and other sources, but the fact is, it still wasn’t officially confirmed, nor did we see it in the Black Panther movie.
If anything, Riri appeared asexual, as she didn’t show any particular romantic interest in any of the characters. Her close relationship with Shuri appears purely platonic. However, that could all change in the TV series.
We already have Wiccan, who’s canonically queer in the comics, appear in WandaVision, Loki revealing his pansexuality in the Loki TV series, etc.
Correcting a mistake from the comics and giving Riri a clear sexual identity in the MCU would be an amazing option, especially considering she’s older than in the comics (19 years old in the MCU). How awesome would it be for us the get Viv Vision in the MCU, and the two end up together?