Riri Williams, aka Ironheart, finally got an official introduction into the MCU in the new Black Panther: Wakanda Forever movie. The teenage genius who recreated an Iron Suit with scraps was awesome in the film and fought an insanely mighty enemy in her first battle.
That being said, Ironheart doesn’t have an overwhelming comic book history, as Riri first appeared in Invincible Iron Man Vol. 3 #7. Still, she had already fought numerous powerful villains that tested her brains and her guts. Without further ado, here’s a ranked list of the ten most powerful Ironheart villains so far.
10. Geoffrey Patrick
Superheroes usually fight supervillains, but sometimes, they have to fight politics. One awesome storyline involving Riri Williams happened when the Underage Superhuman Welfare Act was drafted. The main guy behind the Act was Senator Geoffrey Patrick, and he was the guy that made Riri give up the Ironheart mantle for a while.
The Act outlawed any form of superhero vigilantism for superhumans under the age of 21. If Riri continued to be Ironheart, her mother would suffer dire legal consequences. Williams was forced back into her suit not long after that in Champions Vol. 4 #2 when C.R.A.D.L.E. broke into her home and attacked her.
9. Lady Octopus
Carolyn Trainer was the daughter of Seward Trainer, a brilliant genetics expert who worked for the High Evolutionary. She was also a student and an apprentice of Dr. Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus. After Otto Octavius was killed by Kaine, she replaced him and took on the tentacles.
Obviously, she was primarily a Spider-Man villain, just like Doc Ock, but she fought Ironheart in some of Riri’s defining moments early in her career. Namely, in Invincible Iron Man Vol. 4 #8, where another villain from this list also appeared.
As we proceed with the list, you’ll notice that Ironheart has a history of fighting animal-based villains (some of them didn’t make the list). However, the most bizarre of all those characters is Animax. Her real name is Blake Schiel, and she first appeared in X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1.
Blake was born to abusive parents, and it led to her becoming a very violent person, soon falling into a life of crime. Her anger manifested in a mutation allowing Animax to create huge animals and monsters out of her own DNS structure at will.
Antonio Rodriguez, aka Armadillo, fought Riri Williams in Invincible Iron Man Vol. 4 #6. He was a petty criminal whose wife got terminally ill. When nobody could help her, Rodriguez turned to Dr. Karlin Malus, a criminal scientist who agreed to treat Maria in exchange for Antonio becoming one of his test subjects and employee, after which he became the Armadillo.
He fought numerous superheroes with his sheer size, durability, and strength but was usually easily defeated due to his lack of fighting skills. Still, when Armadillo is on a rampage, he’s as strong as they come, being physically stronger than, for instance, Captain America (Captain America #308).
Although they are completely different characters and fought Riri in different situations, I couldn’t decide how to rank Rhino and Tank since they are pretty similar in terms of power, strength, and brains. Aleksei Systevick, aka Rhino, is a well-known Spider-Man villain who fought Ironheart very early in her career.
On the other hand, Tank is a mutant villain who first appeared in Ironheart #6 and has so far appeared in only two issues. Tank fought Ironheart and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) together with his berserker strength, invulnerability, and size-altering powers.
Eclipse is a powerful villain who is a member of the Ten Rings. We’ve seen the Ten Rings appear in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, but they are a bit different than they are in the comics. Eclipse is an Ironheart original villain, as she first appeared in Ironheart #7 in 2019.
Eclipse is only one of the members of an evil organization known as the Ten Rings. She has magical abilities, so she wanted to use them to turn all the residents of Chicago into zombie-like creatures. Luckily, Nadia Van Dyne, aka the Wasp, and Riri were there to investigate.
It almost turned sour after Eclipse got the Wasp under mind control, but Ironheart managed to burn Eclipse so badly that she just teleported away.
4. Lucia von Bardas
This matchup had the potential to be insanely dangerous for Riri Williams, but she ultimately won quite easily. Lucia von Bardas was the heir to Doctor Doom, the ruler of his own country known as Latveria. Von Bardas was a cyborg but, more importantly, a war criminal. S.H.I.E.L.D. convinced Riri to invade Latveria, as von Bardas had to be taken down.
She reluctantly agrees and fights the dictator in Invincible Iron Man Vol. 4 #8 (the same issue where Lady Octopus appeared). After defeating her, Riri proclaimed herself as the new ruler of Latveria, only to negotiate a truce with S.H.I.E.L.D. and then abdicated to help pave the start of democracy in Latveria and have their first free elections.
3. The Hood
Although they didn’t officially fight yet, rumors say that Anthony Ramos will portray the infamous Marvel villain known as The Hood in the MCU series Ironheart. I ranked the Hood so high because we don’t really know which version of the character will be in the show, so we have to assume it’ll be the most powerful one.
The Hood was only a small, petty criminal who stumbled upon a creature revealed to be a demon. He shot and killed it and then stole its hood and boots. Little did he know, the superpowers he gained came from the almighty entity (already known in the MCU), Dormammu.
The obtaining of the possessed objects rose the Hood from being a petty criminal to a seat at the table of Norman Osborn’s Cabal, a group of the most dangerous supervillains on Earth, including himself, Doctor Doom, Loki, Namor, and Emma Frost.
If The Hood appears in Ironhear, it will open so many doors for MCU writers to introduce new awesome characters. Mr. Henry Cavill, we’re waiting on your Doctor Doom!
There’s been chatter going around the internet for months now that Sacha Baron Cohen is going to portray the notorious Marvel demon, Mephisto, in the TV series Ironheart. Fans have long awaited, and Marvel has long teased Mephisto’s introduction into the MCU, and Ironheart might just be the place to get him there.
Some fans believe he could simply replace Dormammu in the story; the writers could make The Hood’s cloak and boots to be possessed by Mephisto instead. I would love to see it happen, especially after seeing how cool Cohen could be as Mephisto in this awesome fan art.
Honorable mention: Doctor Doom
Before we get to number one on the list, I had to mention Doctor Doom on this list – he’s one of the most powerful, well-known Marvel villains ever and played a big part in Ironheart’s history. However, when Riri encountered Doctor Doom, he was a different man.
The master of both sorcery and science was going through a catharsis, and he tried to make up for all the harm he’s done any way he could. Doctor Doom became Iron Man in this scenario and worked with Riri Williams toward the betterment of humanity.
I loved the storyline, but what I’m most intrigued by is the introduction of The Hood to the MCU. That could potentially be a safe space to include both Mephisto and Doctor Doom in the MCU, as he worked with The Hood as a member of Cabal.
Last but not least, it seems as if this guy fought every person in the universe, but yes, Ironheart fought Thanos as well. Clearly, it won’t happen again in the MCU, but that might be a good thing for Ironheart, as fighting Thanos was a big mistake for her in the comics. He pummeled her so hard that it left Riri’s suit of armor completely destroyed.
In case there’s still anybody in the world that doesn’t know who Thanos is, The Mad Titan is an Eternal with a deviant syndrome who dedicated his entire life to becoming more powerful any way he can. Also, Thanos’ philosophy was to wipe out half of the universe to bring it to a natural equilibrium.