SPOILER WARNING: This story contains major spoilers for “Invincible Iron Man” #7, on sale now.
The bulk of Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato‘s “Invincible Iron Man” #7 was dedicated to setting up Tony Stark’s dynamic with Mary Jane Watson, as the two bantered and negotiated her new job as Stark’s right-hand. But, as entertaining as it was to read their back and forth — and it was entertaining — the issue’s big moment came on the final page.
Following an extended sequence which found James Rhodes/War Machine trussed up as an unknown assailant systematically dismantled his armor, the final page revealed what appears to be a new player in the Marvel Universe. An M.I.T. student is introduced, and in addition to being obviously hyper-intelligent — and “like, eleven years old,” according to a frustrated dorm mate– she’s building her own suit of Iron Woman armor.
Longtime Iron Man fans’ first instinct may be to assume this is Rhodey’s niece, Lila, who readers met in 2014’s “Iron Patriot” series. After all, Lila is young, extremely intelligent, and has a history of working with Stark-based armor, having helped her uncle modify his own armor while Stark himself offered to help her hone her abilities.
However, this character is referred to as Riri by her dorm mates, not Lila. Of course, this could be a false identity, a nickname or even a continuity error or change. After all, the list of people not only smart enough to work on Stark-tech powered armor, much less have the access to the components necessary to fabricate on of their own, is a short one — particularly if you narrow your list to teenage females.
“Invincible Iron Man” #7, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato, is on sale now.