Wakanda Forever missed an opportunity to bring back a cut Iron Man suit, but it made sense to establish Ironheart as a hero independent of Iron Man. Riri Williams could become a hero as great as Tony Stark and her unique Ironheart suit allows her to establish her own identity. While the sequel focused on introducing Ironheart as her own character, future MCU movies can still explore the use of old Iron Man suits and set up an exciting future for both Ironheart and the franchise.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever introduced audiences to Ironheart and her unique suit, but it had the opportunity to use a 14-year-old MCU suit that was cut from Iron Man. Riri Williams debuted in Wakanda Forever and proved she could create an Iron Man suit similar to the ones used by Tony Stark. Her suit had a unique design and looked similar to how it appeared in the comics. Williams is supposedly going to be included in the MCU timeline more moving forward, so it will be interesting to see what the young inventor can create.

Despite never meeting Mr. Stark, Williams is following in his footsteps and could be a hero as great as he was. Wakanda Forever had an opportunity to pay tribute to the fallen hero by creating a suit that modeled his while still injecting it with Ironheart’s distinct design. While it makes sense that the 2022 film wanted to establish Dominique Thorne’s character as a hero independent of Iron Man, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever missed an opportunity to bring back a cut Iron Man suit that would have made perfect sense considering the film’s plot.

Related: Every Upcoming Marvel Movie: Full MCU Phase 5 & 6 List (& Beyond)

Black Panther 2 Could Have Perfectly Used Iron Man’s Cut Underwater Suit

There have been many different iterations of the Iron Man suit throughout the MCU. Iron Man 3 featured the most versions, with an epic climax that involved an army of suits built by Stark. One suit cut from the 2008 film was the Iron Man Mk 37 “Hammerhead” Armor — a suit designed for underwater use. In a post shared by artist Phil Saunders, he revealed concept art for the suit, which came from the original Iron Man. The suit did make a momentary appearance in the final battle of Iron Man 3 – showcasing its usefulness underwater – as Saunders already a silhouette of the suit and just needed to polish off a few details.

The suit was destroyed by Tony at the end of the film, but Black Panther: Wakanda Forever would have been the perfect opportunity to bring the suit back and provide it the spotlight that it missed in the original Iron Man movie. The main storyline of the sequel featured Wakanda versus Talokan, an underwater kingdom led by Namor. The climactic battle sees Riri Williams fighting alongside Wakanda in her Ironheart suit, and a few fights occur underwater. Williams could have tried to use Stark’s blueprints for an underwater suit and created something similar to the Mk 37.

Why Black Panther 2 Was Right To Not Use MCU’s Underwater Iron Man Suit

Ironheart could be a critical member of the MCU moving forward. Not only is Ironheart getting a Disney+ series, but Riri could easily become a member of the Avengers, especially since Iron Man is gone. While Black Panther 2 wasn’t focused on her, the movie needed to establish her as her own character and not Iron Man Jr. As such, the Ironheart suit allows the audience to establish what she looks like without immediately connecting her to Iron Man, meaning focusing on it instead of old Iron Man suits was ultimately the correct move.

The MCU will always have the chance to go back to the old Iron Man suits after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. There are many suits that Riri could use as blueprints if she wanted to, and her backstory already justifies her using all the lesser known MCU suits for inspiration while she’s working on her own, setting up an exciting future for both Ironheart and the franchise itself.

Marvel Studios’ The Infinity Saga – Iron Man: The Art of the Movie releases October 14, 2023.

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 One Iron Man suit was perfect for Black Panther 2.  Read More