Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron (2019)

Countdown to “Avengers: Endgame”

I’ve managed to become a huge fan of the “Marvel Rising” TV specials as they’ve given a big spotlight to superheroes that don’t get their proper due or are overdue for their own spotlight very soon. Among them, there’s Squirrel Girl, Miss Marvel, Spider-Gwen, and Inferno. Disney has taken advantage of these specials to give some side adventures to some unique superheroes and heroines and I have enjoyed what has unfolded for this new team, as well as the diverse team of voice actors.

This special is centered on Riri Williams, a genius tech college student who feels alienated from others thanks to her need to perfect her own love for science and technology. When her best friend is kidnapped by Hala the Accuser, Riri builds her own iron suit in tribute of Iron Man, and decides to save her friend. During her journey she crosses paths with the “Secret Warriors,” all of whom decide to help her when they realize that Hala has bigger plans beyond kidnapping Riri’s friend.

“Heart of Iron” completely brings back all of the favorite members from previous specials and I love the continued exploration of characters like America Chavez, Quake, Miss Marvel, and Squirrel Girl. The latter heroine is my favorite of the group as not only is she a lot of fun and exciting, but Milana Vayntrub completely embraces the inherent silliness and heroism of the character. She’s goofy and loud, but she always manages to help her teammates out when they really need them. There’s also Dove Cameron as Spider Gwen, who gets her spotlight during the climax. Sofia Wylie is very good as Riri Williams, portraying a heroic and noble character who can very well earn her stripes and fight alongside top guns like Iron Man and Captain Marvel if she plays her cards right.

The animation is simple but absolutely charming, while the diverse cast of superheroes will definitely appeal to a younger audience looking for someone to relate to or root for. While the “Marvel Rising” series has been primarily for the tween demographic, it’s an easily accessible series of TV movies, nevertheless. I didn’t mind watching it and had a lot of fun watching these underdog heroes stop menaces plaguing Earth while also bonding and learning how to unite as a team. I hope Marvel and Disney start placing this series front and center soon, as it’s the epitome of what Marvel encourages in the realm of action, magic, and enthusiasm.

Now Streaming on Marvel HQ.