WONDERCON 2019 PREMIERE AND PRESS ROUNDTABLE FOR MARVEL RISING: HEART OF IRON
by Margaret Mays
During WonderCon 2019 I was privileged to attend my first round table for the animated show Marvel Rising – a multi-platform series that celebrates diversity and inclusion and also provides plenty of superheros. On March 31st, Marvel Studios added a new hero to their roster, Ironheart, in the world premiere of their animated special Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron.
Right before the panel and premiere, I attended a press roundtable which included Cort Lane (Executive Producer), Sofia Wylie (voice of Riri Williams/Ironheart), Milana Vayntrub (voice of Squirrel Girl), Kathreen Khavari (voice of Ms Marvel) and Kamil McFadden (voice of Patriot).
Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl are two of my favorite current Marvel comics so I have been really enjoying their team up for Marvel Rising. Besides watching the show, I have also been reading the comics. So when speaking with Cort Lane one thing I was curious about was the collaboration between the show and the comics. He responded, “My boss is Dan Buckley who is in charge of television and publishing and Sana Amanat is the co-executive producer. She used to be an editor on “Ms. Marvel” and other books. She’s the co-creator of Ms. Marvel. So publishing definitely has a perspective about which characters are most relevant to the audience but also have stories that are rich and deep enough. They do review scripts and we work with them. It’s actually wonderful and collaborative.”
Since the show’s premier last year, they have continued to add new superheros to the team. Additionally, I asked if there was any hope to use Marvel Rising as a vehicle to create a new Marvel hero. He responded, “The reality is we have thousands of characters and a lot of these young characters have a following, particularly in digital comic format with a younger audience. So why not take something that’s really working with that younger audience and expand it and introduce it to an even younger and larger audience. There’s something in there that can serve any story purpose.” However, he did tease that a new villain is coming.
Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron introduces a new hero: a young student named Riri Williams, a.k.a Ironheart (voiced by Sofia Wylie). She discussed what she is hoping to bring to the Riri fans. “That was one of the most exciting parts for me was being able to bring Riri to life for the first time in animation. Of course she has had such an amazing fan base through the comics. I need to bring justice to them, because they have supported her and I wanted to make sure they still love her just as much, or even more through the animation. So just bringing her sass, her confidence and all of that. Her strength and intelligence, I think is who she really is as a whole. Also, showing her arc of creating new friendships is a fun thing for all the Riri lovers to see.”
Back for more in the new animated special are Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl! Kathreen Khavari and Milana Vayntrub both gave some insight into their characters. Kathreen Khavari talked a bit about what she wishes to portray about Ms. Marvel when voicing the character, “Kamala is very enthusiastic, as am I. She’s much more comfortable showing her enthusiasm than I am, which I love about her. I think that’s what makes her so endearing and lovable, that she is so ready and willing to be a superhero. She’s also just a very compassionate person and for me it’s important to bring that compassion forward because it makes you want to be her friend.”
Milana Vayntrub explained what makes Squirrel Girl so excited, “I think a part of it is inherent. She’s just an inherent optimist and then I think a part of it is that she’s unbeatable. She’s the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, that’s like her full name. So I think if you’ve never really been toppled over then that sense of optimism has never really been destroyed.”
Moving into the next season of Marvel Rising, I inquired as to how the character of Patriot is changing and growing because of his involvement with a mostly female team. Kamil McFadden responded, “He’s being taught to show his emotions more. When we see him in Season One, he was very standoffish, a lone wolf type mentality; so now he’s really understanding the teamwork atmosphere and also the family atmosphere, being surrounded by people who care about you and that you can rely on. As the seasons go on, we’ll see him kind of blossom even more and open up even more.”
After the roundtable concluded, I headed over to the premiere screening that was part of the WonderCon programing. Luckily for you, Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron is currently available right here and on Marvel HQ.
If you liked this article, you may be interested in Sarah’s Red Carpet Premiere videos with the cast and Cort Lane for the Season 1 Premiere of Marvel Rising.