Pepper Potts

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Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts in TheOrder 6.jpg
Pepper Potts, from issue 6 of The Order.
Art by Barry Kitson.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearance(As Pepper Potts)
Tales of Suspense # 45, September 1963
(As Rescue)
The Invincible Iron Man #10 (May 2009)
Created byStan Lee
Don Heck
In-story information
Full nameVirginia "Pepper" Potts
Team affiliationsThe Order
The Initiative
Stark International
Supporting character ofIron Man
Notable aliasesHera, Rescue, Coast Guard
 
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Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts in TheOrder 6.jpg
Pepper Potts, from issue 6 of The Order.
Art by Barry Kitson.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearance(As Pepper Potts)
Tales of Suspense # 45, September 1963
(As Rescue)
The Invincible Iron Man #10 (May 2009)
Created byStan Lee
Don Heck
In-story information
Full nameVirginia "Pepper" Potts
Team affiliationsThe Order
The Initiative
Stark International
Supporting character ofIron Man
Notable aliasesHera, Rescue, Coast Guard

Virginia "Pepper" Potts is a fictional supporting character and romantic love interest appearing in books published by Marvel Comics, in particular those featuring Iron Man. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Don Heck, she first appeared in Tales of Suspense #45 (September 1963).

In 2007, she joined the Fifty State Initiative under the codename Hera. After being given her own suit of armor by Tony Stark, she assumes the identity of Rescue.[1][2]

The character is portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow in the films Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Avengers and Iron Man 3.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Virginia "Pepper" Potts first appeared in Tales of Suspense #45 (September 1963), which was written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Don Heck. Though she was named Pepper Potts from the start, Stark addresses her as "Kitty" in one panel, which is thought to be a typo. Heck modeled Potts as Ann B. Davis’ character of Schultzy from The Bob Cummings Show, and is rendered with brown hair done up in a hairdo similar to that of Schultzy's. Someone on the creative team or in editorial came to feel that the resemblance was too great, and in Tales of Suspense #50, Potts' look was altered to give her red hair and a different hairdo. Potts is originally a member of a secretarial pool, and gets her job by fixing an accounting error made by Stark. She is depicted initially as being infatuated with Stark, and rejects the advances of Stark's chauffeur and assistant Happy Hogan, who debuted in the same issue, with acerbic remarks. As Stark's affection of her grows in the ensuing issues, she becomes part of a love triangle between the two men, and eventually falls in love with and marries Hogan, eloping with him in Tales of Suspense #91.[3]

Pepper and Happy Hogan.

Pepper and Happy eventually leave Stark Industries, settling in the Rocky Mountains and then finally in Cleveland, where they adopt children after being unable to conceive, and disappear from the main Iron Man storyline. After being kidnapped by Stark's rival Obadiah Stane, Pepper tells Tony to stay out of their lives. Pepper and Happy soon divorce after she has an affair with a former college boyfriend. After Tony Stark's return from the Heroes Reborn universe, Pepper and Happy join Tony at his new company, Stark Solutions, and once again become core characters. After some time, Happy and Pepper once again became involved and remarry, eventually considering conceiving a child to supplement their adopted children. Stark entrusts Pepper with a special remote that could shut him down. However, Pepper, tortured by the responsibility, is forced to return it, and the trauma causes her to miscarry. Stark is able to deal with the remote, but feels guilty that he has placed her in such danger.

After Happy sustains massive injuries in a fight with Spymaster during the 2006-2007 "Civil War" storyline, Pepper requests that Tony turn off Happy's life support (using his Extremis abilities). The final pages of Invincible Iron Man (vol. 4) #14 shows the death of Happy; it is implied Tony complied with Pepper's request.

The Order[edit]

After the events of the "Civil War" storyline, Pepper joins the Fifty State Initiative as a member of The Order, a government sanctioned superhero team operating within California. She assumes the moniker of the Greek goddess Hera, and uses advanced computer hardware and prosthetics to monitor and coordinate the team's missions. Upon the absorption of The Order into the Initiative, Tony Stark offers her a job on the special projects team at Stark Enterprises, which she accepts.[volume & issue needed]

2008 - present[edit]

Pepper as Rescue.

Pepper Potts resumes her activities as personal secretary of Tony Stark. When Pepper is caught in a terrorist explosion caused by Ezekiel "Zeke" Stane, she sustains multiple internal injuries, including shrapnel wounds, and rendered unable to withstand a prolonged surgery. In response, Tony embeds a strong magnet (similar in appearance to the arc reactor of the movie) in her chest, essentially turning Pepper into a cyborg dependent on keeping her chest magnet engaged to stay alive, as he was once.[4]

Pepper's body is further enhanced with new cybernetics and upgrades to the magnet, which are based on Danny Rand's battery designs, and which afford Pepper new super abilities.[5]

When Tony is blamed for the Skrull invasion of Earth that occurs in the 2008 storyline "Secret Invasion", S.H.I.E.L.D. is taken over by Norman Osborn, replaced with H.A.M.M.E.R., and Stark and Maria Hill are fired, along all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s employees. Tony realizes that Osborn is after the identities of superhumans that registered with the government following the passage of the Superhuman Registration Act that occurred during the "Civil War" storyline, which is stored in a database in his brain. Stark decides to go underground with Hill, and to wipe the knowledge in his own brain. Stark makes Pepper the new CEO of Stark Industries, trusting only her to shut down the company in his absence. Pepper discovers a secret room in Stark's office which contains a suit of armor that he made especially for her,[1] which she uses under the name Rescue.[2] Though Osborn has seized all Stark Industries facilities and equipment, Pepper states that all components of her armor are legal and that the design specifications are available to anyone. Despite Osborn threatening her loved ones with prison if she interferes with his search for Tony or attempts any more heroic actions, after being freed she endeavors to find Tony herself.[6] They are reunited in Russia,[7] and consummate a now-sexual relationship, but are subsequently captured and tortured by Madame Masque, who was assigned by Norman Osborn to track Stark down. Stark admits that he had loved Masque in the past,[8] but when pressed to make a choice, with his own life on the line, Tony chooses Pepper. Pepper decides to engage Masque in a physical altercation in order to provide a distraction for Stark to escape.[9]

During the 2009 "World's Most Wanted Storyline" (which ran concurrently with Marvel's company-wide storyline "Dark Reign"), Pepper, after defeating Masque, disguises herself as the former, infiltrating H.A.M.M.E.R. while presenting the Rescue armor to Osborn as spoils of battle. Pepper reveals herself when she rescues Black Widow and Maria Hill from Osborn's imprisonment, while the Rescue suit uploads a virus into H.A.M.M.E.R.'s computers, taking control of the Helicarrier's armory of suits.[10] They then retrieve the hard drive that Hill was assigned by Stark to get, escaping to give it to Captain America in order to restore Starks' mind.[11] As part of "re-booting" Tony (in a vegetative state), the magnet in her chest is removed and placed into his.[12]

Though Stark's memories are restored from a somewhat years-old backup, he no longer remembers the events of the "Civil War" nor his role in it, its aftermath or his affair with Pepper. Pepper survives the removal of her chest magnet, but demands that a new one similar to Tony's own chest repulsor be re-installed, which is done. Recovered, Stark also gifts Pepper with a new Rescue armor, complete with JARVIS.[13]

During the 2011 "Stark Resilient" storyline, when Justine Hammer and her daughter Sasha Hammer use their own armored enforcer Detroit Steel to attempt to sabotage Stark Resilient (Tony's new company) and its design for a repulsor technology-powered vehicle, Pepper joins War Machine in helping Stark, during which Pepper experiences a near-death experience in which JARVIS, masquerading as Happy, gives Pepper a cryptic warning of the future.[14]

In the 2012 storyline "The Future", Pepper returns to her civilian life following her destruction of J.A.R.V.I.S., the artificial intelligence that helped her control her Rescue armor,[15] after its compromise led it to go rogue and attempt to kidnap her.[16]

In The Invincible Iron Man #500, in a flashforward to an apocalyptic future 41 years ahead where the Mandarin has conquered the world, an aged version of Tony defeats his long-time foe with the help of his son Howard Anthony Stark and his granddaughter Ginny Stark, but Howard and Tony sacrifice themselves in the process. At the close of the story, Ginny buries the two next to a gravestone with the name Virginia Potts Stark. Howard is also said to be 41 years old, suggesting that he will be born within the following year.[17]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Stark-tech mag-field generator implanted in Pepper’s chest was not weapons-based like Stark's, but borrowed non-weaponized electromagnetic technology from Rand Industries, which caused a number of physical changes to her body. It cured her tinnitus, improving her hearing. It allows her to sense electromagentic fields, and manipulate them to levitate her body.[5]

Potts's Stark-tech armor suit,[1] which is designated Mark 1616,[18] but named Rescue by Potts,[2] represents a hybrid of repulsor technology and portable electromagnetic superfield generators that give the suit flight, speed, strength, and magnetic field manipulation. Its electromagentic forcefields are powerful enough to enable Rescue to stop a falling jet airliner without physical contact with it,[19] and can also be used as an offensive weapon with other armored opponents.[2] The suit's physical strength enables it to hold up a stilt mansion felled by an earthquake,[19] and to rip the lower leg of the Black armor.[16] The armor also features an artificial intelligence named J.A.R.V.I.S. that acts as a guide for Potts.[18] During the 2012 storyline "The Future", Potts and Carson Wyche come to suspect that J.A.R.V.I.S. has been compromised, and when they attempt to troubleshoot the Rescue helmet, J.A.R.V.I.S. takes control of the Rescue armor, and takes Potts and Wyche hostage.[16] J.A.R.V.I.S. is disabled by James Rhodes with a source-focused electromagnetic pulse from the Black armor,[20] and eventually destroyed by Potts, ending her career as Rescue.[15]

Other versions[edit]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Pepper Potts as seen in Iron Man: Armored Adventures.

Film[edit]

Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in the 2008 film Iron Man.

Video games[edit]

Theatre[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salvador (a). "World's Most Wanted Part 3: No Future" The Invincible Iron Man v5, 11 (April 2009), Marvel Comics
  2. ^ a b c d Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salvador (a). "World's Most Wanted Part 7: The Shape of the World These Days" The Invincible Iron Man 14 (August 2009), Marvel Comics
  3. ^ Cronin, Brian (June 29, 2010). "Foggy Ruins of Time – Which Brady Bunch Actress Was Pepper Potts Based On?". Comic Book Resources.
  4. ^ Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salvador (a). "The Five Nightmares Part 3: Pepper Potts At the End of the World" The Invincible Iron Man 3 (September 2008), Marvel Comics
  5. ^ a b Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salvador (a). "The Five Nightmares Part 4: Neutron Bomb Heart" The Invincible Iron Man 4 (October 2008), Marvel Comics
  6. ^ Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salvador (a). "World's Most Wanted Part 7: The Shape of the World These Days" The Invincible Iron Man v5, 14 (August 2009), Marvel Comics
  7. ^ Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salvador (a). "World's Most Wanted Part 6: Some King of the World" The Invincible Iron Man v5, 14 (July 2009), Marvel Comics
  8. ^ Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salvador (a). "World's Most Wanted Part 8: The Danger We're All In" The Invincible Iron Man v5, 15 (September 2009), Marvel Comics
  9. ^ Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salvador (a). "World's Most Wanted Part 9: Titan of the Nuclear Age" The Invincible Iron Man v5, 16 (October 2009), Marvel Comics
  10. ^ Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salvador (a). "World's Most Wanted Part 11: Kids with Guns vs. The Eternal Angel of Death" The Invincible Iron Man v5, 18 (November 2009), Marvel Comics
  11. ^ Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salvador (a). "World's Most Wanted Conclusion: Into the White (Einstein on the Beach)" The Invincible Iron Man v5, 19 (December 2009), Marvel Comics
  12. ^ Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salvador (a). "Stark: Disassembled Part 2: Digging in the Dirt" The Invincible Iron Man v5, 21 (February 2010), Marvel Comics
  13. ^ Matt Fraction (w), Salvador Larocca (a). "Stark Resilient Part 4: Grand Mal Tokyo Moron Party" The Invincible Iron Man v5, 28 (September 2010), Marvel Comics
  14. ^ Matt Fraction (w), Salvador Larocca (a). "Stark Resilient Part 8: Drones Scream Down" The Invincible Iron Man v5, 32 (January 2011), Marvel Comics
  15. ^ a b Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salavdor (a). "The Future Part 6: Independence Day" The Invincible Iron Man 526 (December 2012), Marvel Comics
  16. ^ a b c Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salavdor (a). "The Future Part 3: Swarm" The Invincible Iron Man 523 (October 2012), Marvel Comics
  17. ^ Fraction, Matt (w), Kano (a). "The New Iron Age" The Invincible Iron Man 500 (March 2011), Marvel Comics
  18. ^ a b Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salvador (a). "World's Most Wanted Part 4: Breach" The Invincible Iron Man 11 (May 2009), Marvel Comics
  19. ^ a b Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salvador (a). "World's Most Wanted Part 5: The High-End Technology of Ultramodern Destruction" The Invincible Iron Man 12 (April 2009), Marvel Comics
  20. ^ Fraction, Matt (w), Larocca, Salavdor (a). "The Future Part 4: Armor War" The Invincible Iron Man 524 (November 2012), Marvel Comics
  21. ^ Who's Who Handbook of the Amalgam Universe
  22. ^ "Marvel Zombies Return" #2 (2009)
  23. ^ Millar, Mark (w), Hitch, Bryan (a). Ultimates 2 #3 Marvel Comics.
  24. ^ "Whiplash". Iron Man: Armored Adventures. Season 1. Episode 5. May 15, 2009. Nicktoons.
  25. ^ "Hostile Takeover". Iron Man: Armored Adventures. Season 2. Episode 15. March 7, 2012. Nicktoons.
  26. ^ "Doomsday". Iron Man: Armored Adventures. Season 2. Episode 20. June 13, 2012. Nicktoons.
  27. ^ "The Invincible Iron Man Part 2: Reborn". Iron Man: Armored Adventures. Season 2. Episode 2. July 20, 2011. Nicktoons.
  28. ^ "Heavy Mettle". Iron Man: Armored Adventures. Season 2. Episode 13. November 26, 2011. Nicktoons.
  29. ^ "Dragonseed". Iron Man: Armored Adventures. Season 2. Episode 24. July 11, 2012. Nicktoons.
  30. ^ Jenna Busch (2010-02-08). "AVENGERS Animated Assembling w/ Phil Lamarr". Newsarama. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  31. ^ Krupa, Daniel (May 9, 2011). "Gwyneth Paltrow Talks Avengers". IGN.
  32. ^ "Gwyneth Paltrow Reprising 'Pepper Potts' In The Avengers After All; Not Just A Cameo?". ComicBookMovie.com. July 17, 2011.
  33. ^ Wales, George (March 15, 2012). "Japanese Avengers trailer is stuffed with new footage". Total Film.
  34. ^ "This week's cover: 'Iron Man 2' with exclusive photos!" Entertainment Weekly. July 16, 2009
  35. ^ Digiacomo, Frank (March 15, 2013). "Iron Woman? If Pepper Potts Has A Future In Armor, She Needs To Kick Villain Ass". Movieline.
  36. ^ Wilson, Matt D. (November 27, 2013). "Take A Look At The Superheroines Of ‘Marvel Universe Live!’". Comics Alliance.

External links[edit]