|“||I have to accept that you're gone. And if I can't save you, then I have to save the world from what you've become. I bought one of the largest media companies on Earth from under you. I'll use it to sink your drug, Extremis, and I will show the world the monster you've become. They will all know your imperfections, Tony. You won't be their messiah anymore. Your zealots, so blind to the truth. I will open their eyes. Whatever you do from now on, you will do it without admiration, without those who once respected you. You will do it without your friends. You might still manage to force your arrogant vision onto the world. But you will do so broken, unloved... And completely alone.||„|
|~ Pepper Potts to Tony Stark.|
|“||You warned me--Tony always said his biggest fear wasn't the wrong people getting their hands on his technology, his weapons, his friends or even his lovers. When he told me what it was, I thought it was ego. But I understand now. Because the nightmare scenario has happened. His mind has been taken. We need to activate the contingency.||„|
|~ Pepper to the Tony Stark First A.I.|
Virginia "Pepper" Potts, later known by her superhero name Rescue is a fictional character in the Marvel comics, and supporting character from the Iron Man comic books and movies. She is Tony's secretary, assistant, and longtime friend, and later becomes a armored superhero to stop threats.
She was created by the late Stan Lee, the late Don Heck, and the late Robert Bernstein, and first appeared in Tales of Suspense # 45 in September 1963. Pepper as Rescue was created by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca, and first appeared in Invincible Iron Man Vol 2 #10.
Virginia Potts was called "Pepper" because of freckles and red hair, and was working for Stark Industries when she spotted an accounting error. She informed Tony of the error, and having saved his company a large amount of money, she was promoted by Stark to be his personal assistant. Pepper became infatuated with Stark, but this changed when he hired Happy Hogan, who became his new body guard.
Happy and Pepper argued constantly, and he eventually confessed having an attraction to her, but she rebuffed him saying she was herself to be the future Mrs. Stark. Later on, she spotted Jack Frost breaking in, and Pepper used the telephone to warn Tony. In addition, she was also present when the Crimson Dynamo sabotaged a test launch of a new Stark missile, and again when the Melter attacked the company.
She continued working for Stark, delivering the news to Tony that one of his business associates, Charleton Carter, had backed out of a deal. She was unhappy when Tony pretended to ask her out on a date, as a cover to change into his Iron Man suit, leaving her behind in a locked room instead. She stilled tried impressing Tony, but when she desperately needed to take someone to a employee's dinner, she reluctantly called Happy, who assumed it was a sign that Pepper liked him. Though Tony encouraged their relationship, Pepper managed to go on a date with him.
Pepper was later taken prisoner when the Unicorn attacked Stark Industries, but she was saved by Iron Man. After the fight, Tony and Pepper visited Happy due to the Unicorn injuring him, and Stark questioned was Pepper's sympathy genuine or to make him jealous. When Happy asked Tony to suggest to Pepper that she could go on another date wit him, she jumped to the conclusion that Stark wanted to go out on a date with her instead. The two went out to a fair, which featured an archer named Hawkeye, and Tony stopped a crime there.
Eventually, Pepper and Happy fell in love, and they eloped and married, and became worried for him when he was standing in for Iron Man. During one of the stand in's, he was injured and turned into the freak, and Pepper made him swear never to put on the Iron Man armor back on again. Fearing that they would always be dragged into battles, Pepper quit her position at Stark International, and took Happy to a clinic near Chicago to heal.
Despite this, she would return to help save Iron Man when he almost froze to death by the Blizzard. Pepper supported Happy in all of his odd jobs, but they never seemed to last, and they later decided to adopt children. While Stark was presumed dead, Pepper and Happy divorced, and though the reasons were never admitted, she apparently had an affair with a former college boyfriend.
After Stark's return both worked with him at Stark Solutions in Seattle, and would keep contact with Iron Man. The two became closer, much to Happy's sadness, and it didn't help his feelings of self-doubt. Stark entrusted Pepper with a special remote that could shut him down, however, Pepper was tortured and forced to hand it over, and the trauma lead to her miscarrying. Pepper and Happy reconciled afterward, as Iron Man felt guilty for placing her in danger despite dealing with the remote.
When Clarence Ward stole an Iron Man armor suit and attempted to frame Stark, Pepper and Happy were attacked while in an elevator. Thankfully, they were saved by Tony, and were able to escape, as Pepper activated a fail-safe disabling Iron Man armors worldwide.
After Happy's death, Pepper was placed in charge of the Order by Stark, and she took the name Hera and used advanced computer hardware and prosthetics to monitor the team's on missions. Upon the absorption of the Order into the Initiative, Tony offered her a job on the special projects team at Stark Enterprises, and she accepted. Pepper was working with Stark at an office function for the new Stark Dynamics in Taipei, and was critically injured due to Ezekiel Stane's actions. The destruction of the building damaged her badly, and she shrapnel presence near her heart, but the Rand Corporation surgically implanted a pacemaker chest-plate to save her.
When Norman Osborn began to have his H.A.M.M.E.R. agents storm every Stark Industries building in the world to prevent Tony from receiving assistance, Pepper escaped after finding a suit of armor specifically designed for her. She used the suit to escape from being arrested after Osborn issued an arrest warrant for Tony and to seize all of his facilities. Pepper later learned that the suit contained an AI version of Jarvis to assist her and answer questions, and suited her biology and cybernetic enhancements.
Since then, Pepper served as a superhero under the name Rescue, and engaged in many adventures such as fighting Mokk the Breaker of Stone when Tony was made unavailable. After Tony's disappearance, she would go stop regional attacks, which brought her in conflict with the new Iron Man, James Rhodes. Pepper with the aid of Rhodey, had to destroy J.A.R.V.I.S. after it had kidnapped her due to it developing romantic feelings for her. As a result of this, Pepper decided to leave her alter-ego behind, and helped Bethany Cabe reunite the heroes from the Dynasty and the Triumph Division to rescue Tony from the Mandarin.
Pepper eventually became resent of Tony once she began dating P.R. representative Marc Kumar , who later proposed to her in Scotland, and concluded that Stark treated her badly. Unbeknownst to Potts, Marc was given the Liar ring of the Mandarin, and due to his hatred of Stark, joined other Mandarins. When Iron Man, Iron Patriot, Abigail Burns and Trojan Guard pinned the Mandarins down, Marc revealed his identity as the Liar to Tony, and planned to use a kidnapped Pepper as collateral to escape.
Tony blasted the Liar with his Repulsor that hit Pepper, who was actually an illusion Tony had seen through, and injured Marc. Marc was taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D., and Pepper returned her engagement ring to him.
Superior Iron Man
After the events of World War Hate, Tony's moral compass was inverted, making him become an egotistical version of himself and started drinking again. Pepper tried to talk sense into Tony, to no avail, and activated a digital copy of Stark's mind as part of years old contingency plan. Pepper lured Tony to Resilient HQ in order to allow the Stark A.I. to get him and fix him, and took him to the Resilient Space Station while Pepper secured Jamie, Stark's protégé.
The A.I. failed to revert the real Tony back to normal, and Stark returned to Earth and was confronted by the digital copy. Pepper arrived in her new Rescue armor that the digital Tony built, and used sonic attacks to weaken Stark's symbiote-based armor, and took an unconscious Tony back to New York. His defeat had been a ruse, however, as his armor was actually protected against sonic attacks, and he allowed himself to be taken solely because the digital Stark was housed there. After Tony destroyed his digital copy, Pepper gave up on Stark, as she realized failed to rescue him from himself, but swore to discredit Stark to ensure he wouldn't have his own way without facing the consequences.
After the events of the second superhuman Civil War, Pepper investigated Riri Williams, Tony's protégé who had taken up his mantle by going by Ironheart. Pepper aided Ironheart in fighting Techno Golem and her clan of biohacked ninjas, and gave her support after defeating them. Afterward, Pepper became a member of the Underground to defeat Hydra after they took over the United States, and were successful in destroying their regime.
Powers and Abilities
She is very intelligent, helping Tony with his inventions, such as Iron Man suits. She eventually gains a suit of armour (and a heart implant) of her own as the heroine Rescue. Despite her lack of training in hand-to-hand combat, she can definitely hold her own in battle. Likewise, she can also manipulate magnetism outside of the Rescue armour, so long as she has the implant in her chest. This allowed her to fight off Sandman and Electro during one arc in Invincible Iron Man.
R.T. Node: After being injured, Pepper was implanted with a Repulsor Tech node in her chest. The R.T. node is linked to her brain, enhancing her metabolism, core strength, reaction time, reflexes and intelligence.
- Regenerative Durability: The R.T. node allows Pepper to recover from injuries quickly, and allows her to resist more physical damage than an average human.
- Enhanced Strength: The R.T. node increases Pepper's strength.
- Enhanced Senses: The node also increases her senses, allowing her to "hear better".
- Energy Emanation: The R.T. node allows her to produce beams of energy at will.
- Electrical Fields Detection: The R.T. node allows her to feel different electrical fields that the Reactor picks up.
- Magnetic Force-Field: The R.T. node can create a force field, and it can destroy bullets, repel people, and was able to surpass an electromagnetic field created by Electro.
- Levitation: The magnetic force field can allow Pepper to levitate, due to interfering with the reactor and the ones created by the planet.
Hera's Powers: As Hera, Pepper was able to communicate with the Order.
- Telepresence: Pepper was capable observing and communicating with the Order.
- Bionics: Pepper was capable of emitting bionics.
- Flight: Pepper's bionics allowed her to use a magnetic carrier wave for flight.
- Intelligence: Pepper is highly intelligent, and became Stark's personal secretary after spotting an accounting error that would ruined Stark Industries.
- Leadership: Pepper is a capable leader, being one of the Tony's most trusted allies in heading his company.
- Fighting skills: Thought not a master combatant, Pepper has proven herself capable of handling herself when donning her Rescue armor.
Rescue Armor: The Rescue was an emergency search and rescue armor, capable of defense and protection for its wearer. After gaining the armor, Pepper was given new models of the suit by Tony Stark and Stark's A.I., granting her superhuman abilities. Pepper also had the aid of J.A.R.V.I.S., who ran the armor's system and possessed communication and recording capabilities, and provided support during missions.
- Flight: Once the suit was upgraded by model two, Rescue's thrusters improved and allowed her to fly faster.
- Superhuman Strength: Though not meant for offensive powers, the armor grants Pepper superhuman strength, allowing her to handle herself during fights.
- Superhuman Durability: The armor protects the user from physical damage.
- Repulsor: The suit also had repulsors, allowing her to shoot blast at her enemies.
- Force Fields: The armor could generate powerful force fields, and they were strong and wide enough to catch a crashing plane and hold it steadily. Her force fields allowed her to block Sasha Hammer's energy whips, and cause a dent in the Iron Man Armor Model 40.
- In The Invincible Iron Man, she was voiced by Elisa Gabrielli, who also voiced Tyrande Whisperwind in the World of Warcraft series.
- In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she is portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow.
- In Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, she is voiced by Kate Higgins in English, who also voices Tina Armstrong in the Dead or Alive series, and voiced Lady in Devil May Cry 5.
- In The Marvel Super Heroes, she was voiced by Margaret Griffin.
- In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, she was voiced by Anna Cummer, who also voiced Strawberry Shortcake in Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures, Thumbelina in Barbie Presents: Thumbelina, and Bottles in the Banjo-Kazooie series.
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, she was voiced by Dawn Olivieri, who also voiced Lucy Kuo in Infamous 2.
- In Marvel Anime: Iron Man, she is voiced by Hiroe Oka in Japanese, and Cindy Robinson in English. Robinson also voices Amy Rose in the Sonic The Hedgehog series.
- Hiroe Oka also did the Japanese dubbing for Gwyneth Paltrow in the MCU films, and voiced the character again in Iron Man: Rise of Technovore in Japanese.
- In Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload, she was voiced by Grey DeLisle, who also voices Daphne Blake in the Scooby-Doo franchise, and also voiced Mandy in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Sam Manson in Danny Phantom, Frankie Foster in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Kitty Katswell in T.U.F.F. Puppy, Lola Loud, Lana Loud and Lily Loud in The Loud House, Carmelita Fox in the Sly Cooper series, Arkham Catwoman in the Arkhamverse, Injustice Catwoman in the Injustice series and Kitana in Mortal Kombat.
- In Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, she is voiced by Fumie Mizusawa in Japanese.
- In the MCU's Iron Man and Iron Man 2 video games, she was voiced by Meredith Monroe.
- In Marvel Pinball, she was voiced by Tara Platt, who also voices Temari in the video games of Naruto, and Wonder Woman in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.
- In Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, she was voiced by Laura Bailey, who also voiced Jaina Proudmoore in the World of Warcraft series, Helena Harper in Resident Evil 6, Abigail Walker in Infamous: Second Son and Infamous: Last Light, Nadine Ross in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Uncharged: Lost Legacy and Supergirl in Injustice 2.
- Bailey voiced the character again in Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
- In Marvel Heroes, she was voiced by Brett Walter.
- In her introductory panel in Tales of Suspense # 45, she was mistakenly introduced as "Kitty" despite the cover and further dialogue using "Pepper". The error was corrected in reprints and digital remaster of the issue.