Virginia "Pepper" Potts is a Marvel Comics characters who mainly appears as supporting character in Iron Man comics. She is created by Stan Lee and Don Heck, and is introduced into Marvel Universe in Tales of Suspense #45 in 1963). As Rescue, she's introduced in The Invincible Iron Man #10 in 2009.
Pepper is Tony Stark's secretary, assistant, and longtime friend. She was working for Stark Industries and spotted an accounting error. She raced to let Tony Stark know. Having saved the company a large amount of money, Stark promoted her to be his personal assistant. Over the years, she developed romantic feelings on her womanizing boss to the point that she rejects the advances of Stark's chauffeur and assistant Happy Hogan. As Stark's affection for her grows, she becomes part of a love triangle between the two men, but eventually falls in love with and marries Hogan. Although Pepper and Happy soon divorce after she has an affair with a former college boyfriend, she and Happy join Tony at his new company, Stark Solutions. During their time in Stark's new company, Pepper and Happy once again became involved and they remarry. But Happy eventually dies after he is massively injured by the supervillain Slaymaster during Civil War, and once again Pepper has on-off relationship with Tony. Half the time they're together, the other half they're pretending they weren't.
After Civil War, Pepper joins the Fifty State Initiative as a member of The Order. 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.
When Pepper is caught in a terrorist explosion caused by Ezekiel 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) in her chest, essentially turning Pepper into a cyborg dependent on keeping her chest magnet engaged to stay alive, as he was once. She eventually gains a suit of armor (and a heart implant) of her own as the heroine Rescue. Pepper's body is further enhanced with new cybernetics and upgrades to the magnet, which are based on Danny Rand's battery designs, and give Pepper new super abilities.
When Tony is blamed for the Skrull invasion of Earth that occurs in the Secret Invasion, S.H.I.E.L.D. is taken over by Norman Osborn, replaced with H.A.M.M.E.R., 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, which she uses under the name Rescue. She becomes a superheroine herself and rescues Black Widow and Maria Hill from Osborn's imprisonment. As Rescue, she has her own single-issue comic, Rescue which is published in 2010.
After her heart-mounted repulsor generator and armored suit are dismantled to reboot the brain-dead Tony Stark, Tony reinstalls a new Repulsor Tech node in her chest and gifts her new Rescue armor, complete with the A.I. J.A.R.V.I.S.. Unfortunately, after J.A.R.V.I.S. had revealed that it developed romantic feelings for Pepper, it kidnapped her to keep her away from super heroic duties, but was deactivated by James Rhodes, who assumed the Iron Man identity at the time, and was finally destroyed by Pepper Potts in Resilient's factory along with Potts' Rescue armor, thus leaving her heroic alter-ego behind.
She later gets new Rescue armor in the Superior Iron Man comic.
Notable Comic Books appearance
- Avengers: The Initiative
- Civil War
- Dark Reign
- Iron Man
- The Invincible Iron Man
- The Order
- Rescue (2010)
- Superior Iron Man
- Tales of Suspense
- 2020 Rescue
- The Marvel Super Heroes (1966): Voiced by Peg Dixon.
- The Invincible Iron Man (2007): Voiced by Elisa Gabrielli.
- Iron Man: Armored Adventures (2009-2012): Voiced by Anna Cummer.
- Iron Man anime (2010): Voiced by Hiroe Oka and Cindy Robinson.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! (2010-2013): Voiced by Dawn Olivieri.
- Iron Man: Rise of Technovore (2013): Voiced by Hiroe Oka and Kate Higgins.
- LEGO Marvel Superheroes: Maximum Overload (2013): Voiced by Grey DeLisle.
- Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers (2014-2015): Voiced by Fumie Mizusawa.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe: Portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow.
- Marvel Pinball (2010): Voiced by Tara Platt.
- Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (2011): Appears as cameo.
- Super Hero Squad Online (2011-2016): Appears as playable hero as Rescue. Voiced by Laura Bailey.
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance (2012-2017): Appears as playable hero as Rescue.
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (2013): Appears as playable hero as both Pepper Potts and Rescue. Voiced by Laura Bailey.
- Marvel Heroes (2013-present): Appears as NPC. Voiced by Brett Pels.
- Marvel Future Fight (2015-present): Rescue was added to the playable roster in 2019 as a tie-in to Avengers: Endgame.
- Avengers Academy (2016-2019): A member of the main cast as assistant to Nick Fury, rather than Tony. Usually an NPC, but could be recruited as Rescue in limited-time events.
- Marvel Strike Force (2019-present): Appears as playable hero as Rescue, again as a tie-in to Endgame.
- Action Girl: Despite her lack of training in hand-to-hand combat, she can definitely hold her own in battle as Rescue.
- Affectionate Nickname: She is called "Pepper" because of her freckles and red hair, and as a pun on her last name.
- Alliterative Name: Her nickname, Pepper Potts.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Well, yeah, but her real name is cool too, Virginia Potts.
- Beleaguered Assistant: For Tony Stark at times. It's apparently bad enough that Pepper's fiance hated Tony for "ruining" Pepper's life and actually turns into a villain as a result.
- Berserk Button:
- In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, don't dismiss her as being just "Tony Stark's secretary".
- It comes up in her movie version, too. In her very first scene she fires off an uncharacteristically nasty zinger after Tony's latest conquest makes a seemingly derogatory comment about the job.Christine: After all these years, Tony still has you picking up the dry cleaning.
Pepper: I do anything and everything Mr. Stark requires. Including occasionally taking out the trash. Will that be all?
- Breast Plate: On the Rescue armor, though how bad an example it was depended on the issue and artist.
- Brought Down to Badass: Her Rescue armor has been destroyed, but she still has the power from her Repulsor Tech implant in her chest anyway. She eventually gets a new armor.
- Cyborg: The Repulsor Tech node is implanted in her chest and is linked to her brain. It allows her to interact with different types of energies.
- Deadpan Snarker: She's as bad as Iron Man in this regard."I asked the man whose car you wrecked if I could throw it at you. He said okay."
- Distaff Counterpart: For a while she was a Distaff Counterpart to Iron Man under the name Rescue. While her armor was destroyed, she still has implanted repulsor-tech, giving her a few Iron Man-like powers. She eventually rebuilt the armor, including new characteristics and a pink color scheme.
- Fiery Redhead: Played with, she's certainly strong and outspoken, but too level-headed and calm to fully fit the trope.
- Flight: When Tony installed an electromagnet in her chest she gained the ability to fly, independently of the Rescue suit.
- Girl Friday: "I do anything and everything Mr. Stark requires." This includes sneaking into her boss' company and downloading files for him without alerting anyone else. She's not the page image for nothing.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Has acted as the CEO of Stark's various corporations, and always tries to keep things aboveboard and transparent.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Tony Stark may be able to build a miniature arc reactor in a cave, with a box of scraps, but it is no secret that for all his genius, he can't function without his ever faithful assistant, the beleaguered Pepper Potts.
- Love Interest: Tony's primary love interest.
- Love Triangle: With Tony and Happy Hogan. Until Hogan died.
- Meaningful Name: Her codename of "Rescue" signifies her unwillingness to be used as a weapon—she'll save people, but she won't hurt anyone. Also her real name, Virginia "Pepper" Potts = Silk hiding fire.
- Moment of Weakness: During the Manhunt comic arc in Iron Man where Tony Stark is framed for the attacks on the Chinese. FBI agent Neil Streich threatens to draw in Pepper Potts and the hospitalized Happy Hogan unless Pepper agrees to cooperate with him. Pepper agrees, and provides Stretch with the code he needs to activate a failsafe which deactivates the Iron Man armor. Pepper is heart broken and horrified when she gives Neil the code and shamefully admits to a comatose Happy that that was the worst thing she could have done to him. When Tony is able to evade capture and clear his name, he forgives Pepper for her betrayal. Pepper breaks down and cries as Tony hugs her, saying "You don't have to say that. You have every right to think I let you down because I did. Stretch got me worried about Happy and I should have been stronger, or cleverer" as Tony says everything is OK.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When FBI agent Neil Stretch threatens to arrest Pepper Potts and the hospitalized Happy Hogan unless Pepper agrees to cooperate with him, Pepper agrees to work with him. Pepper provides Stretch with the code he needs to activate a failsafe which deactivates the Iron Man armor. She regrets giving Stretch the code the minute she gives it to him, as she tells a comatose Happy.
- Powered Armor: She had her Rescue armor until it's destroyed when its J.A.R.V.I.S. A.I. went rogue. She rebuilt a version in time for Superior Iron Man.
- Really Gets Around: Not as much as Iron Man, but she goes through a lot of disposable boyfriends, in addition to Tony and Happy.
- Ret-Canon: After the release of Avengers: Endgame, Pepper's Rescue armor was redesigned to more closely resemble how it appears in the film, as seen in 2020 Rescue.
- Selective Magnetism: The Rescue armor uses this. Pepper can also manipulate magnetism outside of the Rescue armor, so long as she has the implant in her chest. This allowed her to beat down Sandman and Electro during one arc in Invincible Iron Man.
- Sassy Secretary: Kind of expected, given her snarky attitude towards her boss.
- Servile Snarker: She's quite an expert in Stealth Insult.
- Sexy Secretary: There's a reason that Tony likes her. Granted, the man Really Gets Around.
- Silk Hiding Steel: She is a polite, benevolent, elegantly dressed business woman cum art curator. She's also the only person who can wrangle the self-proclaimed genius billionaire playboy philantropist superhero.
- Stone Wall: The Rescue armor is tough, but lacks any offensive capabilities. If Pepper wants to hurt somebody, she'll have to use her magnetism. Or throw something at them. She adds in a sonic blaster in Superior Iron Man, but Tony already worked the sonic weakness out of his armor ahead of time, making her still relatively weak in that respect.
- Subordinate Excuse: Regularly comes up vis-a-vis her and Tony.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Takes this far more seriously than Tony or Rhodey do, objecting strongly to the notion of being used as a weapon and/or taking life.
- Took a Level in Badass: Took a massive level in badass since the sixties, which culminated in her gaining a suit of powered armor during Matt Fraction's run.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Tony since the sixties. Half the time they're together, the other half they're pretending they weren't.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheated on Happy with an ex-boyfriend from college, blowing up their marriage.