Pepper Potts got her start at Stark International (then Stark Industries) as a secretary. She became known by her affectionate nickname Pepper due to her freckled complexion. While doing her job she fixed an accounting mistake made by Anthony "Tony" Stark, CEO of Stark International. This came to his attention, and Stark promoted Pepper to executive assistant. She would soon prove herself an invaluable asset to him numerous times, and would display a business acumen and instincts to rival his own. Often, she would run the affairs of the business in Stark's absence.
Pepper was created by Stan Lee and Don Heck and first appeared in Tales of Suspense #45 in September 1963.
Major Story Arcs
Pepper's love life
Pepper was initially quite attracted to Tony, but not at all to his chauffeur and personal assistant, Happy Hogan. Happy was very much attracted to Pepper however, but she consistently rebuked his romantic advances. Given that Tony was also developing feelings for Pepper, a love triangle between the three began to develop. At this time, neither Pepper or Happy were aware that Tony Stark was secretly the avenger, Iron Man. Over time, as Pepper came to know Happy better, the two would eventually fall in love. They would marry, and leave Stark International to pursue their own enterprise in the Rocky Mountains, and later in Cleveland where they adopted several children, unable to conceive by themselves.
Pepper was eventually kidnapped by Tony Stark's rival, Obadiah Stane, who attempted to manipulate Tony by hurting the people he loved. Afterwards, Pepper told Tony to stay out of her and Happy's lives as she felt he would only cause them more grief. Her relationship with Happy was not without its difficulties however, and the two would divorce and remarry. At one point, Tony and Pepper had a brief romantic interlude during trouble in Happy and Pepper's relationship. Pepper eventually did settle down with Happy, and the two attempted to supplement their family with more children. Pepper even managed to conceive but lost the baby at the hands of yet another Iron Man enemy.
Happy sustained critical injuries in a battle with Spymaster during the Civil War, and afterwards Pepper requested that Tony turn off Happy's life support. She felt it would dishonor his memory to see him live in a vegetative state. For her part, Pepper has recently joined The Initiative team known as The Order. She has taken on the role of Greek Goddess, Hera
Dark Reign: Rescue
Recently, Pepper has returned to being Stark's assistant. Unfortunately during a dinner party a bomb was planted by Ezekiel Stane which blew up. Unable to escape Pepper was hit with shrapnel which damaged almost all of her internal organs. Too weak to survive surgery, Tony Stark outfitted her with a strong magnet in her chest to keep her alive, making Potts utterly dependent on the magnet. Although the surgery was successful it is unknown when or if she will ever be able to remove the magnet. Tony also gave her new cybernetics that fixed her mobility and hearing. When Pepper awoke she immediately thought that she was becoming a weapon and was losing her humanity. However, Stark later told her that the battery wasn't made by himself, rather it was made by Danny Rand's design for a new battery. This comforts her and she embraces her new cybernetic enhancements.
With Tony Stark blamed for the Skrull Secret Invasion and on the run from Norman Osborn, Pepper is put in charge of Stark Industries. In a secret room she finds a suit of armor made especially for her which she uses to flee the building when Osborn's forces show up.
Osborn manages to capture Pepper by attacking a passenger jet as she flies across the country, arresting her as she sets it down on a runway. Unable to extract Tony's location from her, Osborn lets her go and she leaves to try and track down Iron Man herself, taking the codename Rescue after helping the victims of a grain silo explosion.
Pepper finds Tony in Russia and manages to get him to recognize her again. He struggled at first as he was in the process of deleting sensitive information about his superhero friends from his mind. Madame Masque shows up on the trail of Tony, being sent by Osborn to track him down and she tortures Pepper, forcing Tony to confess his love for her. Using the Rescue armor, Pepper and Tony defeat Madame Masque, Tony heading to Afghanistan and Pepper disguising herself as Madame Masque so she can return to Osborn to make him believe the mission was a success. Pepper frees Black Widow and Maria Hill from Avengers Tower while the Rescue armor she has with her uploads a virus to Osborn's systems. The three women also retrieve a hard disk copy of Tony Stark's memories to restore him to full health.
When Tony Stark is 'rebooted,' Pepper has to use her chest magnet to help the process. After managing to save him, Pepper persuades Tony to give her an upgraded chest repulsor unit like his. He also provides her with a new Rescue suit.
Tony Stark forms a new company called Stark Resilient after the defeat of Osborn in the Siege of Asgard. Justine Hammer tries to sabotage the company with the armored enforcer Detroit Steel, but is stopped with the help of War Machine and Rescue. During these events, Pepper is forced to briefly power down her chest repulsor unit, leaving her near death, a state in which she witnesses a strange dream of the future. In this future, Tony defeats the Mandarin with his son Howard and granddaughter Ginny, but Tony and Howard die. In the dream Pepper sees what appears to be her gravestone, but marked with "Virginia Potts Stark," suggesting the two will marry.
Powers and Abilities
Pepper Potts originally had no superhuman powers or abilities. She has shown great leadership when she led The Order as Hera. During her time with the Order she wore Stark Telepresence Enhancements. This gave her the ability to keep in contact with her team, find people all over the world, and access the Stark Satnet System, which basically gave her access to all of the information in the world. After Tony Stark outfitted her with a strong magnet (an Arc Reactor combining both Stark and Rand technologies) in her chest (after she was mortally wounded) she gained cybernetic abilities. These abilities have included using a magnetic carrier wave to fly.
During the events of Worlds Most Wanted, Pepper found a suit of armor that tony had made for her. Dubbed "Rescue", Pepper's armor had a wide array of abilities that allowed her to perform heavy search and rescue operations. Due to her fear of becoming a living weapon, Tony built the armor with no built in weapons. The jetboots of the armor produce no heat. With all of the armors power directed into defensive systems the rescue armor is capable of impressive feats, such as catching a jumbo-jet that Norman Osborn had shot out of the air. The suit incorporates an A.I. system called JARVIS, modeled after the Avengers butler Edwin Jarvis's personality.
In Other Media
Invincible Iron Man (1966)
Pepper appeared in the Invincible Iron Man segments of the 1966 animated series, The Marvel Super Heroes, and was voiced by Peg Dixon.
Iron Man Armoured Adventures (2009)
Pepper has also appeared in the Iron Man: Armored Adventures cartoon series. This adaption of her she is a teenage girl who goes to school with Tony, Jim Rhodes, and Gene Khan. She is at first support and comic relief character to Tony and Rhodey, but later gets her own armor becoming Rescue. Her armor is the fastest with the weakest weaponery of all the armors and is based off of the Stealth Armor, furthermore her armor is purple and silver and fires purple blasts. She was voiced by Anna Cummer.
Iron Man Anime (2010)
Pepper appears in the Iron Man anime as an employee of Stark Industries. Whilst Tony is away on business in Japan, Pepper looks after the company's affairs back in America. She maintains a close relationship with Tony. She's voiced by Hiroe Oka in the original Japanese version and by Cindy Robinson in the English dub.
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (2010)
Pepper Potts is voiced by Dawn Olivieri in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. She first appeared in the episode "Iron Man is Born!", and is a recurring character from this moment on. Her main tasks are administrative, keeping track of the Avengers Mansion, she is the only non avengers to have an ID card. In the show she is best friends with Iron Man and War Machine.
Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers (2014)
Pepper Potts appears in the Japanese anime series Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, produced by Toei Animation. In the show, she once again acts as Tony's right hand woman at Stark International, and plays an active role in the company. In the first episode, she travels to Japan to invite Akira and Hikaru Akatsuki to a demonstration at their father's lab in New York City. She is later kidnapped and held hostage during a supervillain prison break instigated by Loki. In the series, Pepper is voiced by Fumie Mizusawa.
Marvel Lego Super Heroes: Maximum Overload (2013)
Pepper appears in this the third segment of the 5 episodes of this web series. She is present in the Stark Malibu House when Mandarin is threatening Iron Man. After his powers are boosted by Loki´s overload snowballs, The Mandarin launches a missile attack that destroy a part of the house. Pepper and Tony armored in time to get safety, with her using the Match-42 armor. After Iron Man defeats Mandarin, Tony and Pepper suits up and race to catch some lunch.
She appears again in the fifth part informing Tony that the Malibu house has been rebuilt. Shortly after, the Helicarrier (In which a riot of overloaded villains is happening) falls over the house, destroying it again, with Pepper a frustrated saying "oh, man" while the villains fights the heroes. Pepper is not seen again afterwards but Black Widow makes a comment about the Malibu house been rebuilt again.
She is voiced by Grey DeLisle.
Invincible Iron Man: Animated Film (2007)
She also appeared in the Direct to DVD animated film The Invincible Iron Man, voiced by Elisa Gabrielli. In this movie she had a British accent.
Iron Man (2008)
Oscar winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow portrays Pepper in the Iron Man feature film released on May 2, 2008. Pepper Potts is the Head Assistant of Tony Stark, as well as his personal 'nanny', as she is constantly telling Tony what he needs/should do. After Tony returns to the USA she resumes duty as normal as well as being in constant care of him. Eventually Tony suspicious of Obadiah Stane, instructs Pepper to hack into Obadiah's computer, in doing so she discovers that Stane was the one to supply Stark Industries military weapons to Terrorists, as well as hiring the Ten Rings to kill Tony Stark. After learning about Stane's true motives she meets up with Agent Coulson again, to inform SHIELD about Obadiah. During the fight on top of Stark Industries, between Obadiah and Tony, she is told to blow up the core of the arc reactor, which she is reluctant to do so, until Tony heads to safety, however in fear of Obadiah killing Tony she sets the reactor off, killing Stane in the process.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Gwyneth Paltrow reprises her role as Pepper Potts in Iron Man 2, which takes place six months after the events of the first film, Pepper Potts has been promoted to the CEO of Stark Industries .
The Avengers (2012)
Gwyneth Paltrow briefly reprises her role as Pepper Potts, in The Avengers. In the final scene, she is shown helping Tony design Avengers Tower.
Iron Man: Rise of Technovore (2013)
Pepper appears in Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, voiced by Hiroe Oka in the Japanese version and by Kate Higgins in the English version.
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Gwyneth Paltrow reprises her role in Iron Man 3,which is based on the Extremis Story. There are some hints at her Rescue persona throughout the film, and she manages to deal the final blow to Aldrich Killian at the end of the movie after being dosed with the Extremis serum. At the end of the film, Tony destroys his armors and promises to spend more time with Pepper.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Pepper does not appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but is mentioned. During the victory party at Avengers Tower, Tony mentions that Pepper is busy running the company after Maria Hill asks where she is.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
In Captain America: Civil War, it is revealed that Pepper broke up with Tony some time after the events of Iron Man 3. Tony explains that she got tired of his chaotic life after he broke his promise to remain retired.
- Pepper is mentioned in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance by Jarvis.
- Pepper Potts appears in Iron Man and Iron Man 2 Games, voiced by Meredith Monroe.
- Pepper is part of the Marvel Pinball game voice by Tara Platt.
- Pepper, as rescue, appears in Ultimate Marvel VS. Capcom 3 during the ending of Strider Hiryu fighting against the Reavers.
Marvel Avengers Alliance
Pepper Potts is the unlockeable character of Special Operation 9: Extremis based on Iron Man 3.
in her bio it says: Though she is nominally Tony Stark's executive assistant, Virginia "Pepper" Potts effectively runs Stark Industries. After nearly dying in an explosion, she was infused with cybernetic implants that allow her to interface with her own variant of the Iron Man armor. Refusing to become a living weapon, Pepper's armor focuses solely on defensive systems, giving her incredible search-and-rescue abilities.
Rescue is featured in Marvel Takeover 2013 in Club Penguin with her Silver Centurion Armor.
Marvel Super Hero Squad On-Line
Pepper was released as a playable hero in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online.
Her descriptión says: Tony Stark designed a suit for his friend Pepper, who now fights the forces of evil as Rescue!
Lego Marvel Super Heroes
Rescue is a playable character in the Marvel Lego Game voiced by Laura Bailey.
Pepper is a non playable character in Marvel Heroes, she (in her Rescue persona) is a team up character that help the player through the missions.
She is voiced by Brett Walter.
Marvel: War of Heroes
Pepper appears in the mobile card game Marvel: War of Heroes. Her cards are:
- [Pepper Potts] Rescue
- [Agent of Peace] Rescue
- [Saving Grace] Rescue
- [J.A.R.V.I.S.] Rescue
- [Cyber-Pep] Rescue
Marvel Future Fight
An alternate version of Pepper is mentioned as dead in the game.
Marvel Avengers Academy
Pepper, as Rescue, was a recruitable character during the Women of Power mini event.
- Rescue was released in the Marvel Superhero Squad toy-line. She is part of the Iron Defense Squad pack with Iron Man (Hulkbuster Armor MK II) and Captain America
- Rescue was released in the Heroclix game as part of the "Invicible Iron Man" Set.
- Hot Toys released a Pepper Potts figure for Iron Man 3. Another version was also released along with a set of the Iron Man Mark IX armor.
- A Marvel Legends Rescue figure was released as an exclusive for the Marvel Unlimited subscription service.