Pepper Potts dons his own Iron Man costume as a Rescue hero. Here’s how she became a superhero in the first place.
Pepper Potts has played many roles in Marvel Comics since his debut in the 1963s Tales of Suspense # 45, written by Stan Lee with art by Jack Kirby. These include the secretary, CEO, love interest, and mother. In 2009, however, she took on a new role as Rescue, a superhero.
As a Rescue, Pepper wears a special Iron Man costume that has no weapons or offensive abilities. She tries to use it only for the defense and “rescue” of people, in accordance with her aversion to powerful weapons and violence. Until recently, she used the costume sporadically, primarily aiding Iron Man and his allies – but the Rescue 2020 the mini-series shows her fully embracing her identity as a hero.
Become a lifeguard
Pepper’s path to becoming Rescue has not been easy or painless. It started in the years 2008 Iron Man, Vol. 2 # 3, when Ezekiel Stane, son of late villain Obadiah Stane, used black market Iron Man technology to blow up an office building Pepper oversaw in Taipei.
Pepper, Ezekiel, and Tony Stark were the only survivors, but the first two were seriously injured. Tony took Pepper to safety and received much needed medical attention quickly enough to stabilize her, but she was left in critical and familiar condition. His chest cavity was full of shrapnel, many of which were so close to his heart and spine that they were virtually immovable. To save his life, he was given a surgical implant that looked and worked a lot like Tony’s.
Pepper recovered from his physical injuries very quickly but was increasingly uncomfortable about his implant, fearing the possibility that it was based on or used as a weapon.
Tony knew her well, however, and had collaborated with fellow hero and CEO of Rand Industries, Iron Fist, to give Pepper a unique implant with non-lethal magnetic technology. His implant also gave him additional non-militarized abilities such as manipulating electromagnetic fields, levitation, and force fields.
Pepper only had a short time to adjust to his new situation before Norman Osborn rose to power and began attacking Stark Industries in an attempt to gain control of sensitive information and technology. She was named CEO to buy more time at the company, but felt helpless until she discovered one last gift from Tony: a hidden room containing a unique costume powered by his implant.
Along with the standard flight and super-force powers, the suit also enhanced its new abilities and generated an incredibly powerful force field. In Iron Man’s absence, Pepper took to the skies as a Rescue – guided by an AI version of Jarvis – and joined the fight against Osborn.
Since then, Pepper has saved countless people and helped countless heroes. Still, she sometimes struggles to cope with the psychological pressure of being a hero; for the most part, she still spends her time as a civilian and businesswoman.
Between the interest in Gwyneth Paltrow’s portrayal of Pepper in the rescue costume in Avengers: Endgame and the new one Rescue 2020 miniseries, there’s a good chance that readers will see a lot more of its heroic side very soon.
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