|For alternate versions of Pepper Potts, see Pepper Potts' Character Hub|
Virginia "Pepper" Potts is the CEO of Stark Industries. Originally working as Tony Stark's personal assistant, she would take care of his schedule and perform any task he wished. During this time, Potts became good friends with Stark and soon, they had begun developing romantic feelings for each other. However, neither was able to act on these feelings, as they each feared that the other would not accept them.
When Stark returned from captivity in Afghanistan, Potts was trusted enough by him to see his Iron Man suits and his workshop. She helped Stark defeat Obadiah Stane, who tried to kill Stark, by overloading the Arc Reactor, killing Stane. After Stane's death, Stark made Potts his new business partner, taking Stane's place. Believing his death was imminent, Stark stepped down as CEO and appointed her as his replacement. After Stark defeated Whiplash at the Stark Expo, both Potts and Stark finally admitted their attraction to each other and began a romantic relationship.
During the crisis surrounding the Mandarin's terrorist attacks, Potts was kidnapped by Aldrich Killian and injected with Extremis. She was freed by Stark during the Battle on the Norco and went on to kill Killian herself. Stark cured her of the effects of Extremis, who temporarily gave up being Iron Man just for her.
As the War on HYDRA began, the Avengers needed to be remobilized. Without S.H.I.E.L.D. active to run the team, Stark and Potts took over, allowing Captain America to retain field and team leadership while he designed everything else, including creating new armors and rejoining the team himself as an active duty combatant. Sometime after the Ultron Offensive, he and Potts broke off their relationship, which affected Stark and left him wondering why he could not make it work while his father could.
However, shortly after the Avengers Civil War ended, Stark and Potts resumed their relationship, where Stark eventually proposed to her. The two married following the Snap and had a daughter, Morgan Stark. The three of them resided on the Stark Eco-Compound until Stark departed for the Time Heist. Later, Potts joined the Avengers in the Battle of Earth as Rescue, wearing the Mark XLIX armor, when Thanos' forces invaded. After Stark died by her side, Potts was present at his funeral, where she set adrift Stark's first Arc Reactor onto a wreath into their residential lakeside.
Meeting Aldrich Killian
Virginia Potts earned a BA in accounting. Afterwards, she became a model, but desired more challenge from life than empty days of posing and smiling. As a result, Potts eventually left her modeling career to pursue a corporate profession.
Working with Tony Stark
Potts was later hired by Stark Industries and began working as an administrative assistant in their finance department. One day, she discovered a numbers error on some projections and reported it to her supervisor but he dismissed her concerns, as did the general manager, Mr. Folan, who also fired Potts when she persisted. Undeterred, Potts made her way to the CEO's office and personally confronted Tony Stark with her findings. When security tried to remove her, she lied that she had pepper spray in her purse, prompting Stark to give her the nickname "Pepper". Impressed with her actions, Stark offered Potts a job on the executive floor as his personal assistant, which she accepted.
In her new position, Potts kept Stark on track in spite of his chaotic lifestyle by efficiently managing her boss's business and personal affairs. Unfortunately, this included requiring her to send Stark's one-night-stands home the next morning. Overtime, Potts and Stark became trusted friends, though Stark would frequently forget when her birthday was, prompting Potts to get herself a birthday gift with his money.
On January 30, 2009, Potts, along with Stark and Colonel James Rhodes, visited the Yuma Proving Ground to test a new Stark Industries weapon. After the test was finished, she gave the weapon's specifics to the officials of the United States Military in attendance. Before Rhodes left with Stark, Potts sarcastically wished him luck in his efforts to talk Stark out of going to Afghanistan for the next demonstration, noting Rhodes would inevitably be pulled into his friend’s evening misadventures.
On her birthday, Potts found that Tony Stark had forgotten again. Annoyed, she used his money to buy herself a backless formal evening dress. Once Stark woke up, he asked Potts to have his latest one-night-stand, Christine Everhart, attended to while he went to work on his cars. After J.A.R.V.I.S. stops Everhart from snooping around, Potts greeted Everhart with her clothes dry-cleaned and pressed, informing her that a car is waiting to take her wherever she needs to go. Everhart attempted to mock Potts by commenting on how Stark still had her doing laundry for him. Potts ignored the taunts and escorted Everhart out of the mansion with a smile, subtly referring to her as the trash that needs to be taken out.
Potts then prepared Stark for his imminent trip to Afghanistan. They discussed several pieces of business before he left, with Stark wishing to take his time as he believed that his private jet should wait for him to arrive. Potts mentioned she had plans for her birthday, making it clear that she had already bought a birthday present for herself on his behalf. After engaging in some playful banter over how Potts liked her self-bought gift, Stark then finished his coffee and left for Afghanistan to debut Stark Industries' new Jericho Missile. There, Stark was kidnapped by the Ten Rings and Potts was worried about his safety over the next three months.
Tony Stark's Return
When Tony Stark returned from Afghanistan after his capture and escape, Potts, along with Happy Hogan, greeted him at the plane's landing site. She expressed her gratitude that he returned and not having left her looking for a new job by shedding slight tears. Once in the limousine, Potts insisted Stark see a doctor. However, Stark refused the idea, telling her that there are two things he wanted to do after spending three months in captivity: Getting a cheeseburger and for her to call a press conference. Potts accompanied Stark to get cheeseburgers from Burger King and then the press conference, where they were greeted by Obadiah Stane and James Rhodes.
At the conference, Potts was approached by Agent Phil Coulson of the Strategic Homeland Intervention and Enforcement Logistics Division for an interview with Stark to debrief his escape from the Ten Rings. Potts promised to pencil Agent Coulson in for a meeting later in the month, also advising him to try having the name of his organization shortened as it's too long to remember. Still clearly shaken from his experiences, Stark asked everyone in attendance to sit on the floor as he spoke about his relationship with his father Howard Stark and what he had witnessed during his time as a hostage. Stark then announced that due to what he had seen Terrorists do with his weapons, he would ensure that Stark Industries would no longer produce weapons, much to Potts and everyone in attendance's shock.
Helping Tony Stark
Watching the numerous reactions to Tony Stark's statement about changing Stark Industries's products, Potts was called by Stark to his workshop. To her shock, he needed help replacing his Mark I Arc Reactor with a better model. She helped him remove it, much to her disgust, telling him to never ask her to do that again. In a rare moment of Stark's ego is in check, he told Potts that he only has her. Asking what to do with the old reactor, Potts was told to destroy it.
Instead of destroying the reactor, Potts had it in a glass frame and engraved it with the epitaph: "Proof that Tony Stark has a heart". Potts visited Stark at his workshop to bring him a cappuccino and a bagel, leaving the framed reactor as a gift. This was enough to make Stark smile. When Potts came downstairs into Stark's warehouse a few days later, she found Stark working on a strange arm-mounted cannon. When Potts questioned why Stark was going back to making weapons, he assured her that it was not a weapon but a harmless flight stabilizer. However, when he fired the device, the shockwave proved too powerful and sent him flying back, causing Potts to scream in shock at her boss' mistake.
Potts joined Obadiah Stane in Tony Stark's Mansion to discuss the meetings Stane had been having with Stark Industries' board of directors. Stane revealed that the board had voted to push Stark out of the company, citing that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress. Stark refused to accept this and left the meeting, taking a slice of pizza with him as he went to continue his mysterious new project.
Dancing with the Boss
- "We just danced."
"No, it was not just a dance. You don't understand because you're you. And everybody knows exactly who you are, and how you are with girls and all that... which is completely fine, but you know, then me, you're my boss and I'm dancing... Because it makes me look like the one who's trying to..."
- ―Tony Stark and Pepper Potts[src]
At Stark's annual charity ball, Potts wore her "birthday present" and was asked to dance by Stark. Both felt nervous about talking about their feelings for each other and went to get some air where they nearly kissed before Potts asked for a martini. Stark left to get the drink but then exited the party after Christine Everhart provided him with pictures and information of the Ten Rings, outfitted with Stark Industries weapons, leaving Potts.
Learning the Truth
Confronting Tony Stark
Potts went down into Tony Stark's warehouse, and discovered her boss wearing a red and gold armor, which J.A.R.V.I.S. was attempting to remove. When Potts questioned him about it, Stark shook off the question, noting that this was not the worst thing Potts had ever caught him doing. Looking at the suit more closely, Potts saw that it was covered in bullet holes. Stark went on to explain that he was building a weaponized armor to fight the Ten Rings.
Once Tony Stark was out of the armor, Potts spoke to him about what he was doing, telling him that if he continued his war with the Ten Rings, he would end up being killed. When Stark insisted that it was what he had to do after decades of earning his money from creating weapons of mass destruction and he would not stop, Potts told him that she would quit. Stark continued to defend himself, claiming that he knew in his heart that what he was doing was right, Potts reluctantly accepted this and agreed to help him.
Investigating the Traitor
Stark revealed that he believed Obadiah Stane was responsible for selling Stark Industries' weapons to the Ten Rings and organized his kidnapping. Potts agreed to go to Stane's office and learn more. Arriving at his office, Potts logged into the computer and began searching through the files, discovering plans for a large scale Iron Man Suit and a video of the Ten Rings Terrorists discussing their deal to assassinate Tony Stark for Stane.
Potts began to download the files from the computer but was interrupted by the arrival of Obadiah Stane, who seemed to be unsure of what he had found her doing. While Stane poured himself a drink of whiskey and spoke about his reaction to Tony Stark's return home, Potts hid the memory stick and changed the computer to screensaver. She continued to act innocently as Stane commented on how much Stark had changed since his return. Potts then made her excuses and left the office, taking the memory stick with her. She then found Agent Phil Coulson waiting for their meeting and called him over, updating him on what she had discovered.
Alongside Agent Phil Coulson and other S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents, Potts arrived at Stark Industries intending to arrest the traitorous Obadiah Stane. When Potts attempted to access the room Stane was working in, she discovered Stane had changed the security codes, so Coulson used a small bomb to get them inside.
They searched for Stane and discovered Tony Stark's Iron Man armor which he had built and used to escape in Afghanistan. Potts then found Stane in his own highly upgraded and weaponized Iron Monger suit, which he used to attack Potts and the Agents. Potts barely managed to escape but was soon cornered by Stane, who punched through the floor to trap her attempted to execute her, joking that her services were no longer required.
Tony Stark then arrived in a charge-less Mark III armor and battled Stane. Eventually, Stane's Iron Monger suit proved too powerful for Stark to defeat so he told Potts to overload the main Arc Reactor. Once Stane was in position, Stark ordered Potts to overload it, but she initially was reluctant, scared that the shockwave would kill Stark. When she did overload it, the shockwave killed Stane and charged up Stark's Mark I Arc Reactor, saving his life.
Tony Stark's Announcement
After the incident, she tended to Tony Stark's cuts while he prepared for a press conference. Phil Coulson gave him his cover story which named Iron Man as his bodyguard and claimed Obadiah Stane would soon disappear while on his yacht. When Potts thanked Coulson for all his work, he simply told her that she would be hearing from S.H.I.E.L.D. soon. To her surprise, Potts heard Stark saw that if his secret identity was public, his girlfriend would constantly worry about him; adding to the fact Stark meant her, he stopped having one-night stands. Potts was later present at a press conference where Stark announced to the world that he was Iron Man.
Pepper Potts joined Tony Stark at his Senate committee hearing, led by Senator Stern, where Stern and a rival business partner Justin Hammer attempted to convince him to hand over the Iron Man armor to the US Government. James Rhodes joined the debate, defending his friend Stark. Whenever Stark took his comments too far, Potts would give him a look to tell him to take his sarcastic comments back. By the end of the committee hearing, Stark managed to prove that he was the only one capable of producing Iron Man armors and was allowed to go free.
Stark Industries CEO
Promoted by Tony Stark
Potts went to confront Tony Stark in his workshop after she learned that he had donated his collection of modern art to the Boy Scouts, which she had worked hard to acquire. As Stark remained indifferent, Potts struggled to convince him to focus on Stark Industries instead of the Stark Expo, noting that the company was at a standstill due to his indecision despite raised stock prices. Stark then promoted Potts to Stark Industries' CEO, since she had already proved herself capable of the position for years. Potts was surprised, yet delighted as she and Stark had a toast to this new development. Unbeknownst to her, Stark had developed terminal complications from the poisonous side-effects of his Arc Reactor's palladium core and believed Potts could ensure the company's future.
Hiring Natalie Rushman
Potts arrived at the mansion while Tony Stark and Happy Hogan were boxing together to request that Stark sign the paperwork delivered by Natalie Rushman to confirm her promotion. Stark claimed that he was busy with “Happy Time”, to which Potts wryly assured him that transferring his company to her would be a one-time task. She then signed her portion of the documents, before Stark took notice of Rushman and invited her to box with Hogan.
While Potts criticized his unprofessional attitude towards Rushman, Stark learned that she spoke multiple languages and came highly recommended. During their conversation, Rushman threw Hogan onto the ground while sparring, causing Potts to react with shock. Impressed, Stark hired Rushman on the spot as his new personal assistant despite Potts’ protests that he not be "predictable" and choose from the candidates she had already vetted.
- "Tony, what are you not telling me?"
"I don’t want to go home. At all. Let’s cancel my birthday party and—and, uh... we’re in Europe. Let’s go to Venice, Cipriani. Remember?"
"It’s a great place to—to... be healthy."
"I don’t think this is the right time. We’re in... kind of a mess."
- ―Pepper Potts and Tony Stark[src]
Potts, Tony Stark, and Happy Hogan traveled to the Monaco Grand Prix, where Potts learned Stark had hired Natalie Rushman despite her earlier reservations. She was miffed at this development while conversing with their associates, who congratulated Potts on her promotion. At the bar, the two then met Justin Hammer, who boasted to them about having scored an interview with Christine Everhart of Vanity Fair; Potts and Stark mocked them both, noting Hammer had lost his contract with the government after the Senate hearing and Everhart previously had a sexual relationship with Stark.
Potts saw Stark had decided to race his car, prompting her to have Rushman fetch Hogan. Midway through the race, Stark was attacked by Ivan Vanko, who used an Arc Reactor to power his own prototype weaponized suit. Potts and Hogan raced to Stark's aid, driving through the track and dodging other race cars until Hogan crashed into Vanko. An alarmed Potts screamed at Stark over his actions, as Vanko's continued assault left her and Hogan stuck in the car. She gave Stark his suit, which he used to defeat Vanko, who was promptly arrested.
On the flight home from Monaco, Potts watched an interview with Senator Stern, who once again expressed his disbelief in Iron Man. Stark later presented her with an omelette he had tried to make, much to her confusion. When she tried to press his recent behavior, Stark admitted he was no longer sure if he wanted to celebrate his birthday; he suggested they go on holiday in Europe together, but Potts insisted that as CEO, she needed to show her presence in this time of crisis. Stark began to spiral and his increasingly self-destructive behavior pulled him and Potts apart.
Back at Stark's mansion, Potts and Rushman continued to defend his capability as Iron Man to the media and general public following Whiplash's attack. While on the phone with CNN and the Associated Press, the pair were interrupted by Colonel James Rhodes, who demanded to speak to Stark. Rushman initially tried to usher him away, but Potts gave up Stark's location, hoping Rhodes could help wise him up to the situation.
Disastrous Birthday Party
Later, Potts attended Tony Stark’s birthday party. When she came to give his present to him, Potts was hurt to see Stark shamelessly flirting with Natalie Rushman and toying with his Iron Man gauntlet. Stark offered to have her join them for drinks but Potts refused and briefly stepped away from the party to get some air.
Stark soon got completely wasted and decided to entertain his guests by partying with his armor and firing his repulsors to shatter random objects, such as champagne bottles and a watermelon. Potts grew increasingly concerned and discussed Stark's behavior with James Rhodes, who was furious at this display after all his work to protect his friend from government action. Potts then tried to intervene and took Stark’s microphone whilst ignoring his drunken advances, attempting to convince him to end the party and send everyone home. However, Stark brushed off her advice and continued his antics.
Seeing that Stark had no intention of stopping and was continuing to endanger his guests, Rhodes stole his own Iron Man armor and confronted Stark before they began fighting in the mansion. While Potts helped to get all the party guests outside, she confronted Rushman downstairs, accusing her of starting the trouble, but was interrupted when Rhodes and Stark fell through the ceiling. As Potts looked on in horror at their battle, Happy Hogan ran to her aid and pulled her to safety.
The day after, Potts was on the phone with an associate attempting to regain possession of the Mark II armor from the military while she heard Bill O'Reilly in the background questioning her qualifications as CEO on television. When Stark entered, despite protests from Bambi Arbogast, Potts reluctantly gave him time, as she counted the seconds, to plead his case as to why he was acting erratically. Stark brought Potts a box of strawberries he got from a street vendor as an apology while trying to confess his feelings for her. Growing increasingly frustrated at his mixed messages, Potts revealed she was allergic to strawberries and berated Stark for giving her the job while she took flack for his messes. Natalie Rushman and Happy Hogan then entered and escorted Potts to an errand.
That night, Potts and Natalie Rushman traveled to the Stark Expo to watch as Justin Hammer unveiled his company, Hammer Industries', latest military marvel: a series of humanoid combat drones. Potts was unimpressed by Hammer's desperate need to imitate and outmatch Tony Stark in his presentation; however, she was shocked when Hammer unveiled that he had recruited James Rhodes as the pilot for the War Machine Armor: Mark I.
The presentation was interrupted by the arrival of Iron Man, who accused Hammer of working with Ivan Vanko. While Hammer denied this, before long the Hammer Drones were activated by Vanko to attack Stark and the Expo’s attendees. Fearing for their safety as well as the safety of the guests, Potts and Rushman confronted Hammer backstage and demanded the drones be shut down. When he refused to give up information, Rushman twisted Hammer’s arm until he confessed Vanko's location, much to Potts' surprise.
Rushman and Happy Hogan then departed to deal with Vanko while Potts stayed to help Hammer Industries' technicians manage the situation, calling the NYPD. Rushman later regained control of the War Machine Armor, commenting that Stark's new Arc Reactor had saved his life and he was no longer dying. Having heard this, Potts demanded an explanation as to whether or not Stark was dying previously, while Stark insisted he had tried to tell her. Following their argument, the police arrived and Potts insured that Justin Hammer was arrested for his crimes.
Potts decided to remain at the Stark Expo and coordinate with the police to make sure everyone was safe. While on the phone, she noticed a nearby wrecked drone glowing red. Before Potts could react, Stark swooped in and saved her when the drone she was looking at exploded along with all the others, destroying the entire area. Potts was deeply rattled by the experience and proclaimed she quit, giving her job back to Stark. As Stark defended himself, he and Potts began discussing the aftermath of the attack before then kissing each other; the pair finally acknowledged their mutual feelings for one another before Rhodes interrupted them.
Interrupted by Phil Coulson
Pepper Potts had a romantic date with Tony Stark at the top floor of the Stark Tower, but they were later interrupted by the sudden arrival of Agent Phil Coulson, who needed to speak to Stark about an urgent matter. Coulson was forced to crash J.A.R.V.I.S.'s systems in order to get into the tower since Stark was trying to close him outdoors.
Potts had befriended Coulson during their previous meetings, and asked him about his personal life with his girlfriend who Coulson revealed had broken up with him. Potts convinced Stark to read what documents Coulson was giving him. Potts was well aware of the Avengers Initiative, due to Stark's inability to keep a secret (especially a government-related one that he cared little for). Though Stark wanted her to "stay the night", Potts managed to convince him to help S.H.I.E.L.D. save the world from Loki, by whispering a promise to him that he liked very much. She then caught a flight to Washington, D.C. to work on the zoning of three more Stark Industries buildings.
Later, when the Chitauri had started their invasion, Potts was on a private plane, safe in distance from the battle. She watched the battle in horror from the television on the plane. When Tony Stark sacrificed himself to destroy an atomic missile sent on Manhattan, he tried to call her on the phone, but she did not hear it and did not call back. However, Stark survived the mission.
With the Battle of New York over and Loki having been finally defeated, the Avengers were disbanded and everyone came back to their normal lives. Potts rejoined with Stark, helping him rebuild and redesign the now battle damaged Stark Tower into the Avengers Tower where his team gathered together ready to take on any mission with the intention of saving the world from destruction. While Potts and Stark designed the tower together, they shared their romantic moment while looking out over the city.
Reunion with Aldrich Killian
Close to Christmas, Potts was working at Stark Industries with the new head of security, Happy Hogan. She praised his enthusiasm for the job, but revealed he had increased complaints from employees by 300%. Potts tried to convince Hogan to dial back his strict enforcing while he believed that the human resources division should be replaced by Tony Stark's A.I. Systems. Their conversation was cut short as Bambi Arbogast informed Potts that an old acquaintance, Aldrich Killian, had arrived to see her. She was somewhat unenthusiastic about their reunion, yet surprised at Killian's improved physical form.
Killian explained that he had come to Stark Industries intending for Potts and Stark to join his organization, A.I.M., or at least invest in his concepts for world-changing ideas. Killian pitched a serum that his company had developed called Extremis, which seemed to offer enhancements to the human body. To prove his point, Killian encouraged Potts to see the results for herself in a holographic live feed of his own brain, showcasing the effects of Extremis from upgraded DNA, leaving her in awe.
After the pitch, Potts and Killian continued to discuss the potentials of Extremis. Ultimately, Potts declined his offer as she believed the serum could be weaponized, which Stark would never support. Killian argued that Stark might not be the best person to vote on the matter, but Potts stood by her word that Stark Industries would not be investing in A.I.M.. Killian expressed his disappointment, but seemingly accepted her decision and gave Potts a kiss on the cheek before leaving with his bodyguard, Eric Savin. As she watched Killian leave, slightly flustered from the kiss, Hogan came over and told Potts that her car was ready to take her home.
Potts arrived at the Malibu mansion to be met with Tony Stark's Christmas present to her: an enormous custom bunny rabbit toy, much to her amusement and exasperation. Walking inside, Potts found what she believed to be Stark sitting on the sofa wearing one of his Iron Man armors. As she prepared to relax before dinner, the couple flirted for a while, with Stark offering her a massage and Potts asking him to open up his mask and kiss her, which he jokingly refused.
Potts then went downstairs to search for a crowbar to open the Iron Man Mask, only to discover Stark controlling the suit via remote video feed. She confronted her boyfriend's lack of attentiveness and they had a brief falling out when Potts learned he was spying on her at work. Stark finally confessed to be suffering from nightmares and insomnia due to his experiences with gods, aliens and other dimensions in the Battle of New York, spurring him to make sure Potts would be safe. She accepted this and offered to help, inviting Stark to join her in the shower.
This continued strain to Tony Stark's mental state resulted in him becoming increasingly distant from Potts, as his efforts to ensure that he could protect her ironically drove him to spend less time with her. While the couple slept together, Potts was awoken due to hearing Stark having a bad dream. As she tried to wake up and comfort him, Stark's nightmare caused the Mark 42 armor to power up and attack her. Although Stark awoke and de-powered the suit, the experience forced a shaken Potts to sleep downstairs away from him.
After Tony Stark publicly threatened the terrorist the Mandarin in revenge for an explosion which critically injured Happy Hogan, Potts tried to convince him to leave the city with her. Upon packing their luggage, she met Maya Hansen, a scientist and one of Stark's past flings who had arrived to warn him about the Mandarin as well. The two women briefly discussed Stark's faults as a lover before he and Potts began arguing over the situation. Shortly thereafter, armed helicopters suddenly attacked the mansion with missiles. In order to protect Potts, Stark commanded the Mark XLII to form around her.
With Potts now safe in the armor, she shielded Stark from falling debris, saving his life. As they then tried to escape, a portion of the mansion's floor collapsed, separating them. Potts tried to go back for Stark but he urged her to save herself and Hansen instead, promising to find a way out. Potts grabbed Hansen and fled, though she struggled to activate her repulsor and ended up launching them out the glass doors. Once they were safe outside, the suit disengaged from Potts, being summoned to Stark. However, the mansion was destroyed and Stark left for dead. Potts ran through the wreckage to the edge of the cliff and screamed Stark's name in despair as he apparently drowned in the sea.
That night, while fire crews cleared the rubble from the remains of Stark's mansion, Potts found the helmet of a destroyed Mark VII. As she mournfully held the helmet to her head, Potts heard a beeping sound inside. She donned the helmet and accessed a secret message from Stark, revealing he had actually survived, much to her shock and joy. Stark explained he could not return until he had found the Mandarin and went on to apologize for putting Potts in harm's way through his recklessness. Stark promised to come home to her once he had stopped the Mandarin's attacks.
Captured by Aldrich Killian
Potts and Maya Hansen drove away to a safe place as Potts demanded to know what Hansen apparently wanted to tell Tony Stark before they were attacked. Hansen revealed that she was the one who originally designed Extremis and her boss, Aldrich Killian, was selling it to the Mandarin, much to Potts' shock.
Potts and Hansen eventually found a hotel for refuge. While they made themselves comfortable, Hansen confided in Potts that although her aims when becoming a scientist were pure, she felt her designs had led to evil. Hansen reflected about the man who invented bombs for the Nazis in World War II, comparing her own creations to his. While comforting her, Potts advised Hansen not to judge herself too harshly, pointing out that Stark Industries worked in similar ways when they were designing and selling weapons.
The two were interrupted by a knock at the door, which appeared to be room service. As Potts opened the door and welcomed the man in, she was horrified to see that Killian had found them, breaking the neck of the waiter. Potts shouted for Hansen to run before Killian restrained and began choking her. Hansen revealed that she was still working for Killian and not against him; they needed Stark to stabilize Extremis, and decided Potts could be used as an incentive.
- "Oh my God. That was really violent."
- ―Pepper Potts[src]
Potts was abducted and taken to Aldrich Killian’s mansion in Miami to be kept as collateral. She was injected with Extremis, causing Potts great pain as her body decided whether to accept it or detonate until she eventually passed out. A live feed of her torture was used by Killian to threaten Tony Stark, which led to Maya Hansen's death when she wanted to save Potts. Afterwards, she was transferred to the Norco, a docked oil tanker, to bear witness to A.I.M.'s final plan.
Hours later that night, Potts regained consciousness as her Extremis infusion progressed through its second bonding stage. Faced with Killian, she warned that Stark would never agree to join him, but Killian admitted Potts's true purpose with her Extremis treatment was to become his "trophy", leaving her devastated. He then ushered the Iron Patriot armor into the room, which deposited President Matthew Ellis onto the floor before them. Potts was shocked when Killian revealed how the President was to be executed, before he stuffed Ellis back into the suit and sent him out.
The execution was interrupted when Stark and James Rhodes launched their rescue attempt, leading to a fight with the Extremis Soldiers for which Stark called his Iron Legion. Minutes later, explosions rocked the room where Potts was imprisoned, freeing her from her restraints but trapping her under rubble. When Stark tried to lift it off, she frantically stopped him when some dislodged debris nearly impaled her. Stark advised Potts to avoid his ex-girlfriends in the future, much to her annoyance, and they reached for each other's hands so he could pull her to safety. Just then, Killian ambushed and attacked Stark while Potts helplessly watched.
Stark sliced off Killian's flaming hand, which melted the floor and sent Potts tumbling out onto a gantry. The crane began moving across the Norco towards some sparking wreckage, with Potts clinging on for dear life as the battle raged on throughout the tanker. Stark managed to locate her and pleaded with a terrified Potts to once more let go and take his hand, promising to save her. Unfortunately as she struggled to reach him, the gantry lurched and Potts lost her grip just inches from Stark, causing her to plummet 200 feet to the deck of the burning Norco, seemingly to her death.
However, the Extremis in her system saved Potts from the lethal drop, regenerating any damage from the fall. When she recovered, Potts found a disfigured Killian advancing on Stark and furiously intervened with a surprise attack of her own, bashing him away with a metal pole. A passing Mark IX mistook her for an Extremis hostile but Potts leapt off Stark's knee and punched through its Arc Reactor, pinning it down. She ripped off the armor's repulsor and blasted Killian when he tried to attack her. Potts then kicked a discarded Stark explosive toward his face and used the repulsor to detonate it, causing an explosive munition that obliterated Killian.
After being reunited, Stark and Potts reconciled. Stark promised Potts he could find a cure for the Extremis in her body, but also that he would no longer be obsessed with his job. He ordered J.A.R.V.I.S. to activate the Clean Slate Protocol, which caused every Iron Man armor to be destroyed in a firework-like explosion, in celebration of Christmas. Potts watched in amazement as Stark hugged and kissed her.
Stark was able to use his resources to cure Potts of the Extremis and they continued their relationship. Potts supported him when he made the decision to have the shrapnel removed from his heart, watching the operation with James Rhodes. When the procedure was done, Stark gave Potts the gift of a necklace made from the pieces of shrapnel, symbolizing how she had changed his life for the better since they had started their relationship.
Continuing as CEO
Assisting the Avengers
In 2014, Maria Hill became an employee of Stark Industries after the HYDRA Uprising, working with Potts. Potts was on the phone with Hill after Hill left a Congressional hearing concerning her part in the fall of the agency. Potts listened as Hill complained about Congress and the number of agents of the FBI along with other agencies who were tailing her; all of whom were poorly trained in Hill's opinion. Potts was told that she would be called again when Hill stopped the conversation abruptly. In 2015, Potts and Tony Stark were having a minor playful argument at Stark Industries when Hill entered to tell them that J.A.R.V.I.S. was assembling the Avengers. Potts attended the annual NYC Tech convention to speak on behalf of Stark Industries, and was therefore unable to attend the Avengers' party.
In early 2016, Stark began devoting all of his time towards upkeeping the Avengers and spending more time at the Avengers Compound so Potts and Stark decided to take a break from their relationship. In order to celebrate Earth Day, Potts presented Stark Industries' latest advances in intellicrops. Potts had no comment about consuming application of the Arc Reactor Technology as reported by WHiH World News.
Marriage to Tony Stark
Just a few months later, Potts and Tony Stark were back together. Potts was asked by Stark to arrange a press conference in the Avengers Compound where they would announce Spider-Man as the newest member of the Avengers. As the conference was about to start, Potts hurriedly ran out of the room and asked if Stark and Happy Hogan had messed up the plan. After Stark explained what happened, Potts asked what they should do with the reporters. Stark then asked Hogan for the wedding ring and planned to propose to her publicly, although Potts told him that she could improvise something better than that, before going inside with Stark.
One day in 2018, while jogging in Central Park, Tony Stark told Potts about a dream he had where they had a child named Morgan after Potts' eccentric uncle. During the conversation, Potts questioned Stark's need to be Iron Man; he explained that the Nano-machine suit he kept with him was only to be a last resort to protect her and their family.
However, they were interrupted by the arrival of Doctor Strange who told Stark that the fate of the universe was at stake, followed by Bruce Banner, who greeted Potts and hugged Stark. Later, during the aftermath of the Attack on Greenwich Village, Potts contacted Stark while he was aboard the Q-Ship. Potts begged Stark to get off and come back home until the signal went off.
Potts survived the Snap. Twenty-three days later, Potts went to the Avengers Compound and witnessed Captain Marvel’s arrival, carrying the Benatar to the Facility's grounds, where a nearly depleted Tony Stark exited. Potts rushed over to him and hugged him, thankful that he was alive.
Raising a Daughter
Five years later, Potts had since gotten married to Tony Stark and they moved into a lakeside cabin, where they raised their daughter, Morgan, who they indeed named after Potts' eccentric uncle. They lived a normal life, which had never seemed possible before for them. One day, Potts was making lunch for Stark and Morgan, when Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, and Scott Lang arrived to ask for Stark's help. Seeing that Stark was not interested in helping them, she sent Morgan to "save him", and the family returned to their lunch.
Advising her Husband
Potts then informed them of how they were fortunate to not lose each other from the Snap unlike many others. She believed that he could now help everyone, but Stark, who always tried to help everyone, attempted to look for a way not to in hopes not to destroy what he had created in the last five years. However, Potts knew that he couldn't just ignore it, as she has never been able to get him to truly stop, as he would not be able to rest knowing he could do something.
Later, Potts was called in by the Masters of the Mystic Arts to help in the battle against an alternate Thanos, so she donned her Rescue armor that her husband had made for her and arrived at the destroyed Avengers Compound.
As Captain America led the charge, she flew alongside her husband and War Machine, taking out alternate Thanos' army from the skies. She teamed up with her husband, destroying multiple Necrocraft ships with repulsors. When alternate Thanos ordered an airstrike, it broke a riverbank, which would flood the entire area. she spotted this and called it to attention, which Doctor Strange was then able to stop.
She saved Spider-Man when he was shot out of the sky, and flew him over to Valkyrie and dropped him off on Aragorn so he could get the Nano Gauntlet to safety. When Captain Marvel was tasked with getting the Gauntlet to the van, Potts, along with the other heroines, came to assist her in getting through a giant horde. To help her, Potts, Shuri, and Hope van Dyne coordinately blasted alternate Thanos away.
Tony Stark's Death
The battle was ultimately concluded when her husband obtained the Infinity Stones and caused alternate Thanos and his army to disintegrate. However, this action cost him his life due to the radiation from the raw power of the Stones. Potts flew to where he was resting and gently pulled away a grieving Peter Parker to comfort her husband.
Potts then asked F.R.I.D.A.Y. for her husband's condition and she informed them that his condition was critical, so Potts, understanding that these were his final moments, assured her husband that everyone was going to be fine, and that he could finally rest now. He then died as Potts consoled him with a smile. Potts kissed her husband's cheek and began to weep as she rested her head on his body.
Tony Stark's Funeral
A week later, a funeral was held for her husband at their house. Inside the house, Potts played her husband's final message in front of her, their daughter, Happy Hogan, James Rhodes, Steve Rogers, Thor, and Clint Barton. Seeing her husband again in the recording caused Potts to become emotional, though Potts took comfort in him voicing his eternal love for his family.
They then went outside and Potts saw Wanda Maximoff, Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes, Peter Parker and his aunt, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Scott Lang, the Pym family, Stephen Strange, Wong, T'Challa, Shuri, Okoye, the Barton family, Harley Keener, Thaddeus Ross, Maria Hill, Carol Danvers, and Nick Fury there to honor Stark. Potts walked with her daughter to the lake and sent Stark's old Arc Reactor adrift.
Stark Relief Foundation
As one of Tony Stark's oldest and closest friends, Pepper knew Stark better than most and has always been there for him, whether he knew it or needed it. Though outsiders would view her as a degrading assistant or lackey, Stark himself appreciated her dedication and how long she took out with him when compared to everyone else and trusted her enough to run Stark Industries but his own self-obsession irritated and occasionally drove her away due to forgetting her birthday and buying her strawberries as a gift, the one thing on earth that she is allergic to.
Despite knowing her place, Potts does not take disrespect to herself lightly. A sarcastic woman, when Christine Everhart condescends to her, she retains her decorum but snidely insinuates Everhart to be trash she needs to take out. With Stark, despite being her boss, Potts is not above a barbed remark for him such as buying herself a birthday gift with Tony's money when he forgot and keeping his Arc Reactor in a glass case, reading; "PROOF TONY STARK HAS A HEART". She seems to dislike violence in general, becoming deeply shocked by the explosion of the Hammer Drones at the Stark Expo and disgusted over violently killing Aldrich Killian with Extremis.
Even though Potts has proven to be a defining point for Stark's development and maturity, the relationship between the two of them is a definite struggle. At times, although he originally took up the mantle of Iron Man because the world needed it, Potts became to realize that Stark needed to be Iron Man more, causing strain as his tinkering and his suits were only a distraction to what really mattered in his life. His actions over the anxiety of a world with gods and aliens were designed to protect the ones he loves, which included her. However, this also pushed her away further. Ultron was designed to be the last line of defense for Earth against these threats so Stark being Iron Man would no longer be a necessity, but as his mistake created more problems and thus more reasons why he needed to be Iron Man, Potts could no longer be in a relationship with him and they decided to take a break. Despite these setbacks, Pepper decided to look past them and she ultimately got back with Stark once the Avengers Civil War was over and even helped Stark introduce Peter Parker as the newest member of the Avengers though when he declined, Stark decided to propose to her. When Stark was presumed dead again by the world during the Infinity War, Pepper was one of the few who knew he was alive and she demanded Stark to come back to her when she learned he became Iron Man again.
5 years after the Snap, Pepper has since lived a quiet life with Tony and their only daughter, Morgan, in their lakeside cabin. Though Tony showed understandable reluctance at the prospect of possibly losing his family in their plot to undo the Snap, Pepper convinced him to do so anyway, showing that she has grown much more supportive of Tony and is willing to risk her own family's future if it means saving everyone else's. Pepper, despite having no experience on the battlefield, bravely charged alongside many of her allies in the Battle of Earth and carried herself with poise and dignity despite watching her husband die before her once the battle ended.
Powers and Abilities
- Rescue Armor Capabilities: In the five years after the Snap, Tony Stark created an Iron Man Armor for his wife. He planned to reveal it to her as a present, but found their daughter, Morgan Stark, playing with the helmet. He carefully hid it back in the house and went of his mission. When Thanos attacked Earth, Potts found the armor and went to Avengers Compound to fight in the battle. She fought side by side with her husband and the other heroes.
- Superhuman Strength: Although she mostly used her distance as a strategy during the short time she wore the Rescue Armor, she was granted increased strength which allowed her to defeat many enemies during the Battle of Earth.
- Superhuman Durability: Wearing the Rescue Armor, Pepper was granted an incredible durability to kinetic impacts as well as exposure to energy blasts or any other form of enemy fire. This durability is placed on display during the Battle for Earth when she along with the other heroes battling against the forces of Thanos were abruptly bombarded by a devastating missile strike ordered by the Mad Titan.
- Superhuman Speed: While flying, Potts was able to fly at speeds equal to War Machine and almost as fast as Iron Man. She also flew from her house to Avengers Compound in a very short time.
- Superhuman Agility: While using the armor, Potts is able to do various ariel maneuvers as in catching Spider-Man in mid air and going back to back with Iron Man to defeat enemies. She could even land in a pose on the ground.
- Superhuman Stamina: With the armor on, Potts battled through the whole Battle of Earth without taking a break.
- Superhuman Reflexes: The armor's HUD system allows Potts to dodge incoming attacks such as the attacks that Thanos ordered his troops to fire. She also sensed a Necrocraft behind her and quickly turned around to destroy it.
- Flight: With the repulsor technology included in the Rescue Armor, Pepper was able to utilize the repulsors in her suit to enable flight. She flew all the way from her house in Upstate New York to the Battle at Avengers Compound.
- Power Suit: Like Stark's armors, the suit contains a heads up display within the helmet to allow Potts to analyze the environment. She can utilize the display for targeting assistance. Besides flight, the repulsor technology in her suit enables Potts to battle offensively by unleashing energy blasts from her hands, similar to Iron Man and War Machine. The armor also had a unibeam built in. The beam allowed her to duo with her husband and shoot a Necrocraft.
- Artificially Enhanced Physiology: Thanks to Extremis, Potts temporarily displayed various superhuman abilities, such as strength, agility, and enhanced healing factor, and the ability to generate intense heat. The Extremis may even cause the user to explode if it doesn't suit the host right. However, Tony Stark was able to negate all of its effects and had the Extremis removed from her body.
- Superhuman Strength: Extremis enhanced Potts' muscles to the point of being able to make a hole in one of the Iron Man Armors and rip its arm to use it as a weapon.
- Superhuman Agility: Extremis enhanced Potts' agility to the point where she was able to effortlessly dodge a repulsor attack. She even used Tony Stark as leverage to leap off of him and punch an Iron Man Armor mid air and then slam it on the ground while landing perfectly.
- Superhuman Stamina: The physiological enhancements brought by Extremis allowed Potts to join Iron Man's battle against Aldrich Killian despite having just survived a fall and explosion that would have killed her without the serum.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Potts was able to easily dodge a repulsor blast from one of the armors in the Iron Legion controlled by J.A.R.V.I.S.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Extremis allowed Potts to heal at a remarkable rate. She managed to survive a great fall, and walk away with no injuries at all. The healing factor is so remarkable that it is able to regenerate severed limbs and also take away mental illnesses.
- Heat Generation: Hosts of Extremis are able to consciously raise the temperature of parts of their bodies. The effect can be controlled to the extent that it might only scorch skin, or increased to the point where it can cause steel to turn into a molten state. Potts used this heat to easily punch through an Iron Man Armor.
- Master Businesswoman: Pepper Potts is an exceptionally capable businesswoman with a very forceful personality. Ultimately, Tony Stark entrusted her with his family's company and she expanded it from Los Angeles to New York to Washington, D.C. in the United States alone. Potts kept the company from bankruptcy after Stark had taken away the weapons program, which was Stark Industries biggest department.
- Combatant: Potts was able to hold her own against opponents whenever she was in battle. After getting injected with Extremis, she was able to perform many fighting techniques that were theoretically enhanced by the serum, but nevertheless she was able to kill Aldrich Killian. During the Battle of Earth, Potts used her Rescue Armor to perform many effective ariel attacks, even teaming up with her husband, Iron Man, at one point.
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Iron Man Armors
- Mark XLII Armor: To be added
- Mark IX Armor: Pepper Potts ended the Battle on the Norco using the right arm of this armor, previously destroyed by her, to kill Aldrich Killian.
- Mark XLIX Armor: During the Battle of Earth, Pepper joined the fight alongside many of the Avengers and their allies in a suit much like Tony's and displayed considerable proficiency in operating it, despite this being the first official instance she is shown using it.
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- Extremis: To be added
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- Stark Industries Private Jet: To be added
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- Tony Stark's Mansion: As the personal assitant to Tony Stark, Potts spent a great deal of time at his mansion. Along with her various executive tasks, Potts kept the house in order, doing anything from dry cleaning to making sure Stark's one night stands left at the appropriate time.
- Stark Industries Headquarters: To be added
- Walt Disney Concert Hall: Potts attended the Stark Industries charity event, likely because of her close connection to Tony who was not formally invited. She wore the dress she bought herself with Stark's money as a birthday gift and later danced, and nearly kissed, with the man himself.
- United States Capitol: Potts sat in the gallery as she attended Stark's Senate committee hearing regarding the military's attempts to get the Iron Man suit technology.
- Stark Tower: To be added
- Avengers Compound: To be added
- Stark Eco-Compound: To be added
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|Appearances for Pepper Potts|
In chronological order:
- In the comics, Pepper Potts married Happy Hogan.
- Potts was responsible for curating Tony Stark's art collection as his assistant for 10 years.
- Potts’ favorite drink is a dry olive martini.
- She is allergic to strawberries.
- Potts was featured in Forbes with the headline "Pepper Potts Stirs Up Stark".
Behind the Scenes
- Donna Evans Merlo, Brenda Barsumian, Sybille Blouin, Shauna Duggins and Shauna Galligan were stunt doubles for Gwyneth Paltrow in the role of Pepper Potts.
- Erica Swanson, Katherine Scott and Briana Lantz were stand-ins for Gwyneth Paltrow in the role of Pepper Potts.
- Iron Man
- Avengers: Endgame
- Iron Man 2: Public Identity
- Iron Man 2
- Iron Man 2 - List of Deleted Scenes
- Iron Man 3
- Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King
- Iron Man (book)
- Iron Man Manual
- Iron Man: Fast Friends
- The Avengers
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.20: Nothing Personal
- Avengers: Operation HYDRA
- Google+ Profile/WHiH Newsfront
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Captain America: Civil War
- Twitter Profile/WHiH Newsfront
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Spider-Man: Far From Home
|CEO of Stark Industries
2010 – Present