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Virginia Potts (Earth-616)

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Virginia Potts (Earth-616) from Superior Iron Man Vol 1 9 001
Information-silkReal Name Virginia "Pepper" Potts-Hogan
Information-silkCurrent AliasRescue
Information-silkAliasesHera, Madame Masque
Information-silkEditorial NamesSuperior Iron Woman
Information-silkRelativesHappy Hogan (ex-husband, deceased);

Clay Hogan (former brother-in-law);
unnamed adopted son;
unnamed adopted daughter;
Jamie Carlson (step-son);

Marc Kumar (ex-fiancé)
Information-silkAffiliationResilient; formerly Stark Industries, Order (California Initiative)
Information-silkBase Of OperationsSeattle, Washington
Information-silkIdentityNo Dual Identity
Information-silkMarital StatusDivorced
Information-silkOccupationExecutive; former secretary and personal assistant, superhero (formerly)
Information-silkEducationBusiness administration
Information-silkHeight5' 4"
Information-silkWeight110 lbs (50 kg)
Information-silkUnusual FeaturesR.T. node implanted in her chest
Information-silkCreatorsStan Lee, Don Heck
First Appearance

Quote1 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. Quote2
-- Pepper Potts src

Early Life

Virginia Potts, called "Pepper" because of her freckles and red hair, was working for Stark Industries when she 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.

Happy Hogan

Pepper became infatuated with Stark, but things changed when Happy Hogan was hired as Tony's new body guard. The bickering between Pepper and Happy began almost immediately. Although they bickered, Hogan confessed an attraction to her, who rebuffed him saying she was saving herself to be the future Mrs. Tony Stark. Spotting Jack Frost breaking in nearby, Pepper Potts used the telephone to warn Stark.[2]

Pepper was present when the Crimson Dynamo sabotaged a test launch of a new Stark-developed missile[3] and again when the Melter attacked Stark Industries, meltin through a crane holding a large boulder above a crowd of bystanders that included Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts.[4]

She continued working for Stark, delivering the news to Tony that one of his business associates, steel tycoon Charleton Carter, had backed out of a deal. She was extremely 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.[5]

450078-pepper potts 02

Pepper Potts

Pepper still tried impressing Stark. But when she desperately needed to take a to an employee's dinner, she reluctantly called Happy, who assumed it was a sign that Pepper really liked him.[6]

Tony at firstencouraged their relation, giving them Broadway tickets to go on another date.[7]

Pepper did eventually manage to go on a date with Tony.[8]

When the Unicorn attacked Stark Industries Pepper was taken prisoner but was saved by Iron Man. After the fight, Tony and Pepper went to visit Happy who had been injured by the Unicorn. During their visit, Tony wondered if Pepper's niceties to Happy were to make him jealous or if they are genuine.[9]

At Happy's request, Tony suggested to Pepper that she and Happy go on another date. Pepper jumped to the conclusion that Stark wanted to go out on a date with her instead. Stark took Pepper out to a fair which featured an archer named Hawkeye. After stopping a crime at the fair, Tony lost out on another chance at a date with Pepper when Happy beat him to the punch.[10]

Their relation intensified, with Happy and Pepper eventually eloping and getting married. Pepper became worried about his standing in for Iron Man on several occasions, which often caused him severe injuries[11] and caused his transformation into the freak.[12] Pepper made him swear never to put the Iron Man Armor on again.[13] Fearing that the would always be dragged into Iron Man's battles as long as they were near him, she quit her position with Stark International and took Happy to a clinic near Chicago to heal.[14]

When Iron Man was almost frozen to death by the Blizzard,[15] Pepper saved his life by reenergizing his armor.[16]

Pepper supported Happy in all of his odd jobs, but they never seemed to last. The couple eventually decided to adopt children. While Stark was presumed dead, Pepper and Happy divorced. Although the reasons have not been admitted, she apparently had an affair with a former college boyfriend.

After Stark's return both worked with him at Stark Solutions in Seattle. Pepper would keep constant contact with Iron Man, relaying information such as news feeds. The two seemed to becoming closer, which did not help Happy's feelings of self-doubt.

Stark entrusted Pepper with a special remote that could shut him down. However, Pepper was tortured and was forced to hand it over. The trauma lead to her miscarrying. Iron Man was able to deal with the remote, but felt guilty that he had placed her in such danger. Pepper and Happy soon after reconciled.

Virginia Potts (Earth-616) 0001

Clarence Ward murdered a number of Stark executives at a board meeting. He had stolen an Iron Man armor from Edgewood Arsenal and was trying to frame Stark (whose identity as Iron Man was public at this time). Pepper and Happy were on an elevator when he attacked (unknowingly saved by the real Stark who called to say something odd was happening and they should be careful), and were thus able to escape. She activated a fail-safe disabling Iron Man armors worldwide.

After Happy's death, Pepper was placed in charge of the Order by Stark where she took on the name of Hera.

Pepper was again working with Stark at an office function for the new Stark Dynamics in Taipei. Ezekiel Stane's destruction of the building left her critically injured, most notably the presence of shrapnel near her heart. Rand Corporation bionics based on Stark's pacemaker-chestplate design were surgically implanted.


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 any assistance, Pepper escaped after finding a suit of armor specifically designed for her. When Osborn issues an arrest warrant for Tony and sends teams to seize all Stark Industries facilities, Pepper uses this suit to escape just before she herself is arrested. It is later revealed that Pepper’s suit, the Mark 1616, contains an AI version of Jarvis to assist her and answer questions, and it is ideally suited to her biology and cybernetic enhancements.[17]

Rescue Earth-616

Pepper as Rescue

Since then Pepper has been serving as an occasional superhero under the name Rescue, even engaging in highly dangerous situations such as fighting Mokk the Breaker of Stone in the battered streets of Paris, France when Tony Stark was made unavailable.[18] She gradually gained more confidence in superhero work, and often assisted Iron Man and War Machine in defending Stark Resilient against Detroit Steel Corps. After Tony's recent disappearance, she often comes to the rescue in various regional attacks, bringing her in conflict with the new Iron Man.
Invincible Iron Man Vol 1 29 Textless

Rescue, Iron Man and War Machine

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 it was deactivated by the new Iron Man, and finally destroyed by Pepper Potts in Resilient's factory along with Potts' Rescue armor, thus leaving her heroic alter-ego behind.

She helped Bethany Cabe reunite the heroes from the Dynasty and the Triumph Division to rescue Tony Stark from the Mandarin.[19]

The Rings of the Mandarin

At a time during Tony's absence space Pepper was in Las Vegas attending a party, during the party she encountered a freelance P.R. and marketing expert P.R. rep named Marc Kumar who was handling a drunk client at a party Pepper was attending. After dating for months, Marc proposed to Pepper in Scotland.[20] From the stories Pepper told him about Stark, Marc came to the conclusion that he treated her bad, and grew resentful at Tony.[21]

Little did she know Marc was given the Liar ring of the Mandarin and due to his hate towards Tony Stark joined other Mandarins. During an invasion of the city of Troy Iron Man, the Trojan Guard, Abigail Burns and Iron Patriot pinned them down, Marc revealed his identity as the Liar to Tony, and planned to use a kidnapped Pepper as collateral to escape.[22]

Virginia Potts (Earth-616) from Superior Iron Man Vol 1 6 001

Tony blasted the Liar with a repulsor blast which pierced Pepper, who was actually an illusion Tony had seen through, and injured Marc. Marc's ring was taken from him, and he was put into custody in a S.H.I.E.L.D. high-security hospital. Pepper later visited him to return her engagement ring to him, claiming that she didn't need saving, and that even though Tony had treated her bad, at most times he didn't.[21]

Superior Iron Man

After the events of the World War Hate, Tony's moral compass was inverte, turning him into an egosistical version of himself and started drinking again. Pepper tried to talk sense into Tony, to no avail. As part of a years old contingency plan, Pepper activated a digital copy of Stark's mind.[23]

Pepper lured the real Tony Stark to the New York HQ of Resilient in order to allow the Tony A.I. to get to Stark and try to fix him.[24] The Tony A.I. took Stark to the Resilient Space Station, while Pepper secured Stark's protégée, Jamie.[25] The digital Tony's attempt to revert the real Tony back to normal failed, and Stark returned to Earth. A few hours later, Stark called out his digital counterpart to Stark Island. Countless of Iron Man suits were controlled by the Tony A.I. when he heeded the call.[26]

After the digital Tony Stark confronted the real Tony Stark, Pepper arrived in a new Rescue armor the digital Tony had built and used sonic attacks to weaken Stark's symbiote-based armor, and took an unconscious Stark back to New York. Stark's defeat had been a ruse, as his armor was actually protected against sonic attacks, and he allowed himself to be taken to Resilient's HQ solely because the digital Stark was housed there. Tony used a virus stored in a USB drive to delete and later destroy his digital copy.

Pepper ultimately gave up on Tony, recognizing she had failed to rescue him from his worst nightmare, himself. However, Pepper swore to use one of the largest media companies on Earth Resilient had bought to discredit Stark and ensure he wouldn't have his own way without consequences.[27]

Power Grid [28]
Energy Projection*
Fighting Skills
* Higher ratings when armored


R.T. node: Thanks to the Repulsor Tech node implanted in her chest, which is linked to her brain, Pepper is able to interact with different types of energies and forces a normal human can't. The R.T. node acts like a new sense for its user.[29] It enhances the metabolism, core strength, reaction time, reflexes and intelligence up to 25-30 IQ points.[30]

  • Energy Emanation: The R.T. node not only provides repulsor energy to run devices such as the Iron Man Armor, its user can produce beams of energy at will, possibly weaker and less directed than the Uni-Beam.[31]
  • Electrical Fields Detection: As the R.T. node is connected to Pepper, she can feel different electrical fields that the Reactor is picking up. This includes all kinds of invisible frequencies.[29]
  • Magnetic Force-Field: The R.T. node creates a force-field which can be modified at will by its user by gradually increasing increments of the power from the Reactor. It is powerful enough to destroy bullets or repel people. It can also surpass an electromagnetic field generated by Electro.[32]
    • Levitation: The magnetic force-field generated by the Reactor can interfere with the ones created by the planet and cause levitation. It's unknown if this interaction can be used to fly.[29]
  • Enhanced Senses: The reactor also increases the senses of its user, allowing Pepper to "hear better" for example.[29]
  • Enhanced Strength: The R.T. node allows its possessor to have increased strength.[29]
  • Regenerative Durability: It has been shown that a user of an R.T. node not only recovers incredibly fast from different types of injuries[29], but also resists more physical damage than an average human.

Rescue Armor

Pepper's newest Rescue armor granted her superhuman strenght, durability and flight. Similarly to past models, the suit had no direct offensive weaponry except sonic attacks.[27]

Previous models of the Rescue Armor used the electromagnetic effect of the repulsor generators as very versatile tool to both attack and defend while in combat. The previous suits also had an A.I. called J.A.R.V.I.S. to assist her and answer every question she asks.


Despite her lack of training in hand-to-hand combat, she can definitely hold her own in battle as Rescue.


None; formerly Potts used the Iron Man Armor Mark 1616 as Rescue.


None; formerly the Repulsors equipped in the Iron Man Armor Mark 1616

  • In her very first appearance, Pepper was mistakenly introduced as "Kitty."[2]

Discover and Discuss


  1. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #5
  2. 2.0 2.1 Tales of Suspense #45
  3. Tales of Suspense #46
  4. Tales of Suspense #47
  5. Tales of Suspense #48
  6. Tales of Suspense #50
  7. Tales of Suspense #51
  8. Tales of Suspense #55
  9. Tales of Suspense #56
  10. Tales of Suspense #57
  11. Iron Man #82
  12. Iron Man #84
  13. Iron Man #83
  14. Iron Man #88
  15. Iron Man #86
  16. Iron Man #87
  17. Invincible Iron Man #10
  18. Invincible Iron Man #507
  19. Invincible Iron Man #525
  20. Iron Man Annual Vol 5 #1
  21. 21.0 21.1 Iron Man Vol 5 #28
  22. Iron Man Vol 5 #27
  23. Superior Iron Man #1
  24. Superior Iron Man #6
  25. Superior Iron Man #7
  26. Superior Iron Man #8
  27. 27.0 27.1 Superior Iron Man #9
  28. Women of Marvel: Celebrating Seven Decades Handbook #1
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 29.4 29.5 Invincible Iron Man #4
  30. Invincible Iron Man #8
  31. Based on Tony Stark's experience with a similar R.T. node to Peppers' in Invincible Iron Man #521
  32. Invincible Iron Man #502

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