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"I do anything and everything Mr. Stark requires. Including occasionally taking out the trash."
―Pepper Potts[src]

Virginia "Pepper" Potts is the Chief Executive Officer 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, she became good friends with Stark; however, both she and Stark had begun developing romantic feelings for each other. Neither was able to act on these feelings, as they each feared that they other would not accept them.

When Stark returned from captivity in Afghanistan, she 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.

However, Stark eventually rejoined the Avengers, and they decided to take a break from their relationship.

Biography

Early Life

Virginia Potts' early jobs involved her working alongside Aldrich Killian, though she did not enjoy the experience as Killian would continually flirt with her.[2] Potts was then hired by Stark Industries, eventually becoming Tony Stark's personal assistant. Unfortunately, this usually required her to send Stark's one-night stands home the next morning. Much to her annoyance, he also forgot when her birthday was; Potts' got back at him by using his money to buy herself a gift.[1]

Working for Stark Industries

Potts, along with Stark and his best friend James Rhodes, visited the Yuma Proving Ground to test a new Stark Industries weapon. After the test was finished, Potts gave the weapon's specifics to the officials of the US Military that watched the test.[3]

Kidnapping of Tony Stark

"Tony, you have to go to the hospital. The doctor has to look at you."
"I don't have to do anything. I've been in captivity for three months. There are two things I want to do. One, I want an American cheeseburger, and the other..."
"That's enough of that."
―Pepper Potts and Tony Stark[src]
Pepper Christine

Potts speaks to Christine Everhart

Potts greeted Christine Everhart after her one night stand with Stark with her clothes. Everhart attempted to mock Potts by commenting on how Stark still had her collecting clothes for him. Potts ignored the taunts and escorting her out of Tony Stark's Mansion with a smile, subtly referring to her as the trash that needs to be taken out.

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Potts speaks to Tony Stark

She then prepared Tony 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 subtly mentioned that it was her birthday, which Stark had clearly forgotten; she made it clear that she had used his money to buy a birthday present for herself. Stark then finished his drink and left for Afghanistan to debut Stark Industries' new Jericho Missile. There, Stark was kidnapped by the Ten Rings. During his absence, Potts was worried about his safety.[1]

Stark's Return

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Potts and Happy Hogan greet Tony Stark

"Your eyes are red. Tears for your long lost boss?"
"Tears of joy. I hate job hunting."
"Yeah, well, vacation's over."
Tony Stark and Pepper Potts[src]

When he 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 a slight tear. Once in the limo, Stark made it clear that he had no intention of going to the hospital but instead intended to go get a burger before making a statement to the press.

Coulson talking to Pepper-Iron Man (film)

Pepper meets Phil Coulson

Potts accompanied Tony Stark to get a burger from Burger King and to a press conference where they were greeted by Obadiah Stane and James Rhodes. At the conference she was approached by Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. for an interview with Tony Stark to debrief his escape from the Ten Rings. 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 attendances' horror.[1]

Helping Stark

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Potts assists Tony Stark

"You stood by my side all these years while I reaped the benefits of destruction. Now that I'm trying to protect the people I've put in harm's way, you're going to walk out?"
"You're going to kill yourself, Tony. I'm not going to be a part of it."
―Tony Stark and Pepper Potts[src]

Potts visited Stark at his workshop to bring him a cappuccino and a bagel and he asked her to help him replace his Mark I Arc Reactor. After he told her to destroy the old one, she disregarded his directions, taking the old reactor with her. She decided not to destroy it but put it in a glass frame and engraved it with the epitaph: "Proof that Tony Stark has a heart".

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Potts witnesses Tony Stark's experiments

When Potts came downstairs into Tony 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.

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Potts has a meeting with Stark and Stane

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.[1]

Dancing with the Boss

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Stark and Potts at the ball.

"Where'd you get that dress?"
"It was a birthday present... from you, actually."
"I got great taste, don't I? You, uh, wanna dance?"
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.[1]

Learning the Truth

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Potts discovers Tony Stark is Iron Man

"What is going on here?"
"Let's face it, this is not the worst thing you've caught me doing."
"Are those bullet holes?"
―Pepper Potts and Tony Stark[src]

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 of the question, noting that this was not the worse 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 weaponised armor to fight the Ten Rings.

Pepper-Potts-agrees-to-help-Stark

Potts discusses helping Stark's mission

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.[1]

Investigating the Traitor

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Potts hacks into Obadiah Stane's computer

Stark revealed that he believed Obadiah Stane was responsible for selling Stark Industries' weapons to the Ten Rings and organised 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.

Pepper-Potts-Obadiah-Stane

Potts speaks to Obadiah 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.[1]

Duel of Los Angeles

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Potts searches for Obadiah Stane

"Obadiah, he-he's gone insane!"
"I know!"
"He-he built a suit!"
"Listen, you'd better get out of there! Just get out!"
―Pepper Potts and Tony Stark[src]

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.

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Potts is attacked by the Iron Monger

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 weaponised 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.

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Potts assists Stark in fighting Stane

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.[1]

Stark's Announcement

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Potts prepares Stark for a Press Conference

"Agent Coulson, I just wanted to say thank you very much for all of your help."
"That's what we do. You'll be hearing from us."
"From the Strategic Homeland..."
"Just call us S.H.I.E.L.D.."
―Pepper Potts and Phil Coulson[src]

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 Tony Stark announced to the world that he was Iron Man.[1]

Senate Hearing

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Potts and Tony Stark at the Senate meeting.

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.[4]

New CEO of Stark Industries

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Stark names Potts the CEO of Stark Industries

"I am trying to do the job that you were meant to do."
―Pepper Potts to Tony Stark[src]

Potts went to confront Tony Stark in his warehouse after she learned that he had sold his collection of art which Potts had worked to collect. As their conversation went on, Stark promoted Potts to Stark Industries' CEO while Stark got his affairs in order. Unbeknownst to her, he had developed terminal complications from the poisonous side-effects of the Arc Reactor's palladium core. As a result, he began to spiral out of control and eventually his increasingly reckless behavior pulled them apart entirely.[4]

Hiring a Replacement

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Potts and Stark discuss Natalie Rushman

"Who is she?"
"She is from legal and she is potentially a very expensive sexual harassment lawsuit if you keep ogling her like that."
Tony Stark and Pepper Potts discuss Natalie Rushman[src]

While Tony Stark and Happy Hogan were boxing together, Pepper Potts welcomed her replacement, Natalie Rushman. Stark invited Rushman to box with Hogan while he and Potts discussed her, Stark learned that she spoke several languages and came highly recommended. While they were talking Rushman threw Happy Hogan onto the ground during their fight, impressed Stark hired her on the spot.[4]

Duel of Monaco

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Pepper and Tony Stark at Monaco

"She's actually doing a big spread on me for Vanity Fair. I thought I'd throw her a bone, you know. Right?"
"Right. Well, she did quite a spread on Tony last year."
"And she wrote a story as well."
Justin Hammer, Pepper Potts and Tony Stark[src]

Tony Stark, Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan traveled to the Monaco Grand Prix where they met with Justin Hammer, who testified against Stark in the Senate Hearing. Hammer boasted to them about having scored an interview with Christine Everhart of Vanity Fair; however both Stark and Potts mocked them both, noting Hammer had lost his contract with the Government and Everhart had previously had a sexual relationship with Stark.

Pepper-Potts-rescues-Stark-IM2

Potts rescues Tony Stark

During their time at Monaco, Stark decided to race his sports car but was attacked by Ivan Vanko midway through the race, who used Arc Reactor technology to power a prototype weaponised suit and become Whiplash. Potts and Happy Hogan raced to Stark's aid, driving through the race track, dodging the other race cars before crashing into Vanko. When Ivan Vanko continued to attack them, Potts was able to give Stark another suit which he used to defeat Vanko, who was promptly arrested for his crimes.

Pepper-Potts-Private-Plane-IM2

Potts speaks to Tony Stark

On the flight back from Monaco, Potts watched a television interview with Senator Stern who once again expressed his disbelief in Iron Man. Eventually Tony Stark presented her with a plate of food which he had made, much to her surprise - "where do you think I was for three hours?" They went on to discuss Stark's birthday which he was no longer sure if he wanted to celebrate or not; Stark suggested that they go on holiday together, but she insisted that as CEO she needed to show her presence in this time of crisis.

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Potts and Natalie Rushman continue work

Back at Tony Stark's Mansion, Pepper Potts and Natalie Rushman continued to defend Tony Stark's position as Iron Man after the attack of Ivan Vanko. While on the phone to various individuals, they were interrupted by Colonel James Rhodes, who demanded to speak to Stark. Rushman initially tried to usher him away but Potts gave up his location with no worry about how much it would annoy Stark to be confronted.[4]

Disastrous Birthday Party

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Potts and Stark at Stark's birthday party

"You're out of control, okay?"
"I'm not out of control."
"Trust me on this one."
"You're out of control, gorgeous."
―Pepper Potts and Tony Stark[src]

Later Stark had a birthday party where he got completely drunk and decided to wear his Iron Man armor to entertain his guests by firing his repulsors at random objects, like champagne bottles and a watermelon, thrown in the air. When James Rhodes arrived he was furious about the sight and demanded that Potts stop him immediately. Potts was not amused either and tried to calm him down. Stark ignored her advice and continued the party.

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Potts watches Stark and Rhodes fighting

Seeing that Stark had no intention of stopping and was continuing to endanger his guests, James Rhodes stole his own Iron Man armor and confronted Stark. When he refused to listen, Stark and Rhodes began fighting while Potts helped to get all the party guests to safety. As the fight continued Pepper Potts confronted Natalie Rushman, accusing her of starting the trouble, however while they were talking Rhodes and Stark fell through the ceiling, Happy Hogan ran to Potts aid and pulled her to safety.[4]

Peace Offering

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Potts in her new office.

"I just want to talk to you for a minute, well, make that 30 seconds..."
"Okay... 29, 28, 27..."
Tony Stark and Pepper Potts[src]

Stark brought Pepper a box of strawberries he got from a street vendor. Meanwhile, she was on the phone attempting to get the Mark II armor back from the military while she heard in the background a reporter questioning her qualifications as CEO on television. When Stark entered, despite protests from Bambi Arbogast, Potts gave him time, as she counted the seconds, to plead his case as to why he was acting erratic. She berated him for giving her the job as she took flack for his messes. Natalie Rushman and Happy Hogan then entered and escorted Potts to the Stark Expo.[4]

Battle at Stark Expo

Pepper-Potts-Hammer-Presentation

Potts watches Justin Hammer's presentation

"I quit. I'm resigning. My body literally can't handle the stress. I don't know when you're going to kill yourself, or mess up the whole company!"
"I think I did okay!"
―Pepper Potts and Tony Stark[src]

Pepper Potts and Natalie Rushman travelled 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 of his War Machine Armor: Mark I.

Pepper-Potts-Confronts-Justin-Hammer

Potts and Rushman confront Justin Hammer

The presentation was intruppeted by the arrival of Iron Man, who confronted Justin Hammer over supposedly working with Ivan Vanko. While Hammer denied this, before long the Hammer Drones were activated by Vanko and attacked Stark and the guests. Fearing for their safety and the safety of the guests, Potts and Natalie Rushman confronted Hammer and demanded they be shut down. When Hammer refused to give up the information, Rushman twisted his arm until he confessed to Ivan Vanko's location.

Pepper-Potts-Are-You-Dying

Potts speaks to Tony Stark

Rushman then departed to deal with them while Potts remained at the Expo, dealing with Hammer. Before long Rushman had broken into Hammer Industries and regained control of the War Machine Armor: Mark I, commenting that Tony 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. Shortly after this the police arrived and Potts insured that Justin Hammer was arrested for his crimes.

First Kiss

Stark kisses Potts for the first time

Pepper Potts decided to stay at the Stark Expo to ensure everyone was safe. While there she saw a drone was glowing red, before she could react, Stark swooped in and saved her when the damaged drone she was looking at exploded along with all the others, destroying the entire area. Potts was extremely scared and quit the job of being CEO, giving it back to Stark. Stark and Potts then kissed after awhile and then James Rhodes interrupted them saying that they looked like "two seals fighting over a grape".[4]

War for Earth

Interrupted by Coulson

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Potts in Stark Tower

"Is this about the Avengers? Which I know nothing about."
"The Avengers Initiative was scrapped, I thought. And I didn't even qualify."
"I didn't know that either. "
―Pepper Potts and Tony Stark to Phil Coulson[src]

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.

Pepper-Potts-Tony-Stark-Avengers

Potts and Stark speak to Agent Phil Coulson

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..[5]

Battle of New York

Pepper-Potts-Plane-BattleofNewYork

Potts watches the Battle of New York

"Sir, shall I try Miss. Potts?"
"Might as well."
J.A.R.V.I.S. and Tony Stark discuss Pepper Potts[src]

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.

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Potts and Stark redesign Stark Tower

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 to gather 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.[5]

Reunion with Aldrich Killian

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Potts is reunited with Aldrich Killian

"Imagine if you could hack into the hard drive of any living organism and recode its DNA."
"It would be incredible. Unfortunately, to my ears it also sounds highly weaponizable. As in enhanced soldiers, private armies."
Aldrich Killian and Pepper Potts[src]

One day Potts was exploring Stark Industries with the new Head of Security Happy Hogan, who despite his enthusiasm for the job, had increased the complaints excessively; he took it as a sign people were hiding things, rather than the fact he greatly annoyed them. Hogan continued to push his belief that the human resources devision of the company should be replaced by Tony Stark's A.I. Systems. Their conversation was cut short as Potts was visited by an old acquaintance, Aldrich Killian, who shocked her with his improved appearance since she'd last seen him.

Aldrich Pepper

Pepper has a meeting with Aldrich Killian

Killian explained that he'd come to Stark Industries intending for Potts and Stark to join his organization Advanced Idea Mechanics, or at least invest in his concepts for world changing ideas. Killian pitched his concept about a serum that his company had developed called Extremis, which seemed to offer the chance to upgrade the human body. To prove his point, he used a holographic live-feed of his own mind, to show the effect that Extremis had on the human body, which greatly impressed Potts.

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Potts says goodbye to Killian

With the pitch over with, Pepper Potts and Aldrich Killian continued to discuss the concept of Extremis. In the end it was an offer she declined due to believing the serum could be highly weaponizable, which she believed Tony Stark would never support, although Killian argued that Stark might not be the best person to vote on the matter, but Potts stood by her word and told Killian that Stark Industries would not be investing in A.I.M.. When Killian left Stark Industries he expressed his disappointment but gave Potts a kiss on the cheek before leaving with his body-guard Eric Savin. While Potts watched him leave, flustered from the kiss, Happy Hogan came over and told her that her car was ready to take her home.[2]

Christmas Presents

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Potts flirts with Tony Stark

"Oh hey, did you see your Christmas present?"
"Yes, I did. I...I don't know how I could have missed that Christmas present. Is it gonna fit through the door?"
Tony Stark and Pepper Potts[src]

Potts arrived home to find that Tony Stark had left an enormous Bunny Rabbit toy outside their home. Walking into the Mansion Potts found what she believed to be Stark sitting on the sofa wearing one of his Iron Man suits. The couple flirted for a while, with Stark offering her a massage and Potts asking him to open up the mask and kiss her, which he jokingly refused.

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Potts comforts Tony Stark

Potts then went downstairs to search for a crowbar to open the Iron Man Mask, only to discover Tony Stark there, having been controlling the Iron Man Suit via remote control video feed. Potts confronted her boyfriend over eating without her and they had a brief falling out before Stark finally confessed to be suffering from nightmares and insomnia due to his experiences of witnessing gods, aliens and other dimensions after the Battle of New York. Potts accepted this and offered to help, before inviting Stark to join her in the shower.[2]

Nightmares

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Potts is attacked by an Iron Man armor

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 awoke due to hearing Stark having a bad dream, this dream caused one of his Iron Man suits to power up and attack Potts. Although Stark awoke and de-powered the suit, the experience forced Potts to sleep downstairs away from Stark.[2]

Destruction of Tony Stark's Mansion

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Potts and Stark see the incoming attack

"I got you."
"I got you first."
―Pepper Potts and Tony Stark[src]

After Tony Stark publicly threatened the terrorist Mandarin in revenge for a terrorist explosion which badly injured Happy Hogan, Potts tried to convince him to leave the city, but then scientist Maya Hansen arrived at their mansion to warn Stark about the Mandarin as well. Shortly thereafter, armed helicopters attacked the mansion with missiles. In order to protect Potts, Stark commanded the Mark XLII to form around her.

Pepper Potts in the Mark XLII

Pepper controls an Iron Man armor as Stark's Mansion is destroyed

With Potts now safe in the Iron Man Armor, she saved Stark from the falling debris; he then ordered her to use the suit to ensure that she and Hansen got to safety. Once Potts and Hansen were safe outside the collapsing structure, Stark summoned the suit once more, this time to himself, in order to defeat as many terrorists as he could. During the attack, the mansion was destroyed and Stark was left for dead as he seemed to drown as the mansion fell into the sea.

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Potts finding the Mark VII helmet.

Later that night, while firecrews cleared the rubble from the remains of Tony Stark's Mansion, Potts found the helmet of a destroyed Mark VII. As Potts held the helmet and looked at it, she noticed it contained a secret message from Stark, telling her he had actually survived the attack, but could not return home until he found the Mandarin. Stark went on to apologise for putting her in harm's way, blaming himself for being stupid and selfish and promised to come home to her once her had stopped the Mandarin's attacks.[2]

Captured by Killian

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Potts learns Killian works for the Mandarin

"You think he'll help you... he won't."
"It's more, uh, embarrassing than that. I brought you here because you were once his girlfriend and now you're my, uh..."
"Trophy."
―Pepper Potts and Aldrich Killian[src]

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. As they drove along, Hansen revealed to Potts she had been working on the Extremis and that her boss, Aldrich Killian, was selling it to the Mandarin.

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Potts speaks to Maya Hansen

Hansen and Potts eventually found a hotel and decided to hide there. While they made themselves comfortable, Hansen told that she felt that although her aims when she became a scientist were pure, she felt her designs had led to evil. Hansen went on to tell Potts the story of the man who had invented the bombs that attacked England during World War II, comparing their own creations to his. Potts comforted her and told her that what had happened was not due to her, noting that Stark Industries worked in similar ways when they were building weapons.

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Potts is kidnapped by Aldrich Killian

They 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 Aldrich Killian had found them, breaking the neck on the hotel worker before choking her. Hansen revealed that she was still working for him and not against him. They needed Stark's intellect to stabilize Extremis, and that Potts could be used as an incentive.[2]

Battle on the Norco

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Potts is held hostage by Aldrich Killian

"Oh my God. That was really violent."
―Pepper Potts[src]

Potts was injected with Extremis, and taken to the Norco, a docked oil tanker where Killian intended to keep her as collateral and as a trophy. As her Extremis infusion progressed through its second bonding stage, he also ushered the Iron Patriot armor into the room, which then deposited President Matthew Ellis onto the floor before them. Potts was shocked when Killian explained how the President was to be executed, before he stuffed Ellis back into the suit and sent him back out.

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Potts seemingly falls to her death

The execution was interrupted when Tony Stark and James Rhodes launched their rescue attempt, but were caught by Extremis Soldiers, leading to a battle in which Stark called for his Iron Legion. After several minutes of fighting, explosions rocked the room where Potts was imprisoned, sending her tumbling out onto a gantry, and almost within reach of Stark. He tried grabbing her, but failed, and Potts plummeted to the deck of the Norco.

IM3 Pepper flames

Potts before attacking Killian.

The Extremis in her system saved her from the lethal drop however, regenerating the damage from the fall. When she awakened, she found Killian advancing on Stark. She intervened with a surprise attack of her own, first bashing Killian away with a metal bar, then hurling a Stark explosive at him. Detonating it with a repulsor ripped from a passing Iron Man armor, the explosive munition obliterated Aldrich Killian.

Pepper-Potts-Hugs-Tony-Stark

Potts hugs Tony Stark

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, as 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.

Tony and Pepper

Tony and Pepper continue their relationship

Stark was able to use his resources to cure Pepper of the Extremis and they continued their relationship. Pepper 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 Pepper the gift a necklace made from the pieces of shrapnel, symbolising how she had changed his life for the better since they had started their relationship.[2]

Continuing as CEO

Stark Potts Hill

Potts and Stark viewing a hologram of Avengers Tower

"Pepper, I'll call you back in ten."
Maria Hill[src]

Maria Hill became an employee of Stark Industries during the HYDRA Uprising,[6] apparently 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.[7]

Potts and 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.[8]

Months later, Potts went to the annual NYC Tech convention to speak on behalf of Stark Industries.[9]

Potts was absent from the Avengers' victory party celebrating their victory over HYDRA in Sokovia. Stark told his guests that that it was because of her duties running Stark Industries, but after Stark and Thor descended into an argument over whether Potts or Jane Foster was the better girlfriend, Hill sarcastically implied that both women were intentionally absent to avoid their boyfriends' "testosterone". [10]

In order to celebrate Earth day, Potts presented Stark Industries' latest advances in intellicrops.[9] Following the Battle of Sokovia, Stark began devoting all of his time towards upkeeping the Avengers and spending more time at the New Avengers Facility; Potts and Stark decided to take a break from their relationship.[11]

Personality

As one of Tony Stark's oldest and closest friends, Pepper Potts knows 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, Tony himself appreciates 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 irritates and occasionally drive 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 over 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 Tony 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 anxiety of a world with gods and aliens were designed to protect the ones he love, which is her but these have also pushed her away further. Ultron was designed to be the last line of defense for Earth against these threats so him being Iron Man would no longer be a necessity but as his mistake created more mistakes and more reasons why he needed to be Iron Man, Potts could no longer be in a relationship with him and took a break.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

"As promised, I got Pepper sorted out, did some tinkering."
Tony Stark[src]

Thanks to Extremis, Potts temporarily displayed various superhuman abilities, such as strength, agility, an enhanced healing factor, and the ability to generate intense heat. However, Tony Stark was to negate all 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
  • Enhanced Agility: Extremis enhanced Potts' speed and agility to the point where she was able to effortlessly dodge a repulsor attack.
  • 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.
  • Exothermic Manipulation: Hosts of the Extremis virus 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.

Abilities

"You are the most capable, qualified, trustworthy person I've ever met."
Tony Stark[src]
  • Expert Businesswoman: Pepper Potts is an exceptionally capable businesswoman with a very forceful personality. Ultimately, 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.
  • Hacker: Potts managed to hack into Obadiah Stane's computer with no prior knowledge of it.

Relationships

Family

  • Mother

Allies

Enemies

Appearances

Appearances for Pepper Potts

In chronological order:


Trivia

  • In the comics, Pepper Potts married Happy Hogan.
  • In Iron Man 3, Potts, for a brief moment, dons the Iron Man Mark 42 suit by Tony Stark to save her from the explosion who in turn saves him from the falling debris. This is a reference to her comic book hero counterpart, Rescue.
  • The day Pepper had Christine Everhart leave was Potts' birthday.
  • Pepper is allergic to strawberries.
  • It's currently unknown whether or not Pepper has retained the Extremis powers after Stark stabilized her.

References

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe wiki has a collection of images and media related to Pepper Potts.
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The Marvel Cinematic Universe wiki has a collection of quotes related to Pepper Potts.
Preceded by:
Tony Stark
CEO of Stark Industries
Pepper Potts
2010 - Present
Succeeded by:
-



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