In Avengers: Endgame, the sight of Pepper Potts flying into battle while wearing her very own Iron Man suit drew massive applause from audiences – but many did not yet realize the massive changes Marvel made to the armor from the comics. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has certainly seen many changes from the source material over the years (the most recent is Shang-Chi’s Mandarin to the character Wenwu in the film), and some are more drastic than others. But in the original comics, the suit – dubbed Rescue – had one major restriction.
In the MCU, the writers continually teased Pepper’s Rescue suit, especially in Iron Man 3. The “Prodigal Son” armor, partially inspired by the armor seen in 2006’s Extremis, was directed by Iron Man to surround Pepper during the collapse of Tony’s Malibu mansion. But Pepper didn’t get her complete suit until the final battle in Avengers: Endgame, and while the suit demonstrated multiple weapons and offensive capabilities, the armor in the comics was quite restricted – by design.
Pepper would find the Rescue Armor Model 1 in The Invincible Iron Man #10, but wouldn’t actually don the suit until two issues later. She swoops into action as an earthquake nearly devastates a school, and her quick thinking saves the day. The entire suit has been designed from the ground up to save lives, not take them; though it has the speed, strength and flight capabilities like most other Iron Man armors, Pepper observes “There’s not a single weapon anywhere on this suit.” Every element is designed to protect and defend; the thrust doesn’t even generate heat.
Though the suit has no weapons, it is by no means weak; Pepper intercepts a crashing airplane and manages to bring it to safety using her repulsor field generators in the same issue. Pepper wouldn’t wear a suit with weaponry until donning the Rescue Armor Model 5 in Rescue 2020 #1, Pepper’s own limited series premiering in 2020. Though the suit still focused on defenses, its repulsors could be used as weapons. The blue and silver suit was clearly modeled after the armor worn by actor Gwyneth Paltrow in Avengers: Endgame – but in the film, Pepper obviously had no reservations about using weapons at all during the final battle. With the fate of the universe (and their daughter) at stake in the film, Pepper needed all the offensive firepower she could get.
Love interests in comics rarely get a chance to partake in their significant others’ battles, even in the modern era of comics. The Rescue armor is a new addition to the Iron Man mythos, but certainly a welcome on. Pepper Potts remains a major player in Iron Man books and hopefully will continue to use the Rescue armor for years to come.