Avengers: Endgame Prelude Shoots Down The Theory
The reason why this theory caught on and continued to be posited is based on the exact same evidence other fans used to quickly discount it. Much of the fuel is due to Iron Man's new A.I. assistant, having taken over the role once JARVIS ascended to the consciousness of Vision. The new A.I., named FRIDAY, is given a woman's voice just like the comics. And that is the source of all of the confusion. Because as many fans pointed out to those suggesting it was Pepper uttering the key words, the voice may be female... but it belongs to FRIDAY, not Tony's fiancée. Or, if you prefer, it's the voice of actress Kerry Condon and not Gwyneth Paltrow.
The distortion in the message helps obfuscate the speaker even further, but it's clarified in Marvel's Avengers: Untitled Prelude adapting Infinity War to comic book form. The book was titled as such since it released before the Avengers 4 subtitle had been revealed, meaning future issues will presumably be re-titled Avengers: Endgame Prelude as is Marvel's convention. In the illustrated version of the scene, the speech bubbles confirm exactly what the debunkers have claimed. The message isn't broken into two parts between two speakers, but is all the final transmission of FRIDAY as Tony presumably leaves range of the A.I.'s host servers: "Boss, we're losing her. I'm going, too..."
Still Good News For Pepper Potts Fans
The comic leaves no doubt, which means the theories can finally be officially and definitively shot down as soon as they're posed from here on out. But for perhaps the first time, a hopeful theory being debunked may not actually be bad news for those doing the hoping. After all, the main reason fans wanted to hear Pepper Potts say she was going to come to Tony's rescue was to see her don a suit of Iron Man armor to become... well, RESCUE. As in, the pilot of the RESCUE Armor built just for her in Marvel's comic book universe.
Thankfully, Gwyneth Paltrow circumvented the theories all by herself, taking a photo in the RESCUE Armor filming Avengers 4, which was soon leaked all over the Internet. The exact circumstances that drive Pepper to put on the armor are still unknown, and likely to be kept under (better) wraps going forward. No matter the means, seeing Pepper in her own suit of armor will be long overdue, especially after Iron Man 3 gave fans a taste by having Tony deploy his armor to encase Pepper for her own protection.
With the theory debunked, it would seem that Pepper WON'T be pursuing Tony off the planet. Granted, her exact plan after she left Earth's atmosphere was never clear in the theories. No 'Pepper to the rescue' means seeing Tony Stark drifting through space in the Avengers: Endgame trailer isn't much of a surprise. What remains a potential shocker is what Marvel and the Russo Brothers have cooked up to explain the creation and donning of Pepper's RESCUE Armor, or whatever version she was photographed wearing.
If the comics or movies can't shed light on that mystery, then we suppose the Pepper fans have a new question to answer with their wildest, most intriguing theories. In which case everybody wins... except Tony.
Marvel's Avengers: Untitled Prelude #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019