A ten-year cinematic masterpiece ended this month under the title Avengers: Endgame. The twenty-one films leading up to this retribution following Thanos' all-mighty snap introduced audiences to a bevy of characters, some of which we will never see again in the MCU. And while Phase 4 will bring out the next wave of characters on Marvel's silver-screen docket, audiences are still left with some unanswered questions.
Audiences still don't know if or when Pepper Potts, for instance, will make a resurgence in the next leg of Marvel's cinematic venture. Endgame finally suited Pepper up in her infamous Rescue armor. This bit of comic book history had not even been hinted at before Gwyneth Paltrow teased audiences with her post on Instagram. The iconic moment in which we get to witness Pepper in her own stark Industry armor gives room for fans to speculate whether or not we will be seeing the armor again for future cameos.
That being said, the delivery of the Rescue armor became yet another fan service without exploiting much detail about where this armor even came from. Here are the facts we know about Pepper's armor that they don’t cover in Endgame.
While it's no secret that the MCU remains incongruous with its endless reams of comic book literature, it helps set the stage for how the writers build up character relevance in their own universe. The origins of Pepper's suit could never be fully discussed in either an Avengers or an Iron Man installment simply because it happened after the events of Civil War.
In the comics, Pepper’s suit was created by Tony around the time he makes Pepper the new CEO of Stark Industries (in the comics, this was after the events of Civil War). It’s during this time that Pepper discovers a secret room in Tony's office. In it is the ostentatious suit of armor that Tony had made specifically for her.
9 Pepper’s Arc Reactor
In Iron Man 3, Pepper Potts is injected with the Extremis Virus, which incidentally leaves her with superhero-like abilities. This is the first time we see Pepper wield Iron Man equipment and she seems more than capable of handling Stark Industry weaponry.
However, in the comics, Pepper comes across her powers in a completely different way. Because of the events that occurred during the Invincible Iron Man, Pepper was left with bits of shrapnel in her body. Not unlike Tony’s solution to his own shrapnel invasion, he created a bionic arc reactor to steer the pieces away from Pepper’s heart. It’s this arc reactor that powers Pepper’s suit, though we can speculate that it's her Extremis powers and general Stark tech that power the Rescue suit in the MCU.
8 The Name RESCUE
Tony Stark labeled Pepper’s hidden armor under the discreet name Iron Man Armor MK 1616. Funnily enough, the numbers translate to the letters “PP” to represent her initials, Pepper Potts.
The suit was renamed as Rescue by Pepper herself. She chose the codename after coming to rescue Tony, Black Widow, and Maria hill from Norman Osborn (yes, the bad guy in Spider-Man) during the World's Most Wanted Storyline comic in 2009. It was during this timeline that Pepper first donned the suit in efforts to save her friends after the Osborn took over S.H.I.E.L.D.
7 Search and Rescue Only
Tony originally designed Pepper’s suit with technologies for search and rescue missions only. This meant that the suit did not have offensive weapons and was instead equipped with defensive protections. This hindered Pepper’s initial use of the suit.
Not only did the suit’s thrusters lack a heat generator, but the suit was depleted of any type of offensive targeting that would aid Pepper should she be met with an attack. Obviously, this ideal was overthrown for the purposes of Endgame as we clearly see Pepper’s Rescue suit fight the likes of Thanos with graceful dexterity.
Although J.A.R.V.I.S was discontinued in the MCU (or rather refashioned into Vision), in the comics, the Rescue suit was also compatible with this Stark technology.
The AI tech equips the suit with communication and recording capabilities, as well as sleep mode. Pepper eventually destroys J.A.R.V.I.S after a malfunction that leads him to go rogue and kidnap her while in the suit.
We don’t quite know the full range of capabilities that Pepper’s Rescue suit possesses in the MCU. In the comics, her suit has some features that align with her R.T. mode (arc reactor) such as solar reserves and biological enhancements such as better hearing and even levitation.
The suit also hosts portable electromagnetic superfield generators, has propelled speed and strength and has magnetic field manipulation. The armor’s ability to mold these charged areas enable Pepper to contract powerful force fields. The suit can also help her support the weight of an entire jet plane. With all of its bells and whistles, the Rescue suit is estimated to be worth $4 billion, according to H.A.M.M.E.R Industries.
4 Rescue Armor II and III
Pepper went through three versions of the suit before settling on its original design. It was when wearing Rescue Armor II that she discovered that its defensive factors could be used on the offense.
Its magnetic fields could be used to disrupt electronics and shockwaves could be conceived by reconfiguring her force fields. Rescue Armor III came equipped with finger lasers and repulsor blasts (or sonic attacks) which came out of the suit’s palms.
3 Pepper’s Extremis Powers
In the comics, Pepper’s superhuman powers come from her arc reactor. She has the ability to manipulate electromagnetic fields, self-corrective properties, and even a bit of levitation. We know that in the MCU, this storyline is hijacked and rerouted by a new arc formulated in Iron Man 3 when Pepper is injected with the Extremis serum.
Audiences only get a taste of this Pepper before she’s yet again put on the back burner and we really never know what Tony does to correct this seemingly paramount issue.
2 MCU Story
Pepper’s story in the MCU has been surprisingly tight-lipped since her character catalyst in Iron Man 3. In Endgame, Tony jokes with their daughter, Morgan, about the new suit he made for Pepper and her disinterest in it.
Patrons of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe don’t get much in the way of answers about when this suit was made or what happened after Pepper was exposed to the Extremis serum. Pedantic fans can surmise that Pepper’s Extremis powers are enforced, rather than suppressed, under her Rescue armor. And while Endgame simultaneously gives Pepper a peaceful out, there is still plenty of storylines that could call for a Rescue cameo.
1 Iron Man: Armored Adventures
The purple Rescue color scheme is reminiscent (or perhaps directly derived from) Iron Man: Armored Adventures. This animated series premiered on Nicktoons in 2009 and is the most viewers can currently hope to see of the Rescue suit.
It seems that the MCU version took in the design from this series, rather than sticking to the comics red and gold hues. In Armored Adventures, Pepper’s Rescue armor is decked in purple and silver chroma, exactly as we see it in Avengers: Endgame.