Virginia Potts (Pepper)

Almost at the end of the catalogue of the upcoming Iron Man 3 characters seen in the trailer! This time, we’re speaking of the female lead of the three films of the Iron Man series, Virginia “Pepper” Potts, portrayed on the screen by Gwyneth Paltrow. In the movies, she starts as Tony Stark‘s personal secretary, is promoted to CEO of Stark Industries, and ends up becoming Stark’s girlfriend. In the comics, her story isn’t quite the same…

Virginia Potts, affectionately called “Pepper” because of her freckles, was a simple secretary in Stark International. Once, while transmitting some datas from her boss, she corrected an account mistake made by the company CEO, Tont Stark himself. This didn’t go undetected, and Stark, impressed by her skills, offered her the position of executive assistant. Stark’s impulsive choice prooved to be a right one, and Pepper displayed more than once her talent, arriving to the point that, when Stark didn’t take care of his company (because of other commitments due to his Iron Man identity or simply out of boredom), she secretly took her place and led the company herself. Despite the reckless and carefree attitude of her boss, Pepper became quite fond of him, and started to feel an interest far beyond the professional one. Unfortunately, Tony didn’t seem to be interested, while his friend, chauffer and bodyguard Happy Hogan seemed to be more than enough for them both. Pepper, on her side, wasn’t interested the least in Happy, and often discharged his attentions with sarcastic remarks…thus gaining the affection of Tony, always entertained by mean sense of humor. The triangle was quite exausting, and Pepper tried to come out of it by developing an affection for the new, mysterious employee of the company, the armored bodyguard Iron Man…without knowing that he actually was Tony Stark! Finally, Pepper came to reciprocate Happy’s feelings for her: the two fell in love with each other and eventually got married. The two of them decided to leave Stark International to found their own company on the Rocky Mountains, starting a new life together.

After moving to Cleveland, Pepper and Happy found out they couldn’t have children of their own, and decided to adopt (even if their children are mostly ignored in the major storylines…). When Obadiah Stane, one of Stark’s most vicious rivals, kidnapped her, Pepper, enraged, told Stark that she didn’t want him to be a part of her life anymore, and that she wanted to live in peace with her beloved Happy. That proved to be premature, since, not so much time later, she cheated on her husband with a former boyfriend of her, and their marriage collapsed. During their divorce, Iron Man (who she knew, at the time, to be Tony Stark) was given for dead after his battle with Onslaught (a nearly almighty being created by the fusion of Professor X‘s and Magneto‘s minds); when he came back from the dead, Pepper and Happy decided to come back to him and the three altogether founded a new company, the Stark Solutions. During their time working together, Pepper and Tony started something that could have been considered a hint of a romantic relationship, but the girl didn’t forget about the grief she had had to go through because of him, and kept her distance. Rather, she came back with Happy, and the two of them got married again. She also managed to conceive a child, but something awful clearly had to happen: Stark had entrusted Pepper with a special remote that could shut him down in case of emergency, and, obviously, his enemies wanted to put their hands on it. One of them arrived to kidnap Pepper (again!) and to torture her: she surrendered and gave him the remote, but she lost her baby in the process. This event led to another divorce from Happy, and to Stark’s neverending sense of guilt for putting her in such a danger.

Pepper, Tony and Happy had a lot of other adventures together, both good and bad ones. Pepper has always proved to be a cunning, intelligent and capable girl: she’s a trustworthy friend and a competent worker, and her sense of humor, her instincts and her business acumen rival that of Stark’s. She always tries to balance her life and feelings but, “surrounded” by men-in-pieces like Tony Stark and Happy Hogan, she’s not always able to do it. She’s, nevertheless, an invaluable presence in Stark’s life, his light beacon in times of storm.



  1. […] Stark. While working for Tony, he also met the love of his life: Stark’s personal secretary, Virginia “Pepper” Potts. This created quite an odd situation, since Pepper was more interested in Tony, who didn’t […]

  2. […] Roxxon Oil). Soon, Tony got bored of the CEO life, and, finding out that one of his secretaries, Virginia “Pepper” Potts, fixed an accounting mistake of his, he decided to promote her, made her his personal assistant and […]

  3. […] Pearce. Now, it seems that the movie version, who will put up some sort of triangle involving Pepper Potts, will differ largely from the comics’ one. Trust me, there is absolutely nothing fascinating […]

  4. […] of guards with his whips before finally finding Stark: he attacked him, trying to kill both him and Pepper Potts, who was on the scene, but Stark had built an emergency Iron Man suit using the machines he had […]

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