“What if” Series is a new column by TeeHunter’s creative authors. Here, we will turn movies and comics inside out, generating new stories by altering significant events. It’s for the hardcore fan who enjoys re-imagining the characters and worlds they love.
I know what you’re going to say right off the bat: But Pepper Potts did have a suit in the comics and called herself Rescue. Well for this change of history, I’m going to delve into the movies rather than the comics. In Iron Man 3, Tony Starks’ house was attacked by the Mandarin (or so we thought at the time). In order to protect Pepper and Maya, Tony sends the suit to Pepper. And though the technology seemed to overwhelm her at first, there was certainly a hint that she could handle the suit. And it was a great moment, wasn’t it?
So what if Tony Stark didn’t survive the attack? (If that really upsets you, we can say he’s in a long-term coma.) Who would take up the Iron Man mantle to stop the Mandarin (or later, Aldrich Killian)? Sure, the government’s got War Machine/Iron Patriot and James Rhodes would want to seek revenge for his friend. But there will still be the Iron Man suit that saved Pepper, and she would no doubt soon learn from J.A.R.V.I.S. about all those other suits hidden beneath Stark’s house.
Pepper would need some time to mourn the passing (or injuries) of Tony. But she would not sit for long knowing those who took the man she loved from her was still out there. She’d want to see justice served, not only for Tony, but for her friend, Happy Hogan, who was injured in an earlier Mandarin attack. It wouldn’t be too difficult for her to pick up the investigation where Tony left off, especially with the help of J.A.R.V.I.S.
That would lead her to Tennessee, as it unwittingly did Tony (but luckily Pepper wouldn’t have to deal with an obnoxious 10-year-old boy). And like Tony, as she begins to snoop, the Extremis filled baddies will try to ambush her. This will be Pepper’s first full-on fight with the suit. Her moves and reactions will be sloppy at first, but as the adrenaline kicks in, her passion for finding justice for Tony will override, and she outwit her attackers and kick their asses.
Pepper will continue the investigation and discover that Aldrich Killian is the man behind the Mandarin. Killian, meanwhile, feels he’s invincible after putting Tony Stark and Iron Man out of commission. He will proceed and succeed with his plan of stealing the Iron Patriot to attack Air Force One. James and Pepper team up to stop the attack. Pepper had some self-doubt and suggests James wears the suit. But having heard all she’s done so far, James assures Pepper that she’s earned the suit.
History will remain the same here. Though Pepper and James save the crew of Air Force One, Killian still gets away with the president. Killian will assume it’s James in the Iron Man suit and still remain confident that he will succeed in killing the vice-president on live television. Where Tony Stark needed an army of Iron Men suits to take on Killian, Pepper, fueled by revenge, will confront Killian. There will be a battle royale between Killian in the Iron Patriot suit and Pepper in the Iron Man suit. Even with his Extremis injection, Killian will be no match for Pepper. She will kick his explosive ass into oblivion.
After saving the vice-president’s life, Pepper Potts has secured herself as Tony Stark’s successor to Iron Man, and she’s happy to continue Tony’s legacy. The Avengers welcome her into the fold, and she joins them on the mission to retrieve Loki’s staff. But since Pepper does not carry as much baggage as Tony did, the Scarlet Witch would not be able to work on her fear to get her to push the Ultron agenda. Ultron would certainly find a way to come into being, but Pepper will help lead a much more united Avengers and they’d stop Ultron much quicker.
Without Stark’s ego, the Avengers would function much smoother. But, without Stark’s intelligence, mechanisms like those that could control The Hulk. And the team would end up causing more damage under Pepper. Pepper also would not be able to be the CEO of Stark Industries and Iron Man. Though she’d be up to the task more than any other person, she will have to delegate some of her business tasks. And without her closely monitoring the business, the company could be in danger of losing money.
And while all of this happens, the events that will be depicted in Civil War will come to a head. How would Pepper as Iron Man face those? What do you think?