The Iron Man Saga: The Evolution of Pepper Potts

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She started out as the girl Tony Stark called on to take out the trash, but Pepper Potts has grown into one of the driving forces behind the “Iron Man” movie franchise. In the first installment, which made more than $98 million in its opening weekend, Gwyneth Paltrow played the character as strong, but still a little unsure of herself. IronmanNow, “Iron Man 3″ proves there is real vigor in this copper-haired beauty as she puts on the big suit for herself. The transformation from secretary to super power has fans wondering what’s next for Tony Stark’s love.

Introducing Pepper Potts

When moviegoers got their first glimpse of Pepper, she seemed like more than just an assistant, but was still somewhat muted. There was clear romantic tension in the air, but Stark was a little too “me” oriented for it to be anything more than a spark. Tony was the puppet master behind the fight scenes with Obadiah and Potts was the damsel in distress. It was the typical Marvel super hero relationship.

In the second movie, you see a change of attitude in Pepper. Stark puts her in charge of the company so he can play with the suit — and take charge she does. In “Iron Man 2,” Pepper Potts is more than just a beautiful trophy on the arm of the handsome hero. The romance shifts between the two characters, as well. Tony is the one crushing, but Potts is too wise to trust him completely.

An Avenger Finds Love

“The Avengers” brings Tony and Pepper back to the silver screen, but this time as partners. The relationship has moved past the flirting stage of the first movie and the longing of the second to become the foundation of Stark’s life. Potts has blossomed into a take-charge woman able to run a billion dollar corporation and tame her man at the same time.

A Super Heroine is Born in Iron Man 3

Some might argue that there was always a heroine in Pepper Potts, but it takes on physical form in Iron Man 3. In one of the epic scenes of this third installment, Potts ends up inside the Iron Man suit to save the damsel in distress — a conflicted scientist named Maya Hansen.

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This gender growth spurt is unheard of in the Marvel universe. Look at Thor’s girl Jane Foster. She is able to out-think everyone, but can she pick up the big hammer? I don’t think so. Potts has grown from the beautiful assistant worried about body odor to someone who truly is Stark’s equal.

In “Iron Man 3,” Pepper Potts and Tony do a minor role reversal. Stark is suffering after his brush with death in “The Avengers,” so Potts dons the suit to save the day — not once, but twice. How far will the minds behind “Iron Man” take it? It is hard to say, but if you are behind on the Pepper Potts and Tony Stark saga, now is a good time to catch up. You might be able to see the first two features on cable if you get Direct TV or buy the DVD’s.

“Iron Man 3″ scored the second biggest opening of all time with a whopping 175.3 million dollars; it is unlikely we have seen the last of Pepper Potts. Many are speculating that Rescue, Potts’ name while in the suit, may be the next franchise for Marvel Studios. Gwyneth Paltrow says if the powers-that-be call, she’s ready to fly.

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