The “Iron Man” comics inspired a new hero on the movie screen. Since the first movie came out, the subsequent releases of “Iron Man 2” and “Iron Man 3” have shown that the characters and plot are swiftly becoming a fan favorite. According to Forbes.com, “Iron Man 3” grossed $175.3 million on the opening weekend, which set a new record and showed that the movies are continuing to gain in popularity. The movie is set to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in September. Although the movies are popular, it is the evolution of Pepper Potts, portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow, that shows real depth and insight into the story.
The role of Pepper Potts has changed over the course of the movies. In the first film, Pepper Potts started out as an assistant. She primarily takes care of Tony Stark’s needs, wants and whims. Though it’s clear she’s clever, her most valuable trait is her patience for Tony’s unending antics and her willingness to be handed things intended for Tony.
Although her initial role was relatively small, the “Iron Man” series has developed and evolved to reveal a character with depth and intelligence. She has moved forward to a position that allows her equality.
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Evolving From a Complicated Situation
Fans of the comic books know that Pepper’s character is complex and layered. Throughout the comic-verse, she has taken on many roles, too many to address all at once in the first film. As her character evolves in the movie-verse, according to PaperDroids.com, Pepper Potts has taken on more of the complex character traits and roles from the comic-verse.
In the comic books, Potts was the employee and love interest as well as a super hero in her own right. In the first film, she is little more than an employee and flirtation. By the third “Iron Man” film, she is a genuine love interest and has stuck by Tony Stark throughout every challenge he has faced. She’s poised to share the spotlight in future films.
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In early films, Pepper could be relied upon for loyalty, service and gumption. Unfortunately, she was also a liability of sorts. Evil villains love nothing more than holding a loved one hostage and Pepper had no extraordinary means of saving or vindicating herself. Tony and his suits were the superheroes and the saviors. She was the damsel in distress.
Until Extremis, that is. In the midst of being held hostage, Potts was injected with Extremis, an experimental treatment that could have been deadly to her and those around her. It allowed her to thwart the villain and save the day, and with Tony’s genius corrections, it could create a superhero in her own right.
Image by Jorge Figueroa via Flickr
Watching the Change
The shift from the role of a personal assistant to an equal partner is shown throughout all of the “Iron Man” movies. If you have not yet watched the first two movies, then you can catch up via a combination of Direct TV, Redbox and Netflix to see the change in Pepper Potts. “Iron Man 3” is due out on DVD and Blu-Ray Sept. 24 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.
By showing that she has a backbone from the beginning of the series and then progressing to the change that is allowing her to act as an equal, the movies are giving Pepper Potts an important role. Her intelligence and her abilities are only starting to surface, but it is likely that her character will continue to show improvement.
“Iron Man 3” has added depth and complexity to the story of Tony Stark and Pepper Potts. The third movie is showing that strength can come from surprising places and even the most unexpected characters can evolve. We can only begin to guess at what a fourth installment might have in store.