In Avengers: Endgame, the sight of Pepper jars fly in combat while wearing your own Iron Man costume has garnered massive public applause – but many have yet to realize the massive changes Marvel has made to the armor from the comics. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has certainly seen a lot of changes from the source material over the years (the most recent being the Mandarin from Shang-Chi to the character of Wenwu in the movie), and some are more drastic than others. But in the original comics, the costume – dubbed Rescue – had one major restriction.
In the MCU, writers have continually teased Pepper’s rescue suit, especially in Iron Man 3. The “Prodigal Son” armor, partially inspired by the armor seen in the years 2006 Extremes, was led by Iron Man to surround Pepper during Tony’s Malibu mansion collapse. But Pepper didn’t get his full costume until the final battle in Avengers: Endgame, and while the suit demonstrated several offensive weapons and abilities, the armor in the comics was pretty tight – by design.
Pepper would find the Rescue Armor Model 1 in The Invincible Iron Man # 10, but wouldn’t put on the costume until two issues later. She swings into action as an earthquake nearly devastates a school, and her quick wit saves the day. The entire suit has been designed from the ground up to save lives, no to take them; While he has the speed, strength, and flight abilities like most other Iron Man armor, Pepper observes. “There isn’t a single weapon anywhere on this costume.” Each element is designed to protect and defend; the thrust does not even generate heat.
Although the costume has no weapons, it is by no means weak; Pepper intercepts a crashing plane and manages to bring it to safety using his repulsor field generators in the same trouble. Pepper would not wear a suit with weapons before donning the Model 5 Rescue Armor in Rescue 2020 # 1, Pepper’s limited series will debut in 2020. While the suit is still focused on defenses, his repellents could be used as weapons. The blue and silver suit was clearly inspired by the armor worn by actor Gwyneth Paltrow in Avengers: Endgame – but in the movie, Pepper clearly had no reluctance to use weapons during the final battle. With the fate of the universe (and their daughter) at stake in the film, Pepper needed all the offensive firepower she could get.
Lovers of comics rarely have the opportunity to participate in the battles of loved ones, even in the modern era of comics. The Rescue armor is a new addition to the Iron Man mythos, but certainly a welcome one. Pepper jars remains a major player in Iron Man books and hopefully will continue to use the Rescue armor for years to come.