Secret Wars Turned Pepper Potts into Iron Man's Worst Nightmare
Despite the endless timelines in the Marvel Multiverse, many realities follow the same framework – including several key figures, heroes, and villains. But sometimes, even the slightest sabotage can turn into the most loyal enemies of allies.
Pepper Potts is usually one of the most reliable figures in Iron Man's class, no matter what the reality. But in a domain featured in Secret Wars, a version of the character becomes fully femme fatale and slays her way to a major victory over Tony Stark of that timeline.
Pepper pots have long been a part of the Marvel Universe, debuting all the way back in 1963 in Tales of Suspense #45 (by Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein, and Don Heck). Pepper was established as Tony Stark's loyal personal assistant, in a role similar to the portrayal of Gwyneth Paltrow's character in the Iron Man films.
In the MCU, Pepper quickly became Tony Stark's primary love interest—even before marrying him and having a daughter, Morgan Stark. In the comics, Pepper remained loyal to Tony but had no romantic relationship with him. Instead, she married Happy Hogan and, after his death, took command of the rescue.
But the variant of her who appeared in the story "Who Killed Tony Stark?" (by Frank Tieri and Richard Isanove) from Secret Wars Journal #3 was a good example of how deadly a ruthless version of the character could be.
The events of the story saw the multiverse reworked into a patchwork planet known as Battleworld. Each region of the globe was effectively its own reality, with variants of major characters to reflect that area's tone. This included the domain known as Old Town, which seemed to be similar to the world featured in the Marvel Noir series.
In this world, a variant of Wolverine operated as a private investigator, hired to look into the death of local industrialist Tony Stark. Informed of everything by Pepper Potts and led to believe it was this domain's Mandarin (a local crime boss) who killed Stark, Logan set out to confront the criminal.