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Saturday, November 10, 2012 

Kieron Gillen doesn't seem to understand Tony Stark/Pepper Potts' relationship

USA Today spoke with the writer Kieron Gillen, who's been assigned to write Iron Man, and he says something ambiguous relating to Pepper Potts:
Stark also uses a low-tech way of disguising himself: shaving off his iconic mustache. The facial hair is back in issue 2, though, and his beard is an important theme in No. 7. (He implies that he knows a guy — Hank McCoy, aka the Beast — who has a hair-growth formula in case he needs it. "I guess the idea might just go wrong and he becomes blue and furry," Gillen jokes.)

Those fans of the Marvel movies may have to get used to a clean-shaven Tony Stark, but the fact that he's not together with Pepper Potts (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) in the comics may be more of a surprise. She still plays a significant role in Gillen's Iron Man, where one of the major themes of the book is how Tony relates to women.

"The Tony we have here is a guy who could never quite get together enough to be with somebody as amazing as Pepper is in a long-term way. That speaks to his character. That's a guy I'm interesting in following more."
I thought he almost did once, but I think it was established in the late 90s that after he and Pepper tried to rekindle an affair for a while, they concluded they just weren't made for each other and let it go. It wasn't just him who thought this, it was Pepper too.

But even more bewildering is why they're suggesting readers would be surprised that Pepper doesn't have a big role in today's stories - long before, Happy Hogan won her over and they married for a time (but later divorced), and even adopted children after difficulty conceiving while living in Colorado, during which time had little presence in Iron Man's life in the 1970s, when he led affairs with ladies like Bethany Cabe. If Pepper didn't have a big role in Tony's life for many years, why should it be surprising now? And with the way Marvel's staff has been handling IM since Avengers: Disassembled, it's actually good if she hasn't been there much, since when she has, they've been mishandling her and Happy Hogan: he was apparently killed in the 4th volume of Iron Man, at the time of Civil War, and a character death related to a story as bad as that is not something I would consider classic.

And since this is the era of "Marvel NOW", there's no chance Gillen's IM will compare in any way to the much better runs of decades past.

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