Dear anon. Re: Tony Stark is nothing without Pepper.
In the words of the incomparable Jules Winnfield “allow me to retort “.
(original anon post here)
Why do I hate Iron Man 3?
There are too many reasons to mention. In a nutshell: The script/character improbability/continuity/destruction of the suits/the ridiculous ‘twist’/directorial style/the removal of the arc reactor.
"Pepper fixes him like she does everything in his life"
I received so many messages and comments on how Tony ‘dominates’ Pepper’s life. How she does ‘everything’ for him. How he doesn’t ‘appreciate’ her. That she has ‘no life of her own because of him’. Honestly, the woman is a grown-up. She’s apparently smart enough to helm a company that leads the world so I’m fairly sure that if she feels Tony is ruining her life she could make a clean break and leave the man. Instead, she decides. “Hey, this man that I’ve known for some many years now, this man that I am with daily, that I know full and well what kind of man he is going into this relationship? I’m honestly sick of his ‘distractions’ and his ‘machines’ and his not being there for me. I’m going to bitch and complain at him until he makes me his first priority. Even though he was explicitly clear that the suit and the mission are paramount in his life.” Fair enough, her emotions, her call. However, to take on this man, this man who is so very obviously complex and unique, a man who she knows has deep seated issues with trust and giving his love, and for very good reasons, and then to try and change him and make him feel there is something fundamentally wrong with him at a time when he is emotionally falling apart is wrong. Just wrong.
People hold these two up as a guiding light of relationships but all I see is toxicity. In the original Iron Man, they were cute and there was the start of a chemistry. Pepper resembled Pepper from the comics. In Iron Man 2 there isn’t even a shadow of the strong and capable woman Pepper is. She is shrill and manipulative. Her lines become throw away and barbed “Not everyone runs on batteries, Tony”? When Tony, the man whom she knows has a difficult time expressing himself intimately, is so obviously reaching out to her? It’s cold and difficult to watch. By IM3, Pepper is a caricature. I took a ration of shit over the post I made commenting that her walking out on him during his panic attack was wrong. A ton of shit. But I stand by it. I get that some people felt she felt unsafe and needed to remove herself from him. However, her man is in pain, he asks her, all but begs her not to leave, and I do understand that she was shaken, that she may have needed to put a room between them but to throw ”tinker with that” at him as she left? Cold beyond words.
Tony is a mess you say? He has issues? Let’s just examine those ‘issues’ shall we.
Anthony Stark is a genius. Seriously, the man is brilliant. And with that brilliance comes all it’s attendant issues. We’re not just talking ‘good grades’ smart here. He is the second smartest man in the world. Like off the chart brilliant. He doesn’t see the world as others do. He views, processes and follows through differently. Not because he’s a ’dick’ or ‘immature’, but because his brain is programmed that way. This man was taken from his home, from his admittedly small family, but family none the less and held prisoner for 3 months. During which he was given open heart surgery with no anesthetic. They physically tied him down and cut into him, broke apart his rib cage and rearrange his chest. All while he was awake. Then they tortured him. Yeah, he came out of that cave with issues all right. Yet this ‘immature man’ took that incident and built his way out. No tools. No computers. Just his hands and his mind. Then he gets home and the man he sees as his father, the man whose shoulder he cried on at his parent’s funeral, the man he who looked up to and loved, reaches into his chest and tries to kill him. Then he almost dies from heavy metal poisoning and THEN to top it all off, he flies a nuke into space. Let’s hear it again for Tony’s “self destructive issues’ shall we.
“His company would be nothing without her.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing. Tony Stark was left a company by his father that was worth millions. He took that company (at the age of twenty-one, a scant few years after the death of both his parents left him an orphan, barely out of his teens) and made it profitable to the tune of billions. That sprawling Malibu mansion? Tony designed, built and paid for it. All those cars? Tony paid for. The office complexes you see in the movie? Tony. Not Pepper. All of this was done years before she even entered the picture as his PA. He loses everything in 616 and rebuilds. Tony does, not Pepper. Tony is the intelligence, the resource and the driving force behind both Stark Industries and Stark Resilient. Pepper may ‘run’ his company, but every design, every decision, every plan goes over Tony’s desk. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Pepper may schedule meetings for him but it is Tony that goes in there and owns the room. Tony was born for this, groomed for this. Tony is the one who learned to navigate the corporate world and all it’s sharks at a very young age. Learned it, breathed it and lived it until the language of business is his native tongue. It is in his blood.
Tony loves Pepper but he can and will survive without her. Don’t underestimate him. It takes more than a suit of armor to be Iron Man. It takes courage, intelligence, commitment and brute strength. No matter what you take from him, Tony will always come back. Toss him to the curb and he will get back up and beat the curb down. Help is always appreciated but he will do it alone if he has to. His company. His tech. His life. Pepper is his CEO not the savior of his world. He has been trodden down over and over, from the abuse he suffered at his father’s hand, through Stane’s own abuse and betrayal. Through kidnappings and beatings, Through stolen tech and the destruction of his family, his life and his company and it is Tony alone who has pulled it all back together.