By: Kelly Sue DeConnick (writer), Andrea Mutti (art), Jose Villarrubia (art) & Clayton Cowles (letters)

The Story: Pepper Potts gets to play around in her Rescue armor and has a nice, long chat with her dead husband.

What’s Good: This is a nice little story that hits on a lot of the high-notes of what makes Pepper Potts an important character in world of Iron Man.  If I had to think of two words to describe Pepper, it would be “helper” and “competent”.  That really comes across in this issue as we see her flashing back to saving a bunch of folks from a burning building in her newer Rescue armor.

Of course, Pepper also has a lot of self-doubt and kind of idolizes Tony Stark, so she is beating herself up over not being able to finish the rescue job (which Tony would have pulled off) and this doubt manifests itself by seeing her dead husband: Happy Hogan.  This whole sequence is really nicely written.

It is also nice to see that there is not a Marvel-wide mandate that Pepper must be rendered using over-the-top photo-realism.  Here she is just drawn, which is something we haven’t seen in years.

What’s Not So Good: Two quick things…  One is that this was a surprisingly dull story for a one-shot featuring a character who is getting some major screen time in Iron Man 2.  There isn’t anything in here that makes me think that they could try a Pepper Potts ongoing series.  I’m not asking for that, mind you, but shouldn’t that be the goal for every one-shot: wanting people to say, “This might be a really good series!”

The other is that with all the other Iron Man titles catering to the Iron Man 2 movie crowd, this is totally not.  Maybe this doesn’t belong in the “what’s not so good”, but it took me a little aback.  I can just imagine some movie fan being confused that she and Happy were married, that Happy is dead and that she has armor.

Conclusion: Not a bad comic at all.  It is actually quite good, but I think there was an opportunity to do more.

Grade: C

– Dean Stell