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The Pepper Storyline That Marvel Fans Thought Was Totally Useless

With 27 feature films and numerous streaming series under its belt, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has probably brought more original characters to the multiplex and beyond than any franchise in history. And yes, with new film and streaming projects in the works, and the Multiverse officially open, even more fresh faces are coming to the MCU in the very near future.

Of course, with so many characters in the mix, it's safe to assume not all of them are universally revered amongst Marvel die-hards. One of the more oddly and unexpectedly divisive presences in the MCU to date might be that of Pepper Potts (via Cheat Sheet), who was portrayed by Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow in three "Iron Man" films, three "Avengers" flicks, and one "Spider-Man" movie to boot. Though she was too often relegated to the role of Tony's plucky companion, Pepper still played a significant part in the overarching "Infinity Saga" action, even suiting up to battle Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his faction in "Avengers: Endgame."

Still, even the pro-Pepper people out there might have to admit that not all of her MCU storylines entirely panned out. According to fans, one in particular was far more useless than the others. Here's which one.

Marvel fans didn't dig Pepper's Extremis storyline in Iron Man 3

That storyline came in 2013's "Iron Man 3," which Marvel fans continue to have issues with on the whole (via CinemaBlend). And a thread on Reddit asking which MCU storyline was the most pointless makes it clear that a big part of the frustration with "Iron Man 3" stems from Pepper's narrative arc in the film. Specifically, fans have issues with the third-act twist that finds Pepper gaining superpowers via a shot of Extremis.

Surprisingly, it wasn't so much powered Pepper that fans took issue with but the fact that the storyline never went anywhere, with u/ZzzSleep specifically noting, "Pepper getting infected with extremis. Literally nothing came of that other than her doing some moves at the end of the movie, then bam, she's cured." Redditor u/AlphaBulblax seconded the complaint, claiming that twist could've set up a more interesting arc for Pepper down the road: "I don't even know why they 'cured' her. Clearly her body accepted Extremis and she probably wouldn't have needed the Rescue suit in 'Endgame' if they just let her keep it."

Redditor u/hilarioushandle was clearly on the same page, quipping, "Yeah I thought that was a cool direction to take the character... and then 5 mins later it's gone! LOL." As for u/Scorpionwins23, who posted, "The extremis storyline was the most mutilated adaption from any of the comics, Pepper getting infected was the final insult," the way "Iron Man 3" incorporated the Extremis plotline only exacerbated matters. And as for u/BBQ-Batman, they clearly believe the Pepper storyline is far from the only issue with "Iron Man 3," stating in no uncertain terms, "That whole movie was a wasted opportunity imo." And no, they were not the only Redditor offering that particular opinion.