Iron Man’s creation of the Rescue armor for his wife, Pepper Potts, is an indication that Tony Stark always knew that he would eventually die.
The existence of the Rescue armor is an indication that Iron Man knew that would eventually die. Avengers: Endgame subtly debuted the purple suit that Pepper Potts donned in the comics when she, too, became a superhero. In the MCU, Gwyneth Paltrow sported it as she joined the rest of the Avengers during the final fight against Thanos and his minions. But even before that, the movie already revealed its headpiece, hinting that sooner or later, it would be shown in action.
As with all variations of the Iron Man armor in the MCU, the Rescue suit was also created by Tony Stark. In Endgame, it was revealed that it’s an anniversary gift to his wife that somehow, Morgan, found lying around in their garage. This was during the five-year gap between Thanos’ decimation and the time heist which the genius, billionaire spent living a quiet life with his wife and daughter. Tony jokingly complained that Pepper never wore the armor despite it being a present, but considering this period in the MCU, there’s really no reason for her to don it. In case anything happened, her husband can simply suit back up as Iron Man to protect their family.
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In hindsight, this makes Tony’s decision to gift Pepper with her own Iron Man armor all the more bizarre. While she’d been in the MCU since the beginning and had been more than capable of fending for herself, she’s not a superhero; she also never expressed any intention to wear a suit as Rhodey did in the first Iron Man film. Despite being constantly put in harm’s way given her association to the Avenger and even at the height of Tony’s fear of Thanos, he never thought of providing her with any kind of weapon, let alone a full suit So, why did Tony create the Rescue armor for Pepper? It’s because, ultimately, he knew that he was going to die, and he wanted to make sure that his family was equipped to protect themselves when it happened. Iron Man lived a mostly carefree life in his younger days, but throughout the MCU, Tony was confronted with his mortality. That, once again, happened at the beginning of Endgame, when he didn’t think that there’s any way for him to come back home after his trip to Titan.
Even when Thanos won in Avengers: Infinity War and his worst nightmare was done, there’s still a nagging feeling inside of him that presumed that, eventually, he won’t be around to protect the people he loved. So although he checked out from his role as an active member of the Avengers after failing to protect Earth from its biggest threat, he channeled his genius and effort into making sure that his pocket of the world was safe; that meant Pepper and Morgan Stark. His daughter was far too young to understand this, but gifting his wife a powerful suit gave him reassurance that in the event that something happened to him, she has the tools to protect their family. If anything, perhaps Tony has gotten more paralyzed about the idea of anything happening to them, especially as he finally experienced what it was to have the normal family life he longed to have.
Overall, despite Tony’s initial skepticism to join the time heist, he, somehow, always knew that there would be a time when he’d have to suit back up, regardless if that meant having to face Thanos again or any other threat. Pepper knew this too; she admitted that convincing Iron Man to fully retire was one of the few failures of her life. Maybe, she even had an idea of why her husband created the Rescue suit in the first place, and she’s been secretly learning how to operate it. Otherwise, how would she be able to easily maneuver it during the final battle in Endgame?
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