Oh, and how could I forget commenting on one really important thing.
They unceremoniously ended her and Tony's relationship off-screen. They throw off the window a relationship that was built up throughout three films (Pepper also appeared in the first Avengers, but nothing relevant happened between her and Tony). And they're the same guys who said "We believe things that are important and complex for a character to go through should be seen on camera." (source
) In the audio-commentary of the movie, they point out that "Tony would have to be off-balance. And the way that we thought we could make him off-balance was by pulling things out of his life, making him emotionally vulnerable… Really emotionally vulnerable. So, Pepper is out of his life. It clearly is an issue for him, as you can see, by Robert’s performance here."
So, Pepper and Tony's relationship ending is important? Check. Is it seen on camera? Not at all.
The movie also acknowleged IM3
's ending and cleared up a little bit the transition between that movie and AoU
, explicitly mentioning that it was Hydra's resurgence what made Tony return to action. But this scene, combined with the break up, nullifies the ending of IM3
. The movie ended with Tony taking a break from superheroics to focus on his relationship with Pepper, and now you have him mention that in the end that didn't matter?
The ending of Iron Man 3
didn't even directly point out that Tony was abandoning superheroics. He mentions Pepper he'd reduce
his "distractions" (not get rid of them), picks up the screwdriver from the wreckage (indicating he was going to start again), and ends the movie telling the audiences (or Banner, actually) that he was Iron Man whether he had his suit or not.
I always felt that Tony's subsequent appearances could be worked around that. After all, the only thing that Tony needed to stop doing was focusing solely on obsessively building suits. Between IM3
and the beginning of AoU
, Tony only got one new suit, which was basically to the MK 42 what the MK III is to MK II (an upgrade, a finished version, not even an entirely new suit from scratch). He also created the Hulkbuster, which was necessary and not created out of obsessive panic like the Iron Legion armors. There was also MK 45, but we know little of it. Still, only three suits, which was the average of suits between movies until the PTSD kicked in, so it didn't mean that Tony was neglecting his promise. We also saw him at the victory party, socializing instead of delving his head into cables and metal scrap.