- "Not everybody likes to play the big villain, kid. I'm a thief. I'm not threatening your precious city, just looking out for number one."
- ―Red X[src]
Red X is an anti-hero and a former "villain identity" employed by Robin. Although he never appeared in the Mainstream DCU, he was Robin's rival and archenemy in the Teen Titans TV series, and made reappearances in the Titans Go! comic based on the series.
Robin (Dick Grayson)
Red X was originally a villainous cover identity Robin had conceived for an attempt to get closer to Slade. Mystified by the enigma the shady villain presented, Robin approached Professor Chang for the necessary items - particularly Xenothium for a power source - to create the Red X suit, and posing as a superpowered master thief, Robin stole several computer chips Slade was after and offered them with a proposition to enter a partnership.
However, Robin's haste in trying to get too close exposed his identity to Slade, and in fear that if he told his teammates about his plans, they wouldn't play their parts convincingly, he chose not to tell them. But the plan went awry; Slade revealed his knowledge of Robin's identity, and while Robin managed to retrieve the chips, Slade managed to elude him yet again. Robin was back at square one, with one additional step backwards: he had lost the trust of his friends.
Since the Xenothium power core could not be disposed safely, Robin stored the suit inside a vault in Titans Tower, never to be used again.
The New Red X
Some time later, however, the suit came into the possession of an unknown culprit who intended to use it for his own financial gain. Because the Xenothium supply in the suit's power belt was nearly exhausted, Red X stole a scanner which could locate the substance. Not knowing where to look for him, Robin coerced Professor Chang into revealing the most likely location where Red X could get his hands on more Xenothium: a highly secured tech company at the city's south end. Red X managed to penetrate the facility, with the Teen Titans in pursuit - but Professor Chang's henchmen were following them; Chang intended to swipe the Xenothium for his own to power a gigantic disintegrator cannon of his own construction. In order to ensure no interference from Robin, he captured the other Titans and held them hostage.
Robin confronted Red X about his self-serving attitudes, while Red X kept taunting Robin about the one mistake which helped create him. Unimpressed and willing to make amends, Robin went after Chang himself, but almost ended up his victim as well. At the last moment, Red X saved Robin from certain death and aided him in freeing his teammates and bringing down Chang. When the Titans intended to do the same with him, he escaped by detonating a tube of Xenothium at their feet, though he had to leave his power belt in Robin's hands.
Later on, Red X was seen as a recruit among the ranks of the Brotherhood of Evil. With his power belt replaced, he participated in a race initiated by Ding Dong Daddy for Robin's most prized possession, in order to sell it to the highest bidder. A bomb dropped by Daddy blew him off the road, but he was saved by Robin at the last instant. Because of this, and because he realized how desperate Robin was, Red X attacked the other villains participating in the race, thoroughly disabling their vehicles. His last target was a bus driven by Raven and Starfire, from which he withheld; he told the two girls "Tell Robin we're even ... for now", and disappeared.
Red X appeared briefly in the final confrontation with the Brotherhood, before changing sides to aid the Titans to serve his own needs, and later disappeared afterward, implying he quit both teams. His current whereabouts and activities are unknown.
- "Robin: I thought you didn't like playing the hero!
Red X: Doesn't mean I don't know how."
- ―Red X and Robin
Red X's personality is the one major difference between him and Robin. While Robin was Red X, he was even more serious than normal and kept his goal of capturing Slade as his top priority. The new X, however, is a thief who is "just looking out for number one", stealing purely for the monetary gain. This Red X is revealed to be far less serious, finding his battle with the Titans amusing and being more concerned with messing with them than getting what he'd come to steal. Red X seems to have an attraction to Starfire, as he had tried flirting with her in the episode X. Although she rejects him, this factor proves that Red X and Robin both share similar tastes when it comes to girls.
On the other hand, Red X is more of an anti-hero than a villain, and while he considers Robin a personal rival, he also appears to (grudgingly) respect him enough to aid him in times of need. In his initial appearance he ends up helping Robin against Professor Chang and freeing the rest of the Titans, and later, in "Revved Up", he enters the race for Robin's personal secret, but after Robin saves his life, he repays the favor by taking out the other villains participating in the race and disappears right afterward. He has since become one of the most popular characters to have appeared on the series.
Powers and abilities
- "I created Red X. Every System, every weapon."
Physically, Red X is an accomplished acrobat and martial arts fighter on par with Robin. In fact, their combat techniques are quite similar.
Red X's powers derive from his suit's belt. The belt relies on power from a (possibly artificial) element called Xenothium. The suit is also fitted with an invisibility or cloaking device, and a teleportation device. The palms of his gloves can also form x-shaped (possibly nano-moleculary created) manifestations which can act as shuriken, wrist-mounted blades, restraints (by constriction or adhesion), timed explosives, instant openings, or any other conceivable function (see Gallery, below, for known effects). He's also quite the mechanic having built himself a motorcycle.
- Xenothium powered utility belt
- X-shaped shurikens
- X-Wrist Blade
- Adhesive Restraint
- Constrictive Restraint
- Electric X
- Explosive X
- Skull Cycle
- "Face it, Red X could be anyone. Anyone smart enough to find the suit, and dumb enough to take it for a joyride."
Many fans of the series believe Red X's identity to be Jason Todd, who served as Robin after Dick Grayson, the current Robin in the series, left Batman and other fan suspected Stephanie Brown as Spoiler and possibly Donna Troy as Wonder Girl is Red X too. In the episode "X", a humorous reference to this possibility is made through a theory table set by Beast Boy about the identity of the new Red X, which includes Todd as a candidate. However, so far the true identity of the second Red X remains officially undisclosed.
Robin and Red X share a mutual respect/despise relationship. Despite their difference in morality, they find to be very much alike; perhaps one reason why Red X finds himself supporting Robin in the end. Their dislike mainly stems from the following factors: Robin seeing the baleful invention he made used for villainy, Red X seeing Robin as the moral model he does not consider himself to be, but apparently secretly longs to be. Red X's voice also sounds like Robin.