Public Domain Super Heroes
Red Hot Roach

Real Name

Joe Gastrell

First Appearance


Original Publisher


Created By

Thomas F. Johnson


Red Hot Roach was a humble pizza driver in a coastal US city similar to (but most definitely not) pre-gentrification New York, until he was abducted by the facist/terrorist organization known as The Felcher Group to use as thone of their monstrous soldiers.

They took him, surgically mutilated him to prepare his body, and injected him with a cocktail of nanomachines; microorganisms; and the mysterious fluid of the late (?) Doctor West’s tissue-culture, but thanks to a mysterious double-agent within the organization; he escaped before they could put into motion the “blooming” process that would give him a monstrous body; or the brainwashing process done after that.

Now he fights the organization that created him; to stop their evil goal of solidifying the total facist-corporate-governmental conrol over the human race, though their conspiracy goes far and deep; from the towers of corporate power to the deep roots of the US government and beyond, with an army of monsters lead by a wicked assortment of Generals Of The Millenium including COTomb; President Nuke; Hellfire Heirophant; The Marshall McBluehand Show; Think Tank; Thunderdome Rand; Tech Spectre; Contaminous Rex; all lead by the strange cube-masked man(?) known as PRINCIPLE.


  • Exuberant, sweet and friendly; but awkward and prone to stumble over his words.
  • Well-liked by his friends but less-cool than he wishes he was.
  • Also has a theatrical flair to his actions as Red; given he wanted to go to school to become an actor before circumstances got in the way and lead him to his pizza job; and he’s the sort of person who’d enter a room via defenestration when the door was right there or would blast Queen/Jim Steinman out of the speakers of his motorcycle when riding into battle.
  • He’s not only an excellent driver; but also incredibly good with machines and technical work, which he used before his transmogrification to do work on the side and afterwards he used to make his motorcycle and suit with “stolen” Felcher technology.


Superior strength; resilience and healing, lightning-quick reflexes; which he uses to execute a lot of his “special attacks” which depend on rapid-fire movement; most notably a flurry of kicks-and-punches he calls the “Red Hot Shuffle”. He also has the ability to summon powerful plasma flames from his body; the color(s) of them depending on his mood or the way he focuses his will and with different colors having different unusual properties.

His costume is also incredibly resilient; due to being built from a modified Felcher “containment suit” meant to keep him trapped when he was “incubating” from his surgery. His shield is made from a piece of the assembly that the suit was meant to keep him attached to; and is not only nearly invulnerable; but also able to channel Red’s flames. He also has a customized motorcycle called the Kiss Kicker that can run on near any power source, and is tricked out with all the weapons he could put on it; along with a set of speakers to use to blast music while running into battle; both to intimidate his enemies and to appease his own hamminess.

When he is filled with rage, cross-shaped wounds open across his eyes, lips, around his forehead like a crown of thorns; and in the places of the stigmata. He also starts sweating profusely and emitting steam from his skin. This physical phenomenon lends proof to the possibility that he can induce the “blooming” state of the other Felcher monsters on himself for a short time through sheer willpower and focus; though whether he pursues this ability in himself is unknown.


  • According to the creator, "The character was based off an American cockroach for the reason that roaches are an insect that embody the best qualities of America for their down-to-Earth nature, scrappy underdog-ness, connection to a sense of place, and their sheer willingness to survive."
    • He continues, "Because I am bad at drawing, I feel I must clarify somethings about this costume. The mask is meant to evoke the shape of an American roach head. The things on his back are not wings, but rather my crappy attempt at showing off his “cape” which lies down like an American cockroach’s wings when it’s not billowing in the breeze."
  • This character is completely free for anyone to use as long as the creator; Thomas F. Johnson; is credited and it is clearly stated that this character is indeed open-source! Also, if you make any legacy/spin-off-type heroes, they must be open-source too.

See Also