Atomic Red (real name Thomas "Tom" Halliwell) is a mutant hero with the ability to wield and control heat and fire. After a trip to the realm of the fae, he acquired a pair of cursed pistols, which have since been reforged and named "Nox" and "Diem" (Night and Day). Tom continues to use them as part of his adventuring arsenal.
Tom's twin sister Zooey (formerly known as "Atomic Blue" now using the codename "Skadi Blue") is a prominent anti-hero/villain, and often at odds with Tom's team, the Ultimate Guardians
Tom and his twin sister Zooey first manifested their metahuman abilities at a very young age. Although the exact details are unknown, the twins' childhood home was destroyed by a fire created by Tom at the age of six. He still had not developed a resistance to his own abilities and his entire body was left scarred and disfigured. Although it is unclear whether the twins' birth parents survived the fire or not, they were nevertheless taken to a facility for dangerous metahuman children on a remote island in the pacific. They knew the facility only as the "Orphanage".
It was there that the twins, as well as countless other children, were subjected to a series of experiments and abuse all in service of a initiative called "Project 77". One scientist, Gregory Halliwell, took a special interest in the twins and become something of a father to them. Even at that young age, both Tom and Zooey already displayed diverging personality traits. Tom was withdrawn, soft spoken, but with a selfless heart...and a short temper. Zooey, however was often cold and calculating, prone to methodical retaliation against anyone that wronged her or her brother.
Shortly after the twins' "father" Dr. Halliwell left the facility, the "Orphanage" was raided by UNTIL and the children liberated. Both Tom and Zooey, roughly around the age of 13 or 14 were both placed in Brennar's Home for Adolescents outside of Millennium City.
The Progress Wing
The section of Brennar's reserved for metahuman teenagers, in particular those who were brought over from the "Orphanage" was called the "Progress Wing". There Tom and Zooey were taken under the care of a child psychiatrist named Katherine Middleton. The twins' mysterious past followed after them, however, in the form of a mysterious man in black who reiterated their importance to "Project 77", warning Katherine to refrain from getting close to them.
Katherine, however, spent years locating the twins' "father", the scientist who cared for them as his own, Dr. Gregory Halliwell. While trying to save them from Brennar's before the man in black returned, the facility was rocked by an explosion that eventually led to Katherine's demise. Tom saved the people inside the building, while Zooey fought off the man in black's minions. They were subsequently reunited with Dr. Halliwell, who took them to his secluded lab on the outskirts of the city.
Atomic Red and Blue
Now employed by UNTIL, Dr. Halliwell lost a key position to a young scientist named Johnny Winston. Halliwell, who had been diagnosed with cancer, had been looking forward to spending his remaining days with his "children" in an UNTIL moon base. Vowing revenge, he stole a sample of Johnny's DNA (who was also known as the hero Atomic Boy) and introduced it into the gene therapy he had been subjecting the twins to over the past few years. Their powers were considerably enhanced, Tom's scarred body completely healed and their memories of their past muddled. Halliwell told them that they were clones of Atomic Boy and that both UNTIL and Johnny had shunned them and needed to be punished. He set them loose upon UNTIL headquarters, now sporting their own "Atomic" themed costumes and with new codenames: Atomic Red and Atomic Blue.
Tom, however, convinced his sister Zooey that they should surrender, that their "father" was not in his right mind. She was resistant at first, but then agreed. Halliwell was arrested and placed in Stronghold prison while the twins were detained at UNTIL HQ. Johnny took pity on them and offered to take them under his wing, believing they had the potential to be heroes in their own right. UNTIL cautiously agreed, under the stipulation that they check in reguarly. Tom eventually applied to the Guardians, while Zooey remained a recluse in Johnny's old apartment.
While Tom pursued following in Johnny's footsteps as a hero, Zooey chose a more ruthless path as a vengeance driven vigilante. Having retained her memories of their treatment at the "Orphanage", Zooey began a quest to hunt down the "Orphanage's" scientist and eventually take down their leader...the mysterious man in black. Through a series of letters, the twins negotiated their differing idealogies with Tom trying to convince his sister to give up her vendetta, while Zooey tried to sway Tom to her "cause". They also often faced in each other in person, both retaining their "Atomic" codenames. Zooey also threatened the Guardians if they should get in their way through the use of a series of "Twiggy" robots, designed after an UNTIL issued personal assistant droid that had belonged to Johnny.
The twins also visited Dr. Halliwell in the Stronghold medical facility, shortly before he finally succumbed to cancer. Having been adopted by Halliwell years ago, both Tom and Zooey still retain his surname (despite the fact that he had tried to use them for his own schemes).
Through each of their methods, Tom's investigations and Zooey's raids, the twins began to unravel the true purpose of "Project 77". Gregory Halliwell was in fact the director of the project, which revolved around his actual son Joshua Halliwell, the mysterious patient number "77", known to the children as "Sevens". Sevens possessed immensely powerful psychic powers that were increased seemingly exponentially by "feeding" off of the despair and emotional suffering of individuals, childhood trauma being the most potent. Sevens appeared to Tom in his dreams and briefly while Tom was under the influence of a techno-organic virus that had infected him and several other Guardians. Zooey helped the Guardians stop the techno virus and save her brother, but made it clear that both she and the Guardians were definitely not allies.
While raiding a facility in California, Zooey was captured and Tom went undercover to save her. There they both confronted the man in black...who revealed himself to be the adult Joshua Halliwell, Sevens himself. Zooey managed to kill him, but not before being mortally wounded. Her body was frozen in a state of suspended animation with Tom believing she may never pull through. He also found that his own lost memories had returned and he decided to continue Zooey's "work", although without the need for excessive violence.
Zooey eventually emerged from her self-induced coma, but with her memories seemingly wiped and her powers gone. Her powers and memories eventually returned and she refocused on rebuilding the "front" she had built for her endeavors "The Skadi Society" into a legitimate organization. Her relationship with Nicole "Nikk" Marshall also tempered her resolve and she evolved from a reckless vigilante into an imposing anti-hero and leader.
Tom, who had become an operations officer with the Guardians continued his duties as a hero, while working to eradicate what was left of Project 77. For a brief time, both brother and sister were on the same page somewhat.
Growing increasingly disappointed with his personal life, in particular, many failed attempts at a relationship with the one girl he ever truly loved, Ginny Bennett, Tom chose to leave permanently for the realm of the fae, after hearing the fae Hocus Pocus make the suggestion in passing (probably out of spite). Although, it is still unclear how he achieved this, Tom disappeared after saying goodbye only to his sister in the form of a final letter.
Furious and heartbroken over her brother's departure, Zooey crafted a dimensional teleportation device based on a similar device housed at Harmon Industries. While setting up the device, both she and one of her associates, Miles Dillinger were attacked by an unknown group of armed men. Miles was apparently shot to death, leaving Zooey to barely defeat them. Afraid that she would be attacked again, Zooey hid Miles' body in a nearby cave and activated the teleporter.
It took her months to track Tom down, who had become a servant of the Winter Court. While making their escape, they stumbled upon an open vault. The twins' mutant powers did not work in the fae realm and Tom was forced to pick up a pair of ornate looking pistols stashed in the vault. He found that they could fire any type of non-lethal ammunition that he could imagine and with their help they were able to escape. Although, Tom was able to take a portal back directly to Millennium City, he was separated from Zooey, who tumbled through time in space before eventually returning to our own dimension.
Tom then found out that the pistols were in fact cursed and that whoever wielded them had to kill something with a soul every thirty days...or be consumed themselves. During this time, he carried on a brief affair with the former Guardians instructor Ordnance while learning how to properly use the guns. Eventually, Tom, the cait sith Mr. Fiddlesticks and Ordnance traveled to the fae realms to discover the true nature of the pistols and remove the curse. Tom only had less than a day to spare before he had to give in and take a life.
Investigating the vault, Fiddlesticks determined that the artifacts all belonged to a race of water faeries called Selkies and he wagered that returning their stolen property would help them leverage a deal to have Tom's curse removed. The Selkies, after initially attacking the group, agreed to help Tom, seeing their valuables returned. The pistols (which, according to the Selkie's elder had once been a magical trident) were cleansed and reforged. Having taken on a personality of their own, they "chose" to stay with Tom who renamed them "Nox" and "Diem" (Night and Day). The trio returned from the fae realm, with only Fiddlesticks sustaining a serious injury.
Tom soon learned that a girl named Rouge had made contact with the Guardians, claiming to be Tom and Ginny's daughter in an alternate reality. Initially taken under the care of Ginny's sister Charlotte, Ginny eventually took the girl in as her own daughter. Through Rouge's insistence in meeting and getting to know Tom, his relationship with Ginny was rekindled, now bound by the daughter they never...but, could have had. Although, this new family is not without its own complications. Rouge is a werewolf, her mother (the alternate Ginny named Selina) is a super villain and Tom's counterpart, Tom Middleton has yet to emerge.
While settling in to a new chapter in his personal life, one that seems to bring the happiness that had often eluded him, Tom has also returned to heroing, now with Ginny often at his side. He has not, at this time, decided to return to the Guardians as a member.
Tom possesses the mutant ability to generate and control heat and fire. Although he was not resistant to fire as a child (which resulting in disfigurement), as an adult, he is completely resistant to fire and heat. His clothes and hero suits have all been created to be similarly resistant (his initial suit created by Gregory Halliwell, the second generation of suits created by Johnny Winston and his latest gear created by Ginny Bennett). Tom's powers are directly linked to his emotional state and fits of anger can cause him to lose control of his abilities. Having spent much of his childhood repressing his emotions, Tom grew up bottling up a lot of anger for fear of what damage it may cause. As an adult he was enrolled in anger management classes and took up transcendental meditation. Through meditation Tom was able to master the ability to "fire shape", that is create "objects" out of fire. The most notable of these being flaming swords and wings. Tom can use his abilities to fly and move at faster than human speeds as well.
His magical pistols "Nox" and "Diem" can fire any type of non-lethal ammo he can will. They never run out of ammo, but need to "rest" every night when Tom sleeps. They are practically alive with personalities of their own and will protect Tom often all by themselves.
Personality and Personal Life
When he first joined the Guardians, Tom's personality was a mix of sarcasm and a short fuse which he had to often keep in check to prevent the loss of control over his abilities. His personality soured after many disappointing experiences in both his personal and heroing life (Zooey's Twiggy bots often refer to him as "Atomic Emo"). Since taking on meditation he has now achieved something of a cool, calm demeanor, with his former sarcastic side once again reemerging recently. Tom is notoriously absent-minded and tends to daydream often. He has spent most of his life being a loner and can sometimes come off as aloof or indifferent.
Tom is a gifted artist, particularly with pencils and watercolors. He was briefly a tattoo artist before taking on a position as a bartender at Sherrera's then the Minefield. Tom then took on a position as a DJ at the Minefield, a job that he has once again taken up, spinning a combination of Goth, Industrial and Electronica. He currently lives with Ginny Bennett and their "daughter" Rouge in Millennium City.
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