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Almighty Tallest Red

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Almighty Tallest Red
Tallest red Profile
Homeworld Irk
Rank Almighty Tallest
Gender Male
Equipment The Massive
Affiliation(s) The Irken Empire
Notable facts Red is one of the two current Irken leaders. The voice actor of Red, Wally Wingert, was originally cast to voice Tallest Purple.
First appearance The Nightmare Begins
Voice Actor(s) Wally Wingert (English)
Jan Spitzer (German)

Almighty Tallest Red is the co-ruler of the mighty Irken Empire alongside Almighty Tallest Purple. As their title suggests, Red and Purple oversee and dominate their species as they spread their reign across the universe. Although they are nearly identical in appearance, their personalities are starkly different: When there is a crisis, Tallest Red is the most likely of the two to solve it. In terms of authority, however, both Red and Purple are little more than figureheads. The Control Brains hold all the real power; even they must accept their rulings.

Appearance

Red overview
Red's design from the middle of the first season and onwards.

Along with Purple, Red's design and body structure is much different from that of a normal Irken: He has a slender build. His arms end in unusually bulgy gauntlets, he has only two thin fingers (instead of the normal three for an Irken), and an unusually thin waist and neck. His feet may also be different from that of an average Irken, but it is hard to tell, since he is always levitating. This appears to be the case for all of the Tallest, as concept art of Almighty Tallests Miyuki and Spork showed them as having the same design.

Almighty Tallest Red Waves to You
Almighty Tallest Red in The Nightmare Begins
Sandra CheeksAdded by Sandra Cheeks

Both Tallests were re-designed in the middle of the first season; Jhonen Vasquez decided to make their torsos thinner, as well as other major updates to their suits and overall physical appearance. This bizarre physical structure was implied by the Invader Zim crew to have been at least partially the result of surgical enhancement: they stated that all Tallests traditionally have their thumbs chopped off in a ceremony to show they can rule the Irken Empire with only two fingers (they also noted that the current Tallest would likely have foregone this procedure in favor of simply hiding their thumbs in their gauntlets).

Before the middle of season one, Red sported a pink, purple and white outfit instead of dark red, black and gray-white, as well as pink eyes. The torso is also remarkably thicker. His PAK is also the standard color prior to the change.

Personality

Shock from discovery
Red is seen snacking very frequently.

Red is considered the more serious and capable half of the Tallest, though he is still shown to be inept and unfocused. In Backseat Drivers From Beyond the Stars, he tried to take control of the problem, whereas Purple opted to panic. He and Purple enjoy many of the same things; like eating snacks, tormenting others, watching puppet shows and ruling the Irken Empire. Red is generally more tolerant of Zim's shenanigans than Purple is, and is also more independent than his co-Tallest.

157.14
Red casual after purple is shot in the eye.
ZimFanAdded by ZimFan

Red has a tendency to punch or throw objects at Purple, seemingly without much forethought and usually simply for his own enjoyment. However, in The Nightmare Begins, there may be some functional purpose to this. He seems to enjoy playing the 'showman', dominating in speeches and asserting his role when Purple stops to take a pause. Whether for sheer self-gratification or the budding seeds of a power-complex, Red does continually physically assault his co-Tallest. 

While he enjoys the spotlight, he is not the most adept with wordcraft; in The Nightmare Begins, he struggled to remember the word for the 'Armada' (opting to call it a "big spaceship gang".) Furthermore, in Backseat Drivers From Beyond the Stars, while seemingly aware of the general goings-on of the Massive, he ineloquently ordered for "some kind of... laser thingy..." to be fired. Purple is known to correct him in such instances.

Involvement With Zim

Purple and Red laughing hysterically
Red and Purple laughing uncontrollably after hearing Zim's statements.

The cancelled episode the Trial would have revealed that Red and Purple have known Zim since childhood, and that they were in the same class in the Irken military academy on Devastis, subsequently becoming Irken Elites at the same time. Despite Red's hatred for Zim, Tallest Red is more patient with him than Tallest Purple is, since in Walk for Your Lives, despite saying he hates the Irken Defective and questions if they should inspect him, he still allowed Zim to try and amaze them with his "time stasis field." He was even patient enough to listen to Zim cry "MY TALLEST!" (the proper, respectful way to address the Tallest) for three hours straight waiting for them to respond, as seen in Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars. Despite his general incompetence, both Purple and Red usually underestimate Zim; even though Zim is far away from Operation Impending Doom II, he still finds ways to ruin it. Sometimes other aliens (who are slaves to the Irkens) sabotage their operations, such as The Resisty. Their hatred for Zim has led to their own disasters (even causing the Irken Empire to be endangered when Invader Tenn got malfunctioning SIR units instead of Zim, which caused Tenn to be held hostage by the Meekrob). In Hobo 13, he was also shown to be a (slightly) better liar than Purple, managing to cover up Purple's multiple slips of the tongue without arousing Zim's suspicion.

Role in Invader Zim

Main article: Almighty Tallest
19.12
Red enjoying his status.
ZimFanAdded by ZimFan

Like Purple, Red has supposedly ultimate power. He and Purple are the ones who assigned the Invaders to their respective planets, sent Zim to his exile on Earth, and created GIR. They oversee the progress of the Invaders on their mission planets, as well as the overall Irken grip in the universe. However, they are far less productive than would be expected, typically preferring to lounge around eating and soaking up the luxury of their positions. On the other hand, Operation Impending Doom II appears to be coming along quite well under their rulership.

Trivia

  • Both Red and Purple received a major redesign after their first appearance; along with the more unusual body structure, Red's colour scheme was changed from pink and red to a darker red and black.
  • An Irken that looked similar to Red appeared in Jhonen Vasquez's comic, Squee.
  • Later in the series, the crew had Red be more of a commander, thus making him seem more intelligent than his counterpart.
  • He, along with Purple, were originally supposed to die in Backseat Drivers From Beyond the Stars, but Vasquez refused to let this happen. To some, this may be surprising, given by his previous desire to kill off Iggins in Game Slave 2. But, on the other hand, he may have needed the characters for future episodes, such as the series finale, which is why he scrapped the idea. Wally Wingert himself pleaded to have them die, but he refused.
  • Red is never referred to by name in the actual show, he and Purple being collectively referred to as The Tallest by everybody else, despite the previous Tallests being referred to by name. As a result, both the fans and the Invader Zim production crew have taken to calling Red and Purple by these names.
  • In Backseat Drivers From Beyond the Stars, before he finds out where the signal controlling the Massive comes from, it shows a side shot and also he appears to be standing instead of the usual levitating.
  • It is possible that Red and Purple are the first-ever co-rulers of Irk, since their predecessors, Miyuki and Spork, were both lone rulers; however, in their case, they had no consort.

Voice

The voice of Almighty Tallest Red was done by Wally Wingert, who also did the voice of the Cluster Ambassador (who is also red-colored) in one episode of My Life as a Teenage Robot, another Nickelodeon series that was canceled. Wally also voices Renji Abarai in Bleach (who has red hair). Wally is also the current announcer on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

See also

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