Backdraft Character in Tales of Justice | World Anvil


15-year-old pyrokineticist Defender with a talent for trouble

Brian Tanner (a.k.a. Backdraft)

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Brian is a normally active teenage boy. He does not go in for any serious sports, but he likes jogging and he loves hiking. He also takes regular classes in self-defense as one of his Physical Education electives at the school.

Facial Features

Brian wears contact lenses. He is incredibly relieved to finally have extended wear contacts, but he left his backup glasses in Susie’s toolkit, just in case.

Special abilities

Energy Shield: 5 (fire-based)
Flame Project: 4
Flash: 4

Apparel & Accessories

Brian Tanner by Jarissa Venters

When dressing in "civilian mode", Brian Tanner tends to wear well-made but not often well-fitted clothes in layers. He likes soft knits in his shirts and, ideally, a vest during the school day or a hoodie on weekends.

He avoids what he calls "flame colors" and "smoke colors" as part of protecting his Secret Identity. This means almost no orange, few dark reds or sooty browns, and lots of muted or cooler colors in his wardrobe.

He never quite manages to get the idea of "casual outfit" right in the eyes of his peers.


Backdraft in costume by Jarissa Venters

As Backdraft, he wears reinforced clothing or even armor that was adapted for him in Gotham City during the first official Young Justice adventure.

The body pieces of the armor tend more toward "mottled dark brown with bright orange trim" near most of his vitals, but gradually become more brightly fire-orange near his shoulders. Backdraft wants any intense attacks to aim for his best insulated areas on the armor.

His superheroic outfit includes a mask and a technologically-enhanced frame that goes around top and sides of his face. Unfortunately he does not wear a helmet. At least one member of the staff at the Gironde School is willing to pay off a "gray mask" such as Puma to start firing gumballs at Backdraft's hair in hope that the lad will decide on his own that armored helmets might be okay -- even if an adult did suggest it first!

Regardless of whatever else Backdraft may have packed along in a belt pouch, he absolutely has a camera (for recording evidence), three different kinds of writing implements for all situations, and at least one autograph book.

Specialized Equipment

Custom Body Armor ( BODY 05, Skin Armor 05, Flame Immunity 03 FI)

Susie made the armor that Brian wears when he knows he is going into a dangerous situation. He likes having that extra protection, but it’s a pain to clean and after a while it starts to itch. Susie says the itch is because it’s not air-permeable, and she has ideas for the next prototype.

Young Justice Earbud Communicator
Item | Jan 6, 2022

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Brian Tanner, age 15, is a pyrokineticist with an unfortunate propensity for trying to tank way beyond his actual capacity to handle combat. At this rate, he’s going to keep putting himself in exponentially more dangerous situations without forethought until it gets one of his rescuers very badly injured, because he’s convinced that he and his buddies can handle everything life can throw at them.


He’s one of the “Three Investigators” who got impressed into Wyldfire (and, importantly, its “extracurricular studies” program) since they threw themselves bodily into clandestine busybodying. In early December of 2009, one of the quieter students in his peer group came to him in a panic, saying that "Doctor Don" had sent her to him because she had a vision of black-jacketed soldiers coming after her and some of the other students. Brian immediately brought his fellow Investigators into the problem. Susie got more information from Cindy about her visions. They collected the other students most in danger, added Amy Prinz, and went into action to foil the bad guys.


That was the founding moment for Young Justice!


high school student at the Gironde School; has worked through an entire semester of extra thesis papers after one of the Three Investigator stunts, so he has read a lot of the materials in the school library



Intellectual Characteristics

Brian is meticulous and patient when he is not swamped with adrenaline. He likes to pick out random pages on a website like Snopes or TVTropes and research the topic into the ground, maybe even make a trip to a university library or a newspaper morgue for firsthand information. He is not as good an overall researcher as Susie is, but he might know something on an oddball topic if it comes up during a mystery.

Personality Characteristics


Upholding the Good

Savvies & Ineptitudes

Acrobatics (Dodge): 4
Artist (writer): 3
Detective (Clue Analysis, Research): 5
Martial Arts (Defense, Blocking, Techniques and Holds, Battery aka Basic Punch/Kicks): 3
Thief ( Stealth ): 7
Vehicles ( Land Based ) : 4

Likes & Dislikes

Brian is increasingly proud of the collection Young Justice boasts of autographs from mysterious figures among the hero and villain populations, and of selfies the team has taken with the Masked Mysteries they encounter on their adventures.

Virtues & Personality perks

Sharp Eye
Area Knowledge ( Gironde School for the Gifted )
Connection, High: The Three Investigators
Confined Headquarters: secret lair inside Gironde School
Scholar (debunking urban myths)

Vices & Personality flaws



Contacts & Relations

As Third Investigator, Brian is very closely connected to the First (Susie Dolfin) and Second (Jeremy Ballard) Investigators.

Wealth & Financial state

Wealth: 0

FI Reminder for GM: “Flame Immunity” adds to the RV versus any fire or heat-based attack.

Dex: 05
Str: 02
Body: 03
Int: 04
Will: 05
Mind: 06
Infl: 04
Aura: 04
Spi: 04
Init: 15
HP: 10
Current Location
Year of Birth
1993 17 Years old
Current Residence
dark brown
Quotes & Catchphrases
Urban myth busted!
Aligned Organization
Character Prototype
The actor Brock Kelly, who played “Young Dean Winchester” on the tv show Supernatural, was a close match to what we have in mind. He was a decade too old even then, but the way he handles his micro-expressions was excellent for Brian.

Character Portrait image: Backdraft by Jarissa Venters


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