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The Red Plains Rider as depicted in the Original Graphic Novel.

The Red Plains Rider is one of the central characters in Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars. She has also appeared in Cactoid Jim, King of the Martian Frontier, and is the central character in her own segment

Red is usually played by Busy Philipps, though she has also been played by Annie Savage when Philipps was unavailable. She was also once played telepathically via The Barkeep by Joshua Malina.

The Red Plains Rider is strong, independent, and accustomed to doing things her own way. Her strong sense of loyalty and personal integrity have at times put her at odds with her heart, and while she has some self-doubt, she never fails to make bold decisions and stick to her proverbial guns. She is recognized as one of Mars' toughest and most heroic heroes on several occasions, and is quite possibly the fastest and most sharp-shootingest draw on the planet.

Red is colorblind and claustrophobic.


The Red Plains Rider is a name Red probably chose for herself. She is affectionately called "Red" by Sparks Nevada and others. During her relationship with Croach the Tracker, the martian calls her "Red One" as if it were a designation rather than a descriptor.

G'rop N'go-goth is Red's Martian designation, which roughly translates to "She Who Came To Us From the Earthens, But Who Is Accepted as Our Own and Who Shall Be Betrothed to Our Youngling, Croach the Tracker."

It is possible that Red's human name is Dumpling Seldom, although this is not certain due to the circumstances surrounding the revelation of this name, and "Dumpling" might instead be a nickname.


Pre-Podcast History

The Red Plains Rider's past remains mysterious, but it is known that she was found abandoned on Mars, and was raised by the martians who found her. It is not known exactly what happened to her human parents.

In Crisis on Infinite Marses part 2, an alternate universe, male version of Red played by Jeremy Carter explained how his parents were missionaries who came to Mars to civilize savage martians. However, his parents, most humans on the planet and the martians were killed by robot outlaws. Now that Red travels the red plains of Mars seeking revenge on the robots who also roam the plains.

An alternate universe version of Red's father, Ezra Seldom, had his wife and daughter killed by Lizard Men after arriving on Mars. It is unknown how much of the prime reality's version of Red shares either her father's or male alternate's history, as our Red knows little about her origins, and those realities were created by the Barkeep in an attempt to cure his writer's block.

When Red claimed her independence, it was as a vigilante on the red plains of Mars after spending some time in the company of Dale Treamain, who taught her she could do good on her own.


Before the story begins, we know that Red was in a romantic relationship with Croach the Tracker, however, he broke her heart. Not long after Croach broke up with her, she briefly dated Sparks Nevada before breaking up with him, as she was not yet over her relationship with Croach. The circumstances of her breakup with Sparks can be seen via flashback in Flood at First Sight.

In Blast from the Past through Spiders, Man, Red attempts to choose between Sparks and Croach, first choosing Sparks but later deciding to be with Croach after he showed himself to be more mature and caring than Sparks, all the while battling giant robots, giant spiders, and regular-sized outlaw robots, not to mention her own claustrophobia.

Red and Croach were together for several months, before Croach left Red again, as he realized they were physically incompatible. She suggested rekindling a romantic relationship with Sparks Nevada a few months later, but he turned her down and instead set her up with Cactoid Jim. Jim and Red fell in love during the events of Cactoid Jim, King of the Martian Frontier - Space-coach, amidst battling traps and ambushes while escorting a Space Coach. They were married during the events of The Piano has Been Thinking, and were very happy together for several months, living in town and being respectable after Jim became Mayor of Mars.

During the events of MurderMen, The Red Plains Rider saved the lives of Cactoid Jim, Chicky SullivanGene Peeples and others by killing Peeples' teenage daughter Erica Peeples, who had been bitten by a MurderMan, but had not yet fully transformed. This was done on live TV, during Cactoid Jim's campaign to become President of Earth. The Red Plains Rider escaped back to Mars, but in order to distance himself from Red's act of killing a teenage girl who was not quite yet a MurderMan, Cactoid Jim divorced her.

Red hid out in The Secreted City of Rococoo, with Dale Treamain and the grey-skinned Martians until Mercy Laredo, Sparks and Croach came to collect her bounty in Red Alert. While trying to diffuse the situation, Sparks drew his guns, and he and Mercy had a showdown. Croach threw himself in front of the line of fire, accidentally getting himself killed by Sparks' hand as his Nah Nohtek had unknowingly been rendered inert by Croach's alcoholism.

Red and Sparks took solace in one another for several months while Red mourned her divorce from Jim and they both mourned Croach's death. During Sweet and Show Down, she and Sparks were able to get his badge back from Techs, and Red was able to work off her sentence for Erica Peeples' death by serving as Sparks' unofficial deputy.  Then, in Murder In His Place, Red, Sparks, Rebecca Rose Rushmore, Chicky Sullivan and Felton were briefly turned into MurderMen before being saved by The Troubleshooter.

Red left Sparks' company, realizing she was still in love with Jim, and went to look for her ex-husband in Support Your Local Marshal. She found him on Earth, along with Sparks, Chicky, Felton and a newly resurrected Croach. She agreed to let Sparks assassinate Jim after seeing what destruction Jim would bring to the universe, but due to Sparks' clever plan, the assassination wasn't necessary. Later, she and Cactoid Jim declared that they were still in love with each other, but Jim had already Rebecca Rose Rushmore. For awhile, Jim split his time between the two women.

Red later returned to Sparks Nevada in The Thing From This Same Planet! to announce she was pregnant, and she was unsure if the baby was Sparks' or Cactoid Jim's. For a time, Red decided she wanted the child to be Sparks', and carried on as if it was, but later decided to check the DNA test, which showed that it was really was Sparks's. However, just after baby girl was born in Into Darkness, it was revealed the baby was actually Jib Janeen's and The Red Plains Rider was not the mother of the child, just the incubator.  Because Red loved the child and couldn't properly care for a Jupiterarian baby, she let Jib take the baby.  

After spending out on the plains of Mars after giving up the baby, Red began her search for Cactoid Jim, who had been captured by Jib Janeen, frozen in carbonite, and sold to some aliens who were mad at him.  Her search lead her first to planet XK9B and then X27991. In her own solo segment The Red Plains RiderCarbonite-mare, she encountered Glenn, the USSA doctor who had delivered her baby. Glenn had been enslaved by Chesh Glutterfane after his attempt to rescue his husband Sandy Manlius, also frozen in carbonite and sold to Chesh.

After agreeing to Chesh's rules of combat against his monster in return for freeing Cactoid Jim, Red instead used the child's toy gun she was given to free Glenn from his slave collar, and then also the monster she was forced to fight. The three of them then captured Chesh, freed several other slaves and all of their frozen loved ones including Jim and Sandy, and escaped on Chesh's pleasure barge.

Red returned to Mars, then later went to see Sparks and Croach at The Marshal Station to help figure out why the Earth's Moon was orbiting Mars in Moonfaker. Red watched as Pemily Stallwark was successful in activating an EMP and disabling the moon, which was controlled by Earth's President, Chicky Sullivan. Afterwards, Sparks Nevada offered Red the position as official Deputy on Mars again.  She turned the position down, however, was still spending time with Sparks and Croach.

In order to find meaning in the tumultuous recent events of her life, Red began reading The Collected Scrolls of G'loot Praktaw, the martian scriptures.  After a long discussion on tradition with Sparks, Croach and Los Ninos de Los Banditos Mutantes in La Venganza de Los Bandititos, Red decided to undergo the trials of B'at-mit zvah.  After undergoing the trials, she now possesses Nah Nohtek, as do all martians who undergo the trials as well.

In Dinner and a Groovy, to celebrate her successful maturation ritual, The Barkeep and The Troubleshooter throw a dinner party, to which they also invite Sparks, Croach and Harriet's new partner, Ginny West, with whom they intend to set Sparks up.  In order to defeat the Pleasure Being Fondal, Red and Croach pretended to be in love with one another to assist Harriet and Ginny with a ruse to end the Pleasure Being threat.  The Nah Nohtek both Red and Croach possess bonded with the Pleasure Being virus, actually infecting them both. They were saved by Ginny and Sparks feeding them EMP pills, which neutralized the infected nanos and allowed the uninfected nanos to replicate.

After Croach and Red were back to themselves, Red admitted that the nano-induced feelings had stirred up long-dormant real feelings for Croach. She asked Croach if he would like to resume their relationship, and Croach admitted that he never stopped having feelings for Red.  

The two began a new relationship, which was temporarily put into question during The Once and Future Thing when Cactoid Jim returned.  Jim asked Red to go with him to 500 years ago in the past to stop a future-threatening human-robot war, Red, tired of being forced to choose between people, instead went to the past and stopped the war on her own.  When she returned, she was sure that she no longer loved Jim and confirmed her relationship with Croach. Red also stated in The Night We Never Met that she no longer had feelings outside of friendship for Sparks.

In Crisis on Infinite Marses part 1 and part 2, Red learned more about her family and possible past, but when given the choice to leave with her family or stay with her friends on Mars, she chose to stay on Mars. She and Croach also declared their love for one another. See section "Family" for more information.

in the three months that had passed between Crisis on Infinite Marses and Malware Wars, Red took the job of marshal after Sparks Nevada stepped down to open a hardware store. Croach formally accepted the position as her deputy, and she also became good friends with Ginny West Her relationship with Croach was still strong, and she was accepting when Croach and created a nano-spore cloud to program his mimetic self in the Space Saloon's inter-facial consciousness, thus creating a Croach for the Saloon.

While Sparks Nevada's hardware store was being robbed by Billy the Bot in Die Hardware, Red and Croach have a disagreement about why they failed to stop Piston Pete from robbing the bank earlier that day. It's revealed that when Croach and Red had visited their tribe earlier, Croach had not held her hand as she wanted him to. The tribe had told them that they expected Red to fertilize Croach soon, now that they are in a relationship, and this had caused Croach anxiety. After Gork arrived to help foil the robbery, he spoke of raising his own human baby, and advised them to wait until they were ready, but once the baby arrived all they needed to do was love it and change a lot of diapers.

When Sparks decided not to take the Marshal of Earth job and remain on Mars, Red and Sparks agreed to be co-marshals, as Red felt like there was too much paperwork involved, which Sparks enjoys.


In Crisis on Infinite Marses part 1, The Red Plains Rider was found by Ezra Seldom, an alternate universe version of her father. Ezra had gained control of a portion of The Force Galactic and used it to search through universes looking for a version of wife and daughter, who were killed by Lizard Men in his universe, while he survived.

An alternate universe version of The Red Plains Rider, who is male, had also been brought to the prime universe during Crisis on Infinite Marses part 2. Both Reds met each other, and their father. Although Ezra had been looking for his daughter, when Red decided to stay in her home universe to be with Croach and her friends on Mars, Ezra and the other Red left to keep looking for a universe in which Red's mother survived.

Through Ezra, Red learned that her name is possibly Dumpling Seldom.