Richard Ruby, aka Bulletman, The Human Bullet, was a member of the Adventure Team and a former Navy SEAL and test pilot. Through the use of his bullet suit, he had the ability to fly and plow through objects like, well, a bullet. After the Adventure Team was retired, Ruby went on to pursue his true dream: acting!
His nom de guerre is sometimes spelled Bullet Man.
The Human Bullet
Richard Ruby was born in Clyde, Ohio. As a young man, Ruby wanted to be a star, but he knew such a dream was unlikely in his hometown, opting instead to join U.S. Navy as an aviator and he was later recruited to SEAL Team Six. After being honorably discharged from service, Ruby became a a test pilot for Wolf Avionics, which led to his his first gig in Hollywood. He served as a stunt pilot for Hollywood movies, most notably the works of director Meyer Wallenstein.
While working on J.J. Hackensack's Space Battle, Ruby met Solomon Galt of International Effects Limited. The two worked together to develop an aerodynamic personal jetpack system with high-impact damage resistant metals (which would later become known as the bullet suit.) Ruby took the jetpack to California's Sierra Nevada mountains to begin testing. However, when runoff from a heavy winter's snow threatened the nearby town of Poverty Flat, Ruby sprung into action, creating a makeshift dam and saving the town in the process.
Adventure Team members Joe Colton and Mike Power took notice of Ruby's heroism and recruited him to the team. Ruby took the name "Bulletman," serving as the final member of the "Super" Adventure Team. During this time, Ruby became good friends with Mike Power.
During the Adventure Team's mission to rescue Garrison Kreiger at the Tomb of Amtoltec, Stalker and Mayhem called Bulletman and Atomic Man in for help with the robotic mummies. The pair of enhanced heroes took the robots out with ease, showboating for the "normal soldiers". After Joe called the team for help against Soundwave, Bulletman attacked the Decepticon by plowing into his chest. After Soundwave retreated, Ruby noticed how much interest Kreiger took in the mysterious Talisman the team had unearthed.
Bulletman was part of the Adventure Team when they were re-christened "Adventure Force." In 1994, Adventure Force broke into Kreiger's Project: Iceman facility in Brasnya in search of Mike Power, who had joined up with Kreiger. However, they arrived too late, and Power had already (apparently) died from one of the project's tests. Ruby blamed Kreiger for the death of his friend, even calling him Mike's murderer years later.
Rise to Stardom
After Mike Power's death, the Adventure Team was disbanded. Ruby tried to pursue an acting career, but stayed on in the armed forces, helping Clayton Abernathy recruit members to their successor unit. He also began making public appearances in his Bulletman uniform as the Adventure Team's public face, appearing on numerous talk shows and celebrity game shows. He made an appearance in costume at the graduation ceremony for Duke's USAF Qualification Course.
He became one of the contestants on the reality TV series Survival Extreme, ending up in the final round of the show along with former supermodel Courtney Krieger. During filming, while shooting on an island near Nanzhao, the cast and crew were attacked by pirates. After being saved by Courtney, Richard helped her take down the rest of them. He was impressed with how she was able to fight off the pirates and suggested that if she ever wanted a career change, she should talk to a guy named "Hawk".
After the media coverage of the Survival Extreme incident, Ruby got several movie offers (one of which earned him a Golden Globe nomination) and maintained a steady stream of appearances in low-budget action movies. Ian Noble, Ayana Jones, and Garrison Blackrock, masquerading as a group of movie producers looking to turn one of his Adventure Team stories into a movie. When asked what happened to Kreiger, Ruby simply said that he killed Mike Power and got away with it. Ian then asked if he had ever heard of "Baron Ironblood", to which Ruby simply responded that he "doesn't do superhero movies anymore" before returning to the set.While shooting a movie, Ruby was approached by
Thanks to a call from Marissa Faireborn, Ruby was brought in to help Thundercracker make his Starscream biopic, serving as producer for the film. Ruby told Thundercracker that while he admired the Seeker's vision, the only thing human audiences want from Cybertronian cinema are action and explosions. Thundercracker ignored Ruby's concerns, wishing to focus on the character interactions instead. After an action film created by Frenzy and Rumble flopped, Ruby told Thundercracker that his movie wouldn't see theatrical release, but that he did manage to find a small distributor for the project.
These are a few of the films and television shows that Richard Ruby is known to have worked on:
- The original Bulletman toy seems to be based on the Golden Age Fawcett Comics superhero of the same name, right down to a silver bullet-shaped helmet and red outfit. While the Fawcett characters are mostly used by DC Comics nowadays, the Bulletman character had fallen into the public domain by the 1970s, allowing Hasbro to use his likeness for the toy.
- Bulletman's true identity was never given until the third volume of IDW's G.I. Joe gave him the name of Richard Ruby.
- Bulletman's name is rendered as "Bullet Man" in his Hasbro Heroes Sourcebook entry, likely for trademark reasons given the above mentioned use of Bulletman by DC.
- The origin told for Bulletman in the Sourcebook is a retelling of one of the comic ads for the original Bulletman toy, wherein G.I. Joe and Atomic Man see Bulletman save a town from a flood.
- Bulletman at the TFWiki