El Toro Rojo is a member of the Deviant race who through unknown means has been trapped within a figurine known as the Red Bull Totem. As his later actions have been at odds with the Deviant agenda, presumably this has been done as punishment. Though the entrapment may be magical, given the Deviant’s scientific bent it ostensibly operates more along the lines of Captain Marvel’s interaction with the Nega-bands, and the figurine operates as a dimensional interface. At least one holder of the Totem has been able to communicate with El Toro Rojo through the talisman, as well as exchange places with him.
El Toro Rojo is much more physically powerful than the normal Deviant, and has been shown to handily defeat the Eternal, Vampiro, as well as be able to go toe to toe with Thor. He has also demonstrated sufficient combat ability and physical prowess to simultaneously battle both Giant-Man and the Black Knight. His horns have parried blows from the Black Knight’s sword and from Mjolnir, though Thor was able to eventually break the horns with powerful enough blows from the enchanted mallet. This breaking of the Deviant’s horns caused his power to be halved until such time as the horns could be regrown. El Toro Rojo defeated Thor at their first meeting by separating him from his hammer long enough to cause a reversion to Donald Blake.
Initially, El Toro Rojo’s actions were typical for a member of the villainous Deviants, as evidenced by his brutal goring of Vampiro at the command of Brother Tode. Subsequent to his entrapment by the Red Bull Totem, he has behaved more nobly, once protecting a Peruvian village from cocaine traffickers intent on preying on the villagers, and while working with Kro and his Delta Force, another time saving the Avengers while they were under the thrall of Deviant mind control technology. His change of heart may be due to the influence of the holder of the talisman, an autistic Peruvian boy named Tupac Amaru, or his bondage to the Red Bull Totem may reflect an earlier conflict with normal Deviant values.
Toro Rojo was created by Roy Thomas and Arvell Jones in 1979 and first appeared in Thor # 290.
While Tupac and the Deviant powerhouse have successfully exchanged places on more than one occasion, the connection appears to have not yet been mastered. During a battle with the mind-controlled Avengers, El Toro Rojo reverted to the form of the Peruvian child at what could have been a fatal juncture, had luck not been on their side. Whether this is an inherent instability of the Totem or merely a product of inexperience is unclear