Russel is a teenage boy of average height and a slender build. He stands at the same height as all of his teammates except for Cardin Winchester. His head is shaved with a light-green mohawk.
He wears a hoodie with the sleeves cut off, and two bracers on his arms extending from the wrist to just below the elbow. These bracers have his silver-colored emblem printed on them.
Beneath the hoodie, Russel wears a pale-green, long-sleeved shirt. He wears a brown strap around his chest holding a spiked spaulder to his left shoulder. He also wears dark-gray pants. His boots seem to be made of a thick brown material and go up to his knees.
Although Russel has not had a substantial speaking role, he can be seen as a "school bully" much like his leader Cardin, for he calls Velvet Scarlatina a freak because of her rabbit ears.
Like his team, Russel is somewhat of a coward as he flees from an attacking Ursa.
Powers and Abilities
Russel's combat style is described to be acrobatic, full of dodges and flips. The World of RWBY: The Official Companion suggests he is far from unskilled. Russel also displayed impressive acrobatic capability as he flipped and cartwheeled around to evade Pyrrha's attacks and even used a multiple somersaults to attack her.
- Main article: Shortwings
Russel's weapon of choice is Shortwings. In "Extracurricular", Russel was shown to have some skill with his daggers, demonstrating remarkable swordsmanship, although it was nowhere near to that of Pyrrha Nikos. In his fight against Pyrrha, he and his team were able to hold their ground for a respectable amount of time; Russel was even able to deflect several of her shots. However, he was overpowered in the end, thus losing the battle.
- The English name Russel means "red".
- He is named after a family of birds called turdidae or, more commonly, thrushes. This fits the bird theme for Team CRDL.
- Taking his given name into account, he is likely an allusion to the Turdus ruficollis or "red-throated thrush".
- He was originally going to be named "Russell Crow", but this was changed, due to it being too similar to the name of another character, Qrow Branwen.
- Russel's eyes changed from blue to brown in Volume 2.
- Shane Newville, Russel's original voice actor, left Rooster Teeth and the show in January 2016. It is currently unknown who will voice Russel if he appears in future volumes.
- He is the only member of his team that does not wear full body armor.
- Russel stars in an official non-canon video, That's a Big Ursa. The video consists of Thrush dancing to a heavily auto-tuned version of his lines from "Forever Fall, Pt.2". This makes him one of two characters to appear in an official non-canon video.
- This video appears as an Easter Egg on the RWBY Volume 1 DVD. It can be accessed by going to episode selection and holding up while on Chapter 1 for about 3–5 seconds, followed by enter/select, depending on the remote control.
- The creators of RWBY had a lot of side stories for Russel to amuse themselves with while working on Volume 1.
- RTX 2014 RWBY Panel
- Volume 1 Directors Commentary "The First Step"