One of John’s most recognizable features is his red jacket, for which he is given the nickname Red John. The jacket was given to him by his mother Carrie Nash before he went to college. She felt the red color of it suited him and as a special momento she embroidered a jolly roger onto the back in emulation of the one worn on Ray Nash’s belt buckle. John was instantly very fond of the jacket and took to wearing it all the time. Following Carrie’s death is a car crash, the coat’s importance greatly inflated to John as it became his only real keepsake of his mother. In his wanderings after dropping out of college he would commonly take off the jacket before fighting stronger opponents in order to keep the coat from being damaged.
John continued to wear the jacket when he went to Kazan, regularly eschewing saran warrior garb for his more comfortable Earth clothes. However, he became increasingly worried about the jacket being damaged. To prevent this he would turn it over to Kara or some other ally while he fought. When he began training under the Burning Sage Jenna, she ordered him to turn over his clothes. He complied, but asked that she take extra care of his jacket which was monumentally important to him. Despite her harsh treatment of John, she was impressed enough with him that she decided to do him a good turn. She washed the coat in Tora blood, which carried with it an enchantment which made the jacket nigh indestructible and giving it regenerative properties. While initially creeped out that she’d soaked it in a creature’s blood, John was extremely grateful that he didn’t have to worry about his precious coat being damaged. The tora blood proved to work as the jacket took no damage despite the opponent being the Dark Prince, Cain.
While he briefly wore saran noble robes following the defeat of the Holy Ghost, he would eventually return to his regular wardrobe of jeans, t-shirt and his beloved coat in order to prevent people from instantly becoming freaked out because he’s a saran. The jacket’s durability held through his various adventures with the Magnificent 7, with it almost never freying or tearing and magically mending itself on the occasions when it did. However, against opponents with strength on the order of Crash and Drake, John would leave the jacket on the Rocco II or give to June to hold, not wanting to push the blood enchantment on it.
The Tora Blood the coat was soaked in gave it a number of mystical properties.
Nigh Indestructibility: The coat is incredibly resilient and is Despite still feeling like soft fabric, Weakly powered or unpowered weapons shatter against it and it can absorb concussive pressure from high powered attacks. Thuro theorizes that the coat has actually absorbed some of John's Aura to increase its ability to withstand greater powered attacks.
Protective Aura: The coat seems to project an aura which serves to protect its wearer's entire body. While wearing it, June has demonstrated immunity to her exposed skin or legs which were not being covered by the jacket.
Regeneration: On the rare occasions when it is damaged, the coat has demonstrated the ability to mend itself.
- Upon his first meeting with his Kara, her slave garb was torn off by a pair of warriors. Seeking to protect her modesty, John lent her the jacket to cover herself with. While the idea that her nudity was making him squeamish confused her, she agreed to wear the jacket but did little to keep herself covered with it.
- After she came aboard the Rocco II, John would often entrust the coat to June. While he said that the purpose was for her to keep it safe, really he wanted it to keep her safe since it could protect her from the effects of the powers of those around her.