|First appearance||The Flash #286 (June 1980)|
|Alter ego||Roy G. Bivolo|
Black Lantern Corps
|Abilities||Special goggles allow projection of hard-light rainbows for travel or attack. Can alter people's emotions by coating them in certain colors.|
Rainbow Raider (Roy G. Bivolo) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books by DC Comics. His real name is a pun based on the acronym "ROYGBIV" (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, pronounced roy-gee-bihv), a mnemonic for the colors of a rainbow. He is a minor, though recurring, enemy of the Flash and other heroes.
Fictional character biography
Roy G. Bivolo
As a child, Roy G. Bivolo always dreamed of a career as an artist, a lofty goal considering he was completely colorblind. He would often paint what he thought were beautiful pieces of art, only to be told that it was made up of clashing colors. His father, an optometrist and genius in optical technology, swore he would find a cure for his son's disorder. Due to failing health, he was unable to complete his product, but instead created a sophisticated pair of goggles that would allow Roy to create beams of solid rainbow-colored light. On his death-bed, his father presents him with this gift, and it was not long before Roy found a sinister use for it.
Turning to crime because the world did not appreciate his art, Roy, now the Rainbow Raider, went on a crime spree focused mostly on art galleries, saying that if he could not appreciate the great works of art in them (due to his disability), then no one else would. During this time he often clashes with the Flash, and sparks a rivalry that would last several years. Some years later he would fight Booster Gold as well. Rainbow Raider becomes the mind-addled slave of a crimelord in one of many alternate futures within the Armageddon 2001 storyline. He is a central plot point in the first issue of the Underworld Unleashed storyline because even Neron, the demonic antagonist, considered him pathetic, indeed even calling him a "paramecium".
He later becomes a minor enemy of the Justice League, appearing briefly at a villains gathering  and later taking part in the riot in the super-hero prison of Belle Reve Penitentiary (he is quickly defeated by a single punch from Zauriel).
Roy is slain by the villainess Blacksmith when she impaled him with his latest work of art. He is one of the many deceased characters temporarily reanimated as a zombie within the Black Lantern Corps.
The New 52
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Roy uses the alias of Chroma, rather than Rainbow Raider. During the Forever Evil storyline, Chroma was present in Central City when Gorilla Grodd invaded the city with his army of gorillas. He, Girder, and Tar Pit saw Pied Piper defeated by Gorilla Grodd. After Gorilla Grodd punches Girder enough to crumble, Chroma runs away with Tar Pit. Gorilla Grodd later kills Chroma to serve as a warning to the other villains that the Gem Cities are his. Upon Solovar being chained up, the heads of Chroma and the Mayor of Central City are placed around him.
Chroma later appears somehow alive and intact. He and Tar Pit are robbing jewelry stores until they are stopped by Flash.
Since Rainbow Raider's death, a team of color-themed supervillains have dubbed themselves the Rainbow Raiders in his honor.
After the death of the first Captain Boomerang, a funeral was held that every villain ever to face Flash attended. Among the large crowd was an eclectic group of metahumans calling themselves the "Rainbow Raiders," in honor of the late Flash villain. Their sentiments, expressed during the service, seemed to denote that the group was relatively new to the scene, and had little exposure, standing, or experience working together.
The Raiders were active during the Crime Syndicate of America's second invasion of Earth, encountering Johnny Quick and Power Ring (who were disguised as the Flash and Green Lantern) while attacking the Missoula County, Montana S.T.A.R. Labs facility. The battle goes badly for the two, but thanks to the help of nearby civilians, believing that their beloved heroes are in trouble, attack the Raiders and allow Power Ring and Johnny Quick to rally and subdue the group.
The fate of the Rainbow Raiders was intended for the pages of Blackest Night, and was soon after released as a "deleted page" segment in Untold Tales of the Blackest Night. Believing that, with the dead attacking, it was best to be on the 'winning side', the Raiders committed mass suicide in order to join the Black Lantern Corps. However they remained dead, because they lacked any emotional ties sufficient to draw the attention of the black rings, which focused on resurrecting people who would inspire certain emotions in Earth's heroes and villains, such as Lex Luthor's various murder victims, or fallen villains and heroes like Maxwell Lord and Elongated Man.
Powers and abilities
Rainbow Raider's powers are derived entirely from the special goggles he wears, which allow him to project solid beams of rainbow-colored light he can either use offensively or as a slide for travel. In addition, he can coat people in certain colors of light to induce emotions (coating someone in blue light, for instance, would make them sad).
- Jonathan Kent posed as a supervillain called Rainbow Raider as part of a plot to get Superboy to capture gangster Vic Munster and his gang by using a hypnotic device on his helmet. Vic Munster later used the Rainbow Raider identity where he was defeated by Superboy.
- Dr. Quin (a villain from the first Dial H for Hero series) appears in House of Mystery #167 (June 1967) as a different Rainbow Raider. This version temporarily gave himself powers using a rare crystal that changed his body into different colors (slowly following the sequence of the rainbow). Depending on which color he was at the time, he would gain a different superpower: Red gave him a super-hot beam, Orange gave him an obscuring cloud, Yellow gave him the ability to drain energy and super powers, Green enables him to slow the bodies of others to the point of paralysis for an hour, and Violet shrinks people and objects for an hour. His Blue and Indigo powers are never shown. He also had a secret final color power called Ultra-Violet which made him invisible.
In other media
- Roy G. Bivolo appears in The Flash, portrayed by Paul Anthony. He is originally nicknamed Prism by Cisco Ramon, but Caitlin Snow suggests Rainbow Raider. Even though Cisco dismisses it as lame and he called it first, other characters refer to him as Rainbow Raider including Bivolo himself. Rather than use goggles, Bivolo's metahuman power allows him to incite rage in people by looking directly into their eyes. His eyes glow red when he uses this power. In the episode "Flash Vs. Arrow" (which is a crossover over with Arrow), Bivolo sends the Flash into a rage, but the Arrow is able to keep the Flash occupied long enough for Dr. Wells and Joe West to arrive and reverse the effect. Bivolo is later captured and imprisoned. In the episode "Rogue Air," Rainbow Raider escapes from prison when Captain Cold sabotages the attempt to move the prisoners from the particle accelerator with the goal of gaining their aid at some future date.
- Rainbow Raider appears in the film Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.
- Rainbow Raider appears as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. He appears as part of the Rainbow DLC pack.
- Rainbow Raider appears at the beginning of the second volume of the comic book tie-in of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. He teams up with Crazy Quilt and Doctor Spectro to defeat Batman and Blue Beetle.
- Rainbow Raider appears in The Flash tie-in novel, The Haunting of Barry Allen. Bivolo repeated tried to "whammy" his jailer, Cisco Ramon, leading to Cisco developing some mirrored glasses which reflected Bivolo's whammy back to himself. Bivolo then began confessing his deepest thoughts to Cisco, also explaining that he preferred the name "Rainbow Raider". After Cisco showed the metas Tina Fey films and TV shows, Bivolo tried to act out Saturday Night Live sketches with him, which Cisco quickly grew tired of.
Heavy.com lists Rainbow Raider as one of the worst supervillains of all time. Francesco Marciuliano from Smosh.com ranked Rainbow Raider as having one of the worst supervillain gadgets of all time.
- Flash Annual #4 (1991)
- Underworld Unleashed #1 (November 1995)
- Brave and the Bold #194
- JLA-80 Page Giant #1
- JLA #34 (October 1999)
- Flash vol.2 #183 (April 2002)
- Blackest Night #3 (November 2009)
- Flash vol. 4 #23.1: Grodd
- Flash vol. 4 #27
- JLA #110
- Superboy (vol. 1) #84 (October 1960)
- House of Mystery (vol. 1) #167 (June 1967)
- "ARROW and THE FLASH Crossover Details Reveal Captain Boomerang and ...Rainbow Raider?". Newsarama.com.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold Volume 2 #14
- Jensen, K. Thor. "The 20 Worst Supervillains". Heavy.com. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- Marciuliano, Francesco. "The 10 Worst Supervillain High-Tech Gadgets". Smosh. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- Rainbow Raider at DC Comics Wiki
- Rainbow Raider at Comic Vine
- Seanbaby's Stupid Villain Showcase: Rainbow Raider