Rainbow Raider

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Rainbow Raider
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance The Flash vol. 1 #286
(June 1980)
Created by Cary Bates (writer)
Don Heck (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Roy G. Bivolo
Team affiliations Rogues
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 in the DC Comics universe. 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 was a minor, though recurring, enemy of the Flash and other heroes.

Publication history[edit]

Rainbow Raider first appeared in The Flash vol. 1 #286 June 1980, and was created by Cary Bates and Don Heck.

Fictional character biography[edit]

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), 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. He is a central plot point in the first volume of the Underworld Unleashed storyline because the demonic antagonist considered him pathetic.

Rainbow Raider once traded opponents with Batman villain Doctor Double X after meeting a motivational therapist named Professor Andrea Wye. Both of them are defeated by Batman and Flash.[1]

He later becomes a minor enemy of the Justice League, appearing briefly at a villains gathering [2] and later taking part in the riot in the super-hero prison of Belle Reve Penitentary (he is quickly defeated by a single punch from Zauriel.[3]

Roy is slain by the villainess Blacksmith when she impaled him with his latest work of art.[4] He is one of the many deceased characters temporarily reanimated as a zombie within the Black Lantern Corps.[5]

In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Roy has the alias of Chroma. 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 be 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.[6]

Chroma later appears somehow alive and intact. He and Tar Pit are robbing jewelry stores until they are stopped by Flash.[7]

Powers and abilities[edit]

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).

Rainbow Raiders[edit]

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, 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.[8]

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 enough 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.

Other versions[edit]

  • Jonathan Kent posed 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.[9]
  • The Rainbow Raider becomes the mind-addled slave of a crime lord in the Armageddon 2001 crossover.[10]
  • Dr. Quin (a villain from the first Dial H for Hero series) appears in "House of Mystery" #167 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 enables to shrink 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[edit]


  • Roy G. Bivolo appears in The Flash episode "Flash Vs. Arrow" (which is a crossover over with Arrow), portrayed by Paul Anthony.[11] He is originally nicknamed Prism by Cisco Ramon, but Caitlin Snow suggests Rainbow Raider. Even though Cisco dismisses it as lame, 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. Bivolo sends the Flash into a rage, but the Arrow is able to keep the Flash occupied long enough for Dr. Wells and Joe 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 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.[12]
  • Rainbow Raider appears in The Flash digital comic. 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 list Rainbow Raider as one of the worst supervillains of all time.[13] Francesco Marciuliano from Smosh.com ranked Rainbow Raider as having one of the worst supervillain gadgets of all time.[14]


  1. ^ Brave and the Bold #194
  2. ^ JLA-80 Page Giant #1
  3. ^ JLA #34
  4. ^ Flash Vol.2 #183 (April 2002)
  5. ^ Blackest Night #3
  6. ^ Flash Vol. 4 #23.1: Grodd
  7. ^ Flash Vol. 4 #27
  8. ^ JLA #110
  9. ^ Superboy #84
  10. ^ Flash Annual #4 (1991)
  11. ^ "ARROW and THE FLASH Crossover Details Reveal Captain Boomerang and ...Rainbow Raider?". Newsarama.com. 
  12. ^ Batman: The Brave and the Bold Volume 2 #14
  13. ^ Jensen, K. Thor. "The 20 Worst Supervillains". Heavy.com. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  14. ^ Marciuliano, Francesco. "The 10 Worst Supervillain High-Tech Gadgets". Smosh. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 

External links[edit]