Rainbow Raider
Rainbow Raider.jpg
Interior artwork from Who's Who in the DC Universe 11 (July 1991 DC Comics)
Art by Ty Templeton
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceThe Flash #286 (June 1980)
Created byCary Bates
Don Heck
In-story information
Alter egoRoy G. Bivolo
Team affiliationsRogues
Black Lantern Corps
Color Queens
AbilitiesSpecial 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 comic books by DC Comics. His real name is a pun based on the acronym "ROYGBIV" (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and 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.[1]

Rainbow Raider made his live-action debut in the Arrowverse series The Flash's first season, played by Paul Anthony. A new, female version of Rainbow Raider appeared in the seventh season of The Flash, played by Jona Xiao.

Publication history

Rainbow Raider first appeared in The Flash #286 (June 1980), and was created by Cary Bates and Don Heck.[2] Bates said in a 2008 interview that "Rainbow Raider's color-blindness (as well as the color-emotion powers and origin) was an attempt on his part to emulate those classic Rogues' Gallery villain origins Bates enjoyed so much from the sixties".[3]

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, and indeed showed great technical skill, 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.[4] 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".[5]

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.[6] He later becomes a minor enemy of the Justice League, appearing briefly at a villains gathering.[7] Rainbow Raider 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). During his time at Belle Reve, he was part of the Color Queens prison gang alongside Crazy Quilt, Doctor Light, Doctor Spectro, and Multi-Man.[8]

Roy is slain by the villainess Blacksmith when she impaled him with his latest work of art.[9]

During the Blackest Night storyline, Rainbow Raider is one of the many deceased characters temporarily reanimated as a zombie within the Black Lantern Corps.[10]

In 2011, "The New 52" rebooted the DC universe. 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.[11]

Chroma later appears somehow alive and intact. He and Tar Pit are robbing jewelry stores until they are stopped by Flash.[12]

Rainbow Raiders

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.[13]

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 power 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).

Each member of the Rainbow Raiders have powers based on their color:


Heavy.com lists Rainbow Raider as one of the worst supervillains of all time.[14] Francesco Marciuliano from Smosh.com ranked Rainbow Raider as having one of the worst supervillain gadgets of all time.[15]

Other characters named Rainbow Raider

In other media



Rainbow Raider appears in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.

Video games

Rainbow Raider appears as a downloadable playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham as part of the "Rainbow" DLC pack.



  1. ^ Eury, Michael (2017). Hero-a-go-go! Campy Comic Books, Crimefighters & Culture of the Swinging Sixties. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 9781605490731.
  2. ^ Rovin, Jeff (1987). The Encyclopedia of Supervillains. New York: Facts on File. p. 290. ISBN 0-8160-1356-X.
  3. ^ Dallas, Keith (2008). The Flash Companion. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 77. ISBN 9781893905986.
  4. ^ The Flash (vol. 2) Annual #4 (1991). DC Comics.
  5. ^ Underworld Unleashed #1 (November 1995). DC Comics.
  6. ^ The Brave and the Bold #194
  7. ^ JLA-80 Page Giant #1. DC Comics.
  8. ^ JLA #34 (October 1999). DC Comics.
  9. ^ The Flash (vol. 2) #183 (April 2002). DC Comics.
  10. ^ Blackest Night #3 (November 2009). DC Comics.
  11. ^ The Flash (vol. 4) #23.1: Grodd. DC Comics.
  12. ^ The Flash (vol. 4) #27. DC Comics.
  13. ^ JLA #110. DC Comics.
  14. ^ Jensen, K. Thor. "The 20 Worst Supervillains". Heavy.com. Archived from the original on 25 December 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  15. ^ Marciuliano, Francesco. "The 10 Worst Supervillain High-Tech Gadgets". Smosh. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  16. ^ Superboy #84 (October 1960). DC Comics.
  17. ^ The House of Mystery #167 (June 1967). DC Comics.
  18. ^ "ARROW and THE FLASH Crossover Details Reveal Captain Boomerang and ...Rainbow Raider?". Newsarama.com.
  19. ^ Batman: The Brave and the Bold Vol. 2 #14. DC Comics.