Rainbow Raider
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
Notable aliasesChroma
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", a mnemonic for the colors of a rainbow. He is a minor, though recurring, enemy of the Flash and other heroes.[1]

Two incarnations of the Rainbow Raider appear in The Flash, with Roy G. Bivolo appearing in the first and ninth seasons, portrayed by Paul Anthony, and a female incarnation named Carrie Bates appearing in the seventh season, portrayed 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]

Bates elaborated on the characters creation stating "Having grown up on a Flash Rogue’s gallery full of villains who were adept at weaponizing things like mirrors, cold, heat, magic, boomerangs, etc., Julie and I thought the color spectrum gimmick had the potential to be a worthwhile addition."[4]

Fictional character biography

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. The Booster Gold meeting took an odd twist when they fought as allies to expose an artist who had stolen Roy's black-and-white art, added color, and found false fame as an artist. Raider happily surrendered himself after this was accomplished. Rainbow Raider becomes the mind-addled slave of a crime lord in one of many alternate futures within the Armageddon 2001 storyline.[5] 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".[6]

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.[7] He later becomes a minor enemy of the Justice League, appearing briefly at a villains gathering.[8] 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.[9]

Roy is slain by the villainess Blacksmith when she impaled him with his latest work of art.[10]

During the Blackest Night storyline, Rainbow Raider is one of the many deceased characters temporarily reanimated as a zombie within the Black Lantern Corps.[11]

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 warn the other villains that the Gem Cities are his. After Solovar is chained up, the heads of Chroma and the Mayor of Central City are placed around him.[12]

Chroma later appears somehow alive and intact. He and Tar Pit are robbing jewelry stores until they are stopped by Flash.[13]

Rainbow Raiders

Main article: List of criminal organizations in DC Comics § Rainbow Raiders

Since Rainbow Raider's death, a team of color-themed supervillains have dubbed themselves the Rainbow Raiders in his honor.

Powers and abilities

Rainbow Raider's powers are derived 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).


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.[citation needed]

Video games

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



  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. ^ "Cary Bates Talks Superman, the Flash, & More (EXCLUSIVE) - FandomWire". 17 November 2021.
  5. ^ The Flash (vol. 2) Annual #4 (1991). DC Comics.
  6. ^ Underworld Unleashed #1 (November 1995). DC Comics.
  7. ^ The Brave and the Bold #194
  8. ^ JLA-80 Page Giant #1. DC Comics.
  9. ^ JLA #34 (October 1999). DC Comics.
  10. ^ The Flash (vol. 2) #183 (April 2002). DC Comics.
  11. ^ Blackest Night #3 (November 2009). DC Comics.
  12. ^ The Flash (vol. 4) #23.1: Grodd. DC Comics.
  13. ^ The Flash (vol. 4) #27. 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. 27 April 2022.
  19. ^ Batman: The Brave and the Bold Vol. 2 #14. DC Comics.