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mygif

Didn’t Johns have Blaquesmith kill the original Raider? I’m pretty sure the one in recent crowd shots is a legacy baddie…

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mygif

BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Okay, this was some funny shit, although I’m not sure if I’ll send a link to the friend who told me about the Raider in the first place. She likes the character and she wishes he hadn’t been killed off, but maybe she’d find this funny too, I don’t know.

This was me cashing in on MGK’s promise to consider writing a post about a topic of our choosing if we voted for him in the ’08 Canadian Blog Awards. If you haven’t done the same, time’s a wastin’!

Even though I laughed I still feel a little bit bad for Roy so I’ll defend him where possible. Which doesn’t leave me a whole lot; I mean, he could have made monochromatic art, or he could’ve abandoned painting landscapes in favour of something like abstract expressionism (did anybody care what colours Jackson Pollack used?), so there’s no reason why he couldn’t have been an artist. I can’t really defend his dad giving him his powers either, because as origins go it is decidedly not the most impressive. The scheme to drain all the colour from Central City? Can’t defend that either, “why?” indeed…actually I guess he wanted everybody to be colourblind just like him, but it’s still a lame scheme.

But there are two points I can make. First, the example of Catman. Catman had been a loser too, who actually became progressively more pathetic over the years, but eventually he clawed his way (sorry) out of it and has now earned not only the respect of his peers but a spot in what’s arguably the best DC title currently on the shelf. Proving that there’s hope for just about any character.

Second, while Bivolo might screw up in just the way you described and use the red beam, he’d be more likely to use a blue beam to make Hawkman too depressed to fight him. Or a green beam to…uhm…make…Hawkman…buy a Prius? I dunno.

(Actually, now that I bother to read the scanned entry, green causes envy and I can’t imagine how that could be useful, but yellow causes cowardice. That could come in handy.)

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mygif

Wow what a waste of so much potential. I mean with the whole Lantern thing with all the colors they could have updated this character and made him one of the most powerful villains in the DC Universe.

The device his father built could be tapping into all of the power sources for the rings.

Look the Silver Age brought out a lot of lame, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be made better. So if you’re reading this Mr. Geoff “It’s My Universe and I’ll Do What I Want” Johns quit being a dumbass and use such obvious villains to their true potential.

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mygif

Actually, now that I bother to read the scanned entry, green causes envy and I can’t imagine how that could be useful, but yellow causes cowardice. That could come in handy.)

Use of the Envy ray:

Raider is cornered by Barry Allen and Wally West (in whatever role Wally’s been left after Rebirth). He uses the green beam on Wally and all of a sudden:

“Goddammit Barry, I get kicked out of my title after twenty years to make way for your return because some guys in their forties can’t get over Superfriends?! Screw you, Johns and Didio!”

And then they fight.

Also works if he’s cornered by Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner.

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mygif

Oh, it is ON. I will not have anyone picking on the Raider! You have just made yourself an enemy for life, good sir!

It is true that Roy was a prodigy (an art expert said so in a flashback from his origin issue), and he did sometimes paint in black and white. He probably would have been wise to continue doing that, but even I will admit that Roy wasn’t always all that smart.

As for why he drained the colour out of the city, he was attempting to give himself colour vision (and it worked, briefly) as well as inborn powers. For a while, he didn’t need the goggles at all, he was just zapping the hell out of everyone and nearly killed the Flash.

Also, when he was hanging out with Dr. Double-X (they didn’t really work together, they just swapped foes), he beat up Batman. SO THERE.

Viva la Raider!!

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mygif

I find the fact that he was killed with a painting highly entertaining.

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mygif

Oh, it is ON. I will not have anyone picking on the Raider! You have just made yourself an enemy for life, good sir!

Ah, hello Lia! I guess this renders the question of whether to send you the link moot. You seem to be taking it reasonably well, though. :) And now his plan for the city does make more sense.

Unfortunately though, I found some scans of the Raider, including one fight with Batman. And–I can’t believe this–the first one he shoots Batman with is the red/anger-making one! (Oh Roy, Roy, Roy…you didn’t make it easy for people to posthumously plead your case.) You may have that issue, so would you be able to tell me if there was a reason why none of the emotion rays worked on Bruce? Some bat gizmo? Or is he just dead inside?

Use of the Envy ray:

Raider is cornered by Barry Allen and Wally West (in whatever role Wally’s been left after Rebirth). He uses the green beam on Wally and all of a sudden:

“Goddammit Barry, I get kicked out of my title after twenty years to make way for your return because some guys in their forties can’t get over Superfriends?! Screw you, Johns and Didio!”

And then they fight.

Also works if he’s cornered by Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner.

All right, see, just picturing that makes me wish this guy were still around. 😀

Wow what a waste of so much potential. I mean with the whole Lantern thing with all the colors they could have updated this character and made him one of the most powerful villains in the DC Universe.

Yeah, it says in the entry that he could create solid light objects, so if he were better at using his powers he could’ve been a lot better. It’s all in how he, or any other character, is written. Although one exception to that rule would be Paste Pot Pete/Trapster. I don’t think that guy will ever be an A-lister. Sometimes, though, you can retire a villain and still get good mileage out of the character, as Mark Gruenwald did with Fabian Stankowicz, formerly known as the Mechano-Marauder.

I find the fact that he was killed with a painting highly entertaining.

Nah, I think it was a waste. Even if a character’s pathetic that doesn’t mean you kill the poor sap in a couple of panels. The Porcupine was pretty much a joke, but he was given a decent sendoff and even honoured posthumously by the Avengers.

Any bit character, like some nameless crook, could’ve been killed the same way as a demonstration of Blacksmith’s power.

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Lister Sage said on February 5th, 2009 at 9:52 am

The strangest thing for me is MGK has finally posted a DC character I’ve heard about before. Ganted I first heard of him when reading an old Wizard magazine where he was Mort of the Month, but there you go.

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mygif

Wow what a waste of so much potential. I mean with the whole Lantern thing with all the colors they could have updated this character and made him one of the most powerful villains in the DC Universe.

I had similar thoughts. In fairness to Johns, however, he killed Rainbow Raider off BEFORE he started writing Green Lantern and spinning the color emotional spectrum idea.

If nothing else, we need Keith Giffen to do another Ambush Bug mini-series with a resurrected Rainbow Raider parodying the upcoming “Blackest Night” saga. :)

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mygif

“Now they won’t be able to use… traffic lights! The city’s traffic will come to a standstill without giving me the riches I demand!”

MGK – have you been reading my fan-fiction?

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mygif

such noteworthy moments as teaming up with Dr. Double-X (”less randy than Dr. Triple-X, more daring than Dr. Single-X”)

I think that’s more “Dr. Double-Cross” – as in, “help me out and I’ll totally stab you in the back when we’re through” – which, I imagine, would be the absolute LAST doctor you would ever want to team up with.

And really? Do you really think its a good idea to hand Green Lantern powers to some fruity washed-up artist’s dad? And not just Green Lantern powers, but Rainbow Lantern powers, which trump all other colors by virtue of being fabulous? I mean, it takes – what? – a small village full of Guardians to make one of these things properly. And some dude can just crap one out in his basement before he kicks it?

Yeah, overpowered. I’m not too disappointed that Rainbow Raider doesn’t have much bang for his buck.

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mygif

C’mon man – why does every villain NEED to be a goddamned Joker. I won’t defend Raider’s competence or abilities because you aren’t SUPPOSED to. There are criminals in the world with really dumb reasons for doing what they do, that will have potential and most of the time muck it up. If you always kill those guys or make them the goddamn Joker you end up with the DRAMA FILLED ANGST verse and nothing to fill in your padded fun areas – this is comics man! FUN. You know Flash fight Roy almost as a cool down after having dealt with Murmur or whatever the hell crisis. That is what kinda character he is!

PLUS I call you out on the Booster Gold Raider – he took out Booster blinding him, which was cool and then when the art gallery caught fire he worked alongside Booster to save all the artworks within.

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mygif

You forget, because this is comics, if there weren’t something to bitch about, it would be manufactured. I mean, look at this whole conversation. It’s permeated by the underlying belief that there’s no bad characters, just writers and editors WHO ARE GROSSLY INCOMPETENT AND RAPING MY CHILDHOOD AND MOLESTING MY FAVOURITE CHARACTERS BECAUSE THEY ARE EVIL VILE MEN WHO ARE OBVIOUSLY THE SAME AS PEDO RAPISTS BECAUSE THEY DON’T WRITE COMICS LIKE THEY ONLY EXISTED IN MY MIND NOT HOW THEY REALLY WERE WHEN I WAS A KID.

And man, I’m glad I don’t pay attention to the Bat-cast if Joker’s all about teh angst.

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mygif

The best Rainbow Raider “owned!” moment was in an issue of Flash where he was in a prison yard complaining to another lame villain (I want to say it was Crazy Quilt) about Wally.

“Damn the Flash and his stupid blue costume…”

“For the last time, you colorblind spastic, the Flash’s costume is a bright shade of RED!”

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Cookie McCool said on February 5th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

The whole entry seems like it was written by Roy’s prison shrink trying to prop up the poor guy’s self-esteem. “Sure, you had to have your dad build your powers for you as a consolation prize for being you, Roy, but remember, you’re special! You have remarkable powers over colored lights, even if you can’t actually see them.”

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mygif

Matt: I’ve never read that scene, but that is awesome.

Rob Brown: I don’t think even Trapster is irredeemable. I think the trick to using villains that appear lame isn’t to amp up their powers or make them more bad-ass, but to have them use their existing, goofy abilities with spectacular competence. *Anyone* can bring the city to its knees with a nuclear-powered battlesuit with railguns and heat-seeking missiles. But to do it with adhesives and solvents? *That* would be impressive (and extremely entertaining).

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mygif

This guy has a lot more potential than his Pride parade costume lets on.

First of all, he can create solid objects out of light, presumably out of any color of light and it doesn’t depend on his willpower so that can give him an advantage over, say, a Green Lantern, whose power is dependent on his willpower it thus psychically connected to all his creations.

Second, he can control people’s emotions with beams of light. Imagine if you were a politician who was worried about losing an election and maybe all you needed was for your opponent to make one public display of cowardice or inappropriate anger that would ruin his chances. An assassination would cause too much political turmoil, but a simple character assassination would always be in demand.

Third, using his black light, he drains people of their power. Of course, the draining of their color makes the signature move a dead giveaway, but this could easily be used as a way to escape a losing battle quickly.

Fourth, controlling the color of light would make him an excellent arsonist. All he would need to do is change the color of the red and orange flames to blue in order to increase the temperature of the flames.

He needs a new name (both of them) and a new costume, but his powers give him an exceptional amount of potential. Which ultimately leads to the question, why the hell doesn’t Lex Luthor just round up all these wasted technologies and use them for his own purposes?

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mygif

cool comic book illustrations!

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mygif

@Zenrage: Oh man, Lex with choose-your-own Kryptonite.

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mygif

By bizarre coincidence, there’s an article in the New York Times about how color can affect mood & cognitive performance: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/06/science/06color.html?ref=science.
Apparently blue makes you more creative and red increases accuracy.

It’s too bad he’s dead now. He could have rented himself out to corporations that wanted to improve employee productivity and made a fortune.

I have a question though: If he’s colorblind, how does he know which color to use?

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Lister Sage said on February 5th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Anne: Colorblind people aren’t really color bind, it’s just that their brains interperet colors in different ways. Take Matt’s example above, what Roy sees as blue is accutally red. I knew a guy in high school who was colorblind and where color makes a difference you use something else. For traffic lights for example he went by the position the light was in, not the color of it.

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mygif

Second, he can control people’s emotions with beams of light. Imagine if you were a politician who was worried about losing an election and maybe all you needed was for your opponent to make one public display of cowardice or inappropriate anger that would ruin his chances. An assassination would cause too much political turmoil, but a simple character assassination would always be in demand.

I think you’re onto something. He wouldn’t even be the first Rogue to try something like that; the Top did so as well, but Roy might have better luck if he used his powers the right way. If.

“Damn the Flash and his stupid blue costume…”

“For the last time, you colorblind spastic, the Flash’s costume is a bright shade of RED!”

That’s awesome. 😀

You forget, because this is comics, if there weren’t something to bitch about, it would be manufactured. I mean, look at this whole conversation. It’s permeated by the underlying belief that there’s no bad characters, just writers and editors WHO ARE GROSSLY INCOMPETENT AND RAPING MY CHILDHOOD AND MOLESTING MY FAVOURITE CHARACTERS BECAUSE THEY ARE EVIL VILE MEN WHO ARE OBVIOUSLY THE SAME AS PEDO RAPISTS BECAUSE THEY DON’T WRITE COMICS LIKE THEY ONLY EXISTED IN MY MIND NOT HOW THEY REALLY WERE WHEN I WAS A KID.

Well, sure there are bad characters, Andrew. But I think it’s better to try and make a bad character into a good one than to say “this character sucks, let’s just kill him.”

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mygif

Anne: Colorblind people aren’t really color bind, it’s just that their brains interperet colors in different ways. Take Matt’s example above, what Roy sees as blue is accutally red. I knew a guy in high school who was colorblind and where color makes a difference you use something else. For traffic lights for example he went by the position the light was in, not the color of it.

Strangely, in one scan of his origin it shows him trying the goggles on and seeing everything in black and white. Which, according to Bivolo, is the same as he’s always seen it. I guess that was written by somebody who didn’t understand colourblindness; the person who wrote the exchange above, about the Flash’s blue costume, clearly understood that it wasn’t as simple as “black & white” vs. “many colours.”

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mygif

@Kyle: He already did that.

He was a 3rd rate Silver Age Hero. This is definitely a case of big fat writer fail.

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mygif

There are rare cases of people who are totally colourblind (who cannot see any colour at all). And from what we’ve seen of Raider’s history, he is one of them. There have actually been several panels which show the world from his POV, and it was in nothing but shades of grey.

This, I think, makes his bitterness and anger a little more understandable.

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mygif

Control over color could be a useful one. Make things transparent or you could change print (all the labels in the pharmacy are changed!) or change the color of people’s eyes, thus making them blind. Illusions, a quick car paint job….

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mygif

Actually, colorblind people *are* unable to see certain colors. And some people are unable to see any colors at all. I have an uncle who saw only in black and white, and I have problems distinguishing red from green.

I’ve never considered it tragic enough to power a life of supervillainy, though. I get more emotional about my family’s history of male pattern baldness than the colorblindness thing.

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Mark Temporis said on February 5th, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Stark; the recent Action Comics Legion had a “Rainbow Girl” who seemed to have a mixture of this guy’s powers AND the new ’emotional spectrum” GL powers. Maybe a great^5th grand-daughter?

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mygif

What was wrong with “Color Kid”?

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mygif

Johns brought in a whole legacy group called the Rainbow Raiders (1 per color) to replace him.

Well, he did.

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mygif

I’ve never considered it tragic enough to power a life of supervillainy, though. I get more emotional about my family’s history of male pattern baldness than the colorblindness thing.

This character makes much more sense if you assume he’s trying to get revenge on the world not over his colorblindness, but over his father cursing him with a really stupid name.

I mean, come on… Roy G. Bivolo? It’s like his father wanted him to have the crap beaten out of him in school.

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mygif

Huh, guess I didn’t know as much about colourblindness as I thought I did. If nothing else, this has been educational.

@Skemono: Well, there’s nothing wrong with the name “Roy,” and there wasn’t much his father could’ve done about the last name. I think the blame lies with one of those guys on Ellis Island. You know the type, the people whose job it is to say “Welcome to America! What’s your name?…No it’s not, your name is ‘Bivolo’ now.”

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Kingfisher said on February 6th, 2009 at 1:20 am

Matt D – Johns brought in a whole legacy group called the Rainbow Raiders (1 per color) to replace him.

My mental image of what they could look like is very Power Ranger-y.

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mygif

Here are a couple of pictures of the Rainbow Raiders group — they only had two appearances, and are kind of lame.
http://www.hyperborea.org/flash/rainbow-raiders.html

Also, once I posted a whole bunch of Raider scans just for the hell of it. Enjoy.
http://community.livejournal.com/flash_rogues/24614.html

By the way, it includes the “colorblind spastic” panel.

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mygif

@Lia: You know, I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like. (Has that not been said in so long that it’s stopped being a cliche, or did I just spout a cliche?) And I would buy that painting he was working on when he disappeared in that one panel.

The guy did have his moments (puce or not, it still looks like that blast was pretty effective, and you know what they say about vomit-inducing-rays by any other name).

Kind of ironic that he’d mock Booster Gold as being second rate (with Booster probably thinking the same about him) and then, according to Axolotl’s comment above, stop fighting him and team up very shortly after.

In one of those scans he’s yelling at a guy named Morris. The natural assumption would be that he is doing this because he doesn’t like Morris, and that assumption would be…absolutely correct! You can see the reason here (the commentary isn’t kind to the Raider either, although if Roy were alive he might take small comfort in what was said about Morris’ outfit):

http://www.seanbaby.com/stupcom/rainbow4.htm

I like that version of his origin the best. He got ditched by his business partner and supposed friend right when they were on the brink of success, then immediately after that he had to deal with his pop’s death. That’d put me in a crime-committing mood!

Here’s something else. An interview with the Rainbow Raider:

http://www.fanzing.com/mag/fanzing43/iview.shtml

The following is a spoiler quote and most of the final part of the interview, but I am compelled to include it. Partly because it includes an explanation for what you told me about the way he was acting before getting killed, Lia, and I guess that’s as good an explanation as any. 😉

DB: Let’s talk about your recent career change. Why’d you decide to quit DC and come to Fanzing?

RB: I wanted to get back to my roots as an artist. Plus, I was tired of being typecast as a “goofy, but loveable villain.”

I felt that I had accomplished everything I could in comics, and it was time for a change. Aside from Captain Cold, most members of the old Rogues’ Gallery have died or gone onto other things. A new generation of villains are coming to the forefront, and being a bit old school, I felt out of place.

When you guys called, I decided that I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to become the curator of an art gallery!

DB: Were there any hard feelings?

RB: No, not really. Geoff [Johns, writer of the Flash] was really cool about it. He came up with the idea of my death scene in Flash #183. Geoff was introducing Blacksmith, a new villain, and he wanted to kill somebody off to make her [Blacksmith] look tough. Originally, he wanted to off the Turtle, but I persuaded him otherwise.

DB: You suggested he use you instead?

RB: Yeah. In many respects, my “death” was a nice solution. Geoff got what he wanted, it enabled me to get out of my DC contract, and it hopefully offered my fans a sense of closure.

DB: In the scene leading up to your death, you seem to be acting out of character. Instead of the loveable rogue we’ve come to expect, you’re suddenly an angry trouble maker. Even your costume is gone, replaced by an grungy looking trenchcoat.

RB: I can’t talk about that, but there was a reason for it.

DB: You mean the person Blacksmith killed might not have been you? An imposter?

RB: Let’s just say that there are ways that I can come back, if need be. I left some options open. I also signed a standard “flashback” contract, which enables me to appear in any stories set in the past.

DB: Is there anything in the works?

RB: I’ve discussed a “Rainbow Raider: Year One” miniseries with Geoff and Scott [Kolins, the penciller of Flash], but their schedules are pretty busy right now. In the meantime, I’m content with my new curator duties here at Fanzing. I get a monthly gig and I’m doing something I love. What more could a guy want?

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mygif

Roy. G. Bivalo. Sounds like something a mom would teach their kid to help them ace a science quiz.

You guys do get the name, right? Just checking.

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mygif

Kinda hard not to get the name. Its not that subtle.

The one name I never did get was Ben Riley. I’ve seen two insect-themed characters given this name as an alter-ego (The Scarlet Spider, Deathfly). I have yet to figure out why, though.

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mygif

You guys do get the name, right? Just checking.

Yes, but I can’t claim credit for figuring it out; right there in his Wiki entry is the reason for his name. :p

@Zenrage: Well, in the case of the Scarlet Spider you had Peter’s clone trying to make a life for himself and he needed an alias. He got the first name from Uncle Ben, of course, and Reilly was Aunt May’s maiden name. As for this Deathfly person, it is a mystery to me as well…

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mygif

Kind of ironic that he’d mock Booster Gold as being second rate (with Booster probably thinking the same about him) and then, according to Axolotl’s comment above, stop fighting him and team up very shortly after.

Booster persuaded him to help save paintings from a fire in the art museum. Roy could not let all that art be destroyed!

I like that version of his origin the best. He got ditched by his business partner and supposed friend right when they were on the brink of success, then immediately after that he had to deal with his pop’s death. That’d put me in a crime-committing mood!

Yeah, it does make sense.

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mygif

. . . okay, so I now need to know what the hell his indigo, violet and orange blasts made people feel. Seriously, you guys. It’s going to bug me until I find out. Goddamit.

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mygif

I can’t help you with the violent and orange beams, but from that interview I linked to above:

DB: I’ve often wondered what your indigo beams do.

RB: They cause uncontrollable break-dancing. I hit Batman with one in Brave and the Bold #194….

DB: The time you teamed up with Dr. Double X?
Get down and boogie with Rainbow Raider!

RB: Right. I hit Batman with an indigo beam, and he just lost it. He started spinning around on the ground, doing all these awesome moves. I can still hear him singing: “Open the door, get on the floor, everybody do the dinosaur…”

Double X and I just stopped and stared. So did Flash, who had teamed up with Bats. We couldn’t believe it. Editor Julius Schwartz eventually cut that scene from the final issue, and I was forbidden from ever using my indigo beam again.

DB: I actually found some footage from that scene. Here’s a shot of you break dancing!

RB: Oh, geez! We really got carried away. Swept up in the moment.

😉

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mygif

They cause uncontrollable break-dancing.

…okay, that totally changed my mind. Rainbow Raider is the best supervillain ever.

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mygif

Let me offer a possible explanation for his street name:

In the Germanic languages, V is often pronounced F, while the Japanese tend to confuse L and R. Combine these and Roy’s last name comes out Biforo which is not far off from Bifrost which is the name of the rainbow the Norse gods use to travel between Asgard and Midgard. Wow, that’s a big stretch.

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mygif

The thing I always remember about the Rainbow Raider is that he was, of all the Flash’s villains, apparently the one that was most likely to go completely, violently insane if you stepped on his gimmick. That’s how they ended up dealing with Dr. Spectro in Captain Atom… they put him in the same prison as the Rainbow Raider, and shortly thereafter, he cut a deal with the government to keep his mouth shut about Captain Atom’s secret in exchange for protection from the Raider’s murderous wrath, after the Raider had almost killed him twice.

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[…] Somehow I missed this when it was posted, but Mightygodking has an off-kilter profile of the Rainbow Raider. […]

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