Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Rainbow Raider, on Purpose

"His goggles were supposed to give me color vision, but instead they gave me some fancy color-based powers. I was bitter...sore.... Crime became my outlet."
The Rainbow Raider, Flash #286.

There are an estimated 20 million people in the U.S. with some form of colorblindness. Do they do anything cool about it? No, they just run around in ill-coordinated outfits and mismatched socks; Aquaman is one of them.

But a supervillain like the Rainbow Raider is a role model for us. He takes a handicap that barely exceeds the level of inconvenience, elevates it to a life-altering grudge, and uses it to give a purpose to his life: color-coordinated crime, color that he can't even see.

Much like Joe Coyne (see the Penny Plunderer), Roy G. Bivolo is a supervillain because he turns his own weakness into his strength; the very bane of his existence becomes the purpose of his life. Who says crime is not an art?


Anonymous said...

You probably knew this, but ROY G. BIV is a mnemonic device for the colors of the spectrum in order of ascending frequency (red orange yellow green blue indigo violet). Cary Bates was nothing if not Cary Bates.

Mark said...

The goggles operate in the secret occult spectrum which can only be seen in second level meditation. In this spectrum violet is, of course, followed by ochre, lime cream, and then orange again. ROY G BIVOLO.

Anonymous said...

Yet another classic example of a comic book charactonym. Someone who just had to become a costumed hero or villain because it fit their name so well. Probably goes to a support group with E. Nigma, Ben Grimm, John Henry Irons, Otto Octavius, and Basil Elks.

Anonymous said...

aquaman is coulor blind, that explains his costume