Friday, May 22, 2015


He's much less flamboyant than the name suggests, but he's possibly the most persistent enemy of the prairie troubadour cowboy superhero The Vigilante (second only to the western hero's most famous foe, The Dummy). He's the Rainbow Man, and he's got as many gimmicks as there are colors of the rainbow (seven, evidently).

Big money, no Whammies
Debuting in Action Comics vol.1 No.46, the Rainbow Man was merely a clever criminal who used a real-life color wheel - a roulette wheel divided into wedges of color, complete with colored lightbulbs on each wedge as though he swiped it from a county fair (which he might have!) - to plot his crimes. True to old school criminal motif, he also themed his crimes around color, although to be fair sometimes that meant "The wheel landed on yellow, we go steal gold!" or "The wheel landed on green, so let's steal some green money!" and so on. I mean, everything's a color, right? His gimmick is "steal everything," basically, which is a pretty good gimmick.

If the Rainbow Man's career had a particular highlight, it was the time he managed to abduct the Vigilante's kid sidekick - Stuff, the Chinatown Kid, an appellation which doubles as a difficult but not impossible instruction - on the way to Stuff's own surprise birthday party. Party foul!

They used this "black and blue" gag pretty
much every time they fought this guy.
Not to disparage Stuff's reputation, but let it be known that the method by which the Rainbow Man carried off his abduction was the position a cigar store indian in the path of Stuff's commute, hang a sign reading "wet paint" on it, and then run a thousand volts through it when Stuff inevitably touched it. He could have also just put a dog crate on the sidewalk with a sign on it reading "Do not get into this dog crate and lock the door behind you and then take five or six of the sleeping pills which are in the back of the dog crate" because I suspect that would have worked, too. Maybe even just a sign reading "Whatever you do, don't stand still on this spot while the Rainbow Man abducts you on the way to your birthday party" because I suspect Stuff might just be contrary. Might have something to do with his shitty nickname.

After a dozen appearances, the Rainbow Man closed down operations and put his spinning wheel back to its original intended use: allowing contestants to assign dollar values to the letters they pick in their attempt to solve word puzzles. At least he keeps busy.

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