Forgotten Heroes 2022: Rainbow Boy

For my first submission to Forgotten Heroes 2022, I present: Rainbow Boy!

Before anyone calls bullshit on me, Rainbow Boy is a REAL character, and he certainly fits the designation of “Forgotten Hero”. He only appeared a total of nine times in comics. I’m a lifelong comic fan, and I’d never heard of him in my life, until @howardswinford, a guy on Instagram, posted a picture of him. Then I found this book: The League of Regrettable Super Heroes, which contains an entry for Rainbow Boy (and a plethora of inspiration for future Forgotten Heroes submissions). Since then, I’ve been utterly fascinated by him.

Rainbow Boy, real name Jack Walton, gained the superpower of “rainbow control” through unknown means. He can fly (or perhaps “cavort merrily”) at the speed of light; and when he does, he leaves a rainbow trail in his wake that he can shape into various forms. Those are his powers.

He needs nothing else. Rainbow Boy is FUCKING AWESOME.

June, the month of Forgotten Heroes, happens to be Pride month here in the USA. Now I know what you’re all thinking, but you’d be wrong. I did not choose Rainbow Boy in celebration of Pride Month. Rainbow Boy debuted in 1942. Like all men who wore tights back then, there is absolutely nothing to indicate that Rainbow Boy is anything but a heterosexual, cisgender white male.

Nothing. Nothing at all.

Of course, it was the 40’s, and gay people didn’t exist back then. Rainbow Boy is in the public domain now; and the times, they are a-changin’; so nowadays he should feel free to be whoever he wants, be it breakfast cereal mascot (as suggested in his entry) or LGBTQ+ icon. After all, he just turned 80. If not now, when? (Edit: I feel the need to specifically qualify the blatantly ignorant first sentence of this paragraph as sarcasm. I shouldn’t have to, as it takes away somewhat from the humor intended; but it’s possible I will be misunderstood as homophobic and uninformed. Lest anyone think I am homophobic, uninformed, or in any way serious when I write that gay people didn’t exist in the 40’s, I am not. I am aware that gay people existed in the 1940s; also prior to the 40’s throughout history, and every day since.)

To make Rainbow Boy, I used two miniatures: a Heroclix Aquaman, and a Heroclix Rogue; Aquaman for Rainbow Boy himself, and Rogue’s weird air contrail for Rainbow Boy’s eponymous rainbow. With my meager sculpting skills, I was able to form Rainbow Boy’s cowl and Spartan-like mohawk, his bracers, and his circular belt buckle from green stuff and Magic Sculpt.

You would think painting Rainbow Boy would be easy; after all his costume is mostly white and red. Not so much, though. As is common with many Clix models, Aquaman was caked with paint that is so difficult to remove I didn’t even try; I just painted over it. The result is a little heavy-handed, as you can see.

I primed him white and gave him a good wash of Nuln OIl before highlighting up. His odd, pastel rainbow was more of a challenge, as it appears on his chest, cowl plume and wristbands. I did my best; but freehanding something so small and lightly-colored was tough.

Finding free time has once again proven to be a challenge for me this month. I had hoped to have Rainbow Boy done earlier than this, because I have one more miniature I really want to get to by month’s end…someone I’ve been dying to make for a long time. A return to Star Trek is also planned as Lieutenant Barclay has been patiently waiting to learn his fate for over a month, now! Just gotta find the time somewhere…

10 thoughts on “Forgotten Heroes 2022: Rainbow Boy

  1. Dick Garrison

    Well he certainly is forgotten (I’d never heard of him!), and definitely very PC (more than I can claim for my choices). That’s a really tidy conversion too mate, I have to admit I rather like him, great choice and nice an amusing write up too.

    Cheers Roger.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thank you, Roger. I’m not generally that PC in real life; but it’s the internet and you never know who will drop by the Tavern and get mortified and offended. (It’s not like it hasn’t happened before, as you know.) And whilst I have been accused of being (and been known to be) an asshole; I’m not a bigot.
      It’s fucking Rainbow Boy! How serious can you take him? 🙂

  2. Matt

    Very nicely done, Keith, the conversion is really good and you nailed Rainbow Boy’s look! Using the contrail thing for his rainbow trail is absolutely inspired! I can see what you mean about painting the rainbow; the comic’s colours are all wrong and I wonder if those odd shades are thanks to CMYK printing back in the 40s.

    Great start to Forgotten Heroes, and I’m looking forward to the next one!

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Matt. I generally hate those things, but It’s not the first time I’ve used one of those weird bits from a Clix model for something else. In fact I used the water spout from this very same Aquaman figure to make Water Wizard a few years back; and I used some fog from an Ultron miniature, and the Ultron mini itself, to make some cold vapor and Ms. Nora Fries, respectively. I think it’s likely what you said re: the ink. Those pastels show up much better in the pictures than they do at arms’ length!

  3. Jez

    Jeez… I thought I knew most of the really obscure characters, but this one is definitely a new one on me. Niche power set? Check. Delightfully cheesy costume? Check. Unashamedly naff? Check. Awesome? Yeah, I’d say so. And your realisation of him is pretty damn cool. Bloody hell, I’m going to really have to knock it out of the park to match what everyone else is doing this year…

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Jeremy. Once I became aware of the existence of Rainbow Boy, I knew I had to do him for FH. I’ve been thinking about this since last year…but he’s not who I’m most excited about. I hope I can get my other one done! You will appreciate it!

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