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Origin First Appearance of Superheroes and Villains Beginning With R
Ra's al Ghul
Ra's al Ghul is a criminal mastermind who has taken it upon himself to "balance" humanity, using death and destruction as a means of getting rid of most of a population.
Ra's al Ghul runs a secret organization known as the Demon, which houses his elite group of assassins – The League of Assassins.
Over the years, he has used his organizations to destroy cities and kill millions of people – all in the name of his sick sense of justice and balance.
Ra's al Ghul is over 500 years old, thanks to his Lazarus Pits, which can heal him and keep him nearly immortal.
Chen Wu was a Communist nuclear scientist, tasked with finding a way to kill Thor.
Taking matters into his own hands, Wu begins exposing himself to radiation, becoming Radioactive Man, one of the earliest Thor villains.
Through his experiments, he develops the power to inflict radiation poisoning and hypnotize his victims, while also increasing his strength and durability.
Rag Doll is the alter ego of Peter Merkell, a Golden Age villain of the Flash.
Merkell was born with "triple-jointedness", allowing him to bend and move in bizarre and inhumanly ways.
Short on money, Merkell develops the idea of hiding inside rag dolls inside toy stores, and then robbing the store after hours.
Roy Bivolo was a gifted painter but colorblind.
Hoping to correct his problems, Roy's father created a device that could project beams of light that could become solid objects.
The device allowed Roy to become invisible, blind his opponents, and allowed him to seemingly fly on a rainbow-like road.
Turning to a life of crime, Roy became the Rainbow Raider and joined the Rogues.
Following the death of the original Rainbow Raider, a group of rookie villains formed the Rainbow Raiders group.
After the Crime Syndicate's invasion of Earth, the Rainbow Raiders attacked Johnny Quick and the S.T.A.R.S. Lab.
After being defeated, the Rainbow Raiders commit mass suicide.
Gotham City low life Otis Flannegan was once an exterminator and rat catcher, until turning to a life of crime.
Using his ability to communicate and control rats, Flannegan becomes the Ratcatcher, and commits a series of robberies and thefts.
Rick Raliegh was a non-super-powered mystery man, the Red Bee, who had a set of striped red-and-yellow tights, with very unusual, see-through, puffy sleeves.
He had hives of trained bees that did his bidding, and a "stinger gun" of his own invention. In civilian life, Rick was an assistant district attorney. Oddly, he kept his favorite bee (named Michael) with him at all times, housed in a special compartment in his belt buckle.
This oddball hero lasted for about two years, and was later acquired by DC along with the other Quality Comics heroes, retconned into their All-Star Squadron franchise.
Ivan Kragoff was a Soviet scientist whose goal was to the reach the moon first, and turn it into a Communist empire.
Kragoff blasted off for the Moon and somehow was exposed to cosmic rays, developing the ability to become invisible and intangible, becoming the Red Ghost.
Along with his Super-Apes, Red Ghost battled the Fantastic Four over control of the Moon.
The Red Hood is the alias of several different people in the DC Universe.
In the Joker's backstory, he was the first to use the Red Hood alias before officially becoming the Joker.
Red Hood is most often associated with Jason Todd – the second Robin after Dick Grayson.
After being resurrected, Todd becomes the Red Hood, starting a vigilante lifestyle that goes against Batman's.
This issue is among the key Joker comics -- where Joker's origin is retold.
Red Skull is a Nazi and archenemy of Captain America.
Red Skull was born Johann Schmidt, and was personally trained by Adolf Hitler.
After completion of his "perfect Nazi" training, Johann was given a grotesque red skull-like mask and changed his name.
Red Skull quickly rose the ranks and strived to replace Hitler himself. He is obsessed with world domination and will do anything to achieve his dream.
Captain America and the Avengers often foil his plans.
While Red Skull has no inherent superpowers, he is extremely intelligent and cunning.
Somehow, he has the ability to take over other people's bodies with his mind and consciousness, and has many clones.
Origin and First Appearance, Red Tornado
All-American Comics #20, DC Comics, 1940
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Ma Hunkel has no relationship to the android hero Red Tornado of the 1960s Justice League of America and beyond.
Rather, she was a comedy superhero, a mother who decided to fight crime in her neighborhood wearing a pair of red long underwear and a saucepan on her head.
The original Red Tornado was strictly for laughs, and was an honorary member of the Justice Society of America, having come to JSA HQ to apply for membership, but having to leave when her pants split.
The Resistants is a group of super villains who evolved from Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and Mandrill's Mutant Force.
The group is funded by the Red Skull.
At the group's peak, membership included Crucible, Meteorite, Mist Mistress, Think Tank, and Occult.
Most members leave after being defeated by Captain America and the Defenders.
Origin and First Appearance, Rhino
Amazing Spider-Man #41, Marvel Comics, 1966
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Rhino is an Avengers and Spider-Man villain.
Rhino was born Aleksei Sytsevich, but after being empowered with superhuman strength, durability, and a deadly horn in his forehead, he became Rhino.
Rhino made a minor appearance in the 2014 superhero movie, Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Edward Nigma had always been obsessed with puzzles and riddles, using them to his advantage and to get practically anything he wanted.
Developing a criminal alter ego, the Riddler, Nigma sends Batman and the police clues about his victims and crimes.
Instead of simply killing or stealing, Riddler must set up an elaborate and complex puzzle, which is often his downfall.
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Maynard Tiboldt is the owner of a circus which he uses as a front for his criminal gang, the Circus of Crime.
Tiboldt possesses a device that can control other's minds, which was originally used the Red Skull.
After attempting to enlist the Avengers in his Circus of Crime, he is defeated.
However, he recovers and later steals the Cosmic Ring.
Rival Flash is the name of several enemies of the Flash, who also possess super human speed.
The original Rival was Dr. Edward Clariss, who developed a potion for super speed.
Dr. Clariss used his speed for crime, and gave the potion to several other criminals.
However, the effects were only temporary and he was jailed.
Robin, the Boy Wonder
Origin and First Appearance, Robin the Boy Wonder
Detective Comics #38, DC Comics, 1940
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DC decided that Batman was too dark, so he was given Robin, the Boy Wonder in Detective Comics #38.
Young Dick Grayson was orphaned when his parents, a circus act called the Flying Graysons, were murdered.
Bruce Wayne saw a bit of himself in the boy's situation, and took him on as his ward and his superhero sidekick under the name, "Robin."
Dick would eventually grow up and move out of Wayne Manor to become Nightwing and head up the Teen Titans, and there would be several other Robins over time.
Robin, like Batman, has no superpowers as such, but is a world-class detective and athlete, and has all the technology of the Batcave at his disposal.
The original Robotman was a tragic figure.
Robert Crane was a scientist who'd been working on an artificial body, that could keep a human brain alive in the event of severe injury.
A gang of criminals decided to steal it from him, figuring that they could charge exorbitant prices for what would essentially be immortality. Crane fought them, and was mortally wounded. His assistant placed Crane's brain in the robot body, saving him.
He eventually created a new identity, that of Paul Dennis, for which he made a latex face and hands.
As a robot, he had superhuman strength, endurance, speed, and vision.
Ronan the Accuser
Ronan is the member of the Kree alien race and member of the Accuser Corps, who act as intergalactic military governors and jurists.
Ronan quickly rises the ranks and eventually comes to Earth to investigate the destruction of Sentry-459.
There, he is defeated by the Fantastic Four.
Rose and Thorn
Rose and Thorn are the personalities of Rhosyn "Rose" Forrest.
Rhosyn suffers from multiple personality disorder, with Rose being the 'normal' personality, and Thorn being a crime fighting vigilante.
Over the years, Thorn helps superheroes take down several criminals, including Poison Ivy.
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After being fired from her job as a stunt double, Roxy Rocket begins stealing jewelry for the Penguin.
Over time, Roxy developed romantic feelings for Batman, but these were unrequited and the Dark Knight arrested her.
Royal Flush Gang
The Royal Flush Gang was a criminal organization led by Professor Amos Fortune (Ace).
Over the years, the gang fought against the JLA using Fortune's ability to manipulate luck, but lost.
Their defining feature was wearing costumes based on the suit of clubs.
Later, when Professor Fortune leaves the gang, they reform under Hector Hammond's leadership.
Origin and First Appearance, Runaways
Runaways #1, Marvel Comics, 2003
The Runaways is a comic series about a group of teenagers who discover that their parents are part of an evil crime group called the Pride.
The Pride is made up of mob bosses, time travelers, wizards, evil scientists, aliens, and telepaths.
Later, the group learns that they too have inherited their parents' super powers, and use them to fight evil.
During the Civil War storyline, the Avengers meet up with the Runaways and help them.
Rupert Thorne was the corrupt mayor of Gotham City.
Through his criminal connections, he attempted to imprison Batman, but he fails.
Later, Thorne kills Hugo Strange to learn Batman's identity.
Strange fakes his death, but haunts Thorne for several years.
Most recently, Thorne was an inmate at Blackgate Penitentiary.
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