Public Domain Super Heroes

Real Name


First Appearance

The Road to Oz (1909)

Original Publisher

Reilly & Britton

Created by

L. Frank Baum


When Dorothy Gale, the Shaggy Man, and Button-Bright first met Polychrome (or "Polly" to her friends), she was dancing to keep warm after accidentally sliding off her father's rainbow and landing on the surface of the Earth. Her father had withdrawn his bow without realizing she'd been left behind. She traveled with the companions across the Deadly Desert, into the Land of Oz and eventually arrived with them at the Emerald City where she attended Princess Ozma of Oz's birthday party. At the end of the party her father extended his rainbow and she returned home.

When the rainbow later set down on Sky Island, Polychrome recognized Button-Bright who was stranded there. She left the rainbow for an hour or two to help the boy and his friends, Trot and Cap'n Bill, before returning to her home in the sky.

Polychrome was stranded upon the earth for a second time and encountered the Shaggy Man again (though they didn't seem to recognize one another), along with Betsy Bobbin, Hank the Mule, and Ozga the Rose Princess. She accompanied them to the Nome Kingdom to rescue the Shaggy Man's Brother, and there, the Nome King was captivated by her and invited her to stay in his Kingdom and make him happy. She refused and helped depose the Monarch. When they found the Shaggy Man's Brother, Polychrome agreed to kiss him to break a spell of ugliness that Ruggedo had placed upon him, saying that she had never kissed a mortal man in all her thousands of years.

On one of her visits to Oz, after she again got separated from the rainbow out of carelessness, Polychrome fell asleep near the Yoop castle. Mrs. Yoop found her sleeping and, being a Yookoohoo, transformed her into a canary, thus suppressing most of her fairy powers. Mrs. Yoop kept the canary prisoner, until she transformed and captured the Tin Woodman, Scarecrow, and Woot the Wanderer as well. Together, the four planned and made their escape. They journeyed to Jinjur's house, where Ozma met them and transformed them all to their natural forms. Polychrome then went with the party to meet Nimmie Amee, helping them get through a magical barrier using her fairy powers. Soon thereafter, there was a rainstorm and a subsequent rainbow, allowing Polychrome to return home to the sky.

Appearance and Demeanor

Polychrome is radiant and beautiful with golden hair and violet eyes. She wears flowing, fluffy robes of soft material like woven cobwebs colored in stripes of violet, rose, topaz, olive, azure, and white that melt one into the other. Her flowing hair is loose and floats around her in a cloud.

She eats very little compared to mortals. Her diet consists of dewdrops, mist-cakes, and cloud-buns.

Public Domain Literary Appearances

  • The Road to Oz
  • Sky Island
  • Tik-Tok of Oz
  • The Tin Woodman of Oz


While the original character who appeared in Oz books published before 1923 is in public domain, the versions of the character used by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Disney, Vertigo Comics, Marvel Comics or post-1923 Oz books are NOT in the public domain.

See Also