Part of the excitement for the Crisis on Earth-X crossover event that kicks off tonight is the introduction of the DC comic character The Ray. The light powered hero was created by Jack C. Harris and Joe Quesada in 1992 and was the son of the Golden Age Ray. He was raised in a windowless house and told he was severely allergic to light — but it was all a lie to hide his abilities. He would go on to be part of the Justice League, the Forgotten Heroes, and eventually teamed with Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters.
Though in the comics he had a brief relationship with Black Canary, in the television version, being played by Russell Tovey, will be openly gay. He is also said to have some interesting interactions with Mr. Terrific (Echo Kellum), another gay hero. What might be the most curious thing about the character is that this is just the first time we’ll see him. During an interview on the CW Network, executive producer Marc Guggenheim said:
“It’s called Freedom Fighters: The Ray for a very specific reason, which is we knew we wanted to establish the Freedom Fighters and Earth-X. In Multiversity, Grant Morrison came up with an idea we really responded to: The Freedom Fighters are made up of various minorities targeted by Nazis — women, gay men, Jews. We wanted to honor that idea. At the same time, it’s an origin story about the Earth-1 iteration of The Ray.”
That might mean two versions of the character or that he’s from Earth-1 and ends up on Earth-X or vice versa. And there is also the upcoming Freedom Fighters: The Ray animated series slated to appear on the CW Seed. In the trailer for that (see below), Ray and the Freedom Fighters take on the Nazis including Overgirl, Dark Arrow, and Dark Flash. Tovey will provide the voice for The Ray in the animated series as will other Arrowverse actors. But is the series a follow-up to what happens in the crossover, or is it a prequel?