This article contains spoilers for Freedom Fighters: The Ray season one.
Today the CW released the full first season of Freedom Fighters: The Ray onto their streaming site, CW Seed. And by full season, I mean 38 minutes broken down into six episodes. Marc Guggenheim has admitted that the animated series was done prior to Crisis on Earth-X, where the character of The Ray was introduced, and that has created some continuity issues between the animated and live-action universes. He is thinking of doing a comic to clean up those issues, but that’s still in the thought stage.
On to the story. It starts on Earth-X with The Ray, Black Condor, Phantom Lady, Dollman, and Red Tornado trying to help a group of refugees get away from the Reichmen. In the battle, the Red Tornado is severely damaged and he gives the Ray his cortex/brain to destroy so the information won’t fall into the Reichmen’s hands. They continue to fight against Overgirl, Black Arrow, and Blitzkrieg. This is the first continuity issue in that Overgirl is voiced by Melissa Benoist, while Black Arrow is Matthew Mercer and Blitzkrieg is Scott Whyte. In Crisis on Earth-X, it’s Dark Arrow and Reverse-Flash. Plus, Overgirl is in charge, while in the crossover, Dark Arrow was the boss. While whoever did the Ray’s voice originally has been replaced by Russell Tovey, who played him in live action, they didn’t replace the other two villains with Stephen Amell and Tom Cavanagh.
The tide of the fight turns — Dollman is killed and The Ray is wounded. Vibe (Carlos Valdes) arrives in time to open a portal to send the Ray through to safety with the cortex. We switch to Earth-1, where we meet Raymond Terrill, a 22-year-old who works to help people fight discrimination (until his department is shut down by a politician named Donald) and is trying to find the best way to tell his parents he’s gay. His co-workers are the Earth-1 counterparts for Phantom Lady and Black Condor, with the latter being his best friend John Trujillo (Jason Mitchell). Ray almost tells his parents over meatloaf, but bails and goes to his backyard to talk to John when the Earth-X Ray pops through the portal. He gives Raymond the cortex, his helmet vanishes to reveal that he’s also Raymond Terrill, and then he dies transferring his power to the Earth-1 Raymond.
Raymond shows John his powers, and the cortex tells him about Earth-X and how they must destroy the cortex. Raymond starts playing with his powers and uses them to stop a mugging and then a bank robbery. Meanwhile, over at STAR Labs, this Earth’s Cisco and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) become aware of The Ray because of the radiation he’s using. And on Earth-X, the Reighmen track down Vibe and figure out that the cortex is on Earth-1. Back with Raymond, he’s standing outside and setting up his date when he is hit by a tranquilizer dart and knocked out. And that is where we end.
Now, obviously there is going to be more. Both Vixen (Megalyn Echikunwoke) and Mr. Terrific (Echo Kellum) are slated to be in the series and have yet to appear. Plus, he hasn’t gotten back to Earth-X or anything. But I haven’t seen an announcement of when we’ll see the next part. It’s a good start, and they’re trying to tackle some important issues while telling an interesting story. But we’ve just gotten started. I like that they brought back Iddo Goldberg to voice Red Tornado and I like the casting of Dilshad Vadasaria as Phantom Lady and Jason Mitchell as Black Condor.
For those who liked seeing Citizen Cold (Wentworth Miller) and General Schott (Jeremy Jordan), you will be disappointed — those were casting ideas that came up for the crossover when the animated series was already done. Maybe more continuity issues to deal with in the comics.
I enjoyed watching the six episodes and hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the rest.