Raymond “The Ray” Terrill is going to make his mark on the DC television universe when he joins up for the fight in the "Crisis On Earth-X" crossover event, starting on Nov. 27. Of course, a superhero is nothing without their powers… so The Ray’s powers must be up there with Barry Allen's and Supergirl's. According to DC comics, his abilities aren't what audiences are used to seeing on these series.
While other heroes in DC’s superhero shows sport superhuman strength, speed, the power of flight, and more, The Ray’s powers are light-based. Really, there isn’t much he can’t do with enough light. The character, played by Russell Tovey," can absorb, store, and process light. He can turn himself and others invisible. He can transform into pure energy and move at the speed of… well, light. He can also use the energy to fly, shoot light, and create constructs made from light. Apart from all of those various powers, he also is incredibly adept with computer programs.
It's not clear yet how similar this Ray will be to the version in the comics, but the Ray will be an incredibly useful asset for the heroic team-up during the Earth-X crossover. While there have been several characters that have used the moniker, “The Ray" in the comics, Raymond Terrill, the second chronologically, made his first appearance in 1992. However, it would appear that Terrill will have a different background than the one he had in the comic books. And not only will The Ray be appearing in the crossover, but he’ll also be starring in his own animated series on CW Seed, called Freedom Fighters: The Ray.
According to the CW’s synopsis, the TV version of Raymond is a journalist who stumbled upon a governmental plot to create a weapon of mass destruction out of light. But, before he could stop it, the scientists responsible exposed him to the weapon. Instead of killing him, however, it gave him his super heroic, light-based super powers, like the kind described above.
That’s not all that will be changed about the comics character, though. This iteration of The Ray identifies as a gay man. In a parallel universe, one where the Nazis won World War II, The Ray and a ragtag team of superheroes will have to face evil, Nazi-based versions of some of CW’s most iconic superheroes, namely, Supergirl, Green Arrow, and The Flash. The series’ executive producer, Marc Guggenheim, said in an interview with TV Insider that there a particular comic book storyline gave him and his team the idea to give The Ray his own series.
“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," Guggenheim said. He cites a comic book series called Multiversity, where marginalized people ban together to fight the oppressive hatred of Nazis.
Some fans are theorizing that the crossover event may lead to the events of the animated series. That’s because in the trailer for the animated series, the Red Tornado (a superhero android) works with The Ray and the other freedom fighters against Supergirl, Green Arrow, and Flash. However, as some fans have pointed out, in the promotional images used for the live-action crossover, it would appear that the Red Tornado is working with the Nazis. This has lead to speculation that the Red Tornado could join The Ray and the other heroes against the Nazis.
Ultimately, though, it’s good to note that The Ray, no matter which parallel universe he seems to find himself in, whether animated or live-action, is a good guy. He uses his light-based superpowers to help fight against those who would harm others, with first-hand knowledge of what discrimination can look like. Whether he’ll see his powers evolve in the series remains to be seen, but he'll need the full scope of them to defeat his Nazi nemeses.