When the 2016-2017 TV season kicks off this fall, DC Comics will have a foothold on every day but Friday on The CW thanks to Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. However, that hasn't been enough for the comic book company, so they've also added some content to CW Seed, the channel's free online streaming service. Last year, they jumped into the animated realm with Vixen, which will soon air its second season. Next year, they'll add another animated show to their online lineup with Freedom Fighters: The Ray, which will feature TV's first gay superhero to lead a show.
Inspired by writer Grant Morrison's take on The Ray from his Multiversity comic book series, Freedom Fighters: The Ray will follow the adventures of Raymond "Ray" Terrill, a reporter who discovered a secret group of government scientists who were turning light into a weapon of mass destruction. Before he could report his findings, Raymond was discovered and exposed to a "genetic light bomb," but instead of killing him, it gave him mighty light-based powers. With his new abilities, he'll defend humanity and expose injustice in a way he could never do before, but he won't be alone, as he'll be fighting alongside Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters. Here's a first look at what the animated Ray will look like, along with several of his superhero allies in the background.
In the comics, Raymond Terrill was the second hero to claim The Ray identity, preceded by his father Lanford and succeeded by Stan Silver and Lucien Gates. Raymond's powers on the printed page included being able to fly, generate and absorb all light energy and even create solid light constructs. The original incarnation of Freedom Fighters were introduced in 1973 as a superhero team that fought the Axis powers in World War II, though because of various retcons, they've varied between living on the main Earth and an alternate Earth. There have been various iterations of the team, and its other members besides The Ray and Uncle Sam have included Doll Man, Phantom Lady, Human Bomb, Black Condor and many more.
It's worth noting that The Ray isn't the DC CW universe's first LGBT hero, as Sara Lance, a.k.a. White Canary on Legends of Tomorrow, is bisexual. However, to have a gay hero leading the charge on a CW series is a good step forward. The Ray is obscure enough that he likely couldn't pull off leading his own show on the main channel, but on CW Seed, using him and The Freedom Fighters allows them to open up a corner of the DC universe that few people know about. Like Vixen, presumably Freedom Fighters: The Ray will take place in the same universe as the live action shows, so this could mean that at some point, there's a chance he could be brought into live action for a guest stint.
Freedom Fighters: The Ray will air sometime in 2017 on CW Seed, but in the meantime, stay tuned to Cinema Blend for all the latest surrounding The CW's DC shows.