Written By Desi LaSalle
Recently it was announced that a new animated series is being scheduled for release in early 2017. The show is called Freedom Fighters: The Ray and it will introduce the first gay Super Hero to ever lead a show. The Ray is a favorite of mine when it comes to Super Hero comic book characters. I have always loved his powers, his costume and everything that Raymond “Ray” Terill brings to the table. Overall, he is a very relatable character. The Ray presents a lot of options for your imagination with his light powers, that I have to admit, are just plain cool!
The Ray’s uncle in the comic book universe was the original ‘Ray’, aka Thomas Terill, and led him to believe that he was his father when he raised him. The Ray has had quite a few incarnations and some unsuccessful comic book series in the DC Universe. I have always been baffled as to why the book has never enjoyed a long run, especially considering that the hero has so much potential and presents so many options visually for a comic book. My personal favorite of these was his series in 1994, written by Christopher Priest and penciled by Howard Porter, with various covers done by Jim Lee. I found these series to be fun, well written stories and contained great art work. Another aspect of the book that was great were the villains in it: Brimstone, Dr. Polaris, Deathmasque, and the classic villain, Vandal Savage. During this run the Ray, at the height of his popularity, even joined the Justice League of America.
At a this point I really believed that the Ray would be a DC mainstay character and would be around for a long time, unfortunately this particular series that I enjoyed so much did not get the chance for a long run and only lasted for 28 issues. Like many other characters that I love, the Ray lost his light and became another character banished in comic book limbo, leaving me baffled and wondering of what might have been as an avid comic book reader.
The original Ray is a character dating back to the 1940’s and to see him once again in 2017 is just another example of a superhero that is ‘cool’ no matter what or when. It proves that a good idea is timeless and is a testament to the character. I hope that this new show on the CW gives way for a new generation of comic book fans to discover just how great the Ray is and help him, once again, have the opportunity for DC to give him his own solo title. This should be done with a great writer and artist who know that if DC wants to go in another direction and produces a new team book, they pull it off just right.