Saturday, September 23, 2017

The CW Arrowverse Casts Russell Tovey as The Ray

The CW Arrowverse is beaming a ray of light into its upcoming crossover.

Entertainment Weekly reported yesterday that "Crisis on Earth-X", the upcoming 4-part crossover taking place across Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, will feature Russell Tovey as Raymond "Ray" Terrill, better known to DC Comics fans as the superhero The Ray.  Tovey will also voice The Ray in the upcoming CW Seed animated series Freedom Fighters: The Ray.

The Ray is described in the article as "a reporter who discovered a group of government scientists working on a secret project to turn light into a weapon of mass destruction.  But before he could report on his findings, the project head exposed Ray to a ‘genetic light bomb.’  The bomb failed to kill him and instead gifted Ray with light-based powers.  With these abilities, Ray realized he could go beyond reporting on injustice — he could take action to help stop it.  Calling himself The Ray, he was recruited by Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters to fight violence and oppression wherever it exists."

Tovey, 35, is an openly gay, English actor best known as the werewolf George Sands on the BBC series Being Human.  He's also appeared as Midshipman Alonso Frame on Doctor Who and currently appears on Quantico as Harry Doyle.  His other television work includes the Sherlock episode "The Hounds of Baskerville", and episodes of The Night Manager, Drunk History, Him & Her, Little Dorrit, Gavin & Stacey, Holby City, and Agatha Christie's Poirot.

Created in 1992 by Jack C. Harris and Joe Quesada, the second Ray first appeared in The Ray (vol.1) #1 as Raymond "Ray" Terrill, a young man told by his supposed father that exposure to direct sunlight would kill him. Privately tutored in his window-darkened home, he was dubbed "Night Boy" by the media.  At the age of eighteen, Ray learned the truth about his heritage while at the deathbed of his father, Lanford "Happy" Terrill.  The dying man admitted that he was the Golden Age Ray, and that exposure to sunlight would activate Raymond's own light-based super powers.  As a child he would have been unable to control such power, and thus had to be kept in darkness.

At the funeral for "Happy" Terrill, Ray met his cousin, Hank, who urged him to become a superhero like his father.  When he refused, "Happy" showed up, very much alive, in his classic Ray costume and looking far younger than he should, to meet his son.  He told Raymond that he was actually raised by his uncle, Thomas Terrill, and that he must use his newfound powers to save the Earth from a powerful cosmic light-entity. Raymond eventually decided to take up the mantle of The Ray, defeated the evil Doctor Polaris, and succeeded in dissuading the light entity from its destructive purpose.

In the current DC Rebirth continuity, Ray Terrill was told that exposure to direct sunlight would kill him. Running away from home as a teen, he soon discovered that exposure to light granted him light-based superpowers, including flight, light projection and invisibility. Ray eventually settled in Vanity, Portland, where he saved a childhood friend from a supervillain hate-group. This version of the Ray is openly gay.  He was later recruited into Batman's new Justice League of America team, which includes the Atom, Vixen, Black Canary, Killer Frost, and Lobo.

Although this will be the first time the character will appear in live-action, he previously turned up in background appearances in the animated series Justice League Unlimited.

The "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover will air across two nights, Monday, November 27th and Tuesday, November 28th on The CW.

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