russell tovey the ray

We just scored a HUGE hint as to what this year’s Arrowverse crossover may be about, thanks to the announcement that Russell Tovey will appear in it as the DC hero Ray Terrill, or as he is better known as, The Ray.  Last year, The CW announced plans for a second series of animated shorts to follow ‘Vixen’.  The new series was actually planned to be the first of a series and was entitled ‘Freedom Fighters: The Ray’.  Presumably, later installments of ‘Freedom Fighters’ would follow other members of the team.  At the same time the animated series was announced, it was stated that much like Vixen, voiced by Megalyn Echikunwoke, The Ray would also potentially be brought into the live action shows. Now he is!

Russell Tovey
Featureflash Photo Agency /

Tovey will provide the voice of the character in the animated shorts and will also step in front of the camera in the live action version.  Tovey has had an extensive TV career, most recently starring on ‘Quantico’ as Harry Doyle.  He is also remembered for playing adorkable werewolf George Sands on the original British version of ‘Being Human’ among many other roles.

Here is the description of his character:

Raymond “Ray” Terrill was 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.

The Ray and his allies– Black Condor, Dollman, Phantom Lady and Red Tornado– dwell on Earth-X, in a parallel universe where the Nazis won World War II and their small band of literal Freedom Fighters are the only chance this world has of breaking free.  The bad news is that the Nazis have their own super soldiers, the Reichsmen, composed of evil versions of Green Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl.  (Stephen Amell, Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist will provide the voices for their respective characters and Echikunwoke is also said to be reprising her role as Vixen.)

You can watch an action-packed preview of ‘Freedom Fighters: The Ray’ featuring all of the above characters here:


Presumably, the Arrowverse crossover will depict Earth-X and the backwards power struggle there.  Last season, ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ paid a visit to the Justice Society of America in the 1940s.  So visiting a Nazi-ruled Earth-X should be a cinch for the creators to pull off.  (Heck, they could even re-purpose some of the costumes.)  Though it wasn’t announced, it’s entirely possible that the other Freedom Fighters will also appear.

We also know that Supergirl and her sister Alex will play a large part in this crossover.  Last year, the show ‘Supergirl’ was largely excluded and the character Supergirl only appeared sporadically, after Oliver benched her for a segment of the story.

This year’s four-part crossover will span two nights, with ‘Arrow’ airing on a special night, Monday at 9pm EST after part one on ‘Supergirl’ at 8pm.  Parts three and four will air on Tuesday night, on ‘The Flash’ at 8pm and ‘Legends’ at 9.

There have been four different versions of The Ray in comics and the Arrowverse version seems to be an amalgam of the first two.  The first, Lanford “Happy” Terrill was created by Lou Fine in 1940 and published by Quality Comics. In the 70s, DC bought the long-dormant Quality characters and put them together as the Freedom Fighters, establishing the Earth-X concept.  The second, Ray Terrill is the son of Happy and was created by Jack C. Harris and Joe Quesada in 1992.

Ray Terrill was recently reinvented as part of DC’s ‘Rebirth’ storyline and it was established that he was openly gay, a trait that the live-action version will share. Oddly enough, that’s not really noteworthy as the Arrowverse already has numerous gay characters including Sarah Lance/White Canary, her one-time lover Nyssa al-Ghul, Supergirl’s sister Alex and her girlfriend Maggie Sawyer, Curtis Holt/Mr. Terrific, Barry Allen’s boss Captain Singh, Obsidian, a member of the Justice Society and possibly The Pied Piper, although it was never mentioned.

‘Supergirl’ returns on Monday October 9th, ‘The Flash’ and ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ premiere the following night, October 10th and ‘Arrow’ moves to Thursdays at 9pm on October 11th.

Source: TV Line