Freedom Fighters: The Ray

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Freedom Fighters: The Ray
Freedom Fighters The Ray title card.png
Genre
Based on Characters appearing in DC Comics
Voices of
Composer(s) Daniel James Chan
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 12 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Curt Geda
Editor(s) Kyle Stafford
Running time 6–8 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original network CW Seed
Original release December 8, 2017 (2017-12-08) – present
Chronology
Related shows Arrowverse
External links
Website

Freedom Fighters: The Ray is an American animated web series developed by Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim. It premiered on December 8, 2017 on The CW's online streaming platform, CW Seed and is based on DC Comics character Ray Terrill / The Ray, a reporter who gains light-based powers after being exposed to a genetic light bomb. The series is partly set in the Arrowverse, the same fictional universe as Arrow, The Flash, Vixen and Legends of Tomorrow, while also taking place on the parallel universe of Earth-X.

Premise[edit]

Raymond "Ray" Terrill is a lawyer who discovers a doppelganger of himself from another Earth. The man disappears, and gives him light-based powers, and he is recruited to join the Freedom Fighters.[1]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Russell Tovey as Ray Terrill / The Ray: A public interest lawyer who gains light-based powers from his Earth-X counterpart and becomes a member of the Freedom Fighters on Earth-X.[1][2]
    • Tovey also voices his Earth-X counterpart who is a member of the Freedom Fighters on Earth-X.[3][4]
  • Jason Mitchell as John Trujillo: A co-worker of Terrill's that helps him learn about his new found powers.[5]
    • Mitchell also voices his Earth-X counterpart, Black Condor, who is member of the Freedom Fighters
  • Dilshad Vadsaria as Jenny Knight: A co-worker of Terrill's.[5]
    • Vadsaria also voices her Earth-X countepart, Phantom Lady, who is a member of the Freedom Fighters.[6]

Recurring[edit]

Guest[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (2017)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1–61–6"A Hero Rises"Ethan SpauldingEmilio Ortega Aldrich, Lauren Certo, Marc Guggenheim,
Sarah Hernandez, Elizabeth Kim, Sarah Tarkoff
December 8, 2017 (2017-12-08)
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Ray Terrill / The Ray and the Freedom Fighters work to save refugees in Nazi-occupied Earth-X. The New Reichsmen, consisting of leader Overgirl, Blitzkrieg, and Black Arrow, overpower the Freedom Fighters, killing Red Tornado and Dollman. The Reichmen attempt to steal the former’s cerebral cortex, but the Ray, wounded, is breached away by fellow Freedom Fighter, Vibe. On Earth-1, the counterparts of the Freedom Fighters John Trujillo / Black Condor, Jenny Knight / Phantom Lady, and the Ray are Fair Housing Department employees. When the department is shut down, Ray and John go to a bar where Ray fails to ask a man on a date. As Ray struggles with his recent unemployment and avoids coming out to his conservative parents, the Ray from Earth-X emerges through a breach and hands the cortex off to his Earth-1 counterpart, along with his powers, before succumbing to his injuries. Ray shows John his powers and the cortex, which reveals Earth-X’s dire situation via a hologram of Red Tornado, who directs them to destroy it. Instead, John and Ray decide to test the latter’s powers, which alerts S.T.A.R. LabsCisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow of metahuman activity. John and Ray go back to the bar and Ray strikes up a conversation with the man, Jacob. As Ray and Jacob are walking down the street, they discover a lesbian couple being mugged. Jacob goes for help and Ray uses his powers to take the mugger down. While fighting a pair of bank robbers, Ray takes on "The Ray" mantle. On Earth-X, Vibe searches for signatures of the Ray, but is ambushed by the Reichsmen, who are then able to pinpoint the location of the cortex. On Earth-1, as Ray prepares for a date with Jacob, he is sedated by a poisoned dart and two shadowy figures appear over him.

Season 2 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
7–121–6"Earth-X"Ethan SpauldingEmilio Ortega Aldrich, Lauren Certo, Marc Guggenheim,
Sarah Hernandez, Elizabeth Kim, Sarah Tarkoff
July 18, 2018 (2018-07-18)

Production[edit]

The series was first announced on August 2016 by The CW with a 2017 debut and to air on CW Seed, from executive producers Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim and developed by Blue Ribbon Content.[1][12] It was also announced that the lead character would be gay, and the network was looking for an actor to voice the character with the possibility of appearing in live-action later on.[1] The series was inspired by Grant Morrison's Multiversity comic book series.[13] Guggenheim noted there was "a very specific reason" the series was titled as it was, in order to introduce the Freedom Fighters and Earth-X. He continued, "Morrison came up with an idea we really responded to: The Freedom Fighters are made up of various minorities targeted by Nazis—women, gay men, Jews. We wanted to honor that idea. At the same time, it's an origin story about the Earth-1 iteration of The Ray."[7] Earth-X is a world in the multiverse where the Nazis won World War II and the New Reichsmen rule over present day America.[14] In September 2017, it was revealed that Russell Tovey would be voicing Ray Terrill in the series.[2]

Freedom Fighters: The Ray is also set prior to the events of the 2017 live-action Arrowverse crossover, "Crisis on Earth-X". Guggenheim added that the animated series featured some "continuity mix-ups... [and] inconsistencies",[9] as "Crisis on Earth-X" was conceived after Freedom Fighters was already written and Guggenheim "didn't see eye-to-eye" with fellow crossover executive producer Andrew Kreisberg on how tightly the animated series should tie-in with "Crisis on Earth-X";[9][15] Guggenheim hoped to address these with a comic book. On the series being a prequel to the crossover, Guggenheim revealed that it was not intended to be such, and was originally intended to be released before the crossover. However, once the decision was made to feature The Ray in live-action, it necessitated the casting of the correct actor, which lead to Tovey. Guggenheim explained: At that point, "we could either just continue to go forward as we already were with the animated series with a different voice and a slightly different look to the character of the Ray, or we could take the extra time to have Russell voice the character, do some design alterations, make the Ray's appearance in the animated series line up more with the way Russell actually looks. There was just no way to turn those kind of changes around and release it before the crossover. It was just more important to have Russell's voice in the series than it was to get it out early".[9]

Release[edit]

Russell Tovey as the live-action version of The Ray / Ray Terrill.

Freedom Fighters: The Ray premiered on CW Seed on December 8, 2017,[16][17] releasing the first six episodes of the series.[15] The next six episodes,[18] marketed as the second season, was released on July 18, 2018, after debuting at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con.[19][20]

Home media[edit]

In June 2018, it was announced that the first two seasons would be made available as one feature-length presentation on Blu-ray and DVD starting on August 28, 2018.[21][22]

Reception[edit]

Oliver Sava of The A.V. Club gave the first three episodes a "B" rating. He felt "the story has an interesting structure, beginning with two episodes showing the dire situation on Earth-X before making a sudden jump across dimensions for the third episode," but noted that it makes "The Ray feel like a supporting character in his own show". Sava praised the conflicts in Ray's personal life "that are largely unexplored in the superhero genre, especially in film and television," with the show showing "how they can quickly add tension and depth to fantastic narratives". Regarding Tovey's performance, Sava said, "Tovey does strong work capturing Ray's anxiety and fear about coming out, and you can hear his disappointment in himself as he tries and fails to embrace his sexuality."[11]

Luke Y. Thompson of Forbes gave a favorable review of the Blu-Ray release. He stated that it was "the most emotionally stirring of all the DC animated movies [he'd] seen and reviewed." Thompson praised the animation saying it was "better than usual too, with more cel-shading on CG to give vistas real depth."[23]

Live-action appearances[edit]

Tovey appeared as The Ray in "Crisis on Earth-X" in November 2017, the Arrowverse crossover event between Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. Additional concepts and characters from Freedom Fighters were featured in the crossover.[24][2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Roots, Kimberly. "Gay Superhero Show a Go at CW Seed, Arrow-verse Integration Eyed". TVLine. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Ausiello, Michael (September 22, 2017). "Arrowverse Crossover: Quantico's Russell Tovey Cast as Gay Superhero". TVLine. Archived from the original on September 25, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  3. ^ Episode 1
  4. ^ a b c d e Episode 3
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Wickline, Dan (December 8, 2017). "Freedom Fighters: The Ray Season 1 Recap – Things Are Just Getting Started". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on December 9, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Cecchini, Mike (July 21, 2017). "DC's Freedom Fighters: The Ray is a Dark Reflection of CW Multiverse". Den of Geek. Archived from the original on July 23, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Hogan, John (August 30, 2017). "CW Seed Offers A Ray of Hope with 'Freedom Fighters: The Ray'". TV Insider. Archived from the original on September 6, 2017. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  8. ^ Wickline, Dan (November 18, 2017). "CW Releases 92 Images From Arrowverse Crossover: Crisis On Earth-X". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on November 18, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d e Damore, Meagan (December 7, 2017). "Freedom Fighters: The Ray: Guggenheim Previews Ray's Earth-X History". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on December 8, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  10. ^ Caron, Natalie (October 17, 2017). "The Flash's Vibe joins Freedom Fighters: The Ray's new CW poster". Syfy Wire. Archived from the original on November 16, 2017. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Sava, Oliver (December 8, 2017). "The Ray gives The CW's new gay hero an animated showcase, but not enough spotlight". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on December 8, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  12. ^ Cecchini, Mike (July 25, 2017). "DC's Freedom Fighters: The Ray Trailer Arrives". Den of Geek. Archived from the original on July 24, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  13. ^ Dornbusch, Jonathan (August 11, 2016). "CW Introducing DC's The Ray in New Animated Series and, Eventually, in Live Action". IGN. Archived from the original on August 11, 2016. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  14. ^ Adams, Tim (July 23, 2017). "The Ray Battles Nazis in First Trailer For Animated Series". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 7, 2017). "Arrow Boss Touts The Ray's Timeless Fight, Explains Crossover 'Continuity'". TVLine. Archived from the original on December 8, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  16. ^ Holbrook, Damian (October 16, 2017). "First Look: 'Freedom Fighters: The Ray' Promo Art". TV Insider. Archived from the original on October 16, 2017. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  17. ^ CW Seed [@cwseed] (December 1, 2017). "Freedom Fighters: #TheRay premieres in ONE WEEK on CW Seed!" (Tweet). Retrieved December 1, 2017 – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Burt, Kayti (January 16, 2018). "Russell Tovey on The Ray's Live-Action & Animated Future". Den of Geek!. Archived from the original on February 19, 2018. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  19. ^ Anderson, Jenna (June 25, 2018). "'Freedom Fighters: The Ray' Renewed for Season 2 at CW Seed". ComicBook.com. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  20. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (June 25, 2018). "Comic-Con: Warner Bros TV Goes Big With 'Riverdale' Hall H Debut, 'Arrow' Return, 'Black Lightning' + More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  21. ^ Wickline, Dan (June 6, 2018). "Freedom Fighters: The Ray Hitting Blu-Ray/DVD This August". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  22. ^ ComicMix Staff (June 7, 2018). "Freedom Fighters: The Ray goes from CW Seed to Disc in August". ComicMix. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  23. ^ Thompson, Luke Y. "Blu-ray Review: DC's 'Freedom Fighters: The Ray' Lets A Gay Superhero Punch Nazis". Forbes.
  24. ^ Agard, Chancellor (September 22, 2017). "Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends unite for 'Crisis on Earth X' crossover". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on September 22, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
Season 1
  • "Episode 1". Freedom Fighters: The Ray. Season 1. December 8, 2017. CW Seed. 6 minutes
  • "Episode 2". Freedom Fighters: The Ray. Season 1. December 8, 2017. CW Seed. 6 minutes
  • "Episode 3". Freedom Fighters: The Ray. Season 1. December 8, 2017. CW Seed. 8 minutes
  • "Episode 4". Freedom Fighters: The Ray. Season 1. December 8, 2017. CW Seed. 6 minutes
  • "Episode 5". Freedom Fighters: The Ray. Season 1. December 8, 2017. CW Seed. 6 minutes
  • "Episode 6". Freedom Fighters: The Ray. Season 1. December 8, 2017. CW Seed. 6 minutes

External links[edit]