Ray (Ray Terrill)

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The Ray
Raydcu0.jpg
Ray Terrill, art by Daniel Acuña.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance The Ray #1
(February 1992)
Created by Jack C. Harris (writer)
Joe Quesada (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Raymond C. "Ray" Terrill
Team affiliations Freedom Fighters
Justice League
Young Justice
Forgotten Heroes
Abilities Generation of light and solid light constructs,
Conversion to energy form,
Flight

The Ray (real name Raymond C. "Ray" Terrill) is a fictional character, a superhero in the DC Comics Universe. He is the second character to use the codename The Ray. Ray Terrill first appeared in The Ray #1 (February 1992), and was created by Jack C. Harris and Joe Quesada.[1]

Publication history[edit]

It's a common misconception that Ray Terrill was created by Christopher Priest and Howard Porter, who were the long-standing creative team on his solo book. While Priest did have a hand in Ray's creation as editor Jim Owsley, Ray's debut mini-series was created by Jack C. Harris and Joe Quesada.[2]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Origins[edit]

From a very young age, Raymond Terrill is told by his supposed father that exposure to direct sunlight will kill him. Privately tutored in his window-darkened home, he is dubbed "Night Boy" by the media. At the age of eighteen, Ray learns the truth about his heritage while at the deathbed of his father, "Happy" Terrill. The dying man admits that he was the Golden Age Ray, and that exposure to sunlight will 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 meets his cousin, Hank, who urges him to become a super-hero like his father. When he refuses, "Happy" shows up very much alive, in his classic Ray costume and looking far younger than he should, to meet his son. He tells Raymond that he was in fact 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 decides to take up the mantle of "The Ray," defeats the evil Dr. Polaris, and succeeds in dissuading the light entity from its destructive purpose.

Justice League[edit]

Ray's adventures continue, bringing him to battle with villains such as Brimstone, Neron, and Vandal Savage. Following the death of Superman, Ray is recruited into the Justice League[3] for roughly a year of service. During this time, Ray has a brief romance with Black Canary. His tenure with the League takes place as the team was split into different factions, one led by Wonder Woman who consistently deferred to the team's United Nations mandate and the other, more hotheaded Captain Atom. Ray was present when fellow League member Ice was killed by the Overlord, prompting a number of member departures and signifying the end of the League operating closely with the U.N. Ray is then asked to join the ranks of the Justice League Task Force, led by Martian Manhunter. With the Task Force he shared a number of adventures, including repeated tangling with Vandal Savage. Ray eventually began to view fellow Task Force members Gypsy and Triumph as a family and viewed the Martian Manhunter in more of a fatherly role than his actual Dad. This was complicated by Triumph's frequent conflicts for leadership with the Manhunter. Though Ray's own issues (as shown within his solo series which ran concurrently with Task Force) caused him to leave the team he would eventually leave to aid them in their last off-world mission to help the robot L-Ron who was then inhabiting Despero's body. The last adventure of the Justice League Task Force involved their traveling to the center of the Earth and into Skartaris, world of the Warlord. Ray's body was taken over by a mystic and used against the team until he was freed by his friends.

Solo series[edit]

Ray's own monthly comic, penned by Christopher Priest and drawn mainly by Howard Porter, ran for 28 issues from 1994 to 1996. In this series Ray confronts several villains and anti-heroes, including an out of control child with powers similar to Ray's (who turns out to be his half-brother, Joshua), and a computer game villain known as Death Masque that has somehow become a reality. His relationship with his father is strained several times as he discovers the extent of Happy's manipulative streak, and the well-intentioned deceptions he had perpetrated concerning his own family. When Triumph, disregarding the orders of the Martian Manhunter, refuses to help Ray deal with Death Masque, Ray turns instead to Vandal Savage for help. Savage coaches Ray for some time, utilizing his little-used skill with computers and giving Ray a high business position. When Death Masque targets Ray's mother, he manages to re-program and then destroy the computerized villain for good. A woman claiming to be Ray's girlfriend from the future brutally attacks Savage in order to show Ray, who had begun to think of Savage on almost friendly terms, that Savage stole body parts from his many descendants whenever he was critically injured. This prompts Ray to sever his ties with Savage. When Ray's mother learns he is still alive (Happy led her to believe Ray died in childbirth) they share a happy reunion. He is also faced with glimpses of an unpleasant possible future which he may have averted by the series' conclusion.

After the disbanding of the JLTF to make way for the newly formed JLA, Ray keeps a Justice League reserve-member status - but is rarely seen in DC Comics for several years. Ray also joins another team, the Forgotten Heroes, led by Resurrection Man. Brought together to take down Vandal Savage, the team eventually disbands and Ray presumably continues a solo hero career.

In the Final Night incident, Ray participates in making a secondary sun in order to try and fool the Sun-Eater. He also personally watches out for a small Mexican town, using his powers to make sure it is sufficiently heated. This task uses up most of Ray's power until he collapses, drained. A kiss from Fire provides enough power to rejuvenate Ray and with the help of Zatanna and Firestorm, the fate of the town is assured.

Around this time he is approached by the villain Neron, who attempts to gain his soul. Neron, despite being far beyond the concepts of gender, has to resort to pretending to be the villainess Circe after part of the plan involves a kiss and Ray comes to believe he has kissed a guy. In the end, Ray does not fulfill his part of the bargain and does not lose his soul.

Ray later takes part in saving the universe against the might of an ancient ultra-powerful weapon called Mageddon. Following this, Ray appears at a Titans West recruitment drive party in Los Angeles. Although he joins Green Lantern's Justice League of Air during the "Justice Leagues" crisis (wherein each member forms his or her own minor league), he soon is back adventuring on his own.

In the fight against Imperiex during DC's Our Worlds at War crossover, Ray is called upon as a reserve member of the JSA. On their mission, Ray, along with several other modern-day "Freedom Fighters", fight to release the captured Daxamite people from imprisonment. Although Ray is severely injured in battle, the team succeeds in their mission and Ray quickly heals.

Young Justice[edit]

Ray joins Young Justice after saving a boy's life while the team rides a tram car to F.D.R. Island. He is with the team during their assault on Zandia on behalf of Empress and uses up his entire supply of energy to strike a crippling blow against the vampire Lady Zand. In the interests of expanding Young Justice, then leader Wonder Girl agrees to make the team part of a reality TV show. This backfires when Secret, having been corrupted, turns against YJ and the footage is broadcast on the internet. After Secret is depowered by Darkseid, Ray leaves the team which itself disbands soon afterward following the death of Donna Troy. Soon afterward, he meets the Nowhere Men, the deadly figments of a writer's imagination accidentally brought to life. With the goal of wiping out the individuality of the world, the Nowhere Men begin by attacking superheroes. They use beams that cause a type of "suspended animation." Ray is caught in one of these beams, along with Elongated Man and a new Major Victory. After a long battle with Superman, the Nowhere Men are defeated and Ray and the others are freed.

Freedom Fighters and Infinite Crisis[edit]

Ray joins other JSA reserves to help contain the damage caused by the villainous trio of Mordru, Obsidian and Eclipso. He later joins a new, government-sponsored Freedom Fighters team. However, the Freedom Fighters are ambushed and many of the team are as murdered by the Secret Society in Infinite Crisis #1. The villainous Dr. Light is the Society member who manages to capture Ray alive. As he is dragged away by the Psycho Pirate, the barely conscious Terrill is told that Luthor (Alexander Luthor, Jr. of Earth 3) needs him alive. Ray is captured for Alex's master plan, but later escapes during the battle in the arctic along with Power Girl, Breach, Lady Quark, and all the other prisoners attached to the reality altering tower created from the Anti-Monitor's corpse. There Ray deduces that it was Psycho-Pirate responsible for manipulating Bizarro into beating the Human Bomb to death. Before Psycho-Pirate manages to use his emotion altering powers on Ray and Power Girl, he is definitively slain by the enraged Black Adam.

52[edit]

During Week 1 of 52, Ray is met by an overjoyed Black Canary as various heroes from around the world see each other for the first time since Infinite Crisis. Ray was also part of the large super hero team drafted by Alan Scott in order to fight Black Adam who was at the time menacing China.

One Year Later[edit]

At the beginning of DC's One Year Later event, Ray Terrill's whereabouts are unknown. In the Superman storyline "Up Up and Away", Ray tries to repower a weakened Superman along with the heroic Dr. Light, unsuccessfully.

Ray finally returns to action in Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #7. Wearing a new costume, he encounters and soundly defeats the traitorous Stan Silver, who has taken the name "Ray" for himself. Ray Terrill then joins the new Freedom Fighters. Though captured by the villainous Red Bee, Ray and the rest of the Fighters eventually manage to turn the tables on the insect alien invaders, defeating them. In order to accomplish this, Ray's father Happy drank from the desert oasis of Neon the Unknown, vastly increasing his own powers and leading Happy taking the name Neon for himself. Ray and Happy are later shown at a baseball game, attempting to reconcile their rocky relationship.

Final Crisis[edit]

The Ray became an important part of the resistance against Darkseid and his Justifiers. He acted as a courier due to his ability to escape the Anti-Life Equation's powers and delivered the Daily Planet issues still being produced from Superman's Fortress of Solitude. When the Justifiers attacked the Justice League Watch Tower, Ray turned into a carrier wave capable of teleporting most of the people there away, although Green Arrow chose to stay behind in order to buy them time. He later managed to create a massive Metron Emblem across Earth, severely disrupting the Anti-Life broadcast and damaging Darkseid's operation enough to seriously cripple it.

Blackest Night[edit]

During the Blackest Night crossover event, Ray managed to capture a Black Lantern power ring in a cage of light, at the behest of Simon Stagg, and brought it to an underground lab for examination. The lab was then attacked by a swarm of Black Lanterns. Ray was last seen fighting a number of Western-themed Black Lanterns, including the deceased Super-Chief and Scalphunter. After ordering the other living humans out of the line of fire, Ray released enough power to bring down the underground complex. Despite this, neither of the two humans he bought time for managed to escape the town alive. His condition was, at the time, unknown, however he has since appeared alive and unharmed.[4]

Outsiders[edit]

While escaping from a hostile attacking force, Black Lightning, Metamorpho, and Owlman are forced to take refuge in Simon Stagg's secret base previously seen partially destroyed during the attack of the Black Lanterns. After an initial fight with Stagg's employee Freight Train, Metamorpho is later attacked by Stagg's manservant Java and merged with the chemical monstrosity Chemo. After Owlman and Freight Train defeat Chemo, they contact Stagg who sends Ray, apparently still in the man's employment, to help separate Metamorpho from Chemo, though Ray confesses he has no idea how Stagg knew of Metamorpho's condition.

Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters[edit]

Throughout all of this, Ray remained affiliated with Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters as they continued to fight for America against such threats as the Living America,[5] a superhuman prison break[6] and Jester and the Arcadians.[7] Finally, the team was destroyed by the one foe they could not fight - government cutbacks.[8]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Ray absorbs, stores and processes light; uses the energy to fly and create destructive bursts of coherent radiation. His energy capacity is virtually limitless. He is capable of manipulating light externally to create illusions and even solid light constructs, as well as render himself and others invisible He can convert his body completely into any wavelength on the EM Spectrum. No physical harm from impact can come to him in this form (as demonstrated when Lobo punched Ray through his skull[9]). This process can also be used to "reset" damage that his physical form has already sustained (seen in the story "Ray Gets Shot In The Head[10]" where a bullet was lodged at the base of his skull; Ray was told by doctors he would be paralyzed from the neck down, but after turning to his energy form the damage was healed instantly). As pure energy, he can travel at the speed of light and cross space unassisted.

In addition to his super powers, Ray is also one of the most skilled computer programmers in the DCU, and stories set in the future of the DC universe suggest he has the ability to develop into an accomplished businessman.

Other versions[edit]

In other media[edit]

  • Terrill made background appearances in Justice League Unlimited beginning with the episode "Dark Heart". Most notably, Ray is shown battling the Ultimen in the episode "Panic In The Sky." Though not shown, Ray was mentioned in the episode "Patriot Act" as being on an off-screen space mission with Vixen. Ray never had any lines in the series.

Appearances[edit]

Comic Issue Date Title
Ray Vol. 1 1 February 1992 Grander Than Fire
Ray Vol. 1 2 March 1992 That Old House
Ray Vol. 1 3 April 1992 Ray Vs. the Volcano
Ray Vol. 1 4 May 1992 Lies
Ray Vol. 1 5 June 1992 Emerson Must Die
Ray Vol. 1 6 July 1992 Day of the Ray
Black Condor 9 February 1993 Where Monsters Walk!
Justice League America 71 February 1993 A New Look
Black Condor 10 March 1993 Hero Sandwich
Justice League America 73 April 1993 Destiny's Hand Part 2
Justice League America 74 May 1993 Destiny's Hand Part 3
Justice League America 75 June 1993 Destiny's Hand Finale
Justice League America 76 early July 1993 Blood Secrets Part One
Justice League America 77 late July 1993 Blood Secrets Part Two
Justice League America 78 early August 1993 Lives In the Balance
Black Canary Vol. 2 8 August 1993 Fish
Justice League America 79 late August 1993 Extreme Measures
Justice League America 80 September 1993 Running From Justice
Justice League America 81 October 1993 Do the Right Thing
Justice League America 82 November 1993 Guilty As Sin
Bloodbath 1 early December 1993 Bloodbath
Eclipso 14 December 1993 The Undertaking
Guy Gardner 15 December 1993 Collateral Damage
Justice League America 83 December 1993 The Trouble With Guys
Bloodbath 2 late December 1993 Bloodbath
Justice League Quarterly 13 winter 1993 Love is War
Justice League America 84 January 1994 Absolute Power
Justice League America 85 February 1994 They Might Be Giants
Justice League America 86 March 1994 Cult of the Machine, Part 1: Where the Day Takes You
Justice League America 87 April 1994 Cult of the Machine, Part 2: God In the Machine
Justice League America 88 May 1994 Rage Against the Machine
Ray Vol. 2 1 May 1994 Rebirth
Ray Vol. 2 2 June 1994 Juice
Ray Vol. 2 3 July 1994 The Man With No Lungs
Ray Vol. 2 4 August 1994 Free!
Ray Vol. 2 5 September 1994 The Wall
Ray Vol. 2 0 October 1994 Missing
Justice League Task Force 0 October 1994 The Gathering
Ray Vol. 2 6 November 1994 Mercy
Justice League Task Force 17 November 1994 Savage Legacy, Chapter 1: Parts is Parts!
Ray Vol. 2 7 December 1994 The Edge of Forever
Justice League Task Force 18 December 1994 Savage Legacy, Part 2: The Frog and the Scorpion
Ray Vol. 2 8 January 1995 The Main Man
Justice League Task Force 19 January 1995 Savage Legacy, Chapter 3: Inquisition
Ray Vol. 2 9 February 1995 The Flying Gypsy
Justice League Task Force 20 February 1995 Savage Legacy, Finale: Down Count
Ray Vol. 2 10 March 1995 The God Complex
Justice League Task Force 21 March 1995 Alive
Ray Vol. 2 11 April 1995 Light & Death
Justice League Task Force 22 April 1995 Chokula
Ray Vol. 2 12 May 1995 Oracle
Justice League Task Force 23 May 1995 Chok II
Ray Vol. 2 13 June 1995 Graveyard
Justice League Task Force 24 June 1995 Bride of Chok
Ray Annual 1 1995 Man and Superman
Damage 14 July 1995 Picking Up the Pieces, Part II: The Hunt for Dr. Polaris
Ray Vol. 2 14 July 1995 Ray Terrill is Mad as Hell
Ray Vol. 2 15 August 1995 Joe Haircut
Justice League Task Force 26 August 1995 Klakk
Ray Vol. 2 16 September 1995 Ouch
Justice League Task Force 27 September 1995 Clear and Present Danger
Ray Vol. 2 17 October 1995 Monster
Ray Vol. 2 18 November 1995 Monsters
Justice League Task Force 29 November 1995 Pinched
Underworld Unleashed 2 early December 1995 Underworld Unleashed, Part 2: The Devil To Pay
Ray Vol. 2 19 December 1995 Monster3
Green Lantern Vol. 3 69 December 1995 Bargains
Justice League Task Force 30 December 1995 Thunderworld
Underworld Unleashed 3 late December 1995 Seduction of the Innocent
Ray Vol. 2 20 January 1996 The Tide
Justice League Task Force 31 January 1996 The Accused
Guy Gardner: Warrior 39 February 1996 Merriment, Mistletoe, and Mayhem!
Ray Vol. 2 21 February 1996 It
Justice League Task Force 32 February 1996 The Ninth Hour
Ray Vol. 2 22 March 1996 Masks
Justice League Task Force 33 March 1996 The Stand
Justice League Task Force 34 April 1996 Doomed
Ray Vol. 2 23 May 1996 Endgame
Justice League Task Force 35 May 1996 The Sword of the USAF
Ray Vol. 2 24 June 1996 The Fall
Justice League Task Force 36 June 1996 Godwar
Ray Vol. 2 25 July 1996 Time and Tempest, Part 1: The Pendulum
Justice League Task Force 37 July 1996 Rejoice
Ray Vol. 2 26 August 1996 Time and Tempest, Part 2: Messiah
Ray Vol. 2 27 September 1996 Time & Tempest, Book 3: Requiem
Ray Vol. 2 28 October 1996 Disclosure
Total Justice 1 October 1996 Tim
Total Justice 2 early November 1996 Mike
DC One Million 2 November 1998 The Day After Tomorrow
Final Night 1 November 1996 The Final Night, Ch. 1: Dusk
Final Night 2 November 1996 The Final Night, Ch. 2: Darker Grows the Night
Final Night 3 November 1996 The Final Night, Ch. 3: Keeping Hope Alive
Final Night 4 November 1996 The Final Knight
Green Lantern Vol. 3 81 December 1996 Funeral For A Hero
Green Lantern Plus 1 December 1996 Magnetic Personalities
Genesis Vol 1 1 October 1997 Resonance
JLA 27 March 1999 The Bigger They Come...
JLA 29 May 1999 Crisis Times Five, Part 2: World Turned Upside Down...
JLA 30 June 1999 Crisis Times Five, Part 3: Worlds Beyond
JLA 31 July 1999 Crisis Times Five, Part 4: Gods & Monsters
Justice Leagues: Justice League of Aliens 1 March 2001 Justice Leagues, Part V: Brother's Keepers
Justice Leagues: Justice League of America 1 March 2001 Justice Leagues, Part IV: Dawn's Early Light
Young Justice: Our Worlds at War 1 August 2001 Comedy of Eras
JSA: Our Worlds at War 1 September 2001 The All-Stars
Supergirl (1996) 65 February 2002 Louder than Words
Young Justice 41 March 2002 Mishmosh
JSA 34 May 2002 Stealing Thunder Part 2: Troublestruck
JSA 35 June 2002 Stealing Thunder Part 3: Lightning Storm
Young Justice 45 July 2002 Bang Bang Bedlam's Purple Hammer
Young Justice 46 August 2002 Four to Go
Young Justice 47 September 2002 Fighting Maad Part One: M.I.A.
Young Justice 48 October 2002 Fighting Maad Part Two: D.O.A.
Young Justice 49 November 2002 Fighting Maad Part Three: A.W.O.L.
Young Justice 50 December 2002 Fighting Maad Part Four: M.U.B.A.R.
Young Justice 51 January 2003 Zand on the Run
Young Justice 52 February 2003 The Unreal World
Young Justice 53 March 2003 Dead Man Sprinting
Young Justice 54 April 2003 Break on Through to the Other Side
Young Justice 55 May 2003 I've Got a Secret
The Adventures of Superman 614 May 2003 Truths Told in Super-Secret
The Adventures of Superman 615 June 2003 The Living Double of a Single Fiction
The Adventures of Superman 616 July 2003 Three Camera Shoot
JSA 49 August 2003 Princes of Darkness Part 4: Army of Darkness
JSA 50 September 2003 Princes of Darkness Part 5: The Last Light
JSA 51 October 2003 Princes of Darkness Coda: Justice Eternity
Avengers/JLA 4 December 2003 The Brave...and the Bold
The Adventures of Superman 623 February 2004 Bittersweet
Identity Crisis 1 August 2004 Coffin
Teen Titans Vol 3 21 April 2005 Lights Out (Part I of III) - The New Kid
JSA 73 July 2005 Black Vengeance, Part 1
Justice League Unlimited 9 July 2005 Castle Perilous
OMAC Project 6 November 2005 Loss of Signal
Infinite Crisis 1 December 2005 DC Comics Presents Infinite Crisis
Infinite Crisis 3 February 2006 Divine Intervention
Infinite Crisis 4 March 2006 Homecoming
52 1 May 2006 Golden Lads & Lasses Must...
Infinite Crisis 6 May 2006 Touchdown
52 6 June 2006 China Syndrome
Action Comics 838 June 2006 Up, Up, and Away!, Chapter 4: Powers and Abilities
Infinite Crisis 7 June 2006 Finale
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters (2006) 7 March 2007 Traitors and Patriots
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters (2006) 8 April 2007 Liberty and Justice for All
Justice Society of America 8 October 2007 Belles & Whistles
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters (2007) 1 November 2007 Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters
Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime 1 December 2007 Into The Sun
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters (2007) 2 December 2007 Fame
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters (2007) 4 February 2008 Life in Miniature
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters (2007) 5 March 2008 Be Careful What You Wish For
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters (2007) 6 April 2008 Into the Unknown
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters (2007) 7 May 2008 The Universal
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters (2007) 8 June 2008 Let Freedom Ring
Final Crisis 4 November 2008 Darkseid Says
Brave and the Bold Vol 3 18 December 2008 Fathers... (Part II of II) - Controls
Justice League 40 June 2015 Darksied War Prologue

References[edit]

  1. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1990s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 252. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Longtime DC writer/editor Jack C. Harris reworked the Golden Age character of the Ray into a new hero, assisted by future superstar artist Joe Quesada. 
  2. ^ As detailed on Priest's website - http://lamerciepark.com/legacy/comics/ray.html
  3. ^ Newstime: 23 (May, 1993), DC Comics
  4. ^ Weird Western Tales #71
  5. ^ Second issue synopsis on DC Comics Website
  6. ^ Fourth issue synopsis on DC Comics website
  7. ^ Eighth issue synopsis on DC Comics website
  8. ^ Review of the final issue.
  9. ^ The Ray vol 2, #8
  10. ^ The Ray vol 2, #16