Raymond C. Terrill (The Ray)

Approaching the end of Crisis on Earth-X, we meet a superhero who’s also one of the new protagonists of the ever-expanding Arrowverse: Raymond “The Ray” Terrill, portrayed by Russell Tovey. Seen for the first time in a concentration camp, where he meets the heroes from Earth-1, Ray is revealed in the new animation webseries to be from Earth-1 himself, involved by his dying doppelganger in his crusade against the New Reichsmen, Nazi superheroes who he was fighting back on Earth-X. In the show, he comes back to Earth-X at the end of the battle, having earned quite a victory against his enemies, but we’ll most likely hear about him again soon enough. In the meanwhile, of course, we take a look to the original guy from the comics.

Raymond Terrill lived the first years of his life in an elaborated lie built to keep him away from his family legacy. His (supposed) father was Thomas Terrill, and he lived with him in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was told since he was born that he was seriously allergic to light, and that he would have been horribly burnt if exposed to sunlight. Therefore, his house was constantly dark, with the windows hermetically shut, and he was allowed to come out only by night. Local media even started to refer to him as “Night Boy“, in a report about his unique disease. His only friend was Jenny Jurden, a neighbor girl who kept him company. When Ray was eighteen years old, Thomas fell ill, and on his deathbed he required his “son” to be present. In this occasion, Ray learnt the truth: Thomas wasn’t his real father, rather he was his uncle, and his real parent was Langford “Happy” Terrill, the World War II hero known as The Ray. Even more, Ray himself wasn’t allergic to light at all, but he had been denied exposure to sunlight in order not to activate the powers he had inherited from his father. Still in shock, Ray was approached by his cousin, Hank, who accompanied him in his first exposure to direct light: the pale boy started to shine, absorbing light and reusing it as raw power. Hank urged his cousin to become a superhero like his father, but Ray, still scared and confused, refused. It was at that point that his allegedly dead biological father appeared, very much alive, and much younger than he should have been. More revelations were coming for the young man.

Happy told his son that he had become a superhero in a project named RONOL, that wasn’t about fighting Nazis in the first place: his main purpose was to save the entire planet from the Light Entity, a cosmic being only he, thanks to his powers, could reach and talk to. The Light Entity was about to reach Earth again, and only Raymond could dissuade it from destroying the planet. Cornered, Ray could do nothing but to embrace his powers, and he actually met and calmed down the Light Entity, even defeating the evil Dr. Polaris in the process. Following that, Ray didn’t want to continue this “superhero career”, but he ended up working as a computer programmer for the villain Vandal Savage, a coincidence that forced him to put on the mantle of The Ray once again. Finally surrendering to his legacy, Raymond accepted Happy as his mentor, and he succeeded him as the new Ray (Happy started to call himself Neon), and he became quite a relevant member of the superhero community in little time, battling foes as the cosmic bounty hunter Lobo, the demon Neron and the Apokoliptian monster Brimstone. This obviously got him some attention, and after the death of Superman, a Justice League desperately needing new members contacted him and offered him to join, something that he immediately accepted. While in the League, he even shared a brief romance with Black Canary, but the thing didn’t last long. When Martian Manhunter left to found another cell, Justice League Task Force, The Ray was among the ones who followed him. After that, he joined many other teams: the Forgotten Heroes, Young Justice, the Justice Society of America, and eventually the new Freedom Fighters. For being a reluctant hero, The Ray had come quite to enjoy his new status.

Ray Terrill is a young man raised in loneliness and darkness, who only recently came to embrace a new life made of light, friendships and public appearances. As The Ray, he can absorb and emit a huge amount of light, processing it to fly, to create objects of “solid light”, to shoot powerful laser beams, to create illusions and become invisible by bending light in the surroundings, to reach light speed, and even to heal himself from virtually any wound; while in his light form, he’s also impervious to any damage. A reluctant hero who’s been oblivious to his true lineage and heritage for most of his life, The Ray has now come to fully embrace his power and the responsibilities deriving from it, becoming literally a beacon of light for the people around him.

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  1. […] Raymond C. Terrill (The Ray) […]


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