Russell Tovey Will Play an Openly Gay, Nazi-Fighting Superhero in an Upcoming TV Event
On Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, the CW television network with air Crisis On Earth X, a four-hour superhero TV crossover event that will be shown over two nights. It involves characters from the CW’s four other superhero shows: Supergirl, The Flash, The Green Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. The movie will star openly gay actor Russell Tovey playing The Ray, an openly gay superhero.
If you haven’t been watching the CW shows, here’s what to expect: The Flash is getting married to his girlfriend Iris West. And in typical comic book fashion, the wedding gets crashed by Nazis from Earth X, “a parallel world where the Nazis won World War II and ‘The New Reichsmen’ rule over present day America.”
In this parallel Earth, there’s an evil Supergirl called Overgirl, an evil Green Arrow called Dark Arrow and an evil Flash called Dark Flash. The good guys will face off against the bad guys in an epic battle.
So what’s the deal with Russell Tovey’s character, The Ray?
Tovey’s character, The Ray, is a good guy. His full name is Raymond C. “Ray” Terrill and he’s a flying, sun-powered superhero that was originally depicted as dating women during his stand-alone comics in the early ’90s. The character was later reimagined as gay in the 2016 DC Rebirth comic book release.
The Ray has two different origin stories in both the early ’90s comics and the Earth X storyline. In the promotional shots released for the cross-over movie event, Tovey wears a concentration camp uniform with a pink triangle on it, meaning that he’s been condemned to death by Nazis for being gay, just like they did in real life.
The Ray’s appearance in this cross-over film is particularly interesting considering that CW Seed, the CW network’s streaming website and app, recently announed the upcoming release of Freedom Fighters: The Ray, which features the superhero in a plot that’s pretty much identical to the Crisis on Earth X TV event.
Here’s The Ray’s backstory in the Freedom Fighters cartoon:
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.
His backstory may be the same in Crisis on Earth X.
Here’s a gallery with shots of Russell Tovey as The Ray:
There may be some same-sex romance in the Crisis on Earth-X film
All four CW DC Comics superhero shows have openly gay TV writer Greg Berlanti as producer. Considering that Berlanti’s Supergirl TV series has featured a same-sex relationship, it’s conceivable that he might introduce the same in the Crisis on Earth-X crossover event.
In CW’s Supergirl, Supergirl’s sister is a lesbian. In Legends of Tomorrow, White Canary, the leader of the Legends of Tomorrow, is bisexual. In a previous episode, White Canary hit on Supergirl, and Supergirl responded, “You’d like my sister,” so it’s entirely possible they could romantically connect as well.