Exclusive: The Ray Joins The New ‘Justice League Of America’ [NYCC 2016]
DC Comics has been very secretive about its upcoming Justice League of America title. So far, all we've known is that Midnighter and Apollo writer Steve Orlando will helm the book, but there have been few other details announced, until today.
ComicsAlliance can exclusively reveal that Ray Terrill AKA The Ray will be joining the team, kicking off with a one-shot titled Justice League of America: The Ray by Orlando and recent Green Arrow artist, Stephen Byrne --- and he may be one of the first LGBTQ heroes to join the team.
Ray Terrill was created by Jack C. Harris and Joe Quesada in 1992 as the son of the original Ray, raised in darkness so as not to activate his light powers. He was reimagined as a gay man in Grant Morrison and Jim Lee's The Multiversity: Mastermen; although his sexuality was never made explicit on the page, Morrison stated in interviews that he was part of a team of Freedom Fighters made up of demographics the Nazis wanted to exterminate.
The Ray is about to get a big multimedia push with an upcoming animated series on CW Seed, which features Ray Terrill as CW's first gay superhero. The network is looking for a voice actor that can crossover to live-action in the network's slate of superhero shows. Orlando recently spoke to ComicsAlliance about his desire to see a gay character on the Justice League, so it seems likely that the DC Rebirth version of The Ray will fit that bill.
DC's press release describes the team as "the new faces of heroism" and "a Justice League that looks like America, that proves Heroism can look like ANYTHING and ANYONE," so hopefully the new line-up will be the most diverse and inclusive that the Justice League has ever been.
UPDATE: The other members of the new Justice League of America roster have been revealed via various outlets.CBR reports that Vixen will join the team, debuting in a one-shot by Orlando, Jody Houser, and artist Jamal Campbell. ComicVine reports that the Atom, aka Ryan Choi, will also be a member. His one-shot will be written by Orlando, with an artist to be announced. Newsarama reports that the fourth and final member of the initial line-up is the villain Killer Frost, who will star in a one-shot from Orlando, Houser, and artist Mirka Andolfo.
The re-introduction of The Ray might be a step in reestablishing legacy heroes to the DC Universe, something that was abandoned with the introduction of The New 52. The DC Universe Rebirth one-shot teased the return of the Justice Society of America, and The Ray is himself a legacy hero, the son of Golden Age character Lanford "Happy" Terrill.
It's interesting to note that DC previously established a new Ray in 2011; a Korean-American man named Lucien Gates, created by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Jamal Igle. At the time, it seemed as though DC was gearing up for a Freedom Fighters revival with several spotlight miniseries by Palmiotti and Gray, but the reinvented characters never caught on.
Justice League of America: The Ray will be on sale January 18, 2017, and leads into February's Justice League of America by Orlando and Ivan Reis, which will ship on a twice-monthly schedule.
More information about Justice League of America will be available at New York Comic Con's DC All Access Panel on Thursday, October 6 from 1:45-2:45PM.