The CW has been building up its live-action DC Comics universe since the introduction of Arrow in 2012, which was followed by The Flash after Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) made his debut alongside Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). Earlier this year, the Arrowverse added Legends of Tomorrow, which combines characters from both Arrow and The Flash with new heroes and villains, and this spring it was announced Supergirl would make the leap from CBS to The CW for the show's second season - which will debut this fall.
However, also existing within The CW's DC Comics multiverse is the Vixen animated series on the network's online platform, CW Seed. The show's hero, Mari McCabe (Megalyn Echikunwoke), made the jump to live-action in Arrow season 4, and the Vixen mantle has since been added to Legends of Tomorrow season 2, albeit held by new character Amaya Jiwe (Maisie Richardson-Sellers). Now, CW Seed is adding a new animated series to the DC TV universe with Freedom Fighters: The Ray.
Deadline is reporting Freedom Fighters: The Ray, co-created by Arrowverse producers Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, will debut in 2017 and feature the first gay superhero to lead a television series. Additionally, The Ray will be introduced with the potential to crossover to the live-action DC Comics universe on The CW, following in the footsteps of Vixen. The CW Seed Twitter released a one-sheet for Freedom Fighters: The Ray, take a look:
Furthermore, Freedom Fighters: The Ray will be adapting the Raymond “Ray” Terrill version of the character from the DC Comics. According to Deadline, Terrill was a reporter investigating a group of government scientists working on weaponizing light. However, when one of the scientists attempted to kill Terrill with a "genetic light bomb," it gave him light-based powers. In an effort to fight injustice with his new powers, and calling himself The Ray, Terrill was recruited to the Freedom Fighters to battle violence and oppression.
Certainly, for fans who have enjoyed CW Seed's first animated DC Comics series in Vixen, the announcement of a second will likely be welcome. However, those fans of the The CW's live-action universe may also be excited to see that another DC Comics hero could potentially join the Green Arrow, Supergirl, and The Flash on TV screens - specifically a hero that could offer even more diversity to the world.
That said, though The Ray may be the first gay superhero to headline their own series, he won't be the first non-straight hero within The CW's universe; Echo Kellum's Curtis Holt is said to be donning the Mr. Terrific costume in Arrow season 5, and Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) as the White Canary has been portrayed as bisexual. Still, as The CW's DC Comics universe continues to grow, both on the live-action and animated sides, it offers more chances to portray well-developed and compelling superheros with diverse backgrounds, races, and sexualities.
Freedom Fighters: The Ray is expected to premiere on CW Seed in 2017.