Image courtesy of The CW
The big Arrow-verse crossover of 2017 saw the heroes of Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl unite to battle Nazi invaders from an alternate world known as Earth-X. Evil versions of Green Arrow and Supergirl led the invasion along with Reverse Flash, and they wreaked a lot of havoc before the heroes were able to defeat them. The heroes never would have been able to defeat the Nazis if not for the help of a hero of Earth-X known as the Ray. The crossover didn't reveal the Ray's origin story or explain everything that happened on Earth-X to led to the invasion. Luckily, we have Freedom Fighters: The Ray to answer some leftover questions.
Freedom Fighters: The Ray is an animated show courtesy of CW Seed that will fill in a lot of blanks from the Arrow-verse crossover, which ended simply with the Ray returning to Earth-X with a little help from Cisco's breaching abilities. The CW Seed series will deliver some answers to questions that linger after all the heroes went their separate ways back to their own shows.
It was announced a while ago that Supergirl star Melissa Benoist would lend her voice to the animated show as the villainous Overgirl, and the evil version of Green Arrow was set to appear. Given that the Arrow-verse crossover ended with Overgirl exploding due to an overload of solar radiation and Dark Arrow being shot to death by Oliver, it became clear that The Ray would have to be a prequel series.
The action of The Ray is intense right off the bat, and viewers will get a look at even more Earth-X heroes than appeared in the big crossover. The crossover only spent a short amount of time on Earth-X, and we never got to see the real scale of the Nazi occupation of the world. The Ray definitely adds scale and ups the ante on the constant danger of Earth-X, although there is a certain sense of dread in the fact that several of the starring characters did not appear in live-action along with the Ray himself.
The series takes advantage of its animation to show off some superpowers that could never be possible on one of the live-action shows, and its setting on an Earth other than Earth-1 gives it the freedom to go completely bonkers without messing with the continuity of at least Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. All things considered, if you're a fan of the Arrow-verse on The CW, Freedom Fighters: The Ray is definitely worth checking out. Episodes only run around 5-7 minutes each, so it won't even take too much time to stay caught up.
All of this said, Freedom Fighters: The Ray may have had much more appeal if it had been released prior to the Arrow-verse crossover. We already know that the Ray will survive the action of the animated series, and we already know that the Freedom Fighters will not be able to stop Overgirl, Dark Arrow, and Reverse Flash. An earlier release could have amped up the anticipation for the crossover and given a look at Earth-X so that fewer blanks would need to be filled in. The Ray works as a prequel released after the crossover, but it might have been a lot more exciting if released before the Earth-X Nazis ever appeared in live action.
You can catch the series premiere of Freedom Fighters: The Ray on Friday, December 8 on CW Seed. The midseason finales of Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl will all have aired by Friday, so The Ray could provide a fun fix of superhero action moving forward. Be sure to take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule for when shows will be returning to the networks in 2018, and check out our picks for big questions we still have after the Arrow-verse crossover.