Spoilers Freedom Fighters: The Ray - Web Series

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Commander Richard, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special

    The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kai "the spy"
    Good question. A voice cast is listed on neither Wikipedia, nor IMDb, but they've obviously cast somebody.
     
  2. tenmei

    tenmei Commodore Commodore

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    I could totally buy someone like Mattias Inwood in the role after his turns in Will and Shanarra - but it didn't sound like him.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I hadn't realized the first time that the flying woman fighting against the heroes is an evil Supergirl. It should've been pretty obvious from the power set, I guess, but it didn't occur to me that she could be on the same Earth as the Flash and Arrow, I guess. So this is the first animated appearance of Kara Zor-El in the Arrowmultiverse, even if it's not "our" Kara.
     
  4. Commander Richard

    Commander Richard The Man With the Zapper Gun Premium Member

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    We got our first taste of The Ray in live-action.

    The animated series is supposed to be released in December.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, with surprisingly little exposition about his backstory and origins, aside from a throwaway mention of being from Earth-1. I guess the animated series is his origin story. Clearly it takes place before "Crisis on Earth-X," given the status of certain characters we see in the preview clip.

    Hmm, I just rewatched that clip, and there are some differences in costume design -- also, Dark Arrow and Overgirl are teamed up with what appears to be an evil Barry Allen Flash, rather than Reverse Flash. Given the long lead time for animation, it's possible The Ray was working from some rough-draft ideas that got changed in the development of "Crisis." Hopefully the continuity will mesh up reasonably well nonetheless.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    CW Seed has tweeted that Freedom Fighters: The Ray debuts this coming Friday, December 8:

    https://twitter.com/cwseed/status/936641064722612225

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Fighters:_The_Ray

    Reportedly, in addition to Russell Tovey as the Ray, Stephen Amell as Dark Arrow, and Melissa Benoist as Overgirl, we'll be hearing Grant Gustin as Dark Flash, plus guest appearances by Vibe, Mr. Terrific, and Vixen, though it's unclear whether it's their Earth-X doppelgangers or not. The released clip from FF:TR is clearly set before "Crisis on Earth-X," but maybe the series does a time jump. There's no indication of whether Wentworth Miller will appear as Citizen Cold/Leo Snart.
     
  7. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

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    The interview with Marc Guggenheim feels like it was done before the decision to use Earth X in the live action crossover. He talks of us being surprised how well Melissa Benoist plays a Nazi...we just saw her play that character last week. In general you would expect them to talk about seeing more of the characters introduced us in the crossover but instead talk like this is all first being revealed.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The interview linked in post #14 of this thread is from a year ago -- exactly one year before the impending release date, December 8, in fact.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Marc Guggenheim previews the show:

    https://www.cbr.com/freedom-fighters-the-ray-marc-guggenheim-interview/

    In short, the animated show was developed and animated before the decision to make "Crisis on Earth-X" and use the Ray in live-action. Thus, there are some continuity discrepancies between the two, plot holes that Guggenheim hopes to explain in a comic. No Citizen Cold or Thawne, at least not in season 1, which is set before "Crisis." Apparently Russell Tovey wasn't the original voice of the Ray, but they delayed the webseries to redub the character with Tovey's voice and alter his appearance to fit.

    Guggenheim also confirms that Megalyn EK (Echikunwoke) is returning as Mari/Vixen. And the evil Barry Allen is called Blitzkrieg.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, CW Seed has debuted the first six episodes of Freedom Fighters: The Ray already, with the first one here. However, it's not the full season, and episode 6 ends on a cliffhanger.

    Honestly, I'm not that impressed with it so far. The story of the Ray getting his powers and dealing with the dilemma of coming out to his conservative parents isn't handled all that compellingly. And though the show wears its progressive politics on its sleeve, it feels kind of like just going through the motions so far. I guess it could be setup for why Ray decides to leave his Earth to fight Nazis, but so far it feels a bit lacking.

    It turns out that Stephen Amell isn't playing the Earth-X Oliver Queen (who here is credited as "Black Arrow" instead of "Dark Arrow" as in "Crisis on Earth-X"), though Matthew Mercer does a pretty good impression. The Nazi Flash, Blitzkrieg, is Scott Whyte, who doesn't sound anything like Grant Gustin, so he may not be Barry's doppelganger after all. It does have Melissa Benoist as Overgirl, though. And Iddo Goldberg reprises his Supergirl role of Red Tornado.

    And despite what Marc Guggenheim said about them modifying the Ray's character design to look like Russell Tovey, I see very little resemblance.

    Some spoiler details:
    The Freedom Fighters of Earth-X are largely doppelgangers of the Earth-1 Ray Terrill and his friends and coworkers, plus Vibe. The Earth-1 Ray gets his powers from his dying Earth-X double, and we learn how he knows that his world is called Earth-1 (Red Tornado's disembodied brain tells him about the multiverse -- though RT claims there are thousands of parallel worlds, not just 53).

    Carlos Valdez plays both the Earth-1 and Earth-X versions of Vibe (who have identical costumes), and Danielle Panabaker appears as Caitlin in one episode (and the STAR Labs Cortex actually looks like it does in live-action, unlike in Vixen). Still no sign of Vixen or Mister Terrific, who are reported to be appearing.

    The animated Ray has powers the live-action one didn't demonstrate, like the ability to materialize his costume at will, turn into a beam of light, or turn intangible by "vibrating his atoms" like the Flash. Aside from that, I don't see any major continuity conflicts with "Crisis" so far, except for Red Tornado being destroyed, but he could have been rebuilt. Black Arrow doesn't seem to be "the Fuhrer" here, but then, he didn't really seem to be at first in "Crisis." It does look like there's a possibility our Cisco might meet the Ray before the end of the season, but maybe he just asks Vixen to go check him out or something. We'll see when they release the rest of the season, whenever that is.
     
  11. Happy Harleydays

    Happy Harleydays Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Can't watch the show because I'm not in the US, but I was just rewatching the crossover and I noticed that Ray has apparently never heard of The Flash or Green Arrow. When did he move to Earth-X?
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, we were warned there would be some continuity glitches, because of the change of plans to move up the Ray's introduction in this year's crossover. (I kinda suspect the producers originally intended something different for this year but were prompted to do a Nazi story by current events.) In the webseries, Ray and his friend are aware of the Flash and metahumans.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, season 2 of Freedom Fighters: The Ray was released on CW Seed back on July 19, but apparently nobody bothered to publicize it, since I only just found out about it today, and I just finished watching it. Actually they now have both 6-episode "seasons" recut into two big episodes a bit over a half-hour each.

    I was hoping that the makers of season 2 would make some effort to reconcile the discrepancies between season 1 and Crisis on Earth-X, but unfortunately it just compounds the problems. The Ray is recruited by Green Arrow, Flash (who sounds nothing like Grant Gustin), Vibe, and Mr. Terrific, who "train" him on a random mission to fight a giant robot alongside Vixen; this definitely contradicts Crisis, in which they'd never met before. Also, Ray tells Cisco about the Nazi Earth, which he didn't know about in Crisis. The "Black Arrow" here (who shares the same voice artist that's imitating Amell as GA, so presumably he is meant to be Oliver Queen) is subordinate to Overgirl rather than being the Fuhrer, and there's a mention of a different character, a Chancellor, who's the leader of the Reich. Also, the Ray is shown to rival Supergirl in strength, which doesn't seem consistent with his portrayal in Crisis. And the weirdest, most random inconsistency: The animators assumed for some reason that Mr. Terrific can fly. Even in the comics, he can't do that.

    So I think we have no choice but to conclude that FF:TR is non-canon to the Arrowverse, despite being supposedly set in it. That would make Vixen the only one of the three animated webseries that actually is in continuity with the Arrowverse (aside from a couple of minor details).

    Aside from the continuity problems and the bizarre casting of ringers for Flash and Green Arrow, I can't say I cared much for the story either. It just meandered too much, and it would've been better without the Earth-1 superhero cameos. The most important parts were Ray contending with his life on Earth -- both his efforts to fight for his social work and his struggle with coming out to his parents -- and his adjustment to Earth-X and winning the trust of the Freedom Fighters. Both of those were underdeveloped because of the time wasted mucking about with the routine superhero-origin stuff and the gratuitous cameos. There were enough cameos with the Reichsmen doppelgangers, so they should've left it at that and spent more time on the important parts. As it stands, though, this is mediocre and unfocused, though it does have some effective moments. The acting and animation are both pretty stiff, too, although Melissa Benoist is pretty impressive as a cartoon supervillain.
     
  14. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Freedom Fighters series takes place before the events of Crisis on Earth-X, not after, so what you see as inconsistencies are anything but.
     
  15. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Stupid double post.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Obviously it's meant to come before, because it's the Ray's origin, but that is exactly the problem. In Crisis, Barry, Oliver, and Cisco have never met the Ray or heard of Earth-X before. Both versions claim to be the first meeting between those characters. So yes, it is an inconsistency. As is the contradictory portrayal of the relationship between Overgirl and Dark/Black Arrow, the contradictory portrayal of the Ray's and Mr. Terrific's powers, the contradictory portrayal of Red Tornado's survival, etc.
     
  17. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I picked up the Blu-Ray/DVD combo for this. I thought it was okay, though I wish it had better lined up with the "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover. For example, the impression I got from the animated feature was that Overgirl was in charge, but in live-action it's Oliver. That didn't make sense to me, that Overgirl, who looks like the Nazi Aryan idea, and has super powers, would not be the leader. Even as injured as she was in the crossover, Oliver should/could have been more deferential to her, and fanatically devoted to his leader. There was also no Prometheus-X in the animated feature and Dark Flash wasn't the same as Reverse Flash. I felt that another season should be coming to tie things in closer to the crossover, though I don't know if we are going to get that.

    I also wish they had taken the freer reins provided by animation and included more heroes and Nazified Earth-X characters. I did like the inclusion of the Freedom Fighters. I wish they had also included Guardian among them, to at least give that character some heroic feats before he was the first person to die in the crossover. I also think the animated feature could've worked in Overman, some of Grant Morrison's Nazified characters like Leatherwing, and also some of the traditional Nazi DC characters as well. While overall I thought the animated feature was enjoyable, it also felt like a lot of missed opportunities.