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Meet the Freedom Fighters: The Ray

Reporter Langford “Happy” Terrill signs up as a crew member for the test launch of Professor Styne’s strato-balloon.

Suddenly the balloon is swept upward into a strange field! A weird haze of cosmic light glows around the balloon! Terrill grows rigid! The cosmic storm lashes at the balloon in a fury of dazzling lights… Suddenly an amazing thing happens… the figure of Terrill seems to shrink, as another rises out of him...

In a New York apartment, a mob boss read the newspaper headline reporting Terrill missing, as well as the story that Professor Styne returned with “a new gas with the power of 100 tons of T.N.T. in one cubic inch.”

My job is selling guns, but, if I can lay my hands on that formula, I’ll clean up a cool million.

After shooting Professor Styne and stealing the formula…

When one of the crooks flees…

Then…

Notes

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The Ray was the fourth member of the future Freedom Fighters to debut in a Quality Comic Group magazine. In December 1939, Feature Comics #27 introduced Doll Man, in May, 1940, Crack Comics #1 introduced Black Condor, in July, 1940, National Comics #1 introduced Uncle Sam, and in September, 1940, Smash Comics #14 introduced The Ray.

“Happy” Terrill, aka The Ray, was created by Lou Fine. His first story appeared in Smash Comics among stories with Espionage, Invisible Hood, Wings Wendall, and Bozo the Robot. His adventures continued through issue #40 in February, 1943, and The Ray was not seen again until DC revived him over 30 years later.

In his first story, we see demonstrations of the various powers he gained in the cosmic storm. He can travel through shafts of light. He can generate electromagnetism through “electro-blasts.” He can absorb and project energy. He also possesses the standard superhuman power of remaining unharmed by bullets.

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Fun Facts

  • The Ray fought villains such as Bela Jat, Cadava the Crumbler, Khan, and Stradivarius.

  • Happy Terrill was a reporter for the Morning Telegraph.

  • Happy’s son, Ray, became The Ray in The Ray #1, February, 1992.

Title: Smash Comics

Issue #: 14

Cover Date: September 1940

Penciller: Lou Fine

Inker: Lou Fine

Editor: Ed Cronin


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