Russell Tovey wears gay Holocaust victim outfit in superhero TV show
The first pictures have emerged of Russell Tovey as gay superhero The Ray, ahead of his TV show debut.
Looking actor Tovey is set to take up the mantle of The Ray, a gay superhero with light-based powers.
Tovey will voice the character on animated TV show Freedom Fighters: The Ray, which is launching on CW Seed next month.
But the animated character will make its debut in live-action, as part of a crossover with several other DC superhero shows.
Tovey’s Ray will make an appearance as part of ‘Crisis on Earth-X’, a crossover between TV shows Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow.
The first pictures of Tovey in character were released ahead of the special episodes, which air next Monday and Tuesday.
The four-part crossover will see the superheroes do battle with Nazis from an alternate universe where Hitler won World War Two.
The stills suggest that Tovey’s character Raymond Terrill is a victim of Nazi persecution due to his sexuality, as he is pictured wearing a prison uniform complete with a pink triangle – a real-life symbol used by the Nazis to persecute gay people.
The thousands of gay men who were sent to concentration camps under Nazi rule were marked out with the pink triangle.
Other images show Tovey in his superhero costume as The Ray, wearing a black leather costume and golden helmet.
Fans won’t have long to wait after the crossover to see more of the superhero, as his own series is set to be released in December, with Tovey making the jump to animated.
Credit: The CWIn DC comics canon, the character is as an ambitious reporter who discovers that government scientists were working on a secret project to transform light into a weapon of mass destruction.
It is during his investigation that Terrill is exposed to a genetic bomb.
Rather than killing him, the experience gives him the power to absorb light as energy, and create illusions by manipulating light rays.
In the first trailer for the show, The Ray and his fellow freedom fighters are seen protecting a group of refugees trying to flee Nazi-controlled Oklahoma.
According to The CW, “Raymond ‘Ray’ Terrill was a reporter who discovered a group of government scientists working on a secret project to turn light into a weapon of mass destruction.
“But before he could report on his findings, the project head exposed Ray to a ‘genetic light bomb’.
“The bomb failed to kill him and instead gifted Ray with light-based powers. With these abilities, Ray realized he could go beyond reporting on injustice – he could take action to help stop it.
“Calling himself The Ray, he was recruited by Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters to fight violence and oppression wherever it exists.”
The shared universe in which all the TV shows take place, known as the Arrowverse, has a number of other out characters – though The Ray will be the first to front his own show.
Caity Lotz plays the bisexual White Canary on Legends of Tomorrow, after a popular run on Arrow.
Lotz previously said it was “important” that the series remained true to her character’s sexuality.
She told Vulture: “That was a big, important thing for me, that she stays bisexual, and [the showrunners] were 100 percent game for that.
“I go to conventions, and I’ve had a lot of girls come up to me and say how much it’s meant to them to have a character representing them on TV, and I think the show does a really good job on that with Sara, where it’s not like, ‘Oh yeah … hot girls, making out’.
“There’s an actual relationship and love there. And Sara is bisexual, so she loves men, too. I think Sara just loves a person for who they are.”
Supergirl also has LGBT representation, with fan-favourite lesbian character Alex Danvers.
Supergirl’s adoptive older sister Alex, played by Chyler Leigh, had a relationship with police detective Maggie (Floriana Lima) on the show.
More from PinkNews
Fans became obsessed with the pair, known by the ship name ‘Sanvers’.
Meanwhile comic book detective John Constantine is returning to the Arrowverse – and this time he might not be straightwashed.
Matt Ryan is reprising his role as Constantine for a one-off guest slot in DC’s superhero time travel series Legends of Tomorrow.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Legends of Tomorrow producer Phil Klemmer said: “As for Constantine, we knew that an alienated, chain-smoking, bisexual, world-weary demonologist would feel right at home among our Legends.”
The producers of the original Constantine TV show had insisted their variant of the character was not bisexual.