Thursday, May 5, 2011

Golden Age Superheroes - The Ray

I'm sticking with Quality Comics again today for my latest superhero - the Ray. He first appears in Smash Comics #14 (September 1940) and lasted through #40, which was a pretty good run for the Golden Age. This time we have a reporter named Happy Terrell, who is taking a high level balloon ride when he's exposed to lightning or radiation and endowed with superhuman powers. Sounds a little like a quartet of regular folk taking a ride on a rocket when they get exposed to cosmic rays and become the fabulous Fantastic Four, doesn't it?? Anyway, Happy is even happier now that he can fly on light rays, control magnetic rays and turn into pure energy, depending on the amount of ambient radiation he's exposed to. Of course, rather than get a job in a circus where he could take his act on the road and get engaged to the bearded lady, he turns his newfound powers to fighting crime. One thing I will say is that with artists like Lou Fine and Reed Crandall working on the strip he was certainly one of the best looking heroes to ever grace the comic book pages. Later, after DC took over the Quality line of heroes, the Ray was incorporated into the Freedom Fighters and then suddenly had a son who followed in his footsteps - I'm not sure how he got his powers. As for the action figure, I used a Michael Keaton Batman figure, stripping off a good deal of the detail of belt, boots and gauntlets with my handy Dreml tool. I also cut the little doo-dad on top of his head from a piece of sheet plastic and painted him yellow. I selected this particular figure due to the scallopped neck-piece on the original Batman that was similar to what the Ray had. (A customizers hint - 'tis easier to remove stuff than it is to add stuff.)

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