Happy Terrill

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Happy Terrill is a male comic superhero who features in DC Comics.




Happy Terrill

At the time, a famous scientist named Professor Styne was conducting an experiment on his strato-balloon with Terrill managing to secure a place on the crew in order to get the scoop on the story. On the balloon, he discovered there was a real chance of death which was why Styne had chosen convicts for the crew. Whilst in the stratosphere, their craft was swept by wind into a strange field with Happy volunteering to go out to help manage the balloon to get them to safety. It was in that moment that they had entered into a cosmic storm that impacted Terrill giving him superpowers and the ability to transform into a being of light who unknown to anyone had disappeared in a shaft of light into space. The crew were saved but were unaware of what happened to Happy who was believed killed in the experiment with it reported in the news of Terrill's death. (Smash Comics v1 #14)

Whilst watching the city for crime, he saw a rich socialite by the name of Diane attend a ball where a mysterious masked man pursued her. The man dressed as a knight was revealed to be her former fiancée Cadava who suffered from a disfigurement that saw society reject him. Cadava attempted to abduct Diane with the Ray intervening but he was defeated by the knight. When he recovered, the Ray learnt that Cadava was based in an underground laboratory from where he projected a televo-ray in the city above to devastate it. Through the televo-ray, Terrill emerged in the lab where he battled Cadava. In the fight, he was knocked out by his foes servant Soo Cho who was tasked with disposing of the hero. However, a spark of light re-invigorated him and he broke free leading to another battle between the pair. The Ray destroyed his foes machinery and their fight led to them falling into the waters in the sewers with Cadava dying. Soo Cho attempted to avenge his master but he similarly perished. The Ray then revived Diane and returned her to the surface whereupon he participated in the rebuilding of the city. (Smash Comics v1 #15) He next learnt of a threat against the city’s judge, D.A. and commissioner from a Hindu mystic named Bela Jat who wanted revenge against the trio for sending him to jail for years. The efforts of the Ray managed to thwart the criminal and save the potential victims from the revenge scheme. (Smash Comics v1 #16) Afterwards, in his civilian identity as a reporter he was investigating a story on the Western Express train. Around this time, the train suffered from a gas attack which was part of Miss White and her seven intelligent dwarves plot to steal it from its wealth. With the seven dwarves reunited, they turned against White in order to get the fortune for themselves. This brought them into conflict with the Ray who killed them thus ending their crime wave. (Smash Comics v1 #18) The Ray's actions against criminals led to him being considered a threat to the very existence of gangland. One among them was crime boss Slash Scraponi who was betrayed by one of his underlings leading to him being sent to prison on Bedlam Island. However, the prison's warden was actually placed there by Scraponi who lived a life of luxury behind its walls. Terrill in his civilian guise as a reporter later went to investigate the death of the man who testified against Scraponi. Through his investigative skills and his powers, he was able to link Scraponi to the murder with this being published in the news along with the evidence submitted to the authorities. This saw the police move in on the island to arrest the crime boss but he had fortified it and turned it into a fortress to repel them. Thus, Terrill as the Ray went on the scene where he defeated the criminals and ensured all prisoners on Bedlam Island to be captured by the police. (Smash Comics v1 #18)


Following the Crisis of the Infinite Earths, a new version of reality was created with a different history of events. He was noted to have had a brother by the name of Thomas. (The Ray v2 #0) Terrill’s life was tied to the work of the Research On the Properties Of Light (RONOL) that was formed by the U.S. government in 1939 and was under the direction of Dr. Dayzal. (The Ray v1 #4) In the 1940’s, the brilliant scientist Dr. Dayzl came to develop a theory regarding the nature of light. He determined that countless eons ago a Light Entity formed at the same time as the planet itself. This entity composed of light departed where it circumvented the universe and developed sentience where it was theorised it would return where it would bring about disaster. This was because it would seek to take the place of Earth thus displacing the planet itself. Thus, he became determined in finding a means of preventing this disaster from destroying the world by finding a means of communicating with the Light Entity. The only person he determined able to achieve this communication was a person born of the light. In that time, he secretly embarked on an experiment on-board a balloon under the premise of conducting an upper atmosphere study whereby he arranged for an accident. This event saw the young and brash Happy Terrill being exposed to a cosmic storm. The incident endowed him with superpowers which Terrill used to help in the war effort and fighting the criminal elements back home. Unknown to him, he was constantly monitored by Dr. Dayzl in secret as he had arranged for Terrill to be exposed to a radiant flare in order to intentionally alter his genetic make-up to become a being that could communicate with the Light Entity. During the 1950’s, Dayzl disappeared and Terrill came to learn the truth of behind him getting powers where initially he intended to quit but was convinced by Uncle Sam to join the ranks of the Freedom Fighters. (The Ray v1 #5) Terrill came to learn that the incident that gave him his powers were the result of his future son who travelled through time. Upon seeing his child, he came to have hope for the future and that his offspring would follow in his footsteps. Sometime afterwards, he met a woman named Gayle with the two getting married and her being pregnant with his son he named Joshua who was born in February, 1946. Initially, he believed this child would be the one to visit him from the future but came to notice their different hair colour. Though disappointed, he came to love his son who immediately manifested the light-based superpowers of his father. However, Joshua's abilities were so vast and beyond his understanding that both Happy and Gayle struggled to control him. Ultimately, Happy decided to make his son into a boy wonder sidekick if for no other reason than to keep an eye on him where he took the name Spitfire. During this time, they came to notice that Joshua was not biologically aging past eight years of age and that his mentally development was that of a four year old. This saw him fall into temper tantrums and rages where he lashed out with his abilities thus running amok and destroying anything around him. Happy believed he could maintain control and that he just needed to wait for a period of adjustment till Joshua got a better handle over himself. One day, when Joshua was eight years old, Happy was away on a mission as the Ray and thus was not present at his son's birthday. This caused Joshua to lash out in anger where he destroyed the house and killed Gayle in the process. It was then that Happy decided that Joshua was too dangerous to be allowed to roam freely and took him out for breakfast one day but had drugged the food. Once unconscious, he placed Joshua in a cryogenic chamber where he intended to keep his son trapped there for the rest of his existence. The incident led to Happy retiring as the Ray in February, 1954 thus ending his superhero career. Around twenty years later, he met and fall in love with a woman called Nadine with the two getting married. She wanted to have kids but Happy always remembered the incident regarding his previous son and thus never wanted children. However, one day, she became pregnant with Happy insisting she have an abortion though Nadine would not go forward with it. She gave birth to their son who was Ray Terrill but Happy believed a great danger would come from the child and thus used his powers to make Nadine forget ever having a child. He then hid the boy away with his brother and gave strict instructions to keep him away from light as he believed Ray would grow up to become as big a danger as Joshua. (The Ray v2 #28)

Official reports came to hold that Langford ‘Happy’ Terrill was dead and thus the 'real Ray' was no more. Around this time, S.H.A.D.E. had created a new successor by the name of Stan Silver who took the identity of the Ray. (Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters v1 #5) Though in reality, he was still alive and attended the funerals in Washington that was made for the dead in the wake of the attack from the Amazons which was where he met Uncle Sam along with his son Ray Terrill. (Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters v2 #1)


Personality and attributes

After gaining superpowers, he adopted a superhero identity as the Ray. (Smash Comics v1 #14)

During the 1940's, he made his first wife who he loved which was Gayle and from her had a son named Joshua. It was her death at the hands of their son's temper tantrum that left him devastated and not wanting to have children. It was years later that he met his second wife Nadine where he loved her but did not want to have children. She, however, want a child and gave birth to Happy's second offspring who was Ray Terrill. (The Ray v2 #28)

Powers and abilities

As the Ray, he could generate solar radiation across a wide range of wavelengths and frequencies allowing him to produce numerous effects. He was able to bend light around him rendering himself virtually invisible. Happy could also adjust the light frequency to make himself visible only to the people he wanted to see him whilst appearing invisible to others. He later learnt to pulse solid light energy on a low frequency that could cause a person’s bones to resonate. This allowed him to reproduce the sound of his voice by resonating it with the individual’s bones that gave the impression of telepathy. Happy’s more skilled use in his powers allowed him to create solid-light constructs such as making duplicates of himself to aid him in a fight. Similarly, he could use the solid-light to produce disguises for himself allowing him to appear as other people. (The Ray v2 #0) The Ray was able to transmit himself in shafts of light to different locations. (Smash Comics v1 #14) He could disappear into any ray of light and manifest on the other side of the project. This could even work on television screens allowing him to ride a beam of light through it to emerge at the source. Another aspect of his powers was a degree of superhuman strength. (Smash Comics v1 #15) There were a unique-waves around the planet that he and others like him could detect which flowed with the world’s rotation. By riding these, he could travel over great distances. Through experience, he learnt to apply concentration to help navigate when he travelled at high speeds across over global distances. (The Ray v1 #4) On some occasions, he was shown transporting other people on curved beams of light. (Smash Comics v1 #18) With his powers, he was able to hear sounds over a great distance. (Smash Comics v1 #18) According to Happy, his powers helped retard his aging process allowing him to appear young and operate even when technically he was too old by human standards. (The Ray v1 #2)

He was able to absorb the solar energies of a person with similar abilities as himself such as his son. This allowed him to draw it out of him like a magnet and leave him temporarily depowered as they were tuned to the same energy vibration. (The Ray v2 #5)

Happy was able to create post-hypnotic suggestions through his abilities. An example of this was using his powers on his own son to make him believe that his powers were gone. (The Ray v2 #5)

Despite his powers, he was not a pure light being as his body was still physical which meant he still needed to breath. This meant he could not operate in space without life support systems. (The Ray v2 #5)


  • Happy Terrill was created by Will Eisner and Lou Fine where he made his first appearance in Smash Comics v1 #14 (September, 1940).


  • Smash Comics v1: (1940)
  • The Ray v1:
  • The Ray v2:
  • Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters v2:

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