Ever since the “Invasion!” crossover three years ago, when Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and The Atom (Brandon Routh) shared a joke about the fact that they looked like they could be cousins, fans have wondered what it would be like for the Legends to realize that, no some Earth, somewhere in the multiverse, there really and truly is a Clark Kent who looks alarmingly like Ray. While Tyler Hoechlin wasn’t exactly a 1:1 fit — and hasn’t really shared the screen with Routh so far — one thing is for sure: the upcoming “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover is going to make it hard to ignore the similarities.
Routh, who played the Man of Steel in the 2006 movie Superman Returns, will appear in “Crisis on Infinite Earths” as an alternate-universe Superman who dresses like the one from the 1997 comic book miniseries Kingdom Come by Alex Ross and Mark Waid. That character, of course, did not exist when Marv Wolfman and George Perez made Crisis on Infinite Earths in the ’80s, so it seems likely that Routh’s role will be something more akin to what the Superman of Earth-2 did in the comics.
“It’s fun because [Routh] gets to not only play Superman but also Clark Kent, and watching him inhabit those two roles…I say two roles because he plays them obviously very differently from one another,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim told EW. “We also had the opportunity to see Brandon act opposite himself, because Ray Palmer is in the crossover as well. We certainly wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity for Superman played by Brandon Routh to interact with Ray Palmer played by Brandon Routh.”
We don’t know yet what that will look like, but given how relentlessly positive Ray is, and how aw-shucks good the Routh/Christopher Reeve Superman is, it’s hard to imagine it could be anything besides charming.
The event will bring together the heroes from multiple Earths to battle against the Anti-Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), a godlike villain who threatens to destroy all reality. In the comics, the story ended with the deaths of The Flash and Supergirl, and the destruction of DC’s multiverse, leading to a single Earth with a complex history packed with hundreds of heroes.
The event will be the most ambitious thing DC has ever attempted in live action, bringing together characters from all six of the current DC Comics adaptations on The CW (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Black Lightning), along with characters and actors from the 1990 version of The Flash, the short-lived Birds of Prey, Smallville, Superman Returns, and the iconic 1966 Batman series.
“Crisis on Infinite Earths” kicks off on Sunday, December 8 on Supergirl, runs through a Monday episode of Batwoman and that Tuesday’s episode of The Flash. That will be the midseason cliffhanger, as the shows go on hiatus for the holidays and return on January 14 to finish out the event with the midseason premiere of Arrow and a “special episode” of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, which launches as a midseason series this year and so will not have an episode on the air before the Crisis. Black Lightning‘s midseason finale will have a “Crisis” tie-in as well, although unofficially.