Television & Film

First Look at Brandon Routh’s Return as Superman

The CW has released its first official image of Brandon Routh in costume as the Kingdom Come variation of Superman for the upcoming “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event.

Routh, who has spent the last five years as Ray Palmer/The Atom on the CW shows, played Superman in Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, delivering a performance that some praised for its homage to Christopher Reeve’s turn in the role. However, the film was not successful enough at the box office to warrant a sequel, and Warner Bros. eventually rebooted the entire DC cinematic universe, first with Green Lantern and again with Man of Steel.

Recently, the CW announced that Routh and his wife Courtney Ford, who plays Nora Darhk, would be leaving their regular roles as part of the ensemble on Legends of Tomorrow.

At the 2019 Comic-Con International in San Diego, Routh’s return to Superman was announced along with Routh teasing the Kingdom Come tie-in with the t-shirt he was wearing. Kingdom Come is an “elseworlds” style story set in the future of the DC Comics universe. In that story by Alex Ross and Mark Waid, the next generation of superpowered beings is running amok on Earth with no sense of the repsponsibility that comes with the powers they wield. It’s up to Superman, Wonder Woman, and Bruce Wayne to bring them under control.

A few weeks ago, it was announced that voice actor Kevin Conroy, who has played the animated Batman for several projects since 1992, will play a live action Bruce Wayne, although there’s no confirmation if he’ll play the Kingdom Come version or perhaps the Batman Beyond version.

Photo: Jordon Nuttall/The CW

The “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover has been teased since the pilot episode of The Flash in 2014. The story is based on the multiverse-shattering title published by DC Comics from April 1985 to March 1986. Written by Marv Wolfman with pencils by George Pérez, the story served to combine the multiple story continuities of the “multiverse” into one story universe, killing off a number of characters from DC’s long history and establishing one continuity moving forward (at least, until the multiverse was re-established…).

The photo of Routh in the new costume follows the actor’s Instagram post wherein he teases being scanned for the visual effects.

The crossover will air over five nights beginning with Supergirl Sunday, December 8 followed by Batwoman (December 9), The Flash (December 10), Arrow (January 14, 2020), and Legends of Tomorrow (January 14). The event will also mark the first time characters from the CW’s Black Lightning will appear in the “Arrowverse” shows.

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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