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The Arrow-verse shows on The CW have always pulled out as many stops as possible when planning the annual mega-crossovers that feature heroes from all the superhero series banding together to save the world. But, as we know, this year's crossover will be bigger than usual, with five shows (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Batwoman and Legends of Tomorrow) all getting their own hours of the event, and Black Lightning finally getting a chance to join the fight, as well as the official Arrow-verse.
While there have been many cool things announced for Crisis on Infinite Earths, few were quite as exciting as hearing that Legends of Tomorrow's Brandon Routh would get the opportunity to revisit the character that first brought him to the attention of people around the world: Superman. While there are still plenty of secrets being held about Routh's version of the iconic character for Crisis, we do know that, even though he'll be joined by current Arrow-verse Superman Tyler Hoechlin and former CW Man of Steel Tom Welling, Routh made quite an impression when he showed up in that famous supersuit.
Brandon Routh, who will also be playing his LOT character Ray Palmer / Atom for the crossover, made such an impact, in fact, that several of his co-stars were blown away by him. David Ramsey, who we all know and love as Arrow's John Diggle / Spartan, even went so far as to say that Routh will be our "golden era Superman" for Crisis on Infinite Earths:
Seeing him in the Superman outfit was just — everybody just gasped. Brandon looked like a Greek God. He looked like 6'6'' or 6'7'', muscles everywhere, a little grey in his hair. It was just perfect. And he just had this thing about him. His hands were always on his hips. He was golden era Superman... You think about Superman and if you say the words super man — he looked like a super man... Your eyes just couldn't get off of Brandon.
Well, David Ramsey was clearly very impressed with Brandon Routh's appearance as Superman, wasn't he? And, I mean, since you can see Routh in character above, can you really blame him? It looks like he was definitely able to get back to that best-of-the-good-guys attitude and add on some worldly growth and wisdom. Plus, as the internet is telling me that Brandon Routh is only 6'2", it would seem that standing ramrod straight in a Superman costume, arms akimbo, adds several stately inches to one's height. All the better to quietly intimidate bad guys, I suppose.
We don't know just yet how big of a part Routh's seemingly older and wiser Superman will have in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event, but from the looks of the photos that have been released, we can at least count on him showing up in Part 2 (Batwoman) and Part 3 (The Flash). Even if that's all we get of his first time reprising Superman since he played the character in 2006's Superman Returns, it sounds like it's going to be a wondrous thing to behold.
Of course, we also don't know just how this "golden era Superman" ended up looking just like Ray Palmer. It's one thing to have different versions of Flash look like Barry's Earth-1 dad, at least they're all human. Superman, as we know, is actually an alien, so if Ray crosses paths with whatever Earth's Clark Kent looks just like him, he's probably going to have some very big questions for his naturally superpowered doppelgänger.
Speaking of the two different Brandon Routh characters we're going to get in Crisis on Infinite Earths, according to Carlos Valdes (The Flash's Cisco Ramon / Vibe) watching Routh embody both of them was a real treat:
It was really fun watching Brandon Routh just like flip over and change over from Ray Palmer to being essentially Super-Brandon — that's what we've been calling him. It's super weird but also really gratifying to watch him play these two characters, you know? It means a lot, not just for the fans and the writers, but also for Brandon himself. I think that's part of what fascinates me about him playing these two characters is that I have to imagine there's a personal component as well. I'm just sort of caught in all the different imaginings of what this must mean for him to revisit that character while also playing out the rest of this character.
As Carlos Valdes told TV Guide, this season will be the last for Brandon Routh (and at least one other character) on Legends of Tomorrow, so fans should have even more fun watching him play Ray and Superman in this crossover.
Crisis on Infinite Earths (and its two Brandon Routh characters) will kick off with Supergirl on December 8, then carry over into Batwoman and The Flash before winter hiatus, then wrap up on Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow when the shows return in January.