The Arrowverse's "Elseworlds" crossover is less than a week away and not only did The CW blow fans' minds last night with a shocking scene at the end of Supergirl featuring John Wesley Shipp's '90s Flash leading right into the event, but today the network dropped a new piece of key art -- and it might just confirm a Superman plot twist.
In the art the big three heroes of the Arrowverse are prominently placed, complete Arrow's Stephen Amell decked out in The Flash suit while The Flash's Grant Gustin takes up the Emerald Archer's bow and arrow. Batwoman (Ruby Rose) as well as a number of other familiar faces fill in the rest of the poster, but there's a curious situation when it comes to Tyler Hoechlin's Superman on the right third of the poster -- there's two of them.
As you can see, standing behind Supergirl is Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) who is holding what appears to be a hammer while Superman in his red and blue suit stands protectively behind her. However, in the sky just over Supergirl's opposite shoulder is another Superman, this one wearing the black suit we've gotten glimpses of previously.
The appearance of two separate Superman entities on the poster seems to rule out the idea that we're going to see Earth-38's Superman cast off his classic suit for the darker one. Instead, it seems like pretty solid evidence towards another possibility we've mentioned before, that the dark Superman in "Elseworlds" might just be Superboy-Prime and potentially a huge nod towards Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Superboy-Prime, one of the multiverse's Clark Kents, was one of a handful of characters saved from being erased from history at the end of the first Crisis -- and he would return later to serve as the main antagonist in Infinite Crisis as well as a handful of other events, including "The Sinestro Corps War" and Countdown to Final Crisis.
In the latter, Superboy Prime took on the identity of "Superman Prime," as well as donning the black-and-silver costume that the Man of Steel wore when he returned from the dead, but with a twist. Earth-Prime's Superman added a black cap to the dark suit -- just like what we're seeing in this poster for "Elseworlds". Could the dark Superman in "Elseworlds" be an all grown up Superboy-Prime? It's starting to look like it.
The black-costumed Superman of "Elseworlds" has been spotted facing off against heroes, including the more traditional Superman, in behind-the-scenes photos snapped on the streets where they were filming crossover scenes. This suggests that he is likely evil, or at least mind-controlled by Dr. John Deegan, the Arkham Asylum scientist seemingly in league with the Monitor as part of "Elseworlds." And while we've seen a mind-controlled Superman before in the Arrowverse -- specifically in the season two finale of Supergirl -- Supergirl managed to overpower him. If the "Elseworlds" dark Superman is Superman Prime, that could be another twist as to why this dark Man of Steel is a real threat for the Arrowverse's heavy hitters.
In the comics, Superboy Prime is the only superhero who hails from Earth-Prime -- that is, the non-fictional Earth on which the readers exist and read the comics. He is, literally, "our" Superman. He was created prior to the Crisis on Infinite Earths and has pre-Crisis Kryptonian power levels, which are significantly higher than the power levels for post-Crisis Kryptonians.4comments
On The CW, the Crisis on Infinite Earths has not yet happened -- The Flash has pegged its arrival as 2024 -- but given that the Kryptonians we have seen on Supergirl do not appear to be wildly more powerful than other, comparable aliens and metahumans, it could be argued that the rules of the shows are closer to the rules of the post-Crisis DC Universe and that if The Monitor and/or Deegan somehow imbued Superman Prime with, relatively speaking, pre-Crisis level powers, he could withstand quite a bit.
Fans will find out very soon exactly what the situation more than one Superman means. The Arrowverse crossover event, "Elseworlds", will begin on with The Flash in a temporary time slot on Sunday, December 9th and continue with Arrow on Monday, December 10th before concluding with Supergirl Tuesday, December 11th.