Crisis on Infinite Earths Photo Reveals Kingdom Come Superman Backstory

Ever since it was announced at Comic Con International in San Diego over the summer that Superman Returns star Brandon Routh would be returning the the role of Clark Kent for "Crisis on Infinite Earths," but this time wearing the logo of the Kingdom Come version of Superman, fans have wondered exactly how much of the Kingdom Come Superman's backstory would be translated to the TV version of his origin. The answer, it seems, is hidden away in some of the new "Crisis on Infinite Earths" publicity photos released earlier today in support of the episode of Batwoman that plays into "Crisis."

The image, which shows Routh as Clark Kent (as opposed to the other photos, in which he was Superman), sees him standing in front of a framed copy of the Daily Planet that likely informs his backstory. You can see it below.

Last chance to turn around, because when we come back there will be a photo, and then some discussion of the spoilers in said photo.

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(Photo: Warner Bros. TV/The CW)

The newspaper describes a gas attack that killed a number of Daily Planet employees, accompanied by an artist's rendering of the newspaper's building (as it appeared in the '90s, when Kingdom Come was published). The art is by (and credited to in the image) Alex Ross, who provided the art for Kingdom Come as well as co-plotting the series with writer Mark Waid.

Waid, in turn, is credited in the image as a Daily Planet staff writer who wrote the larger of the two headlines ("Numerous fatalities in news office gas attack." The second article is written by someone whose name is Ben something. Weitzman, maybe? Whatever it is, it doesn't ring a bell with us in terms of a Daily Planet staff member, but maybe there's somebody in the comments who can enlighten us as to what we're missing.

In the comics, the Joker launched a gas attack on the Daily Planet and killed numerous staff members, including Lois Lane, whom he attacked with one of the awards from her desk. It was Lois's death that sent Superman into seclusion and retirement, setting the stage for the story in Kingdom Come.

"Crisis on Infinite Earths" has loomed over the Arrowverse for years. The series premiere of The Flash featured an allusion to the hero disappearing amid red skies in the year 2024. During the original comics event, red skies were a sign of doom to come to a world during the Crisis. At the end of last season, a couple of things happened: The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), who had appeared in "Elseworlds," reappeared and revealed that Oliver Queen was destined to die in the Crisis...and the future newspaper at STAR Labs rolled back the expected date of the Crisis from 2024 to 2019.

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In the comics, Crisis on Infinite Earths centered on a battle between the combined superheroes (and even some villains) of the DC multiverse and an immortal, cosmic threat known as the Anti-Monitor. Like The Monitor, the Anti-Monitor will be played by LaMonica Garrett in the Arrowverse. As the Anti-Monitor destroys realities, he replaces their positive matter energy with antimatter, growing his own power and sphere of influence. He was eventually stopped by the sacrifices of several heroes, including The Flash and Supergirl, as well as the merging of multiple universes to save reality by becoming a single, unified timeline. Fans have long wondered whether the events of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" might bring Supergirl and even Black Lightning to Earth-1, where the rest of the series take place. The crossover will also feature guest appearances by Tom Welling as Clark Kent, Erica Durance as Lois Lane, John Wesley Shipp as the Flash of Earth-90, Johnathon Schaech as Jonah Hex, Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne, and Ashley Scott as The Huntress.

“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.