The last time fans saw Brandon Routh's Superman -- wearing his Kingdom Come costume -- he was vanishing before their eyes at Vanishing Point. One of the seven paragons who would band together to stand against the Anti-Monitor, Routh's Superman started feeling pain and then disappeared in a flash of light to be replaced by Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer). It was a last-minute shock to fans who thought they had "figured out" everything when they realized that the multiverse would end but the paragons would somehow escape the wrath of the Anti-Monitor. Yeah, that happened, but look here: we messed with one of the paragons! The move made for a better cliffhanger, but left fans wondering what had happened to Routh's Superman.
After all, Routh -- who first appeared in the role in 2006's Superman Returns -- is basically the Christopher Reeve Superman. Returns was effectively a sequel to Superman II, set in the same world and with Clark depicted the same way. That they gave him the backstory of the Kingdom Come Superman did not change the fact that a lot of viewers could see through it and realize that we were watching the original cinematic Man of Steel taking part in "Crisis on Infinite Earths."
So what happened to him in the final night of the crossover? Did he ever come back? Could we see him again? Spoilers ahead for the conclusion of The CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths."
The character did not play a significant role in the final battle against the Anti-Monitor; his world remained gone until after the war was over and the multiverse was reconstituted. When we did see him, we saw that he had replaced the black background on his "S" shield with a yellow one, and that he had a smile.
In his final on-screen appearance, we see the character flying around the Earth, in much the same way Superman: The Movie ended. As Reeve did in that movie, Routh's Superman smiles at the viewer before flying off, while the John Williams theme from Superman: The Movie plays.
That is all we know -- well, that and the designation of his new Earth. It's a hopeful moment for the character and suggests that, whatever is next, he will always be out there.
The post-"Crisis on Infinite Earths" Arrowverse begins on Sunday, with new episodes of Batwoman and Supergirl. Next week's Arrow episode will be a backdoor pilot for the planned Green Arrow and the Canaries spinoff.