The first hour of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" saw the Arrowverse's greatest heroes deal with the biggest challenge they have ever faced as an anti-matter wave careened across reality. The hour also saw the heroes dealt the biggest losses they've ever experienced. The heroes aren't backing down, though, and moving forward in their fight against the Anti-Monitor means they'll need more help and more heroes -- including the Superman of another Earth as played by DC's Legends of Tomorrow star Brandon Routh. But how does this alternate world's Superman factor in?
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Batwoman, "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part 2," below.
After the loss of Earth-38 and the shocking death of Oliver Queen in a sacrifice that was too soon and not as planned, the heroes find that they must seek out seven Paragons to help in the fight against the Anti-Monitor. The assembled heroes already have two of those seven among them. Supergirl/Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) is the paragon of Hope while White Canary/Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) is the paragon of Destiny. While Kara and Batwoman/Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) set off looking for a version of Bruce Wayne that will lead them to the paragon of Courage, Iris (Candice Patton,) Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch,) and Earth-38's Superman/Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) go looking for a version of Clark Kent on another world who has lost more than any man should. It is this Clark that will be the paragon of Truth.
After going from Earth to Earth to Earth, Iris, Lois, and Clark keep hunting for the "right" Clark but arrive too late each time. Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) is out in the multiverse armed with the Book of Destiny and killing versions of Superman. Eventually, though, the heroes arrive on Earth-96 where they encounter a Clark Kent (played by Routh) who is the Editor in Chief of the Daily Planet. This Clark has, in fact, lost more than any man should. He lost his friends Jimmy Olsen and Perry White as well as his love Lois Lane in an attack on the Daily Planet. Despite his losses, this Clark is willing to help save the multiverse -- at least until Lex shows up.
Lex is bent on destroying all the Supermen in in the multiverse and soon turns Earth-96's Clark against the heroes. A fight ensues, Superman versus Superman, until Lois knocks Lex out and she, along with Iris, use the Book to remind Evil!Clark of those he loved. He comes back to himself and is still willing to help.
Near the end of the episode, this version of Clark returns to the heroes' base. He's here to help them fight -- though the group does enjoy a moment of levity marveling over just how much this Clark looks like Ray Palmer/Atom (also Routh).
“It’s fun because [Routh] gets to not only play Superman but also Clark Kent and watching him inhabit those two roles...I say two roles because he plays them obviously very differently from one another,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim told EW. “We also had the opportunity to see Brandon act opposite himself, because Ray Palmer is in the crossover as well. We certainly wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity for Superman played by Brandon Routh to interact with Ray Palmer played by Brandon Routh.”
“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.