Just hours after the first look at Brandon Routh's return to the role of Superman was first revealed, the actor took to Instagram to share a second look at him in costume. In this particular instance, he took time out to thank the costumers, producers, and other people who helped bring together his new Superman look, including Alex Ross, the co-writer and artist of Kingdom Come. The costume Routh will wear in the upcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover on The CW draws direct inspiration from Ross's design for Kingdom Come, and the second image he has shared with fans takes it inspiration directly from a specific Alex Ross comic book cover -- Justice Society of America #10 from 2007.
You can see the new shot of Routh below and, below that, the Ross cover to which he is paying homage. Routh, who first played Superman in the 2006 film Superman Returns, is well-liked by fans and was generally regarded as the best part of a movie that disappointed audiences by being too slavish to Richard Donner's vision for the character. Most were excited to hear he would suit up again in "Crisis on Infinite Earths," and with a few exceptions, the fan response to seeing his costume has been enthusiastic.
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“... I’m always around.” #CrisisOnInfiniteEarths #Superman @thecw @warnerbrostv @dccomics An amazing team put this together! Thank you to @vaxcodsng for leading the charge & design, Rory (and team) at #HargateCostumes & Jose (and team) @ironhead_studio for building the suit, Mauricio @westerncostumecompany for the boots, @thealexrossart for the artistic inspiration, and lastly @marcguggenheim for being crazy enough to pull this all together. 🙏🏻
Neither Ross (who, after Routh was announced as Kingdom Come's Superman for the crossover, drew a custom image of the actor in the role) nor his co-writer Mark Waid have yet responded to the visual of Routh bringing their vision for Superman to live action for the first time. In Kingdom Come, an aging Superman comes out of retirement after a violent superhero brawl creates a deadly nuclear accident and forces the world to re-evaluate whether or not they can continue to tolerate superheroes. The cover below was part of a storyline in Justice Society of America by Ross and writer Geoff Johns, in which the Kingdom Come Superman came to the main DC Comics timeline and hung out with the JSA for a while. It was not the first follow-up to Kingdom Come -- that would be Mark Waid's The Kingdom -- but it was the first one that involved Ross.
"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.
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.