First Look At Brandon Routh's Arrow-verse Superman Makes Us Forget All About Ray Palmer

ray palmer legends of tomorrow
(Image credit: The CW)

The Arrow-verse is pulling out all the super-stops for the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover between its five shows, and a whole lot of news is releasing about the event despite the fact that it doesn't premiere until December. Some of the biggest "Crisis" news was the reveal that Brandon Routh -- a.k.a. Ray Palmer of the Arrow-verse -- would be playing Superman again for the first time since 2006's Superman Returns feature film. Well, it turns out fans won't have to wait until December to see Ray in red and blue!

Check out the first look at Brandon Routh back in the Superman suit for the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover:

brandon routh arrowverse superman legends of tomorrow crisis on infinite earths the cw

(Image credit: The CW)

Look, I love Legends of Tomorrow's Ray Palmer as much as anybody nowadays, but this pic definitely has me asking "Ray who?" Brandon Routh will be playing one of three Supermen for the "Crisis" crossover, with the Arrow-verse's regular Superman played by Tyler Hoechlin on board and Tom Welling reprising his role as Clark Kent nearly a decade after the end of Smallville on The CW.

This particular Superman suit isn't especially armored, and there are some super-abs peeking through. My favorite thing about the poster is actually that Brandon Routh has the single Superman curl kinda sorta on his forehead. Still, there are more questions than answers about Routh as Superman at this point.

How much of Brandon Routh as Superman will fans get in the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover? The Tyler Hoechlin version of Superman is arguably the most likely to be the main Superman of the crossover event, though Routh is an Arrow-verse regular, and it's entirely possible that the Routh Superman and Tom Welling Superman will be more cameos than actual characters.

Surely the crossover can't pack the crossover with characterization for every single DC alum who will be joining "Crisis," and it's not like all Arrow-verse fans will have seen Superman Returns or Smallville or even Batman: The Animated Series, although everybody totally should watch Batman: The Animated Series at some point, in my book.

Besides, I imagine Brandon Routh will spend more time playing Ray Palmer than Superman, as this upcoming season of Legends of Tomorrow will be his (as well as one other's) last season as a regular.

What leg(s) of the crossover will Brandon Routh appear in as Superman? I'd put my money on the Legends of Tomorrow episode, which also happens to be the last of the crossover's five episodes and won't air until January as the second half of a two-hour block that begins with Arrow. If he's Superman only briefly, it would track that he appeared in the Legends leg.

Will this new Superman who looks strangely like Ray Palmer be taken seriously or played for laughs? After all, this isn't just a case of two humans looking alike, and it's pretty confirmed that Ray isn't from Krypton. (No, not that Krypton.) How can a Ray Palmer from another Earth also be a Kryptonian? This is the same problem facing Erica Durance for the crossover. She played Lois Lane on Smallville years before she landed the role of Kara's mom on Supergirl, and she'll be in the crossover as Lois.

Hopefully The CW continues to release details about "Crisis on Infinite Earths" during the long wait until December. In the meantime, at least you can watch four of the five Arrow-verse series. Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman all premiere their newest (and in Arrow's case, last) season in October on The CW. Be sure to tune in for a mega taste of superhero action on the small screen!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).