Confirmed: Routh’s Crisis Superman is the Closing Chapter of the Christopher Reeve Era

Brandon Routh's "Kingdom Come" Superman is confirmed to be the same Superman from his 2006 film Superman Returns, the same Superman of the Christopher Reeve era.

This may be an inconvenient truth among fans of the extended DC universe, but Brandon Routh’s “Kingdom Come” Superman is confirmed to be the same Superman from his 2006 film Superman Returns.

In a recent Slashfilm article, Arrowverse producer Marc Guggenheim was asked if this would be a sequel to Superman Returns.

“I don’t know if it’s for me to say… We’re picking up so many years after the events of that movie, maybe a coda is a better word than sequel.”

Canonically, Routh’s Superman is the same Superman from Superman: The Movie and Superman II (director Bryan Singer thankfully ignored III and IV), the Superman who reversed time, made Lois Lane forget his identity with a kiss and lifted an entire continent made out of kryptonite into space. Christopher Reeve’s portrayal, and by extension Routh’s, was essentially modeled after the character from the Silver Age. This is an older and more powerful version of Superman than we’re getting on the CW’s Supergirl. It’s the most iconic and beloved version of the charactor. No, Routh isn’t Reeve, but he’s playing that same version on Crisis, the same Superman who went through the events of Superman I, II and Returns.

Superman The Movie is a significant film. It was the first major comicbook movie and paved the way for the entire genre. In the same way that Earth Two Superman (Kal L), the original Superman from Action Comics #1 was given top billing in the Crisis on Infinite Earths comic book series when he took the lead in defeating the Anti Monitor, so will likely the Reeve/Routh Superman. In other words, it’s reasonable to conclude Routh’s Superman will be the key to defeating Antimonitor in the CW’s upcoming multi-hour epic.

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Luke Smith Guest Writer


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  • I’ll be the first to admit that I liked Superman III, despite its flaws. Bryan Singer SHOULD have ignored Superman IV when he made Superman Returns.

    Superman Returns may have been a noble effort, but in the end, it was as much of a misfire as Superman IV. If a different actor had been cast in the role of Superman, maybe the film would have been better.

    Brandon Routh is NO Christopher Reeve. ANd Kevin Spacey is DEFINITELY NO Gene Hackman. And Kate Bosworth was seriously miscast as Lois Lane.

    I’ll stick with the first three films by the Salkinds. Those are classics.

  • Saying that Routh is a continuation of the Christopher Reeve’ Superman does not make it true. If anything, I would say it was loosely based on the Donner films, in the same way the Schumacher films are loosely based on the Tim Burton films. Once you change your main actor who is playing Batman or Superman with another actor, it becomes another universe.

    • Yes, saying Routh is a continuation of the Christopher Reeve’ Superman totally makes it true. Multiple sources have reported it, and the intellectual property rights holder of the character have confirmed it.

      • I remember that very first scene in “returns” when we saw Clark Kent turn around, I thought It was Reeve for a second. The similarities were astounding. Superman 3 and 4 were a joke and should have been stricken from existence! Returns was the perfect continuity story and that is why what they are doing now in Crisis is ideal. As far as I’m concerned the whole Reeves era should have been put to bed ages ago because he continues to ruin it for modern day Superman. He was perfect in 1978 but now just as everything does characters change and adapt. Cavill is the perfect Superman now and if people new a thing or two about the character growth they would agree too, but everyone is so keen on keeping with the memory of the original. I also know kingdom come was a bad ass dude with a bit of anger so I hope they do that well also.