via Warner Bros.
Henry Cavill may be officially out as Superman, but the news that James Gunn is set to replace him has done nothing to dislodge him from his sainted position as the fandom’s favorite Man of Steel. Ask most SnyderVerse loyalists and they’ll tell you that Cavill’s interpretation is the toughest, strongest, most definitive Kal-El to ever grace the silver screen. Except, maybe, we’re about to see Cavill get knocked off his pedestal as DC folks are realizing that another cinematic Supes has already proved why he’s the real number one son of Krypton.
As argued by Redditor u/HoundWolfSquad on the r/DC_Cinematic sub, Brandon Routh’s Clark Kent — as introduced in 2006’s Superman Returns — is responsible for achieving “one of the greatest feats of Superman” in live-action. The moment referred to comes from Returns‘ big climax, where the hero lifts an entire land mass made up of Kryptonite into space. Meanwhile, Cavill couldn’t even handle Batman’s Kryptonite spear. Just sayin’.
Let’s just say that BvS would’ve been over before it even reached the “Martha” moment if Routh was the star of it.
As much as Routh deserves his due, though, let’s not overlook the OG himself, Christopher Reeve. AKA He with the Wall-Building Vision.
Although, for some, Routh’s power levels still aren’t enough to rescue this highly divisive movie.
Routh’s Superman later returned to The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” event, of course, which revealed that he was the Paragon of Truth, essentially making him the purest-hearted iteration of the character in the entire multiverse. The Legends of Tomorrow star might never have achieved the acclaim of Henry Cavill back in the day, but DC canon tells us he’s by far the superior Superman.