Is Superman in The Flash?

Chris Tilly
Henry Cavill in Man of Steel.

The Flash is filled with superhero cameos, as well as an appearance from Supergirl, making her debut in DC’s Extended Universe. But where is Superman for the duration of the movie? Well, thanks to some multiverse action, it’s complicated…

Henry Cavill has played Superman across multiple movies in the DCEU, though only top-lined a single standalone feature – 2013’s Man of Steel.

Since James Gunn and Peter Safran took over superhero duties at Warner Bros, they’ve made it clear that Cavill is now out, with the studio going in a new, younger direction with the character for Gunn’s own forthcoming Superman reboot.

So is Superman in The Flash? Kind of. Though we’re going into details here, so BEWARE OF SPOILERS AHEAD.

Is Superman in The Flash?

Yes, Superman is in The Flash. Henry Cavill can be glimpsed shirtless while Barry Allen is racing through the Speed Force.

It’s a brief piece of fan-service, like the computer-generated cameos from George Reeves and Christopher Reeve, as well as Nicolas Cage, all playing different Man of Steel incarnations.

That said, the shadow of Henry Cavill’s Superman looms large over the movie as the character is mentioned early in proceedings, searched for mid-way through the movie, and even dies offscreen.

Where is Superman during The Flash?

Superman is “otherwise engaged” at the start of The Flash. Then the MOS is MIA in the film’s alternate timeline because he’s been killed by General Zod.

The Flash starts with a call. Alfred Pennywise contacts Barry Allen to say that Batman needs his help fighting crime. Barry suggests Superman for the job, to which Alfred responds: “That was my first thought – he’s otherwise engaged.”

Later in the movie, when Barry Allen meets a Barry Allen variant in an alternate timeline, metahumans are needed to fight General Zod. So both Barrys go looking for Superman. They track the character to a black site in the Arctic, where they think they will find Kal-El. But he’s nowhere to be seen.

Instead, they find Kara Zor-El, who later explains: “Kal-El is my cousin. The last son of Krypton. I was sent to earth to protect him. Our pods must have separated.”

The Man of Steel’s death

The Barrys go into battle with Batman and Supergirl, and during that climactic conflict, General Zod explains what happened to Kal-El in this timeline.

It seems Zod believed the key to Krypton’s survival was in the infant Kal-El, so he intercepted his pod. But he was not the one they needed – rather, it’s Kara’s sacrifice that will allow Krypton to live again.

“What did you do?” demands Kara, to which the General responds: “The infant did not survive.” Meaning – in this timeline, at least – baby Superman was killed by Zod.

For more on the The Flash, check out the below articles:

The Flash review | Best Easter EggsEverything we know about The Flash 2 | Who is General Zod? | Is Nic Cage in The Flash? | Flashpoint explained | Who are Albert Desmond and Patty Spivot? | Barry Allen x 2 | How many Batmans are in The Flash? | Speed Force guide | Who is Dark Flash? | Story of Superman Lives Secret villain revealed? | Supergirl explained | Who does in The Flash? | Ending explained | The Flash budget | Soundtrack and songs | Post-credits scene explained |