Cyborg Superman is the evil counterpart to Superman as well as his enemy. He is also known as Hank Henshaw.
Using Kryptonian technology and genetics, he takes on the identity as Cyborg Superman and seeks revenge on Superman. Cyborg Superman later became an enemy of the Green Lantern Corps and fought them multiple times.
In the New 52, Hank Henshaw is seen as fully human and his time as Cyborg Superman has been completely retconned. Supergirl's father Zor-El instead becomes the new Cyborg Superman. However, following the Superman Reborn storyline which is part of DC Rebirth where the pre-Flashpoint and New 52 versions of Superman and Lois are both merged into two single entities, it would also restore Hank Henshaw as Cyborg Superman. In addition the Zor-El version of Cyborg Superman following his capture by Supergirl, would be murdered by Mr. Oz while in captivity at the DEO after being restored to human form.
Hank Henshaw was a NASA astronaut who found himself bombarded with cosmic radiation alongside his wife Terri and two other crewmembers of the LexCorp shuttle Excalibur. Returning to Earth, the two crew members had their bodies destroyed, but was able to reconstruct their bodies into new forms. Initially thought to have been unaffected by the radiation, Hank and Terri found that was not the case as Hank began decaying as Terri started to phase out of reality. With Superman's help, Terri was saved, but Hank and the other members were not so lucky - one became unhinged and flew into the sun, another killed himself via MRI machine and Henshaw himself disintegrated. Or, so he thought - his mutation allowed him to control machinery, creating a robotic body for himself. However, this was the last straw for Terri, who went insane by the events. Even more, Henshaw's new powers were causing havoc to Earth's telecommunications. Discovering Superman's Birthing Matrix, he fashioned himself a rocketship and disappeared for parts unknown.
Henshaw's travels through space damaged him mind thanks to the solitude, warping his reasonings to thinking that Superman exiled him because he feared his powers. Seeking revenge, his travels lead to him a backwater world lead by Mongul, who had taken over the world after Superman ousted him from Warworld. Henshaw violently convinced Mongul to join him and they both planned to take revenge of Superman. However, by the time Henshaw returned, his revenge would be ground to a halt - Superman had died in combat against the beast Doomsday. Henshaw modified his plans - if he couldn't kill Superman, he's destroy his reputation.
Taking up a cyborg design of Superman, he made his first appearance, arriving at the marker where Superman died and vaporizing it in front of a family. After arriving at STAR Labs, he made his way to Project Cadmus, taking custody of Doomsday's body, sealing him on an asteroid, planting a device on him, then launching him through space. Confronting Lois Lane and Professor Emil Hamilton, he was able to convince them that he just may be indeed the real thing. His next action was saving President Bill Clinton from a terrorist attack, gaining legitimacy. Soon, a mysterious alien craft arrived on Earth, heading for Coast City. The Eradicator, already there, confronted the ship when the Cyborg Superman arrived. Callously, Henshaw assaulted the Eradicator and left him for dead as the alien ship obliterated Coast City. As a strange new city took form there, Henshaw rejoined up with Mongul on board the ship briefly before continuing his deception.
His next target was the young clone Superboy. However, at a news conference, Lois heard him mentioning having powers as a young boy, which tipped her off that the Cyborg was a fraud. While investigating the damage caused by Coast City's destruction, Henshaw attacked Superboy, knocking him out and imprisoning him. He soon convinced members of the Justice League America that the Eradicator was the culprit and that he and the alien ship had left Earth, leaving Earth defenseless as he plotted to turn Metropolis into a second "Engine City". Learning of what's going on, Superboy was able to free himself and race back to Metropolis just in time to bear witness to the return of the original Superman. Together with Superboy, the Matrix Supergirl and new hero Steel, Superman lead the assault against Engine City despite being powerless.
Upon arriving, Superboy was able to stop a missile from destroying Metropolis, preventing the creation of a second Engine City. Catching the fact that Mongul had doublecrossed him, Henshaw manipulated Steel into shutting down Engine City before it ripped the Earth apart. With Mongul down for the count by Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Henshaw made his move, attacking Superman and goading him into following him deeper. Joined by the revived Eradicator, Superman battled Henshaw and, in desperation, Henshaw ripped the gas line to the City's Kryptonite core and tried to kill Superman that way. However, the Eradicator threw himself in front of it, changing its energies to restore Superman to full. Repowered, Superman destroyed Henshaw by vibrating his arm fast enough to shatter his body.
That wasn't the end of Henshaw, though - he had survived through the device on Doomsday's body, holding a copy of his essence. When Doomsday arrived on Apokolips, Henshaw took command of a fallen Apokolipian soldier and altered him. With Darkseid incapacitated by Doomsday made a bit to take control of the planet, forcing Superman to stop him. Darkseid soon recovered and put a stop to the cyborg's rampage, using his Omega Beams to trap him in an orb. Later, when Superman returned to the planet looking for answers over a mysterious body in his tomb, Darkseid released Henshaw, deeming that Superman's debt for saving his life is paid. Henshaw, then, allied himself with an intergalactic "tribunal" seeking to bring Superman to trial over the crimes of his ancestors, namely Kem-L, creator of the Eradicator. Henshaw aided in getting Superman, but was later tried himself for the crimes of genocide and cast into a black hole.
The black hole deposited him into the Marvel Universe. Unfettered by the heroes of his old world, he destroyed a planet to remake Warworld, only to gain the attention of not only the Silver Surfer, but also the Mad Titan Thanos and Parallax, who was busy hunting down the Cyborg. The Cyborg would escape back to his native universe, but Parallax would follow, catching up to him and ultimately trapping him in an energy source known as the Godwave, where he would be stuck until Superman, having been changed to his electric blue form at this point, arrived here to investigate why the metahumans of the universe were suffering power fluctuations.
- Hank Henshaw appears in the first arc of Smallville Season 11, a comic book continuation of the television series Smallville. Henshaw, depicted as a heroic pilot that Lex Luthor sends to pilot his new anti-alien Guardian Defense Platform, nearly dies when the Guardian Platform blasts its weapons inside the shuttle, causing a dangerous radiation leak. Superman rescues the crew (along with Hank's wife, Terri), but Hank gets the radiation-spewing shuttle safely away so civilians won't get injured by it crashing. Superman gets him out as soon as he can, but he's left covered in third-degree burns and suffering from locked-in syndrome. Henshaw is treated by Doctor Emil Hamilton, a friend of Superman's, until Lex takes over treatment, transferring Henshaw's consciousness into one of S.T.A.R. Labs' drones, which Hamilton describes as being basically robot Supermen. Once inside the robot body, Henshaw snaps, unable to stand living without a sense of touch, and attacks Luthor, blaming him for both turning him into a machine and (correctly) believing that Luthor caused the accident intentionally. (It is later revealed that Luthor wanted to bathe Superman in radiation so he could track his movements and location.) Superman is forced to intervene and, after a brief though devastating battle, Superman is able to talk him down. He returns to S.T.A.R. Labs to continue treatment.
- Hank Henshaw also appears in the Elseworlds story, JLA: Act of God.
- Hank Henshaw appears in issue 19 of the Batman: The Brave & The Bold comics where Batman has to work with the Green Lantern Corps to prevent Henshaw from killing Hal Jordan.
Powers and Abilities
- X-ray vision
- Weapons and Tech
- Yellow Ring ( in some comics )
In other media
Reign of the Supermen
Cyborg Superman (aka Hank Henshaw) is the main antagonist of the DC animated film, Reign of the Supermen. Hank was originally an astronaut who was killed out in space along with his wife, but then resurrected by Darkseid to help take revenge on Superman and conquer the Earth. He is voiced by Patrick Fabian in the film.
Legion of Super Heroes
In the Legion of Super Heroes episode "Message in a Bottle", a Superman robot that resembles the Cyborg Superman appears as the property caretaker of the Fortress of Solitude in the 31st century. He is voiced by Yuri Lowenthal.
Hank Henshaw appears in the series Supergirl, portrayed by David Harewood. This version of the character is a former CIA agent who is the head of the Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO). Hank Henshaw places the DEO on high alert when Supergirl reveals herself, worried that her otherworldly abilities pose a threat to humankind. In the second episode "Stronger Together", he is shown with red glowing eyes when he is alone. In the sixth episode "Red Faced", it is revealed that Henshaw was involved in a South American DEO operation that resulted in the death of Jeremiah Danvers, Supergirl's foster father. Kara and Alex Danvers suspect Henshaw may have killed Danvers. Henshaw's glowing red eyes are seen again at the episode's end.
In "Human For a Day", Henshaw reveals to Alex that he is really J'onn J'onzz, an alien refugee. Alex's father and the real Hank went to hunt him down. When they tracked him in a remote location in Peru, the real Hank managed to finally trap J'onn. When Jeremiah realized J'onn was just a refugee like Kara and killed Hank to protect Jonn despite the real Hank having to stab him. Years later, J'onn was forced to reveal himself in order to save the city from a Red Kryptonite infected Kara and he was finally exposed as an impostor to the D.E.O. which got arrested. That made Senator Miranda Crane and Colonel Jim Harper angry since they were friends to the real Hank. The real Hank Henshaw becomes Cyborg Superman in Season 2 (though his appearance is based off the Superhero Cyborg instead of his comic book counterpart) Zor El appears in Super Girl where he sends Kara to Earth when Krypton is dying.
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