True Evil Isn't Born, iI’s Built!
by Phil Perich for the Legends of DC Blog
It’s been announced in the last few days that the villainous Cyborg Superman will be appearing at some point in this new season of Supergirl. There is an air of mystery to this due to the fact that there have been two different versions of this character.
The original Cyborg Superman was originally a NASA astronaut named Hank Henshaw. During a Lexcorp radiation experiment, Henshaw and three other crew members were affected by a combination of their radiation experiment and a solar flare. After crash landing back on Earth, Henshaw and his crew discovered that their bodies were decomposing but each of their minds were able fashion new bodies out of other matter. In Henshaw’s case he was able to create a robotic body. After the three die due to their new conditions, Henshaw creates a small space vessel for his consciousness to travel the universe out of materials from the Kryptonian birthing matrix that originally brought Superman to Earth.
The Enemy Of My Enemy…
After wandering the universe for a time alone and disembodied, Henshaw started to go insane and mistakenly blaming Superman for the fate that had befallen him. His travels eventually brought him to the attention of the alien warlord Mongul. Discovering their shared hatred of Superman, Henshaw and Mongul begin to from a sinister plan.
Reign of the Man Of Tomorrow
After Superman’s supposed death, four powerful men appear, each claiming to be the real Superman resurrected. Henshaw using his abilities poses as Superman brought back to life through the aid of cybernetics. He gains the world’s trust, including then US president Bill Clinton, until Mongul arrives on Earth and the two villains begin their plan to turn Earth into Mongul’s new Warworld and have the universe blame Superman. The pair seems to be victorious after their destruction of Coast City. In the end Green Lantern Hal Jordan defeats Mongul in battle and Henshaw is defeated and believed to be destroyed by a newly returned Superman.
New and (not so?) Improved
Henshaw was believed to be destroyed many times, and each time he would return in a new robotic form. After DC Comics rebooted their entire universe with Flashpoint and the New 52, Henshaw returned as only an astronaut. This new reality’s Cyborg Superman was a creation of Brianiac’s and was eventually revealed to be Zor-El, the Kryptonian father of Supergirl.
So Cyborg Superman in DC Comics was first Hank Henshaw, then Zor-El. So who will he be on the CW show? The original Hank Henshaw, the one J’onn J’onzz replaced? Will he be Kara’s father, either biological or adoptive. Or will the writers fool us and make it a completely unforeseen character, maybe Mon-El? What’s your theory? Let’s get a discussion going!
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You can hear me and my friends discussing all the DC shows and everything DC Comics on the Legends of DC, Channel 52, and Before the Bat podcasts. I also write another blog, the True Believers Blog about all things Marvel. You can find all my podcasts and blogs at www.southgatemediagroup.com or www.philperich.wordpress.com.
Until next time, in the words of my friend and cohost Tyler Patrick “Look up in the sky”!