Cyborg Superman

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Cyborg Superman is a persona that has been used by two fictional characters in the DC Universe, both of which are supervillains that appear in comic books published by DC Comics.

Biographies[edit]

Hank Henshaw[edit]

Main article: Hank Henshaw
Cyborg Superman
Hank Henshaw, as he appears in the panel of a comic book.jpg
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance

As Hank Henshaw:
Adventures of Superman #466 (May 1990)

As Cyborg Superman:
Adventures of Superman #500 (June 1993)
Created by Dan Jurgens
In-story information
Alter ego Henry "Hank" Henshaw
Species Human Cyborg
Place of origin Earth
Abilities Technopathy
Kryptonian powers similar to Superman
Qwardian power rings

Hank Henshaw was an astronaut at NASA until a solar flare hit his space shuttle during an experiment in space, damaging the ship and the crew. Henshaw and the crew found that their bodies had begun to mutate and, after returning to Earth, Henshaw's entire crew (including his wife) eventually committed suicide. After learning that Superman had thrown the Eradicator into the sun in a battle during the space shuttle experiment, Henshaw blamed Superman for the solar flare and the accident. Before his body completely disintegrated due to the radiation exposure, Henshaw was able to save his consciousness. Using NASA communications equipment, Henshaw beams his mind into the birthing matrix which had carried Superman from Krypton to Earth as an infant. He creates a small exploration craft from the birthing matrix and departs into outer space alone. Becoming increasingly mentally unstable, Henshaw used Superman's birthing matrix to create a body identical to Superman's, albeit with cybernetic parts. He returned to Earth to kill Superman, only to discover that Superman had already died during Henshaw's absence. Following Superman's eventual resurrection, Henshaw would not only become a recurring adversary of Superman but of Green Lantern as well. Hank Henshaw became a member of the Sinestro Corps during the Blackest Night.

Zor-El[edit]

Main article: Zor-El
Cyborg Superman
Zor-El, the 2nd Cyborg Superman.jpg
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance

As Zor-El:
Action Comics #252 (May 1959)

As Cyborg Superman:
Supergirl (vol. 6) #21 (August 2013)
Created by Otto Binder (writer)
Al Plastino (art)
In-story information
Alter ego Zor-El
Species Kryptonian
Place of origin Krypton
Abilities Super-strength
Flight
Invulnerability
Metamorphosis
Super-speed
Energy projection

Zor-El was introduced as the new Cyborg Superman following the New 52 relaunch of the DC Universe. Zor-El was rescued from Krypton's destruction by Brainiac and was reconfigured as a cyborg to be his scout for looking for stronger species in the universe.[1]

Powers and Abilities[edit]

Hank Henshaw[edit]

As Cyborg Superman, Hank Henshaw possesses the ability to control and reanimate various machines. Due to his experience with Superman's birth matrix, Henshaw now has all of Superman's powers and genetic tissue identical to the Man of Steel's. As a member of the Sinestro Corps, Henshaw has access to a power ring fueled by fear energy that allows him to create any construct he can imagine.

Zor-El[edit]

As Cyborg Superman, Zor-El is cybernetically enhanced with the ability to fly, fire powerful heat rays from his cybernetic eye, and project electricity from his body. Zor-El's cybernetic arm can shape shift into whatever he desires, limited only by the technology available to him at the given moment that he chooses to use this ability. Zor-El also has the ability to fly, is virtually indestructible, and has super-speed and super-strength.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • David Harewood will portray Hank Henshaw in the 2015 Supergirl TV series.[2] When discussing his character, Harewood stated, "Hank Henshaw ends up becoming Cyborg Superman in the comics, battling Superman. So I'm looking forward to that. He's a bit of a supervillain. He seems pretty indestructible. Which I kind of like because I keep getting blown up in these things. I'm kind of looking forward to being indestructible."[3]

Film[edit]

  • DC's direct-to-DVD movie Superman: Doomsday, based on "The Death of Superman" storyline, features a variation on the Cyborg Superman character. One of the many changes is a streamlined cast which cuts the four Superman imposters, including Cyborg Superman. Elements from three of the four impostors (Hank Henshaw, Superboy, and the Eradicator), were combined into the Superman clone created by Lex Luthor in the film.[4]

Video games[edit]

  • Hank Henshaw also appears in DC Universe Online in the ninth DLC, "War of the Light Part I". As a Hero, you fight him and Sinestro in "Assault & Battery", and again as a boss in "Mist Recovery". As a Villain, he assists the players in collecting Mist and fighting Kyle Rayner in "Mist Recovery".[5]

Radio[edit]

Action figures[edit]

  • In 2007, Cyborg Superman was featured in Series 6 of Mattel's DC Superheroes toyline, as well as a "2-up" 12-inch-tall version exclusive to Toys 'R' Us. The 6-inch version of the figure was later reissued in an exclusive Toys "R" Us 2-pack with Mongul as part of the DC Universe Classics line in 2008 and again in his Sinestro Corps uniform as part of the DCUC Wave 11 assortment in January 2010.
  • Cyborg Superman in his Sinestro Corps costume was released in DC Direct's third series of Green Lantern toys in July 2008.[6]
  • In 2007, Cyborg Superman was one of the characters featured in the Origin expansion of the WizKids game HeroClix.[7][8]

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • In a comic book crossover starring Superman and the Fantastic Four, Reed Richards and his team are forced into an uneasy alliance with Hank Henshaw when the Marvel Universe's world-eating Galactus kidnaps Superman and transforms him into his herald. In conversation with Susan Richards, Henshaw points out the "ironic" similarity between his origin and the FF's. The story concludes with Galactus blasting Henshaw with a ray that turns him into a simple metal rod in response to his pleas for perfection, after the discovery that Henshaw was responsible for Superman coming to the Marvel Universe after he planted faked evidence that Galactus was involved in Krypton's destruction (having previously encountered the Silver Surfer in Green Lantern VS Silver Surfer, Henshaw had learned of Galactus and sought the enhanced power of becoming a herald).
  • Hank Henshaw appeared in issue 19 of the Batman: The Brave and the Bold comics. Batman had to work with the Green Lantern Corps to keep Hank Henshaw from killing Hal Jordan.[9]


References[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]