The Green Lantern Corps Podcast


The Cyborg-Superman

Posted in Profiles by mrread7 on November 30, 2007


Finally moving to the other dark Superman of the Sinestro Corps, Hank Henshaw. He’s been a personal favorite of mine since he first showed up. Like I’ve said in the past, I love dark oppisites of super heroes. While Bizarro was the first and Superman-Prime has been a close second in the last couple of years. I have to say that Henshaw brings his own version of evil to the table. He’s been through so much push and pull over the last decade that it’s hard to really write him off as a threat or just a wannabe.

Hank Henshaw first appeared as a crew member of the doomed LexCorp space shuttle Excalibur. Hank and the other three members of the Excalibur crew (including his wife, Terri) were exposed to cosmic radiation, resulting in the crash of their shuttle. As a result of the radiation exposure, the human bodies of two crew members were destroyed. However, their minds survived and they were able to construct new bodies out of pure cosmic radiation and bits of earth and the shuttle. Initially, Henshaw and his wife suffered no ill effects from the radiation and the crew travelled to Metropolis, in the hope of using LexCorp facilities to cure their transformed crewmates. During a brief battle with Superman, the crew member now composed of radiation became unhinged and flew into the sun. By this time, Henshaw’s body had begun to rapidly decay while his wife was beginning to phase into an alternate dimension. With Superman’s help, Henshaw was able to use the LexCorp facilities to save Terri, but died immediately afterwards. The remaining member of the shuttle crew committed suicide using an MRI booth. However, Hank Henshaw had not truly died. Though his physical body had expired, he was able to transfer his consciousness into the LexCorp’s mainframe. Now able to control technology, Henshaw appeared to his wife in a robotic body; the shock of the shuttle accident, Henshaw’s death and his bizarre rebirth was too much for Terri and eventually led to her insanity and death. By this point, Henshaw’s electronic consciousness had begun to disrupt Earth’s communications networks. Using NASA communications equipment, Henshaw beamed his mind into the ‘birthing Matrix’ which had carried Superman from Krypton to Earth as an infant. Henshaw crafted a small exploration craft from the birthing matrix and departed the planet. Henshaw spent some time travelling between planets; bonding with local lifeforms to learn about the culture and history of various worlds. Over time, Henshaw became delusional and paranoid, believing that Superman had caused the deaths of himself and his wife, then driven him from the Earth. Arriving on a planet controlled by alien overlord (and Superman nemesis) Mongul, Henshaw learned of the Warworld and forcibly recruited Mongul as part of a plan for revenge against Superman. With Superman dead after his battle with Doomsday, Henshaw was unable to directly seek revenge against his enemy and instead sought to destroy Superman’s reputation. To that end, the Cyborg claimed to be Superman reborn; using knowledge obtained from the birthing matrix to construct a cybernetic body with organic portions genetically identical to Superman and technological components built with Kryptonian alloys. Along with destroying a Superman memorial plaque in front of the Daily Planet, the Cyborg exiled Doomsday into space and defended the President of the United States from an assassination attempt. As a result of the latter incident, the White House endorsed the Cyborg as the ‘true’ Superman and he provided the President with a communications device. When confronted by Lois Lane, the Cyborg claimed his memory was “blurry” but he could see a “spaceship on a farm. The name ‘Kent'”, suggesting Henshaw may be aware of Superman’s secret identity. When an alien ship appeared over Coast City, the Cyborg revealed his true intentions, attacking and severely injuring the Eradicator as Mongul’s craft destroyed the city, killing millions. The Cyborg was then able to convince the White House and the public that the Eradicator had been responsible for the destruction of Coast City, turning the public against the Kryptonian. After tricking and defeating Superboy, Henshaw set about preparing to launch a warhead that would convert Metropolis into a second Engine City. However, Superboy was able to escape and warn the resurrected true Superman, John Henry Irons and Supergirl of the Cyborg’s plans. The quartet traveled to the site of the former Coast City where Superman, Supergirl and Steel confronted Mongul and the Cyborg while Superboy stopped the missile from destroying Metropolis. While Green Lantern defeated Mongul, the Cyborg lured Superman and the Eradicator to the Engine City main reactor and attempted to kill Superman with the kryptonite that powered the engine. Henshaw attempted to kill Superman using a concentrated blast of kryptonite radiation, but the Eradicator intercepted the blast at the expense of his own life. However, as the Kryptonite energy passed through the Eradicator, the radiation was altered and acted to restore Superman’s powers. Superman was then able to easily defeat the Cyborg (partially due to the kryptonite weakening the Cyborg’s Kryptonian form) by vibrating Henshaw’s body to pieces. Before exiling Doomsday into space, Henshaw had installed a device on the monster to allow him to detect if Doomsday were to ever escape. After the destruction of his ‘Cyborg Superman’ body, Henshaw transferred his consciousness into this device, as Doomsday was “the safest place in the galaxy” for the Cyborg to hide. Doomsday was eventually brought on board a space cruiser and managed to escape, landing on Apokolips. Henshaw re-emerged once again, reconfiguring an exo-armored Apokoliptian trooper into a new body, establishing his standard appearance with long hair and red armor, and began to lay siege to Apokolips alongside Doomsday (although the Henshaw’s body possessed Superman’s Kryptonian DNA, Doomsday did not seem to perceive the Cyborg as a threat). The Cyborg successfully took over most of Apokolips, but was destroyed by Darkseid’s Omega Beams after a short battle with Superman. Darkseid’s attack did not kill the Cyborg; rather, the Omega Effect had stored Henshaw’s consciousness in a small orb, with Darkseid planning to use the Cyborg against Superman at a later date. Darkseid eventually freed Henshaw, with the understanding that Henshaw was to leave Apokolips and never return. The Cyborg eventually aligned himself with an intergalactic ‘tribunal’, which was seeking to bring Superman to trial for the crimes of his ancestors. Henshaw assisted the tribunal in capturing Superboy, Supergirl, Steel and Alpha Centurion, who had been preparing to rescue Superman. However, the Cyborg betrayed the tribunal and attempted to conquer their planet for conversion into a new Warworld. Superman and his allies stopped the Cyborg’s plan and, when Henshaw’s involvement in the destruction of Coast City was brought to the attention of the tribunal, they found the Cyborg guilty of genocide and sentenced him to death. As an electronic consciousness, Henshaw could not be killed by normal means and was transported beyond the event horizon of a black hole, where not even energy could escape from the gravity. Rather than being destroyed, the Cyborg was transported to the Marvel Universe, as seen at the beginning of the Green Lantern/Silver Surfer crossover. The Cyborg destroyed a planet in another attempt to recreate Warworld, attracting the attention of the Silver Surfer.

Their short battle was interrupted by the arrival of Parallax, who had been tracking the Cyborg for some time, seeking vengeance for the destruction of Coast City. In the confusion, Henshaw managed to escape and was returned to the DC Universe by the end of the story. The Cyborg would again encounter Hal Jordan[6], at the very brim of the Godwave, a nexus of statues that flow forth energy vital to the preservation of the Fourth World. Parallax used his powers to generate representations of the victims of Coast City, who tore the Cyborg’s body apart. Jordan than dispersed Henshaw’s consciousness into the Godwave and the Cyborg was once again seemingly destroyed. During a crisis involving the Godwave, Superman (wearing at the time his “Blue Energy Costume” travelled to New Genesis, and encountered Henshaw again, Henshadw had become part of the Godwave’s structure and had crafted a small world comprised of his memories, which he used to taunt Superman, after seemingly being defeated. However, unknown to Superman, the Cyborg stored his own consciousness in Superman’s technological containment suit. After Superman returned to Earth, Henshaw escaped and eventually constructed a new body, posing as a substitute high school teacher in an attempt to become human again (even managing to convince Asbury Armstrong that he possessed some goodness). However, in a fit of rage, Henshaw revealed his true identity as the Cyborg and this body was destroyed in a short fight with Superman. To escape detection, Henshaw stored his consciousness in a toy. This toy was later stolen by the Toyman, leading the two villains to join forces to kill Superman. To this end, the Cyborg designed a machine that would break Superman’s energy form down into multiple components and beam them to different points in the galaxy, preventing Superman from reforming. A malfunction in the machine caused Superman to split into Superman Blue and Superman Red, the latter of whom eventually defeated and captured the Cyborg. In a firm sense of irony, Henshaw shared with Superman a crossover encounter with the Fantastic Four, convincing Superman that Galactus was the true ravager of Krypton for a time, the result transformed Superman into the herald of the world devourer for a while. Galactus transformed Henshaw into an inanimate slab of metal after Henshaw demanded he be made his heir, and be made “perfect”, since he was half-human, his reduction to this state, void of all human matter, was as perfect as the merciless Galactus could perceive. He later attempted to take over Kandor, but this failed when he was defeated by Superman and sent to the Phantom Zone. Shortly after Y2K, Henshaw escaped the Phantom Zone and attacked Superman, who was suffering from Kryptonite poisoning at the time. He was defeated with the help of the Kandorians and sent back to the Phantom Zone, swearing revenge. However, he was not encountered on subsequent visits to the Zone and was instead freed and left to die at the ege of the Universe where he found the Manhunter Homeworld of Biot and named himself the new “Grandmaster” of the Manhunters inteading to rebuild the Manhunters and control the Universe under their order. During the battle with the captured Green Laterns, Henshaw finally revealed to Hal Jordan that his wife used to live in Coast City and the place reminded him to much of his past life and why he helped Mongul destroy it. After doing so, he imprisoned both Hal Jordan and Arisia in a Highmaster but the two were able to take control the Highmaster and used it to destroy Biot causing the Cyborg-Superman’s body to be destroyed in the process.

Henshaw’s head is taken by the Sinestro Corps after their invasion of Oa and taken back to Qward. Henshaw is later seen as a herald of the newly returned Anti-Monitor. He reconstructs his cyborg body and replaces the S-symbol on his chest with the symbol of the Sinestro Corps. He now wields ten Qwardian power rings. It is revealed that Henshaw has joined the Sinestro Corps so that the Anti-Monitor can later kill him and allow him to rest in peace.
Henshaw and his Manhunters head to Earth to assist the Sinestro Corps in their attack. En route, Henshaw stops leading the Manhunters, which continue to their preprogrammed destinations. As he watches them go, he remembers everything that has happened to him; from their dreadful shuttle accident to his wife’s suicide when she sees him in his robot form. He finishes this journey of his mind by going to his wife’s grave. He digs her corpse out and rips it into two, shouting that all he wants is not to be with her, but for these memories to fade.
Meanwhile, Manhunters start attacking to the JLA satellite. Hawkgirl, Black Lightning and Red Arrow retaliate; however, they all get put out of action when Henshaw assists in the attack. He starts tampering with the mechanics of the core of the satellite and becomes successful. As the satellite is thrown out of orbit, Superman comes out of nowhere and engages Henshaw in battle. Their fight continues on Earth, while Sinestro transports his crew and his ship from the Anti-Matter Universe. At first Superman seems to have the upper hand, however after two punches, Henshaw strikes with great power and rage, punching him through the Statue of Liberty. At the end, he puts Superman in a choke hold, thinking that the victory is near.
He is later seen briefly in Tales of the Sinestro Corps Presents: Superman-Prime, having been beaten back by the combined strength of Superman, Supergirl and Power Girl.


It’s amazing that after that, all Henshaw truly wants to do is die in peace. He has had as an immortal machine and would rather just rest for eternity. Hard to say if he will ever truly get that or if he’s doom to be fighting both Green Lantern and Superman forever.

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