"The Limits of Power": Hank Henshaw and three crew members of the LexCorp space shuttle Excalibur crash-landed, following their exposure to cosmic radiation in space. As a result of the radiation exposure, the human bodies of two crew members were destroyed,
- This is all theory, of course, but remember that we WERE experimenting with that radiation when we ran into trouble. And it had fantastic properties which deviated from anything we'd seen before. Add the solar flares ...
- -- Hank Henshaw
Appearing in "The Limits of Power"
- Team Excalibur
- LexCorp Space Shuttle Excalibur (Destroyed)
Synopsis for "The Limits of Power"
Hank Henshaw and three crew members of the LexCorp space shuttle Excalibur crash-landed, following their exposure to cosmic radiation in space. As a result of the radiation exposure, the human bodies of two crew members were destroyed, but their minds survived, and they were able to construct new bodies out of pure cosmic radiation (Steven) and masses of earth and of the shuttle wreckage (Jim). Initially, Henshaw and his wife Terri suffered no ill effects from the radiation (apart from Henshaw's hair having turned white), and the crew traveled to Metropolis in the hope of using LexCorp facilities to cure their transformed crewmates.
During a brief battle with Superman, Steven, now composed of radiation, became unhinged and flew into the sun. By this time, Henshaw's body also had begun to rapidly decay, while his wife was beginning to phase into an alternate dimension, and fading from sight. 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, Jim, committed suicide using an MRI booth. Superman brought Terri Henshaw to a mental health facility in order for her to recover.
- The story of the team introduced in this issue continues in Adventures of Superman #468, and Superman next appears in Action Comics #653.
- The cosmic transformations of Jim Garrison and Steve are homages to the Lee/Kirby Human Torch and the Thing.
- The story interestingly resembles the origin of Marvel's Fantastic Four team, except that it takes a rather tragic turn for its participants.
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