Henry "Hank" Henshaw is the Cyborg Superman, one of four replacements for the Man of Steel after the hero's perceived death. Unlike the others, he quickly strayed from his path, becoming a global threat through partnerships with Mongul, the Manhunters and the Sinestro Corps.
Hank Henshaw was 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 one named Steven was able to construct a new body out of pure cosmic radiation, while the other, Jim Garrison, did the same using rock, gravel, branches and pieces of the shuttle wreckage. Initially, apart from Henshaw's hair having turned white, he and Terri suffered no ill-effects from the radiation and the crew traveled to Metropolis, in the hope of using LexCorp facilities to cure their transformed crew mates. During a brief battle with Superman, Steven became unhinged and eventually flew into space where, before the eyes of the pursuing Superman, he plunged straight into the sun. By this time, Henshaw's body had begun to rapidly decay while Terri 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. Jim committed suicide using a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) booth which ripped the metal fragments from his body, killing him instantly. Terri was left the only survivor of the night's events.
Superman blamed himself for what had happened to Team Excalibur, due to him destroying the Eradicator by dropping it into the sun, but Terri assured him this was not the case; the solar explosion responsible for their mutation had actually occurred before that. What had happened to the crew was simply a tragic accident, and nothing could have saved them.
However, 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 traveling 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 Mongul, Henshaw learned of the Warworld and forcibly recruited Mongul as part of a plan for revenge against Superman.
Reign of the Supermen: The Man of Tomorrow
With Superman dead after his battle with Doomsday, Henshaw was unable to directly seek revenge against the man he had come to perceive as 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.'"
The Destruction of Coast City
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 convinced the White House and the public that the Eradicator had been responsible for the destruction of Coast City, turning the public against the Kryptonian. He also came within a hairsbreadth of killing the Eradicator in direct combat. 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 it. 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 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.
Apokolips and Beyond
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 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 another universe. 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 (Hal Jordan), 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 his native universe.
The Cyborg would again encounter Hal Jordan, 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 then dispersed Henshaw's consciousness into the Godwave and the Cyborg was once again seemingly destroyed.
During a crisis involving the Godwave, Superman - wearing his blue energy suit - traveled to New Genesis, and encountered Henshaw again. Henshaw had become part of the Godwave's structure and crafted a small world comprised of his memories, which he used to taunt Superman after seemingly being defeated. Unknown to Superman, the Cyborg stored his own consciousness in Superman's technological containment suit. Once Superman returned to Earth, Henshaw escaped and eventually constructed a new body, posing as a substitute high school teacher, Mr. Sormon, in an attempt to become human again, even managing to convince Ashbury Armstrong that he possessed some good. 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 an 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.
Henshaw later attempted to take over Kandor, but this failed when he was defeated by Superman and sent to the Phantom Zone. Henshaw managed to 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.
Lost Lanterns and Manhunters
Henshaw eventually made his way to Sector 3601, to Biot, the homeworld of the Manhunters, where he became their new Grandmaster. He gathered many Green Lanterns who were previously thought to be dead and used them as power sources for his new model of Manhunters, the Highmasters. However, Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner discovered his operation. Jordan and Arisia combined the might of their power rings with one of the Highmasters, destroying the organic portion of Henshaw's body and most of Biot.
Main article: Sinestro Corps War
Henshaw remained in custody on Oa until he was freed, along with Superboy-Prime, by a strike force of Sinestro Corps members. He was brought to Qward, where he was made into a herald of the Anti-Monitor, along with Superboy-Prime and the Parallax-possessed Kyle Rayner. The only reason Henshaw joined the Sinestro Corps was that he had been promised a final death at the hands of the Anti-Monitor as a reward for helping him achieve his goals. A death he had longed for, something even Superman couldn't grant him.
Henshaw and his Manhunters headed to Earth to assist the Sinestro Corps in their attack. En route, Henshaw stopped leading the Manhunters, which continued to their pre-programmed destinations. As he watched them go, he remembered everything that had happened to him; from their dreadful shuttle accident to his wife's suicide. He finished this journey of his mind by going to his wife's grave. He dug her corpse out and ripped it into two, shouting that all he wanted was not to be with her, but for his memories to fade.
Meanwhile, the Manhunters begin an assault on the Justice League Satellite. Hawkgirl, Black Lightning, and Red Arrow retaliated, but all three were neutralized when Henshaw assisted in the attack, and he successfully tampered with the mechanics of the satellite core. As the satellite was thrown out of orbit, Superman appeared and engaged Henshaw in battle. Their fight continued on Earth, while Sinestro transported his crew and his ship from the Anti-Matter Universe. At first, Superman seemed to have the upper hand, but after two punches, Henshaw struck with great power and rage, punching him through the Statue of Liberty. By the end, Henshaw had Superman in a choke hold, thinking that the victory is near. However, Superman was not alone. Power Girl and Supergirl came to Superman's aid, and managed to defeat the Cyborg Superman, later throwing him at Superboy-Prime. He commented that they almost managed to kill him that time.
When the Green Lantern Corps decided to detonate New Warworld and the Qwardian Central Power Battery of the Sinestro Corps to destroy the Anti-Monitor, Henshaw was trapped behind a shield and exposed to the massive explosion. Before he was finally killed, he was able to thank the Green Lantern Corps for their mercy in ending his life. A small fraction of Henshaw's corpse was found after the explosion. The Manhunters confirmed that he had perished, but were confused without his leadership. Seeking the leadership "programming" of their grandmaster, the Manhunters funneled a massive amount of energy into the Cyborg Superman, and he experienced yet another resurrection, crying when he realized he is alive yet again.
After the Sinestro Corps War, Hensaw abandoned the Manhunters and was later present during the Blackest Night, trying again to seek his death. Henshaw attempted to provoke Nekron into killing him, but failed as he lacked a heart to attract Nekron's interest. A distraught Henshaw was then approached by an unknown being, who told him that the Guardian Ganthet held the knowledge to destroy him permanently. Henshaw followed this advice and approached Ganthet, coming into an agreement in working with the Alpha Lanterns, with the intentions to augment every Green Lantern, including Ganthet, into an Alpha. His goal of working with the Alpha Lanterns was to alter himself, such that he will be mortal again. He began his experiments on the Alpha Lanterns to reverse-engineer their cyborg attributes into humans. Despite killing several Alpha Lanterns, Hank was ultimately successful in devising a way to reverse-engineer some of them. Before Hensaw could force Ganthet to perform his new surgery on himself, the Green Lantern Corps spoiled his plans and destroyed his physical body. Hank tried to transfer his consciousness into Boodikka. During this attempted transfer of consciousness, Boodikka overpowers Henshaw with her willpower and cuts his essence in half, thus destroying Henshaw.
While surveying the remains of New Krypton, Boodikka was attacked by Doomsday, seemingly unprovoked. However, when Supergirl and Batman got her to the JLA Watchtower, Doomsday quickly followed, revealing why he was attacking her - Henshaw was still alive inside her. Taking over the Watchtower, the presence of Doomsday overrode Henshaw's desire to die, vowing to destroy the beast once and for all even with Batman and Supergirl stuck in the crossfire. With one mighty blow, Henshaw tore through Doomsday, ripping his body apart. However, Doomsday recovered and, to the Cyborg's horror, he became "Cyborg Doomsday." The amalgam creature took over the Watchtower and vanquished Henshaw, kidnapping him and Supergirl in the process.
Henshaw and Supergirl were taken to a satellite along with other Supermen such as the Eradicator, Steel, and Superboy. Instead of assisting his fellow captives, Henshaw explored Doomsday's satellite on his own and subsequently discovered that the Doomsdays that fought the heroes were clones of the original created by Lex Luthor. Although Henshaw was then willing to fight alongside the Supermen against the Doomsdays, Superman incapacitated him by ripping his central node off, knowing that they would not survive a confrontation with the Doomsdays. After the Doomsday clones were sent to another dimension, Henshaw was taken into custody of S.T.A.R. Labs.
Powers and Abilities
- Electronic Consciousness: Since he is, at the core, an energy being, Henshaw is extremely difficult to permanently destroy, as he can transfer his electronic consciousness into any nearby machine. The maximum distance range of this transfer is unknown.
- Technomorphing: Unlike most technopaths, Henshaw does not just command electronics and adjacent power sources, he incorporates them into himself energy and all. Any nearby machinery becomes an extension of his conscious self. He can take any apparatus and, once it is a part of him, transform it into anything his mind can imagine, and thanks to time spent traveling across many universes, he can imagine a lot. Among other abilities, Henshaw can animate the energies powering them, combining both aspects to construct any technological device, control any energized system (during Reign of the Superman, the Cyborg briefly "possessed" Steel's armor and used Kryptonite radiation as a weapon) and change the shape of the technological components of his or the "bodies" of other cybernetic beings (most frequently changing one or both of his hands into various energy weapons such as energy cannons).
- Kryptonian Cyborg Physiology (abilities available only while possessing his hybrid Kryptonian/cybernetical body): Thanks to his interactions with Superman's birthing matrix, the Cyborg possesses knowledge of both Superman's Kryptonian genetic code and Kryptonian technology. This information allows the Henshaw to construct bodies with organic portions that are genetically identical to Superman and mechanical components built from Kryptonian alloys. Using Superman's genetic code gives the Cyborg access to all of Superman's powers, including super strength, speed, invulnerability and senses.
- Superhuman Strength: The exact limits of the Cyborg-Superman's strength is unknown, but he has been shown as capable of being far stronger than Mongul, and been known to match strengths with Superman.
- Invulnerability: His body is nigh-invulnerable due to his superhumanly dense cellular and anatomical structure as well as his radiating bio-electrical aura.
- Superhuman Stamina: He has the ability to maintain continuous physical actions for an undefined period.
- Flight: He is able to manipulate graviton particles to defy the forces of gravity and achieve flight. This ranges from hovering to moving in any posture, in any direction.
- Superhuman Speed: He is not as fast as the Flash, but he can achieve faster than light speed under his own power in space.
- Super-Breath: He is able to create hurricane force winds by exhaling air from his lungs. He can chill the air as it leaves his lungs to freeze targets. He can also reverse the process to pull large volumes of air or vapor into his lungs.
- Super Hearing: His hearing is sensitive enough to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. With skill and concentration, he can block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source or frequency.
- Enhanced Senses: He also possess a superior sensory arrangement of microscopic, telescopic, infrared and ultraviolet visual capabilities. He is able to see the entire spectrum. Microscopic, chemical, x-ray, auditory, ultrasonic, magnetic, photonic, etc.
- Heat Vision: He can, as a conscious act, fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it. He can vary the heat and area affected.
- His mechanical parts have Eidetic Memory, Energy Projection, Radio Communication and various powers analogous to his organic parts (At example, he can use Heat Vision from both eyes, cybernetic and organic).
- Genius Level Intellect: Henshaw has shown enhanced intelligence and computational abilities; his mind works sharply and with extreme speed. His analytic powers are impressive — he is able to use his senses to read information directly from machines (and, with careful usage of his heat vision, he can even reprogram machines). In his wanderings by the universe he accumulated knowledge of various civilizations.
- Vulnerability to Kryptonite
- It is unknown if Cyborg Superman is vulnerable to magic and conditions related with the sun; Probably yes, since he derives his DNA from Superman; but it would affect only his organic part.
- Cyborg Superman is also known as the Grandmaster of the Manhunters, Herald of the Anti-Monitor, and Alpha-Prime of the Alpha Lanterns.
- The group of astronauts from which Henshaw participated could be regarded as a pastiche of the Fantastic Four, as each gained similar powers in a similar way; Henshaw was the only one who did not have similar powers to any member of the Four.
- Superman Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Action Comics (Volume 2)
- Adventures of Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman: World's Finest (Volume 1)
- DC Comics Presents (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 2)
- Superman (Volume 3)
- Superman (Volume 4)
- Superman (Volume 5)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- Superman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Superman: Son of Kal-El (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Steel (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Tomorrow (Volume 1)
- Superman/Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)
- Green Lantern Recommended Reading
- Green Lantern (Volume 1)
- Green Lantern (Volume 2)
- Green Lantern (Volume 3)
- Green Lantern (Volume 4)
- Green Lantern (Volume 5)
- Green Lantern (Volume 6)
- The Green Lantern (Volume 1)
- The Green Lantern: Season Two (Volume 1)
- Green Lantern Corps (Volume 1)
- Green Lantern Corps (Volume 2)
- Green Lantern Corps (Volume 3)
- Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors (Volume 1)
- Green Lantern: New Guardians (Volume 1)
- Green Lanterns (Volume 1)
- Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (Volume 1)
- 122 Appearances of Henry Henshaw (New Earth)
- 30 Images featuring Henry Henshaw (New Earth)
- 9 Quotations by or about Henry Henshaw (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Henry Henshaw (New Earth)
- Adventures of Superman #466
- Adventures of Superman #468
- Adventures of Superman #500
- Superman (Volume 2) #78-79
- Superman (Volume 2) #82
- Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey #1-2
- Superman (Volume 2) #104
- Green Lantern Silver Surfer: Unholy Alliances #1
- Parallax: Emerald Night #1
- Superman Red/Superman Blue #1
- Superman Fantastic Four #1
- Green Lantern (Volume 4) #11
- Green Lantern (Volume 4) #12
- Green Lantern (Volume 4) #13
- Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1
- Green Lantern (Volume 4) #22
- Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Cyborg Superman #1
- Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime #1
- Green Lantern (Volume 4) #25
- Green Lantern Corps (Volume 2) #50
- Green Lantern Corps (Volume 2) #48
- Green Lantern Corps (Volume 2) #49
- Green Lantern Corps (Volume 2) #51
- Green Lantern Corps (Volume 2) #52
- Justice League of America (Volume 2) #55
- Superman/Batman Annual #5
- Action Comics #900
- Action Comics #901
- Action Comics #904
- Action Comics #691
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