Cyborg Superman is a persona that has been used by two supervillains who appear in comic books published by DC Comics.
Main article: Hank Henshaw
|First appearance||As Hank Henshaw:|
The Adventures of Superman #466 (May 1990)
As Cyborg Superman:
The Adventures of Superman #500 (June 1993)
|Created by||Dan Jurgens|
|Alter ego||Henry "Hank" Henshaw|
|Place of origin||Earth|
Hank Henshaw is an astronaut at NASA until a solar flare hits his space shuttle during an experiment in space, damaging the ship and the crew. Henshaw and the crew, including Henshaw's wife, found that their bodies had begun to mutate and, after returning to Earth, Henshaw's entire crew either perished or eventually committed suicide. After learning that Superman had thrown the Eradicator into the sun in a battle during the space shuttle experiment, Henshaw blames Superman for the solar flare and the accident. Before his body completely disintegrated due to the radiation exposure, Henshaw is able to save his consciousness. Using NASA communications equipment, Henshaw beamed 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 uses Superman's birthing matrix to create a body identical to Superman's, albeit with cybernetic parts. He returns 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. He later becomes a member of the Sinestro Corps during the Sinestro Corps War.
Main article: Zor-El
|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)
Zoran Danvers (adopted name)
|Place of origin||Krypton|
Zor-El is the younger brother of Jor-El, husband of Alura, father of Supergirl, and paternal uncle of Superman. Originally, he escaped from Krypton's destruction along with the other inhabitants of Argo City. In The New 52 reboot of DC's continuity, Supergirl discovers an amnesiac Cyborg Superman living on the planet I'noxia. This turns out to be Zor-El, who was rescued from Krypton's destruction by Brainiac and reconfigured as a half-man half-machine in order to be his scout looking for stronger species in the universe.
As Cyborg Superman, Hank Henshaw possesses the ability to control and reanimate various machines. From his experience with Superman's birth matrix, Henshaw now has powers and genetic tissue all identical to the Man of Steel. As the Sinestro Corps member, he has access to a power ring fueled by fear that allows him to create any construct at will.
As Cyborg Superman, Zor-El is bionically enhanced with the ability to fly, fire powerful laser eyebeams, and project electricity from his body. His cybernetic arm can shapeshift into whatever he desires, limited only by the technology available to him at any given moment. He is virtually indestructible, as well as being super strong and fast.
David Harewood portrays Hank Henshaw in the 2015 Supergirl TV series. When discussing his character, Harewood said that "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". Cyborg Superman debuted in the episode "The Darkest Place".
Hank Henshaw appears in the 2018 film The Death of Superman and its 2019 sequel Reign of the Supermen, voiced by Patrick Fabian as himself and Jerry O'Connell as Cyborg Superman. His story plays out like in the comics with the exception that his shuttle's destruction was caused by the meteor holding Doomsday with his crew killed instantly, his body being salvaged by Darkseid for his plan to tarnish the Justice League's reputation and execute another invasion.
British wunderkind radio producer Dirk Maggs produced a Superman radio series for BBC Radio 5 in the 1990s. When the "Death of Superman" story arc happened in the comics, Maggs presented a very faithful, though much pared down, version of the tale which featured Stuart Milligan as Clark Kent/Superman, Lorelei King as Lois Lane, and William Hootkins as Lex Luthor. Versatile American actor Kerry Shale was cast both as the villainous Hank Henshaw and as Superboy. The story arc was packaged for sale on cassette and CD as Superman: Doomsday and Beyond in the UK and as Superman Lives! in the USA.