The Project Cadmus plot is picking up pace over on Supergirl, and the synopsis for the episode "The Darkest Place" have teased that a major DC supervillain is making his debut. Get ready for the Cyborg Superman!
"IT’S SUPERGIRL VS. CYBORG SUPERMAN — While Guardian (Mehcad Brooks) tries to clear his name after being accused of a murder committed by another vigilante, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) heads out on a solo mission to rescue Mon-El (Chris Wood) who has been captured by CADMUS. While fighting to free Mon-El, Supergirl comes face to face with Cyborg Superman. "
Who Is Cyborg Superman?
The character of Hank Henshaw was originally created in The Adventures of Superman #465 as part of a fun pastiche of the Fantastic Four. He was leader of a crew of astronauts who headed into space, and came crashing back to Earth with superpowers. Henshaw's physical body ultimately expired, but he gained the ability to transport his consciousness into computer systems. Soon, he was creating robot bodies; but his story ended in tragedy, with the rest of his crew (including his wife) dead. Henshaw left Earth for the stars.
In 1992, everything changed for Hank Henshaw — and for DC Comics too. DC did the previously-unthinkable; they killed Superman. Then, months later, Superman returned — or, rather, a range of Supermen returned! Each version was inspired by a traditional title for Superman - 'Man of Steel', 'Man of Tomorrow', 'Last Son of Krypton'. Gradually, DC revealed that the Man of Tomorrow — a cybernetic version of Superman — was actually Hank Henshaw, who had become twisted and evil during his time in space. Blaming Superman for the solar flares that caused the space accident, Henshaw sought revenge.
Henshaw's acts of evil are legendary. He was the mastermind behind the destruction of Coast City, but he was ultimately stopped by the united Supermen — and the returned, real, Superman. Since then, he's been a regular foe for Superman, consistently proving himself to be one of the Man of Steel's greatest foes.
How Could Supergirl Feature the Cyborg Superman?
Oddly enough, Supergirl fans have kind of been expecting to see the Cyborg Superman for a while. After all, David Harewood was introduced to us as Hank Henshaw, head of the D.E.O.! Partway through Season 1, though, we learned that Supergirl was taking Henshaw in a very different direction; he'd died when hunting the alien Martian Manhunter, who had taken his place in defending the Earth. With that revelation, fan expectation for a Cyborg Superman dwindled once again.
So what's the story of this new Cyborg Superman? We know that Jeremiah Danvers has been the prisoner of Cadmus, and they have no qualms about experimenting on people. It's possible that Jeremiah has become the new Cyborg Superman — and that would be nicely ironic, given that he's played by Dean Cain (who famously played Superman in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman).
I can't help wondering, though, if there's another possibility. What if the Martian Manhunter's recollection is wrong, and the real Hank Henshaw isn't dead? It would be just as fascinating to see two Hank Henshaws — one the Martian Manhunter, the other the Cyborg Superman. I'd be fascinated to see Supergirl's reaction to this scenario.
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Ultimately, Supergirl has earned our trust. Whoever this new Cyborg Superman may be, they're sure to play a major role in the ongoing series, and that can only bode well as the Girl of Steel's adventures continue!
Who do you want the Cyborg Superman to be?
Poll Image: DC Comics