- For the alien masquerading as Hank Henshaw, see J'onn J'onzz.
- "Hank Henshaw is dead. I'm Cyborg Superman."
- —Cyborg Superman[src]
Hank Henshaw is the former director of the D.E.O. Hank was a paranoid and ruthless agent who saw all aliens as a threat regardless if they were fugitives or refuges and sought to kill them all. After Kara Zor-El's arrival, Hank extorted her foster father Jeremiah Danvers into working for him so he could learn about Kryptonians. After spending years hunting the refuge J'onn J'onzz, Hank cornered him in Peru but Jeremiah seemingly sacrificed his life to kill Hank to protect J'onn.
After his supposed death, he was impersonated by J'onn to reform the D.E.O. for its intended purpose until his identity was exposed, but J'onn received a presidential pardon and remained director of the D.E.O. J'onn continued to use Hank's appearance for convenience sake around D.E.O. agents and for public appearances.
After being presumed dead for almost 10 years, Hank was revealed to be alive, rescued by Project Cadmus and genetically modified into a cyborg with strength greater than even Supergirl's under the name "Cyborg Superman".
Director of the D.E.O.
While working at the D.E.O., Hank learned of J'onn J'onzz/Martian Manhunter, a citizen of Mars, who Superman had claimed was the strongest being on Earth, and became obsessed with hunting him down and killing him, but J'onn would evade him for some years.
In 2004, shortly after Kara Zor-El's arrival on Earth, the D.E.O. became aware of her existence and sought to bring her into custody to study her, and give them better understanding of Kryptonian biology. Visiting Kara's foster family the Danvers, her foster father Jeremiah Danvers refused to let Kara be taken away. Instead to avoid Kara being hunted, he offered his assistance to the D.E.O. as he knew everything about Kryptonians, having personally helped Superman discover his abilities, Hank agreed and recruited Jeremiah into the D.E.O.
In 2005, the D.E.O. remote outpost probes in Peru signaled J'onn's location and Hank ordered a team readied to kill him. Jeremiah, however, tried to plead a case to capture J'onn instead insisting that an alien who has lived on Earth for 300 years could have useful information for scientific pursuits, but Hank declined and he, Jeremiah, and a team of agents traveled to Peru to carry out the mission. Hank eventually caught Jeremiah and J'onn talking in the woods and shot J'onn with specially-made bullets. As Hank began to torture J'onn, Jeremiah tried to convince Hank that J'onn wasn't a threat, that he was a refuge just like Kara. Hank refused to listen and the two men got into a struggle as Hank tried to kill J'onn. Though Hank managed to stab Jeremiah in the chest which would cause him to bleed to his "death," Jeremiah was able to push Hank off the nearby cliff side where he fell to his supposed death.
While being presumed dead, J'onn assumed his identity to reform the D.E.O. and use it to hunt down true alien threats not just refuges and would continue to use his appearance for almost 10 years. In 2016, J'onn was forced to reveal himself in order to save the city from Red-Kryptonite-infected Kara and was finally exposed as an impostor to the D.E.O. Despite his deception, J'onn was cleared of all charges by president Olivia Marsdin herself and he remained director of the D.E.O. J'onn still continues to use Hank's appearance working at the D.E.O. and in public, believing people still feel more comfortable working with someone who looks human.
Turned into Cyborg Superman
After his fight with J'onn and Jeremiah, Hank was rescued and salvaged by Project Cadmus. His damaged body was repaired with cybernetic parts, which gave him superhuman strength and endurance. He adopted a new alias, "Cyborg Superman". Hank now saw Cadmus as a continuation of the DEO's original mission - to hunt and exterminate aliens on Earth. He remained with Cadmus when it went rogue and cut formal ties with the government.
When Cadmus kidnapped Mon-El to draw out Supergirl, Hank met her in battle and defeated her. Later after Cadmus extracted blood from Kara, Hank went to the Fortress of Solitude and used Kara's blood to gain access. He then inquired about "Medusa".
He went to the Alien Bar to plant a Medusa bomb into it though he was spotted by Mon-El. After fighting him, he fled when the bomb went off and people started screaming in the bar. He arrived at L-Corp to try and steal the isotope needed for Lillian Luthor's Medusa rocket but was intercepted by Supergirl and the D.E.O. He dominated the fight until a dimensional breach opened and forced him to flee. When the Luthors were at the launch site, he appeared to hold off J'onn J'onzz from getting to them. He managed to beat down the martian until Supergirl crashed into him. When the police arrived to arrest Lillian, he vanished in the commotion.
Freeing the Luthors
Henshaw went to L-Corp, taking with him a Cadmus-fabricated synthetic version of Kryptonite, made it look that it came from one of the vaults in the CEO's office and later altered the footage to make it seem like Lena had taken it. He then smuggled it to John Corben/Metallo so that he could break himself and Lillian Luthor out of custody; an act that Corben would later repeat with Lena after she was accused and imprisoned for slipping into Metallo his newest power source. He then joined Corben and the Luthors at one of Lex's bunkers and forced Lena to put her hand to the DNA reader to open the cache of anti-alien weaponry. When Metallo's Kryptonite became unstable, he and Lillian fled in a helicopter before it exploded.
Henshaw was with Lillian Luthor as they were working on a device in a secret location and he told her that it was now complete. When Jeremiah Danvers returned from raiding secret files from the D.E.O. he met up with Henshaw and Lillian in a rendezvous point and he told him that he was late. Jeremiah told him that there was more resistance then he had anticipated but he still got the files they were after. When they were found by Supergirl and Alex Danvers, he triggered an explosive planted on some rail tracks in order to distract them so that they could escape.
After Jeremiah rebelled against Cadmus, Henshaw attacked him and, after an harsh fight, managed to subdue him knocking him unconscious.
A Temporary Alliance
When Rhea had started her invasion on National City. Hank helped Lillian to rescue her daughter Lena. He teamed up with Supergirl in order to do this. He had transformed the Phantom Zone projector into a teleporter to get in. Eventually rescuing Lena, but leaving Kara behind.
Hank is cold, cruel, immoral, and self-righteous; some could call him a monster. He is also radically against aliens of all forms to the point of he would kill them regardless whether or not they are a threat to the human race, like when he attempted to kill the Martian Manhunter, despite the fact that he was a refugee, he had no guilt or remorse for this attempted vile act of his. He also showed a degree of fear and hatred towards Superman. According to J'onn J'onzz, Hank is a sorry excuse for a man.
After 10 years Hank is shown to greatly resent J'onn for stealing his life (which is technically no longer stolen) and equally hates Supergirl, believing if he had taken her in as originally planned, none of what happened to him would have occurred.
Powers and abilities
- Cyborg physiology: Through unknown means, Hank became a cyborg and the cyborg physiology grants him special powers and abilities.
- Enhanced strength: As a cyborg, Hank is much stronger than a normal human; he was even stronger than Supergirl, although she did manage to hold her own against Hank, the former was ultimately overpowered relatively easily, it is unknown how well he would fare up against Superman.
- Enhanced durability: As a cyborg, Hank can take much more damage than a normal human; he took a couple of physical blows from Supergirl and was completely unfazed.
- Enhanced stamina: As a cyborg, Hank's natural stamina levels have been increased considerably, allowing him to fight and remain active for long periods of time without becoming fatigued.
- Heat vision: As a cyborg, Hank's left eye has been replaced with a cybernetic version and can now shoot blue energy bolts with similar effect to heat vision, allowing him to physically repel Kryptonians and inflict wounds on normal humans.
- Enhanced speed: As a cyborg, Hank is capable of move at speeds that make him appear as blur of motion, similarly to Kryptonians.
- Tech Access: As a cyborg, Hank can get inside many types of machines using some sort of port in his hand. This was shown when he went inside the Daxamite ship.
- Expert hand-to-hand combatant: As the former director of the D.E.O., Hank is an expert in unarmed combat; he was proven to be even better than Kara Danvers, despite the latter being an unarmed expert fighter in her own right, although she did manage to hold her own against Hank, the former was ultimately overwhelmed and defeated relatively easily.
- Expert marksman: As the former director of the D.E.O., Hank is an expert with firearms.
- Physical trauma: Hank is very powerful and possesses enhanced durability but he is not invincible. Hank can be weakened by an amount of physical trauma.
Behind the scenes
- Hank Henshaw debuted in The Adventures of Superman #466 (May, 1990), as a crew member of a doomed NASA space shuttle and later primarily featured as an antagonist of Superman. In Reign of the Supermen storyline, he was given the alias Cyborg Superman, with which he would become mostly known as in the years to come. Following the DC Comics New 52 reboot of the DC Universe, Cyborg Superman was no longer Hank Henshaw, but instead Supergirl's own father, Zor-El, given cybernetic enhancements and altered slightly to look more like his nephew, Kal-El/Superman. Following the Superman Reborn storyline in DC Rebirth however, as both the Pre-Flashpoint and New 52 versions of Superman and Lois were both merged into a single character with a shared history, this also included restoring Hank Henshaw as Cyborg Superman which was first seen in Action Comics #979 that was released on May 10, 2017.
- Unlike his comic counterpart, Supergirl's version of Cyborg Superman didn't have his consciousness uploaded into a cybernetic clone of Superman and instead retains his original appearance of Hank Henshaw.
- In the comics, Hank Henshaw's face barely had any skin as most of it had become metallic. In the show, only the left side of his face had become metallic.
- This factor, along with being of African-American origin in the show and the faceplate he wore over his metallic eye in "Medusa" gives him a resemblance to a similar character from the comics, Victor Stone, aka the superhero Cyborg. As shown in "Resist", when he was controlled by Kara, his metallic eye turns red. This makes him more similar to Cyborg since the metallic eye of the latter is also red.