- 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.. Henshaw 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, Henshaw 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, Henshaw 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 Henshaw's appearance for convenience sake around D.E.O. agents and for public appearances.
After being presumed dead for almost 10 years, Henshaw 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., Henshaw 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 he offered his assistance to the D.E.O. as he knew everything about Kryptonians, having personally helped Superman discover his abilities, to which Henshaw 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 Henshaw 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 Henshaw declined and he, Jeremiah, and a team of agents traveled to Peru to carry out the mission. Henshaw eventually caught Jeremiah and J'onn talking in the woods and shot J'onn with specially-made bullets. As Henshaw began to torture J'onn, Jeremiah tried to convince Henshaw that J'onn wasn't a threat, that he was a refuge just like Kara. Henshaw refused to listen and the two men got into a struggle as Henshaw tried to kill J'onn. Though Henshaw managed to stab Jeremiah in the chest which would cause him to bleed to his "death," Jeremiah was able to push Henshaw 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 Henshaw'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, Henshaw 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". Henshaw now saw Cadmus as a continuation of the D.E.O.'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, Henshaw met her, fought and defeated her. Later after Cadmus extracted blood from Supergirl, Henshaw went to the Fortress of Solitude and used Supergirl's blood to gain access. He then inquired about "Medusa".
Henshaw went to Al's Dive Bar to plant a bomb (which contained Medusa gas) 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. Henshaw 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 allowing Supergirl to gain the upper hand forcing him to flee. When the Luthors were at the launch site, he appeared to hold off J'onn J'onzz from getting to them. Henshaw 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, where he stole some Cadmus-fabricated synthetic version of Kryptonite and made it look like it came from one of the vaults in the CEO's office. Henshaw later altered the footage to make it seem like Lena had taken it, resulting in the latter being arrested. Henshaw then smuggled the Kryptonite to John Corben/Metallo so that he could break himself and Lillian out of custody, an act that Corben would later repeat with Lena. Henshaw 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, Henshaw 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. After a harsh fight, Henshaw managed to subdue Jeremiah, knocking him unconscious.
A Temporary Alliance
When Rhea led the Daxamite invasion on National City, Henshaw and Lillian temporarily allied with Supergirl's team to rescue Lena, who had been captured. Henshaw transformed the Phantom Zone projector into a teleporter, allowing him, Lillian and Supergirl to board the Daxamite ship. After rescuing Lena, Henshaw and Lillian left Kara and Mon-El behind and returned to the Fortress of Solitude. However, Supergirl had anticipated this and used a fail-safe to allow Mon-El to escape the ship. Once arriving at the Fortress, Mon-El quickly knocked Henshaw out.
Following Lillian's arrest, it is unknown if Henshaw is still active as part of Cadmus.
Hank Henshaw believes his cause to destroy alien life on the planet a righteous one; promoting someone like Supergirl to 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, Henshaw is a sorry excuse for a man.
After 10 years Henshaw 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. He even passed down his radical cause against aliens to Project Cadmus and all those who will follow in Cadmus' path.
Powers and abilities
- Cybernetically-enhanced physiology: Through unknown means from Project Cadmus, Henshaw became a cyborg and the cyborg physiology grants him extraordinary physical powers.
- Enhanced strength: As a cyborg, Henshaw is much stronger than a normal human; he was even stronger than Supergirl, although she did manage to hold her own against Henshaw, the former was ultimately overpowered relatively easily, it is unknown how well he would fare up against Superman.
- Enhanced durability: As a cyborg, Henshaw 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, Henshaw's natural stamina levels have been increased considerably, allowing him to fight and remain active for long periods of time without becoming fatigued.
- Enhanced speed: As a cyborg, Henshaw is capable of move at speeds that make him appear as blur of motion, similarly to Kryptonians.
- Heat vision: As a cyborg, Henshaw'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.
- Tech access: As a cyborg, Henshaw 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 combatant: As the former director of the D.E.O., Henshaw is an expert in unarmed combat; he was proven to be even better than Supergirl, despite the latter being an unarmed expert fighter in her own right, although she did manage to hold her own against Henshaw, the former was ultimately overwhelmed and defeated relatively easily.
- Expert marksman: As the former director of the D.E.O., Henshaw is an expert with firearms.
- Physical trauma: Henshaw is very powerful and possesses enhanced durability but he is not invincible. He 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 "" gives him a resemblance to a similar character from the comics, Victor Stone, aka the superhero Cyborg. As shown in "", 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.