Reign of the Supermen #196: Cyborg-Superman

Source: (1st) Adventures of Superman #500 (1993)
Type: Replacement/VillainHey, I did the Eradicator, Steel and Superboy, there's just one Reign Superman left and that's the Cyborg. There have been so many permutations, he might show up more than once at that.

At the time, the Cyborg-Superman creeped us out by being the most likely candidate to be the real Superman returned. First, he was the only one who CLAIMED to be the original and he was starring in Superman itself. He looked like Superman (well, half of him did) and his cybernetic parts were of Kryptonian origin. The fact he was a cold-blooded killer all of a sudden put the lie to that... or was it just a sign of the times? Like I said: Creepy.

I'd have liked to see the meeting where they came up with the idea. They took an obscure character, Hank Henshaw, who was meant to be a Mr. Fantastic analog in a Fantastic Four homage story, and found a way to turn him into Superman. Was it the plan all along? Was his quick return as an insane disembodied "ghost in the machine" meant to prefigure his re-introduction as the "Man of Tomorrow"? Or is he just a beneficiary of someone thinking of him at the right time? In the story, Henshaw's consciousness got a hold of baby Kal-El's rocket (or in the Byrned version, his birthing matrix) and used it to build his robot half, and Superman's genetic residue to make his fleshy half. One endorsement from the White House later, and his career was made. If only he hadn't colluded with Mongul to destroy Coast City. Well, what's one more White House scandal between friends?


Craig Oxbrow said...

Yeah, I remember thinking "they wouldn't really do that to Superman, would they?"

Siskoid said...

Same here.

At the time, my money was on Man of Steel, Irons somehow holding the soul of Superman for him.

Matthew Turnage said...

Siskoid, at the time I was thinking it was Steel as well.

De said...

Make me a third thinking it was Steel.

I still dig how the Cyborg Superman still finds a way to turn up and cause trouble. Making him the new Grandmaster of the Manhunters was pretty cool.


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