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Cyborg Superman Reading Order (Hank Henshaw)

Since his creation, Superman has inspired many other characters including different versions of himself such as Bizarro, the “mirror image” of The Man of Steel. Among the alternative versions of the superhero is also Cyborg Superman, a character whose origin story is more of a dark homage to what happened to the Fantastic Four.

Created by Dan Jurgens, Hank Henshaw made his first appearance in The Adventures of Superman #465 (May 1990). The astronaut was on the LexCorp space shuttle Excalibur with his wife Terri and two other crew members when it crashed, supposedly at first from a solar flare created by Superman which also exposed the crew to a fatal dose of radiation. As Hank’s body deteriorated, he transferred his consciousness to LexCorp’s mainframe and transformed into a cyborg resembling Superman. His wife didn’t survive the whole ordeal and with time, Hank became delusional and paranoid, blaming Superman for Terri’s death — even though she herself established what happened was simply an accident.

From the rubble of this freakish accident was born Cyborg Superman, also called The Cyborg (not to be confused with Cyborg!). With the ability to control machines and computers, as well as physical strength similar to Superman’s, Cyborg Superman became one of the Man of Steel’s dangerous foes and a Green Lantern villain.

Now, learn more about Cyborg Superman with our reading order, guiding you through the essential comics and story arcs featuring DC Comics’s evil twisted version of Superman!

Cyborg Superman Comics in Order

The Introduction of Cyborg Superman in the ’90s

A fan of the Fantastic Four, Dan Jurgens thought it would be fun to “take a well-known story and put a different spin on it. To give it a tragic, rather than heroic, result.” as he said in an interview with The result was Adventures of Superman #466 which introduced Hank Henshaw to readers, destined to become a major player in the DC Universe!

  • Adventures of Superman #465
    First appearance of Hank Henshaw and the space shuffle crew, collected in Superman: Eradication
  • Adventures of Superman #466
    The Crew has crashed! Apparent death of Hank, Collected in Superman: Dark Knight Over Metropolis
  • Adventures of Superman #468
    Did Hank really die? The story continues in “The Outcast”

Cyborg Superman is back in Reign of the Supermen

A few months after the tragic crash of the Excalibur, Hank Henshaw is reintroduced as Cyborg Superman during the famous Death of Superman event! The character returns as a villain during the Reign of Superman part. His actions will have consequences for Hal Jordan and from that moment, make him a menace for the Green Lantern. For a better grasp of the events, we recommend reading the complete story — and as a bonus, this is an influential and historic arc in comic book history!

  • Death and Return of Superman Omnibus
    Collects Action Comics #684-692, Adventures of Superman #497-505, Superman #75-83, Superman: The Man of Steel #18-26, Justice League of America #69-70, Action Comics Annual #5, Adventures of Superman Annual #5, Green Lantern #46, Legacy of Superman #1, Supergirl and Team Luthor #1, Superman Annual #5, Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #2, plus excerpts from Action Comics #683, Adventures of Superman #496, Superman #73 and Superman: The Man of Steel #17. See our Death Of Superman reading order for other collected editions.

Not long after the end of this massive arc, DC gave us a sequel featuring Doomsday attacking Apokolips with a newly repaired Cyborg Superman with Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey:

  • Superman: Doomsday
    Collects Doomsday Annual #1, Superman: The Doomsday Wars #1-3, And Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey #1-3
  • Superman #104, uncollected

When Superman is put on trial by an intergalactic Tribunal for the crimes of his ancestors, Hank Henshaw aligns with them and becomes their enforcer.

  • Superman: The Trial of Superman
    Collects Superman (vol. 2) #106-108; Adventures of Superman #529-531; Action Comics #716-717; Superman: The Man of Steel #50-52; Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #3. Part of this trade takes place during Underworld Unleashed.

Then, the character appeared in several titles, facing Green Lantern and meeting the Fantastic Four!

  • Green Lantern/Silver Surfer #1, Uncollected
  • Parallax: Final Night #1, Collected in The Final Night
  • Superman/Fantastic Four #1, Uncollected

Optional Reading – The Cyborg Superman walks again in those optional reading issues!

  • Superman Vol. 2 #128
  • Adventures of Superman #551
  • Action Comics #738
  • Superman Vol. 2 #129

A follow-up to Parallax, Henshaw can be seen in Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern as a dangerous figure for the Lanterns, determined to control or destroy what surrounds him. While defeated at first, he soon joins forces with the Anti-Monitor and the Sinestro Corps.

Around this time was published, Tales of the Sinestro Corps Presents: Cyborg Superman #1 an issue written by Alan Barnett who retells the origins of Hank Henshaw from the shuttle accident to those recent Green Lantern issues. A good way to introduce the characters to readers unfamiliar with the Superman antagonist.

Optional reading – Dan Jurgens travels back in time in the company of Booster Gold as the character locates his missing sister who went missing in the time stream and find out she has settled down in the past… in Coast City days before the obliteration of the town by Cyborg Superman and Mongul!

Following this little travel in time and the Blackest Night event, Hank Henshaw can be found with the Alpha Lanterns:

Interlude – a different Cyborg Superman in New 52

A darker edgier DC Comics era with… a different Cyborg Superman? You read that write! Following the reboot of its timeline, DC Comics introduced a new version of the character, which reveals to bed Zor-El, Supergirl father, who has been brainwashed and transformed by Brainiac. This character starts to appear around Supergirl (vol. 6) #21-22 and his story is concluded at the start of the Rebirth era, in the Reign of the Cyborg Supermen arc.

As for Henshaw, he is a doctor who can be seen in Team 7 (Vol.2) #5-6.

Cyborg Superman during Rebirth

A DC Comics Rebirth! – When DC relaunched in 2016, Hank Henshaw’s origins were reinvented by Jurgens who voluntarily chose to take his distance from the first original story. He continues to fight against Superman and the Green Lanterns. When the world is in peril, Superman recruits him to fight in the final battle of the Multiverse. 

Did we forget an important issue? Did we make a mistake? Let us know in the comments!

Last Updated on July 12, 2024.