More Machine Than Man Part IV
Chronicling the Rise and Fall to Rise Again of the Cyborg Superman.
DIAL UPPERS BEWARE!!!!!!!!
This installment covers pretty much the full downfall of Henshaw, when he really got abused and written pretty badly in the Superman books. Though before he made his rounds, there was some unfinished business he had with someone else, Hal Jordan. In Final Night Parallax: Emerald Night (the one shot totaled over forty pages). There was no more running, Hal finally caught up with the destroyer of Coast City plucking him out of the black hole he was put into during Trial of Superman:
So yeah, this official DC one shot actually references a Marvel/DC crossover above. Marz does this again in an issue of Green Lantern when Access appears before Jade wanting to see Kyle Rayner, but when he can't find Kyle decides to pay Norrin a visit instead. I think that issue is GL vol. 3 #91.
Hal then disperses the energy into space and is confident in that he finally brought justice to the being who so very long had evaded him. Of course he make's one fatal mistake, the fact that they fought next to the friggin Source Wall. Being that it is vast amount of energy Henshaw finds himself a way to keep alive via a broken piece from it.
Now here's where things are now a little fuzzy. It sounds like in GL #12 vol. 4 that the events that I will post next NEVER HAPPENED. Why you ask? Because the method to which Henshaw escaped the Source Wall is explained differently in said issue. Instead of the events below, it is the Manhunters who free him. Plus Henshaw gained the knowledge of the 52 and other insight when bonded to the wall.
During this all this mini happened:
Again a neat idea which probably led Geoff Johns to make Hank the Grandmaster, but trust me if you're a fan of Henshaw the book is pretty bad for such being who destroys worlds his base of operations in this is an apartment room. And he rides a motorcycle with forgetting the ability to fly. Not to mention is pretty weak in fighting Superman alone needing to bond with a Termintor to actually put up a fight against Superman, Supergirl (matrix), and Superboy (Kon).
Anyway, I find these next two parts interesting given he's more interested in his humanity than attempting to kill that blasted Superman. These next scans aren't mine. They where originally posted on original Scans Daily. During the Genesis Event going through most of the DC books in the Superman parts to it he runs into our old friend (Superman #128 and Adventures of Superman #551):
Henshaw escapes the rock he's trapped on by merging into Superman's Electric suit given it has machine like parts in it. Not even a month later we find out what Henshaw's been up too in Superman #129. The story is told from the perspective of one Ashbury Armstrong (Daily Planet Reporter Dirk Armstrong's daughter). Throughout the tale a teacher of her's, Mr. Solomon befriends her he show's some hints throughout the issue of something strange about him it's only when he starts going off on a negative Superman rant that leads to this and his identity:
*ok this one above was scanned by me. I didn't even realize I lost the original scan until looking back.
Not soon even after that Henshaw would again appear in the Superman books in the Superman Red/Blue crossover. Though Jurgens had one more run with the character, in Superman/Fantastic Four. The story is pretty much continuation of GL/Silver Surfer with Henshaw playing Superman for a fool by gaining entrance back into the Marvel Universe after making it look like Galactus destroyed Krypton.
Once in the Marvel Universe, Superman seeks out the heroes who know Galactus best, the Fantastic Four. Henshaw make's his presence known, but it is also this time when Galactus whisks both Reed Richards and Superman away leaving the remaining Four and Henshaw left:
The four find Galactus and his latest herald Superman, but no Reed and the planet all but devoured by the cosmic being. After Henshaw's urging with Sue agreeing the Four retreat.
During their next encounter aboard Galactus's ship, with the Four fighting Superman, Henshaw finally turns on his allies trying to connect and become one with Galactus's ship. Then the meeting of the ages finally take's place:
The Four and Superman turn their attention to Galactus now, and stop him from taking energy away from the planet he was feeding on. They then blackmail him that they'll keep sucking away energy and make him promise to halt his feeding onto another planet with no life. Galactus agree's.
Ok that's just awesome and hilarious.
I think this ran about the same time that another Superman event was going through his books. It was a Ron Marz written event Henshaw redones his Reign attire fooling the Bottled City of Kandor into believing he's Superman is the enemy and attempts to rule it. Once again Superman foils his foe, but this time Henshaw is banished to the Phantom Zone.
Henshaw returns AGAIN but two years later. Henshaw is given a new form due to being in the Phantom Zone his machine-like parts are warped and he gets turned into this. I have to admit after looking back on the timeline and a lot on the net. I think I was wrong that this wasn't Jeph Loeb's doing. I still don't know it's all rather fuzzy and I rather not look back further during this dark time:
The form is kept for his next few appearances but they've become less and less thankfully. Until finally Henshaw is fully becomes a mockery of his former self in Action Comics #795 by one Joe Kelly. Henshaw's appearance in this book is largely forgotten. It's not even mentioned in the Wiki's. During Superman's war with the Elite he take's the fight to their giant ship called..
He finds the A.I. running the ship is none other thank the Cyborg Superman himself trapped in the unit by the Elite. The two fight and Superman asks Hank how many more times he has to defeat him and Cyborg says just one more. Henshaw attempts to destroy his foe and if he does has been promised Superman's life by the Elite. Cyborg makes Bunny larger and larger, trapping Superman in an infinite loop.
Superman then flies around, bashing into everything on the ship, and the ship breaks down, trapping Cyborg in a prison. Henshaw doesn't appear for the rest of the crossover event and is forgotten for the remainder of the story.
Oh how the mighty have truly fallen.
There where only two images of it ever scanned to be but the bane of my existence and the reminder of just how low Henshaw had gotten at this period. This was one of the pictures scanned by Randiel.
The other was thankfully lost through time. But the pics where made into a Sinestro Corps War banner:
Henshaw didn't appear for three to four years since then, his longest period of inactivity. The foundation of his return to being a fantastic villain where planted in GL vol. 4 #3 when a Rogue Manhunter is attacked by a newer model. Hal interferes and both are destroyed. The news is brought before the Grandmaster:
Then in GL vol. 4 #10 a supposedly dead GL show's up on Hal's doorstep wounded but alive. It seems he came from Biot the homeworld of the Manhunters and an area off limits via Guardian orders. But given that this is Hal Jordan he goes to the sector with Guy Gardner the very next issue. There they find several lost supposedly dead Green Lanterns. But uh oh.. Hal's got his back turned not even paying attention to the Manhunters after him. BIG MISTAKE.
God I love the above pictures. Such awesome drawings by Ivan Reis and colors by Moose Brumann. Not to mention such a great redesign of Henshaw too. I really dig the color scheme and the superman outfit. It really works for the character.
I couldn't help but end here. In my final installment which covers "Revenge of the Green Lanterns" and "Sinestro Corps War".