Supergirl: What's the deal with that Hank Henshaw twist?
Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Monday’s episode of Supergirl. Read at your own risk!
Just when it looked like Hank Henshaw was starting to warm up to Kara, Supergirl threw in a big twist earlier than expected.
During Monday’s episode, an icy Hank (David Harewood) berated Kara (Melissa Benoist) for not being ready or capable of being a superhero just yet. But by episode’s end, when Kara had not only changed her image in the eyes of National City’s residents, but also went toe-to-toe with her villainous Aunt Astra (Laura Benanti), even Hank couldn’t help but finally call her Supergirl — that is, before his eyes secretly glowed a nefarious red.
What does this mean? Well, in the comics, Hank Henshaw’s alter-ego is Cyborg Superman, a former NASA astronaut-turned-super villain who shares Superman’s same powers. Cyborg Superman is basically half man-half machine, who blames the Man of Steel for his current state after a run-in with a solar flare. Could Hank have embedded himself within the DEO to get vengeance on Superman and fortuitously ended up in the presence of his cousin instead?
“If you’re a comic book fan, you probably have a hint as to why his eyes are glowing red,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg tells EW. “We don’t want to say too much about it, because I think we had a lot of success with the way we doled out information about Tom Cavanagh’s character last year on Flash. For us, it’s so exciting to walk into every scene with him and not know is he there to help you? Or is he possibly there to harm you? That dichotomy and how it plays out is one of the most exciting, unexpected parts of the show. It was something we were actually going to do in the pilot, but we decided to wait.”
However, the shows that hail from the Berlanti-verse tend to put a twist on the comics, so don’t assume anything. “As always with these things, we have to make this show for more than just comic book fans,” Kreisberg says. “We always try to satiate what the comic book fans’ expectations are, while also letting in the wider audience. If you’re a comic book fan, you’re obviously going to come to it with some preconceived notions, and that’ll be exciting for you. And if you’re not, you’re just going to be like, ‘Why are Hank’s eyes glowing? What does that mean?!’ We’ve seen the gruff Hank and this adds another layer to it.”
Also interesting to note: two different characters have taken on the persona of Cyborg Superman, the other being Zor-El in DC Comics’ New 52s. Yes, that Zor-El, as in the father of Supergirl. Could he be the man Alura was speaking with in the closing moments of the episode and Supergirl is putting a double twist on Cyborg Superman? Kreisberg is staying mum, so only time will tell.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Kara (Melissa Benoist) steps out from her super-cousin’s shadow to become Supergirl and defend National City in the third Arrowverse show.