[identity profile] zechs27.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily
The Reign of the Rogue Superman whose behind you! Look!


This chapter chonricals the Reign of the Supermen/Return of Superman period. However given it's so darn vast this is just the cliff note version. Really I still enjoy this story, super mullet nonetheless.

As with all Imposters, Henshaw had his own book and special for a bit. He claimed Superman and #78 was where his run started off on. The issue is pretty much the Cyborg Superman raiding Cadmus looking for something that no man should possess even if he's "dead":

"My memory... So much of it is gone. There are snippets I remember voices and faces that last for milliseconds... But I remember a farm.. in Kansas. The name... Kent."

Lois buys what Henshaw is saying to her.

It's interesting this hasn't been played up more on by any sort of writer. The very possiblity that Henshaw knows Superman's secret identity. Sure writers have done it in the past, but given a sick unstable mind of Henshaw. If he truly wanted to hurt Superman the way he obbessively considers Kal-El the very reason he's lost everything. A normal life, his friends, and his wife.

Even with the possiblity of hacking into that ship of Superman's there's also the fact that given Henshaw's ablity is technopath he could easily access any top level Justice League or say.. government program (like Checkmate once did during Infinite Crisis) that keeps Superman's identity on file.

Still it's quite a very frightening idea that Henshaw could very well pull a Kraven's Last Hunt trick impersonating Clark and would anybody know it was him?

Anyway, back to the story. Lois take's the Cyborg to see Doctor Emil Hamilton. This was WAY before he went all nuts and became Ruin in Rucka's run. So the man was quite reliable ally at the time. After doing several genetic tests he come's to the conclusion:

And our first clue that something might be a little off with this Superman. It did for me anyway. The fact that Doomsday's alive and the little device he attached isn't doing it's thing.

Henshaw continues his "heroic" career stopping an attack on the President of the US:

Then not soon after in Superman #80, an alien ship appears and hovers above Coast City. The President sends in the Cyborg who finds he isn't the only Superman on the scene (just want to note these aren't my scans, again another friend, God-Man did these for me save for the final parts which are mine):

Uh oh.. so begins the recurring theme of the Cyborg Superman. NEVER EVER turn you're back to him or you're going to get blasted.

"Be blamed for the death of millions!" Is what Henshaw is saying in case you're wondering from the break. And because being a part of Scans Daily so much now I'm beginning to wonder if Brian Bendis didn't ghost write this with that, "AIIEEEE!!"

So there's the action that decided the DC Universe for quite some time in the 90s. The domino effect that would follow would be Green Lantern Hal Jordan betraying the Green Lantern Corps destroying them all save for one Guardian, Ganthet and one ring bearer Kyle Rayner. This action again also causes Zero Hour.

Even possibly today this act could have repurcussions. After all, all those lives taken. It be utterly horrific if a ton of Black Rings came upon Coast City. No doubt the city be of the dead once again and not of hope. But nah.. Geoff Johns wouldn't do such a thing.. would he?

As for the reason why the Cyborg Superman chose Coast City to be nuked first the answer would come ten years later when he confessed why to Hal. But more on that in part IV.

Back to the plot, the Cyborg Superman take's in the destruction relishing it in narration captions before the White House calls him:

Now for me this was about the point I totally fell in love with the character. I mean come on, he just about tricked the whole world into thinking he was the real deal and pulls off this insane stunt? Though at the time I didn't even know this was Hal Jordan's home. But my love of the character renewed further as this storyline went on. However, I admit there is a point I finally got burned out of the character, which was the character's eventual downfall he was used just too much. Honestly, since his appearance on the scene from here on in he appeared twice a year or once guranteed.

Anyway, the next time we see the Cyborg Superman we get his other most infamous moment. Come on. I couldn't resist posting it again:

I don't need to post the rest of the story. Steel, Superboy, and Supergirl (Matrix) figure out Cyborg Superman is really a villain. Together with the newly returned and very much alive Superman the four with Hal Jordan lay seige and attack Engine City where Coast once was. Right before the final attack we learn it is Hank Henshaw who is behind the Cyborg Superman and that part I posted earlier is shown.

The Eradicator returns to fight as well assisting Superman in this nice scene I always enjoyed reading:

Ever the cheater, Henshaw decides to unleash Engine's City's power source (ie that massive chunk of kryptonite and use it on Superman and the Eradicator. However, upon it's aftermath:


So, um Superman what if that didn't work? That means you just um killed a guy. But then again if it where so easy to kill the Cyborg Superman just like that. Still, not but three months later Henshaw does return in Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey. And really that truly was the real problem of Henshaw after this appearance. Unlike Bane, and even Doomsday, Henshaw was really abused by the writers of Superman. Every year included two appearances of him (and by this time just to note he'll be called just the Cyborg due to Vic Stone dropping the name and wouldn't get his full title again until Geoff Johns used him again).

In anycase, in my next trip with the Cyborg Superman I'll be posting the already mentioned Hunter/Prey, how Hank got out of that mess, Road Trip to the Marvel Universe, Trial of Superman, and Final Night.

Though alas I must warn you the super mullet cannot be denied the next time around as it infects the Cyborg Superman with it's tude.

Date: 2009-08-03 02:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
So...why did Cyborg chose Coast City to nuke?

Date: 2009-08-03 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shanejayell.insanejournal.com
In 'Sinestro Corps War' he revealed that his wife came from Coast City

Date: 2009-08-03 02:28 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Didn't he say he did it to destroy/forget about his old life or something?

Date: 2009-08-03 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] btravage.livejournal.com (from insanejournal.com)
How did the real Supes know that this was Hank Henshaw? Even if one knew Cyborg Superman was a villian, it'd still be hard to figure out that who his true identity.

Date: 2009-08-03 04:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crinosg.insanejournal.com
You know, the scene with Doomsday laughing at this would make sense, as if he knows that The Superman that found him wasn't real and everyone was being fooled.

It would make even more sense if Doomsday was intelligent enough to realize this, but c'est la vie.

Date: 2009-08-03 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mullon.insanejournal.com
But that doesn't explain how he able to laugh in the vacuum of space.

Date: 2009-08-03 04:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crinosg.insanejournal.com
He's Doomsday and he can laugh in space.

Date: 2009-08-03 10:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
'Cause it's dramatic. They pretty much say so in the narration ;)

Date: 2009-08-03 05:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aaron_bourque.insanejournal.com
Doomsday isn't a complete idiot, he's just completely uneducated.

Date: 2009-08-03 04:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] comicoz.insanejournal.com
I never picked up on DD laughing to mean he figured out that Cyborg Supes was bad, but I guess it's there.

Date: 2009-08-03 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] comicoz.insanejournal.com
I know the book sales were abysmal, but the spin off from this, Eradicator, wasn't too bad. The Eridicator merged with some dying scientist, and then went around being a mini Superman; kind of a energy shooting Steel clone.

Cyborg Superman became very lame in the past few years though. He became impossible to kill, and would show up with a reason so ridiculous for surviving that it was too difficult to suspend belief.

Date: 2009-08-03 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] comicoz.insanejournal.com
And despite it all, I was really feeling sad for him in the end of the Sinestro Corps war. Him just wanting to die...worked for me.

Date: 2009-08-03 04:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashtoreth.insanejournal.com
There's a nice scene in the Green Lantern tie-in. Hal is about to rip apart the machinery to kill Mongol, when Mongol warns him that his friend Superman--the real Superman--is back and if Hal breaks open the machine, kryptonite gas will spill out and kill him again. Hal is overcome by insane anger at this point--even hearing voices calling for revenge from the dead which was oddly premonitive--but he stops, and beats Mongol hand to hand.

Date: 2009-08-03 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sir_razorback.insanejournal.com
Even possibly today this act could have repurcussions. After all, all those lives taken. It be utterly horrific if a ton of Black Rings came upon Coast City. No doubt the city be of the dead once again and not of hope. But nah.. Geoff Johns wouldn't do such a thing.. would he?

Looking at that blast, I don't think there would be any bodies for the rings to find. Not like that wouldn't stop GJ if he thought it was a really keen idea, though.

Date: 2009-08-03 05:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icon_uk.insanejournal.com
Between Coast City, Bludhaven and Montevideo, there are enough supervillain-trashed cities to make quite the army.

Date: 2009-08-03 06:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] interrobamf.insanejournal.com
Not to mention Bialya, Qurac, Kahndaq...

Date: 2009-08-03 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starwolf_oakley.insanejournal.com
Henshaw's wife and two friends coming back as Black Lanterns would be trippy.

Date: 2009-08-04 03:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
It has always annoyed me somewhat that DC writers feel free to blast the hell out of the West Coast whenever they feel like it, and how CASUAL they are about it afterwards. I mean, look at that two-page spread and read some of the captions. "The West Coast and its entire ecosystem is instantaneously shattered". Do tell. Santa Barbara is plastered with incendiaries, which means LA and San Diego probably sustained at least some damage, and there are likely wildfires and so forth raging up and down the entire state and points north of it. In short, this is a CATASTROPHE - it ain't just Coast City that's been blown up here, although Gods know that'd be bad enough. Think of 9/11 and all the trauma that caused, and that was just two buildings and a chunk of the Pentagon. This is AN ENTIRE CITY completely destroyed, with seven million deaths just in the initial kaboom, and several times that in collateral deaths and injuries by the time this thing has been worked out. Not to mention the immense amount of agricultural land rendered useless, the severe curtailing of the entertainment industry - Hollywood's in LA, remember? - the effects on the economy and public industry, the huge amounts of ash, shrapnel and fallout that would likely be blanketing areas of Nevada and Arizona, the horrific damage done to the local ecosystem, and the thousands, if not millions, of refugees having to take shelter elsewhere in the country.
In short, this would be a disaster of unparalleled, almost unimaginable proportions, that would make 9/11 and Katrina combined look like small potatoes. And remember, due to the sliding scale of comic book time, this would have happened only a couple of years ago in the DCU, maybe as much as five or so.
Soooo, do we, y'know, SEE any of this?
Well, now that you mention it, no.
Sure, we hear references to Coast City being blown up - and, as was mentioned, that event has indeed had huge repercussions - but as for the damage done to the rest of the state, it might as well never have happened. We've had stories set in LA and San Francisco and whatnot, and they look perfectly normal. We've seen other parts of the state, and they seem untouched. There's no mention of wildfires, or benefits for the 'Coast City disaster', or ANYTHING.
In short, 'we just smacked around the Coast like crazy, and now we're going to pretend like it never happened.' And now there's this whole 'Sub Diego' thing, which I don't understand very well, but sounds an awful lot like the same sort of thing in miniature.
This reeks of double standards. What, may I ask, would have happened if it had been one of the DCU's East Coast cities, like, say, Gotham? You'd never STOP hearing about it, that's what would happen - there'd be stories about disaster relief, and how New York got partially obliterated (Gotham is in New Jersey, so a blast that size would scorch the hell out of the Big Apple), and how the fishermen off Cape Cod were suffering, and it'd be a big, hairy deal. (Of course, Bludhaven got pretty much destroyed, and you don't hear too much about that, but then again, IT wasn't incinerated in a mile-high fireball.)
Stop smacking us West Coasters around, DC! If you're going to blow us up, fine, but DEAL with it, don't just ignore it! Give us a little respect! We're people, too! Don't you annoy us, or we'll send Zorro to carve Zs into your living rooms.

Date: 2009-08-04 07:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
When was the last time that New York was burning in the DCU, may I ask? And a rash of arsonists or something doesn't count.

Date: 2009-08-04 08:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
Well, OK, I haven't been keeping up with that, I admit. Still, that basically boils down to 'squabbles between superpeople'; it's not really of the same magnitude as a city-destroying, state-ravaging bomb.

Date: 2009-08-04 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] proteus_lives.insanejournal.com
That "He's behind you." scene will never stop being awesome.


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