Supergirl was an okay-fine superhero series when it debuted on CBS, but the move to The CW has really opened up the show’s plots, cast of characters, and fun-factor. The energy is different, the dialogue has a more free-flowing conversational tone to it, and the characters now live and breathe and interact with each other in ways that make them more human (and superman) than merely comic book cutouts. The CW is well-versed in bringing character drama to the small screen, but the TV-verse is even better at folding in the most fantastic elements of their superhero series’ source material.
Case in point: An upcoming episode of Supergirl will see its title superheroine doing battle with a Cyborg Superman. This was confirmed by the network in a release of the season two, episode seven synopsis, “The Darkest Place.” The next episode, “Changing”, will see James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) take on the mantle of the Guardian in order to lend a hand to Supergirl, and the follow-up episode will see yet another CADMUS connection. Some mild spoilers follow.
Check out the synopsis below:
IT’S SUPERGIRL VS. CYBORG SUPERMAN — While Guardian (Mehcad Brooks) tries to clear his name after being accused of a murder committed by another vigilante, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) heads out on a solo mission to rescue Mon-El (Chris Wood) who has been captured by CADMUS. While fighting to free Mon-El, Supergirl comes face to face with Cyborg Superman. Glen Winter directed the episode written by Robert Rovner & Paula Yoo.
There has been some speculation, which is warranted, that Tyler Hoechlin might be returning to play the role he debuted earlier this season, albeit in robot doppelganger form. However, it looks like this won’t be the case. Producer Andrew Kreisberg told TV Line:
“Cyborg Superman is not [being played by] Tyler Hoechlin.”
He went on to comment on Hoechlin’s possible return, saying:
“We’d love to have him back, but right now, we’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do for the rest of the season. We loved working with him, he’s amazing in the part and we’d be lucky to get him back.”
For my money, I expect to see Hoechlin return as Superman later this season as soon as the show’s producers and writing team “figure out what [they’re] going to do for the rest of the season” … and I still think they’re prepping for “The Death of Superman.” The confirmation of a Cyborg Superman strongly suggests that, at the least, this story arc is on their minds, and at most, they’re planning to go all the way with it.
In the meantime, however, let’s chat about who might be playing Cyborg Superman in the upcoming episode. In the DC Comics arc, “Reign of the Supermen”, which followed Superman’s death, Cyborg Superman was actually the cybernetic villain Hank Henshaw. Does that name ring a bell? It should, because it’s the assumed identity of David Harewood‘s character in the show and acts as his human mask for his real identity, J’onn J’onzz, a.k.a. Martian Manhunter. The real Henshaw was presumably killed during an op that involved Kara’s adoptive father Jeremiah Danvers (Dean Cain). Danvers was recently revealed to be alive as a captive of CADMUS all these years later; perhaps Henshaw survived this ordeal as well, or at least his body may have been recovered by this shadowy organization of rogue scientists…
There’s a 50/50 shot we’ll see one of these actors playing Cyborg Superman. My dollar’s on Cain, who famously played Superman on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Seeing him as a corrupted version of that character would be delightfully subversive. More importantly, it further opens the door for Hoechlin to return in the future as both Superman and possibly another Cyborg Superman (and maybe even Superman in his black suit) should “The Death of Superman” story arc play out.