Written by Orutakawa Teng’a’
In this blog post I am putting both versions of the villain known as Cyborg Superman: Zor-El and Hank Henshaw against each other in a battle for the right to be The Cyborg Superman. Please note, I am limiting myself to the on page variants for broader appeal.
The Shattered Hope analyzed:
On the positive side; Zor-El would have all the innate abilities of his daughter, nephew, sister-in-law, and every other Kryptonian we’ve seen. His twisting by Braniac would give him some alien weaponry abilities no other Kryptonian would have; perhaps even some shielding from Kryptonite radiation.
On the negative side Zor-El’s mind is very much a bipolar-schizoaffective battle matrix with a screaming prisoner screaming to get out within it. I reckon that Zor-El is very much like Jaime was in the Blue Beetle armor from Young Justice after fully awakening his scarab. All of the alien technologies aboard him there are weaknesses not present in a fully Kryptonian tech derived cyborg.
The False Hope analyzed:
Hank Henshaw is one who hates Superman for doing what Superman does and for the perceived guilt after the loss of wife aboard the Excalibur 2 shuttle. His technology being scavenged from the Kryptonian lifepod and being gap filled with Earth tech does leave him stronger in a streamlined if not brute force manner.
On the downside his tech is far more limited than the ones fused in his rival de jour. Another issue limiting his effectiveness would be his lack of dealing with non-Kryptonian foes much less non-organic foes. His reactions would therefore be far too rigid at first to plan an effective quick battle plan.
The battle is set:
A pocket dimension is formed and openings are created sucking the Cyborg Supes into the proverbial cess pot. The pair see each other and begin to see red starting battle. The battle will be fierce with Zor-El scoring devastating attacks thanks to his more thought out kit. Henshaw would result to dirty tactics during Zor-El’s recharges or weapon cooldowns chipping away at the Shattered Hope. Many “laser blasts” are fired trying for vulnerabilities, as well as brute force attacks going for internal damages.
Though I believe that Henshaw would be a fighter who would do far more debilitating damage short run, but Zor-El’s would be much more geared towards permanent disabling. This battle would take days to run its course, but Zor-El would prevail in a last second crawling out victory having had to brutally defeat Henshaw in a moment of insanity with almost all systems offline save the one for mechanical regeneration.
This battle’s victor came down to one thing; the superiority of the tech used to create the Mechanized Hope in the fight. Sadly, Henshaw is a victim of his ambition to destroy the house of El. Just as sadly Zor-El will most likely linger on in his humanoid cage.