Comic book tv shows

Supergirl Episode 7 Discussion: Hank Henshaw, the master of disguise

supergirl episode 7 review discussion hank henshaw martian manhunter

Supergirl episode 7 took a huge step forward, and really leaped into the greater world of the DC universe. Up until this episode I haven’t been overly invested in this show but now I can’t wait until the next episode. So let’s discuss Supergirl episode 7!

Spoilers follow.

I’ll get to the whole Martian freaking Manhunter reveal in a bit, but first I want to talk about Kara’s story this episode. Surprisingly the show used a power that Superman only recently got in the comics, the solar flare. In the comics Batman calls the power the “super flare”, in which Superman (and now Supergirl) can release all his stored solar energy in one big blast. However when this power is used, he doesn’t have any powers for 24 hours after.

Supergirl did a similar thing except it’s 48 hours to recover instead. This allows Kara to experience what it’s like to be a human, but to also showcase just how genuinely good she is. You don’t need powers to be a hero.

Just like in the comic where Superman lost his powers after using the flare, Supergirl was still able to be a hero without her powers. The thing about the House of El is that they are good with their words. It was Kara’s strong belief in the goodness of humanity, and her ability to connect with people that made her a true hero. Kara had the ability to inspire change without her powers but with her words and belief, and I think it was a really pivotal moment in the show.

supergirl episode 7 solar flare

Supergirl episode 7 of course wasn’t just about Kara’s day without powers, it was also about the revealing of Hank Henshaw. And yes many of those theories were right, Hank Henshaw is actually J’onn J’onzz aka Martian Manhunter!

First of all it’s important to note that this wasn’t always going to happen. Apparently it wasn’t until further into the show that they decided to make Hank Henshaw Martian Manhunter. I find that a little odd, considering just how major this plot reveal is, but okay.

The assumption was that Hank Henshaw would be revealed as Cyborg Superman, as that is typically who he is. But as the show went on, there were very little connections between Henshaw and his Cyborg Superman future. Then this episode came around and things started making sense.

So who is Martian Manhunter? Well that’s a difficult question to answer considering his origin keeps changing, but the brief answer is that he’s an alien (from Mars obviously). He’s arguably more powerful than Superman with powers such as shape-shifting, telepathy, flight, strength etc.

supergirl episode 7 martian manhunter costume

Now I’m not sure which origin they will go with on the show, but it seems like he is the last of his kind and they will also be introducing White Martians. Basically White Martians are the enemy of the Green Martians and are often connected with the destruction of the Martian race.

In the New 52 his origin was changed slightly, this time J’onn was set to be the next leader of his race, but first he had to undertake a ritual in which he must understand what it means to be alone, as their race was often very communal. So after leaving the planet and coming back he found that all his people were burning, now he was truly alone. He then gave himself the name “Manhunter” to find out what happened.

Again I don’t know which origin they will choose to adapt but the key theme of his character is isolation. He’s the last of his people, and finds it difficult to be a hero for Earth when he’s so different. Supergirl may have a similar story, but at least she looks like a beautiful human so it makes the whole blending in thing a lot easier. J’onn looks like a monster, and must hide who he is to fit in.

He truly is a tragic character, who just wants to find his place in the world. I’m definitely looking forward to how the show handles those aspects of his character, and what this means going forward.

Does Superman even know he exists? Will other famous superheroes start appearing? Will he ever go public as Martian Manhunter?

supergirl episode 7 martian manhunter

Martian Manhunter in Smallville

Visually I’m quite impressed with how he looks. Red Tornado looked a little cheap, but Martian Manhunter looks pretty awesome! His is a hard look to pull off, and is an improvement from his Smallville look (which actually wasn’t too bad either).

Overall Supergirl episode 7 was an amazing episode that for me personally, got me really invested in the show. The world of aliens is unique to Supergirl, and isn’t something that’s being explored in any of the other DC TV shows, so they might as well dig deeper into the alien mythology of DC. Definitely looking forward to next week!
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5 replies »

  1. I’ve been kind of on and off with this show. The bomber episode is actually kind of weak. This episode is pretty good though. Also I don’t know much about the Martian Manhunter, but I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.

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    • Same here, hopefully now it will start getting better. Martian Manhunter is awesome, and has a great mythology which apparently they’re going to explore on the show, hopefully you enjoy it!

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  2. I may have mentioned to you on another post that this was the least entertaining of all the DC shows. I thought the last draw for me would had been the ridiculous depiction of Red Tornado resulting in my being done with this garbage. Then I thought, let me give it one last watch. Although I did have a feeling that that bloke was John Jones, when they actually revealed him, WOW…he looked amazing! Now If only they could fix the rest of this crap filled with horrible acting and affects we could have a show worth watching. Honestly, I really have a problem with the cast starting with the lead. I guess I was expecting a Justice League/Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Supergirl only to get a 90210 corny watered down version of the character with absolutely no substance instead.

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