Enter another TV version of DC Comics‘ famed Justice League. The stage was set on last night’s Supergirl, which already has the main man of the League as part of the show, albeit seen in shadow and odd angleds but Superman isn’t the only primary member of the League wondering around the world of Supergirl now. Along with the Man of Steel and Red Tornado, it was revealed on last night’s episode that there is a third hero in Kara’s company, and it is the familiar visage of J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, and who J’onn has been walking around National City as came as a particularly interesting surprise. Spoilers ahead obviously.
Fans of Supergirl will know that there was something weird about DEO head Hank Henshaw (David Harewood). It would be understandable to think that his secretiveness and his strange powers might have something to do with his comic book fate to be the Cyborg Superman, but now we know that Henshaw was hiding that he’s really the Martian Manhunter. He revealed himself in full to Kara’s sister Alex last night.
“The whole idea of suppressing who you are was something that I could understand, and pretending to be – hiding a big secret – that was, obviously, much more interesting and I was always also wonder[ing] why he was such a bitch to Kara? [Laughs]” said Harewood on his character’s big secret.
“All the way through the pilot I was thinking, ‘There’s something going on here. No one could hate aliens that much. There’s something that I don’t know,'” he continued. “It was [one of the] reasons I was happy it was Martian Manhunter because he is an alien. It gave me a direction to take other than just being: I don’t like Kara Zor-El and Superman. That wasn’t really that interesting to me.”
It was revealed that Kara and Alex’s father Jeremiah Danvers saved J’onn when the original Henshaw tried to kill him in that supposed “accident,” and J’onn promised to look for the girls in gratitude for Jeremiah’s sacrifice. The real Henshaw also died, which to me sounds like a great way to tee up the appearance of the Cyborg at some future date. I guess we’ll see.
This isn’t the first time the Manhunter’s appeared in live action on TV. Phil Morris played the human face of J’onn J’onzz on Smallville, and David Ogden Stiers played the character in the abandoned Justice League pilot for CBS in the 90s. Martian Manhunter, as voiced by Carl Lumbly, was also a major character on the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series.
The final finale of Supergirl airs next Monday on CBS.