Over the past few episode of “Supergirl,” Hank Henshaw’s true identity as J’onn J’onzz — aka the Martian Manhunter — has slowly been revealed to characters like Kara and Alex Danvers. As J’onn told Alex, the true Henshaw and her father, Jeremiah, both died in an attempt to capture the Martian — and, according to executive producer Andrew Kreisberg, the show will soon reveal what happened that fateful night.
“We’re actually going see… how J’onn became… Hank in an upcoming episode,” Kreisberg revealed at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “I think part of Hank Henshaw that we see on our show, that J’onn is inhabiting, is an affect. He is impersonating somebody.”
“But I do think that there is an aspect of the character Hank Henshaw [that] is supposed to be protecting the world from destruction. And I think J’onn, underneath that, takes that very seriously, just like Kara, who lost everything. He lost his family; his wife; his children. He is truly the last survivor. He doesn’t even have a cousin out there or an aunt,” he said.
“As much experience as Hank brings to Kara, in terms of the D.E.O. in the world, Kara brings this new coming out, in terms of being herself,” executive producer Ali Adler continued. “And I think for J’onn J’onzz, who doesn’t know his familiar form anymore, he’s been around a long, long time, and he’s never been able to walk amongst humans the way that Kara has. And so I think she does a lot of teaching, in ways, and it’s really sweet.”
David Harewood, who plays the character, also weighed in on how he discovered his character’s true identity, sharing, “I didn’t actually know at all that I was going to be playing J’onn J’onzz when I did the pilot. The pilot was, I would say, a little bit of an uncomfortable experience, because I couldn’t really find an angle with Hank. A lot of the pilot was very expositional, so it wasn’t particularly easy to say, it wasn’t particularly easy to enjoy. But as soon as they told me I was playing J’onn J’onzz… and they gave me this pile of comic books and a little model of J’onn J’onzz, and I went home that afternoon and read about eight hours’ worth of comic books, and was just blown away. I thought this character had such an amazing story, backstory, and amazing mythology.”
“And I had no idea that he was so popular amongst the DC community, and also amongst the black community, who have seen J’onn J’onzz as almost the kind of honorary black person, which I was really happy about,” he added. “But it’s just been a great journey, a really fantastic journey for me as an actor, because there’s just simply so much to play. As I say, an amazing backstory, and I’m just absolutely delighted that this has landed in my lap. And as far as the real Hank Henshaw goes, he’s a lot of fun to play. He’s an absolute sadist.”
“Supergirl” airs Mondays at 8 pm EST on CBS. Developed by producers Greg Berlanti, Ali Adler and Andrew Kreisberg, the series stars Melissa Benoist, Calista Flockhart, David Harewood and Chyler Leigh.