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Brainwave (Hank King, Jr.) uses his telekinesis to fly

Brainwave

(Hank King, Jr.) (Classic profile)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

“No ! I must resist catching his thoughts — until and unless it’s absolutely necessary !”


Context

Brainwave is a young man with psionic  powers. He is primarily associated with Infinity, Inc. – a team of young superhumans whose tribulations were published by DC Comics during the 1980s.

DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths event yanked the carpet under the team’s feet, and they remained minor characters. Brainwave eventually went insane and became a villain – though that’ll have to be covered in a separate profile.

Technically, Henry King Sr. is the Brain Wave and Henry King Jr. is Brainwave. They are also called Brainwave I and Brainwave II in this profile, for clarity’s sake.


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Background

  • Real Name: Henry “Hank” King, Jr.
  • Alter Ego: Brainwave, Jr.
  • Marital status: Single.
  • Known relatives: Henry King (aka Brain Wave/Brainwave I, father, deceased), Merry Pemberton King (aka Merry the Girl of a 1000 Gimmicks, mother), Sylvester Pemberton (aka Skyman, aka Star-Spangled Kid I, deceased, uncle), Jacqueline Pemberton (aka Gimmix, possible sister).
  • Base of operations: Los Angeles, CA.
  • Group Affiliation: Infinity, Inc.
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 172lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Red


Powers and Abilities

Born a mutant like his father, Hank King possesses the powers of telepathy and telekinesis. He can project realistic three-dimensional images, as well as powerful beams of pure mental energy from his forehead, which have the intensity of a laser.

An athlete in college, Brainwave II is in excellent physical condition and a skilled hand-to-hand combatant.

King often multitasks, using one Power for a Dice Action and another for an Automatic Action. Examples include attacking with Mental Blast while using Telekinesis to keep smoke from a blackout bomb from rising further in the air, or maintaining an Illusion while having his Force Shield up.

He’s also fairly good with minor applications from his power – for instance Cold Immunity is a weak telekinetic force field preventing loss of body heat. He could also telekinetically densify air around him when operating high in the Andes (Cold Immunity, Sealed Systems).

During his first appearance, Brainwave telepathically ’taps’ a time travel Power to allow the future members of Infinity Inc. to follow somebody through time (Adaptation).


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History

Henry King, Jr. is the only son of Dr. Henry King, a mental mutant also known as the villainous Brain Wave, and Merry Pemberton King, a former super heroine. Hank’s mother was falsely reported to have died of a broken heart during his childhood.

Thinking the criminal activities of Brain Wave were to blame, the grief-stricken Hank refused to speak to his father for years. Some sources further indicate that the Pemberton-King marriage may not have been consensual, though Hank may not have been aware of that.

Some months after his graduation from college, Hank donned a variant over one of his father’s costumes. His goal was to prevent Brain Wave, the Ultra-Humanite and a number of other super-villains from altering the course of World War II, and thus changing history.

King tried to warn the JSA but did so in a stupidly counterproductive way, resulting in rejection.

However, Henry then agreed to talk with the youthful Star-Spangled Kid I, who proposed Hank join his then-forming group – Infinity, Inc. The Infinitors, Brainwave among them, managed to foil the history modification plot.

Infinity, Inc.

During an early Infinity Inc. adventure, Hank’s father saved both his son and the Star-Spangled Kid’s life. He Brainwave, Jr. and his patriotic pal into Limbo before they could be crushed by an avalanche. Brain Wave had been banished into timeless Limbo decades in the future by his son’s own hand, but nevertheless still wanted to help him.

With his son’s help and the Star-Spangled Kid’s cosmic energy, Brain Wave managed to save the JSA and Infinity, Inc. from the Ultra-Humanite. The Humanite lashed out against Brainwave, Jr. in retaliation, and knocked him out.

Furious, the elder Brain Wave engaged his old ally in mental combat. However, King was distracted by his concern for his son, and the Ultra-Humanite managed to kill him with his mind.

Brainwave in his Infinity, Inc. costume

As a final gesture of paternal love, Brain Wave transferred the bulk of his awesome mental powers and experience to his son, the only legacy he could give him. Renouncing his monicker of Brainwave, Jr. to become just Brainwave, Hank used his new mental might and know-how to telepathically knock the Ultra-Humanite unconscious.

Some time later, during the press conference for the official launch of Infinity, Inc., a journalist from a tabloid verbally attacked Brainwave II about his father’s villainous career. Furious, Hank lashed out against several journalists.

Feeling depressed over this, he took a leave of absence from Infinity, Inc. This break was also useful to deal with the fact he now held the memories of Brain Wave, being in a way both the father and the son in one body.

Can I play with madness

Brainwave eventually came back to infinity, Inc. during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. This was mainly because he was attracted toward Jade and wanted to be with her. Since he had trouble controlling his emergent mind-reading abilities, he telepathically knew Jade was reciprocating his feelings as soon as he met her again.

They eventually started a relationship, which triggered significant enmity from Jade’s brother, Obsidian.

Brainwave rejoined Infinity, Inc., often leading parts of the group while the Star-Spangled Kid was away.

He also started providing telepathic treatment to the Fury, who was plagued by her pre-Crisis memories and their incompatibility with the post-Crisis continuity. Brainwave’s choice was to erase her pre-Crisis memories without her knowledge or consent.

The Brain Wave transmits his powers to his son

Some time after this questionable action, Hank’s head was grazed by a sniper’s bullet. This was a result of the American population having been influenced by Darkseid into loathing and rejecting its heroes. This wound marked the point at which he started experiencing more frequent hallucinations of his father.

At one point, Brainwave and Jade were attacked by the Psycho-Pirate. The Pirate forced them to hate each other and try to kill each other. They nearly did so before a stray blast broke Psycho-Pirate’s concentration and forced him to flee. The incident shook the young couple, though they soon recovered.

Brainwave continued to prove a key member of Infinity, Inc.. During a case where his clever planning allowed the defeat of the thunderbolt being possessing Jonni Thunder, he even gained some respect from Obsidian.

Under the influence of the mental remnants of his father, Hank resigned from Infinity, Inc. and went off to find himself and his place in the world.


Description

See illustration.


Personality

Hank King, while kind and relatively humble, was originally quite verbal. He seemed compelled to always provide witty banter to fill awkward moments and silences.

This stopped when Dr. King transferred his powers and memories to Hank. At this point, he became increasingly confident and self-assured, knowing that his father — despite all the man’s flaws — loved him and approved of his life’s course.

This was a sharp turn-around, since he had spent most of his previous life wishing that his terrible father was dead and gone.

Like most Infinity, Inc. members he was young, brash, often not thinking long-term and had something to prove. After his father died, he no longer felt the need to prove that he was different from him, and no longer needed to loudly demonstrate his heroism.

Brainwave had problems with picking up thoughts and emotions from others. Although he did his best to prevent himself ’overhearing‘ thoughts, he was fascinated by this ability, and his potential to solve problems through telepathic intervention.

Strong emotions are nearly impossible to keep out, and are likely to make him try something with his power since he’s forced by his Empathy to care.

Those abilities and his verbal nature tend to make him become the center of any group he’s in and to wield a disproportionate amount of influence.

No matter how much Brainwave tries to be a good guy and wants to do the ethical thing, there is something creepy about him. It’s the way he wields his considerable powers, influences people and wants to be the centre of attention.

It doesn’t take much pushing and prodding for him to do something unacceptable, such as altering Lyta’s memories ’for her own good‘.

As his mental issues worsened, Hank King became insanely obsessive over his former love, Jennie-Lynn Hayden, aka Jade.


Quotes

(Mourning Brain Wave) “But now if —-if you don’t mind — I’d like to be alone for a moment — alone with my… father.”

(Facing a self-created illusion of his parents) “No ! You’re dead ! I was with each of you — the day you died ! Go away ! Both of you — just leave me alone !”

(To Jade) “I know : you don’t want to give your father a heart attack by kissing the heir-apparent of the Brain Wave, right ?”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Brainwave II

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Responsibility
Int: 07 Wil: 08 Min: 08 Occupation: Unemployed
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources: 010
Init: 020 HP: 050

Powers:
Adaptation: 20, Cold immunity: 01, Empathy: 05, Flight: 07, Force shield: 07, Hypnotism: 05, Illusion: 07, Joined: 06, Life sense: 08, Mental blast: 08, Mental shield: 05, Mind probe: 07, Sealed systems: 05, Telekinesis: 07, Telepathy: 12

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Adaptation only on travel powers (incl. time travel and presumably transdimensional travel) with a Mental or Spiritual Link Attribute.
  • Adaptation is Serious Marginal.
  • Adaptation has No Range (though it can use Telepathy for Range), is Contingent on Telepathy, and only works on Powers used by a subject Brainwave is in telepathic communication with
  • Adapted Powers disappear after one use.
  • Cold Immunity has Area of Effect and is Contingent on Telekinesis.
  • Joined can have a selective 0 APs Area of Effect and is Contingent on Telekinesis.
  • Life Sense and Mind Probe are Contingent on Telepathy.
  • Life Sense can have a +20 Special Range Bonus when looking for a specific type of creature – but using each AP from the Bonus past the first five requires an extra AP of time to make the scan.
  • Telekinesis originally only allowed for flight after manifesting an invisible board of force ; later he gained full Flight.
  • Flight, Force Shield and Sealed Systems are Contingent on Telekinesis.

Skills:
Martial artist: 05, Thief (Security systems): 06, Vehicles (land): 03

Bonuses and Limitations:
Thief (Security systems) is Powered and Contingent on Telekinesis.

Advantages:
Familiarity (US history), Leadership.

Connections:
Infinity, Inc. (High), JSA (Low), Brain Wave/Brainwave I (High).

Drawbacks:
Public ID, Traumatic Flashbacks (set off by extreme stress), SIA toward Jade.

Equipment:

  • GOGGLES [BODY 01, Shade: 02, Do nothing: 18].
  • All Infinitors started carrying a pager about midway through the group’s career.

Brainwave crashing

By the time he came back to Infinity, Inc. and Jade during the Crisis, Brainwave had developed a MPI. It chiefly manifested by creating illusions of his parents from time to time, which he verbally fought with. Those were not hallucinations – other people could see and hear them without any trouble.


Hero points among Infinity

Most early Infinitors initially started with about 25 HPs, and progressed toward 50 HPs during the run of the book. Those who had careers after that, such as Nuklon, continued to increase their HPs stock.

When Brain Wave died, he also transferred his HPs to his son, who used them to fight the Ultra-Humanite (including some strange Stunt Powers use).

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Helper(s): Morgan Champion, John Colagioia, Darci, Chris Cottingham.

Source of Character: Infinity Inc. comics (DCU).

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