Helen Jordan was the wife of Larry Jordan, the first Air Wave. Helen married Jordan when he was a District Attorney for Brooklyn. Helen and Larry eventually had a son, Hal, whom she named after Larry’s cousin, also named Hal Jordan. One day, when Hal was three years old, Helen found her home broken into while Larry was still at work. The culprit was Joe Parsons, a criminal Larry had put away as a D.A. Parsons found Larry’s home, intent on revenge. Larry learned of the break-in over the police scanner, and rushed home, only to be killed in cold blood by Parsons.
Wanting justice, Helen took her husband’s Air Wave costume and became the second Air Wave. She tracked Parsons down, and captured him for the police. With Parsons in jail, Helen retired the Air Wave costume, though she vowed that her son, Hal would continue the tradition. And sure enough, when Hal became a teenager, Hal took his father’s costume to become the third Air Wave.
Though Helen Jordan first appeared in cameo in Action Comics #488, the story of the second Air Wave was told in the pages of DC Comics Presents #40. During its run, DC Comics Presents often contained a second follow-up story, featuring a “whatever happened to” story from a golden age or long unheard of hero. Meanwhile, in the pages of Green Lantern 4 years before, a new Air Wave, Hal Jordan, was introduced. The story in DC Comics Presents #40, was written by Bob Rozakis with artwork by Alex Saviuk and Vince Colletta, it served as a transition story between the Golden Age Air Wave and his Silver Age son, who was set to star in a backup series in Action Comics.
Key Story Arcs
Passing the Torch
Helen only donned the costume of the Air Wave once, to avenge her husband’s death. When her son Hal became of age, Helen passed along Larry’s costume and all of Larry’s notes on the design and functionality of the costume to Hal.
He supported Hal in his quest to become Air Wave, and let him leave their new home in Texas to make a name for himself. She entrusted Hal’s training to her cousin-in-law Hal “Green Lantern” Jordan, and his friends Green Arrow and Black Canary.
After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Helen Jordan’s history changed. Instead of supporting Hal, Larry’s death caused her to become unstable. She entered a mental institution, sending Hal to live with his cousins Jack and Jan Jordan.
Powers and Abilities
Helen Jordan was an above-average ballet dancer, which allowed her to be quite graceful while in combat.
Weapons and Equipment
For one mission, Helen Jordan wore the first Air Wave Helmet. This helmet, combined with a belt, allowed the user to detect radio waves via antennae. The user could use this technology to tap into phone lines, or broadcast stations. A microphone in the helmet allowed for Air Wave to broadcast her voice through those same radio waves. The belt allowed for the control of collapsible roller skates in the costume’s boots, which allowed the user to skate across telephone power lines at great speed.