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Henry King was a lonely child who spent his formative years daydreaming. One day, King discovered he had the mutant ability to project realistic three-dimensional illusions from within his conscious mind. As he matured, King developed complete control over these astral projections.
A greedy man, King sent obedient thought images out to steal for him until he had amassed a great fortune. Financially secure, and now calling himself Brain Wave, he then set his sights on world domination. Realising that the members of the Justice Society of America would be major obstacles to overcome, King attempted repeatedly to overcome them both by his own devices, and with the help of the members of the Injustice Gang of the World.
King went on to marry the heroine known as Merry "the Girl of a 1,000 Gimmicks" and they had a son, Henry King Jr, who became Brainwave Jr. After first joining and then being betrayed by the Ultra Humanite in his version of the Secret Society of Super Villains, King died protecting his son from the brutal albino gorilla villain. As a final gesture of paternal love for his son, King transferred the bulk of his awesome mental powers to him.
Brain Wave has been identified as one of the deceased entombed below the Hall of Justice.