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Stargirl Wiki

Jealousy. Rage. Spite. Deviance. No matter whose mind I peer into, vile thoughts fill up their brains, and in turn, mine. I have learned the truth about humanity. At their very core... people are monsters. I hate them.
Henry on his tape in "Brainwave"

Dr. Henry King Sr. was a major antagonist in The CW and DC Universe series, Stargirl.

Henry was a neurosurgeon at Blue Valley Medical Center and the didactic father of Henry King Jr. In secret, he was the powerful supervillain known as Brainwave, and a member of the Injustice Society of America. His telepathic powers allowed him to read and manipulate the minds of others, as well as inflict immense neurological damage onto his victims with a mere thought.

After a dangerous battle against Stargirl, Henry was defeated by the Cosmic Staff and fell into a deep coma. Although he still exhibited small telekinetic abilities, he was mostly comatose until he suddenly awakened when his teenage son finally came into his own latent and innate telekinetic and telepathic abilities. His awakening allowed the ISA to finally begin Project New America. Brainwave was ultimately defeated by Wildcat.


Henry was born on October 12, 1971, to an abusive and neglectful father, who believed lessons had to be taught physically and with emotional impact. When Henry was just a boy, he shoplifted a ball that he wanted but his father made him take it back. In protest, Henry threw the ball into a well. His father hung him upside down by the ankles over the well, threatening that if Henry ever disobeyed again, he would be dropped into the dark well. That moment of trauma shaped Henry's life, as he felt defenseless and weak ever since.

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Decades ago, Henry King was a mere laboratory scientist who struggled to be taken seriously by his peers. He created cerebral expansion experiments that would, hopefully, grant people more access to the cerebral cortex of their brains. He started the experiments on lab rats. His superiors deemed the experiments too extreme. With his funding denied, Henry decided to secretly perform a trial test on himself. His headaches increased and a week before, he heard voices. During a mugging, Henry read a man's mind clearly for the first time. He also used telekinesis to save himself and gave the man a seizure just by thinking of it.

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From that point on, Henry documented every day of his journey with his powers by recording himself on a series of VHS tapes. The tapes would later be stored in his secret Brainwave room in his residence. When his powers manifested, Henry learned what he believed to be the real version of humanity. He heard wicked thoughts that made him grow to despise humans. He killed to make his mind feel better, as that was the only relief he could get from his headaches.

After these events, Henry assumed the alias of the "terrible telepath" Brainwave, a powerful villain. He also joined the Injustice Society of America where he began working with Icicle to achieve Project: New America. His telepathic abilities would allow the ISA to take control of every developed mind in six states to carve out the "perfect" America. Around this time, he robbed a bank where he was apprehended by Merry, the "Girl of A Thousand Gimmicks", whose pure thoughts gave him pause. He was captivated by her.

They eventually married and had a son who they named Henry King Jr. after Dr. King. They settled in California where the ISA encountered their costumed counterparts, the Justice Society of America. Merry's brother operated as Starman, a member of the JSA. This caused conflict because, paired with Merry's positive influence, Henry began to question Jordan's plan.

On Christmas Eve, 2010, Jordan lured the JSA to California where Henry fought alongside his fellow ISA members as Brainwave. During the battle, he faced off against Starman, and the two had a war of mind and will. Brainwave was ultimately knocked down by Starman, who was impaled by Icicle.

After the battle, Henry returned home and was forced to tell Merry about her brother's death and the role he played in it. He wanted her to go into hiding and run, but she refused and he knew she would never forgive him for the role he played in Sylvester's murder. Henry was forced to choose between the ISA and Merry, and chose Jordan's mission. He murdered Merry and recorded his final VHS tape. He picked Junior up from school and told him that Merry had drowned in the pool. He claimed she was ice cold when he found her.

Henry promptly moved to Blue Valley, Nebraska, seemingly to help further Project: New America due to the town's ideal tunnel system. He assumed a position at Blue Valley Medical Center where he was lauded as an extremely talented neuro-surgeon. Henry collaborated with Dr. Shiro Ito/Dragon King to have the latter's daughter, Cindy Burman, date his son, Junior to monitor his behavior and see if his powers manifested.


Season 1[]

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After learning how a disguised assailant attacked his son and his friends and somehow used a magical rod to blow up his car, Henry Sr. demands his son to repeat what happened. Henry Jr. begins his story but his father is more interested in the Staff. Junior tells him about a glowing thing that shot fires or lasers or something. He dismisses his son in a cold tone, telling him they'll discuss it more in the morning. He leaves, and Senior locks the door behind him. Taking off his glasses, he mentally directs his attention to levitating a key from a drawer into one of two keyholes in the wall, which pushes a bookcase aside and reveals a hidden room with his Brainwave suit, numerous tapes and a photo of a woman.

Henry King Sr. calls Jordan Mahkent to tell him of his son's attack by someone with a glowing stick. Jordan's dubious, as he killed Starman. Henry doesn't disagree, adding that this means there is a new Starman who found them and came after his son. Jordan still doesn't believe but tells him that they'll look into the matter, instructing Henry to do nothing until he returns. King Sr. ends the call, revealing himself dressed as Brainwave.

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He would make his way to the Blue Valley Tires building and strikes a girl riding a glowing Staff in the air with airborne tires. She crash-lands into a pile of tires, but she doesn't see the threat as she's physically manipulated by Brainwave. She runs into Blue Valley Tires warehouse for help and sees Brainwave as he mentally interrogates who she is and why she has the staff. He tells her that he can sense her thoughts of isolation and being alone, and asks why she's thinking of her father. The girl begs the staff to do something, to which the staff jerks and strikes him under the chin. However, Brainwave lands feet-first after the strike and sends airborne tires after her. She expertly dodges them, and the staff sends a beam of light to him which causes an explosive ball of fire where Brainwave disappears.[2]

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He later arrives at William Zarick's house unannounced. Henry alerts him of a problem, that a girl has Starman's Staff and passes him Courtney's ID. William asks him where she got it but Henry doesn't know; Brainwave opines that they must warn the rest of this development but William disagrees, as it was too early to jump into conclusions. He's already called Jordan Mahkent, angering William as he was the one in charge and therefore the one whom Henry should have informed first. Henry mentally tells him he's too eager to take his family and run at the first sign of potent danger, abandoning the ISA in the process. He tells his visitor to leave his head. Henry understands his concern, but the work they've been doing on Blue Valley is perfect for Jordan's master plan, Project: New America, for their respective families and their legacy. Henry vows to find the girl, interrogate her, and kill her before leaving.

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At the King manor the next morning, Henry steals money from his father's wallet. Henry Sr. calls his son over to his study. Jr claims he's late for school but reluctantly sits across from him. Sr. says he has a few more questions that night and asks if his perpetrator was a girl. Henry says it was a guy, leasing Sr. to stand up and say he can never lie to his father as he always knows. Using his powers on him, he cruelly asks him once more if a girl beat him and his friend up and destroyed the car. Henry Jr. tells him it may have been a girl, as his father slowly sits down. Staring at him, he asks his son to tell what he's thinking. Henry Jr remarks that he hates when his father stares at him like that, and, after a moment, guesses that his father is thinking he has to take the bus. Secretly disappointed, his father says he'll drop him off. Henry stands up, but before he leaves, Sr. holds out his hand for the money Henry took.

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Henry walks into his office at the Blue Valley Medical Center and accidentally interrupts a video conference between his colleague Bridget Chapel and her daughter. Henry gives a polite wave hello to Beth, who greets him as Dr. King. As Bridget and Beth discuss things, Henry sits as his computer and watches his software that is sorting through BVHS faculty members. He is searching for the curly blonde-haired girl that wore the Stargirl costume. He overhears Bridget speaking on an open house, and asks her about it, to which Bridget asks if she'll see him there. Henry leans back in his desk chair and ominously muses that he thinks they will.

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That night during the open house, Henry pays minimal attention to Principal Bowin's speeches. He is attempting to read the minds of the attendees, but there are too many voices for him to discern from. After the assembly portion, Henry Jr. complains to his father that they never go to these things and asks why they're here, but Sr. dismisses his son and tells him to get some juice. He prowls the crowd as he reads everyone's thoughts, searching for the girl with blonde hair. He finds a curly-haired blonde talking to Cindy Burman. He goes over and stares down at the blonde, despite both girls being visibly uncomfortable. He determines that it isn't her and moves on. Stargirl, however, is searching for him as well and sees him through the crowd. She thinks his name which catches his attention. He follows her through the crowd but seemingly loses her again in the sea of people.

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Stargirl, desperately looking for Pat, exits the gymnasium and slips into a deserted hallway only to be finally confronted by Henry. He greets her by her real name, Courtney Whitmore, and reading her mind he discovers she's Starman's daughter. She coldly tells him he'll pay for what he did to her father and the JSA. He feels that she's frightened and says her father was too, of many things. He tells her she'll bring him the Cosmic Staff, and as he brings a mental assault on her, uncovers her mother's name. He says he'll kill her mother in the most painful way imaginable, and he can also make it look like a tragic stroke if Courtney doesn't bring him the Staff at midnight. He then releases her from the mental onslaught and disappears.

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That night, in Blue Valley High's parking lot, Brainwave is met with S.T.R.I.P.E. and asks him who he is. Pat, who hasn't thought of a new name yet, tells him he's someone looks for justice. Brainwave sends a mental attack that briefly incapacitates Pat, who responds by throwing a dumpster at him. Brainwave stops it mid-air and hurls it at the sky. Seeing a car, he proceeds to do the same as Brainwave does as well. As his last shot, S.T.R.I.P.E. fires his fist at him, but Brainwave catches it at the last second and twirls it back at him, knocking him down. The robot falls, and Brainwave begins to crush him by shoving a car and school bus on either side of him.

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Brainwave mentally asks a weakened Pat where the Staff is. He is suddenly hit with a beam of light and hurled into a car. A masked heroine lands on the ground, proudly declaring herself to be Stargirl, and the robot behind her is her sidekick. Brainwave stands up and telekinetically lifts two concrete beams, hurling it at her but she somersaults above them and knocks him into the school sign with the Staff. He slides next to the car before Stargirl can strike with the staff. He mentally drags her away, and lifts more concrete beams and signs off the ground, before sending them after her at supersonic speeds. She's able to deflect or avoid them until being struck by the car's bumper, which pins her to the ground as the Staff rolls beside her just out of reach. Brainwave mentally tells her the trouble a new Starman could have caused, but he's relieved that it's only silly little Stargirl. He says she'll die for attacking his son, and touches her head to unleash a painful attack on her brain that causes her ears to bleed.

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She screams in agony and Brainwave muses that he forgot how good this feels. S.T.R.I.P.E. desperately tries to move from the pile of metal around him, but can only turn on the robot's pictorial light and momentarily blind Brainwave as Stargirl finally grabs ahold of the Staff. She presses it to his forehead, and Brainwave is overcome by a powerful light so intense that it creates an anti-gravity ball around them while zapping Brainwave with so much energy and force that he drops to the ground as the Staff's assault ends. Stargirl stands over Brainwave's body asking what they should do with him now.

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Later that morning, Dr. Chapel escorts Henry Junior through the medical center, telling him they found his father's body after he suffered a seizure of sorts. She says that the person who would've known what to do was him. Henry looks on and struggles to hold back his tears as he looks at his father, who is connected to breathing tubes and machines.[3]

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In the days that follow, Henry stays at the hospital by his father's side. He is leaning on his hand, in a deep sleep. The boy is startled awake when a coffee cup moves suddenly on the table next to him. He looks at it and then at his father but brushes it off. Rattled, Henry stands up and walks to his father's bedside. He sadly places his hand on his father's. He looks down at his father feeling emotional. A moment passes before Henry turns and sees Jordan Mahkent looking at the duo through the room's window. Dr. King still hasn't shown any improvement. In a conversation with William Zarick, Jordan Mahkent learns that William brought Dr. King to the emergency room entrance and changed his clothing so the costume wouldn't be seen.[4]

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Stargirl and Wildcat went to Blue Valley Medical Center on a mission to retrieve the visitor logs for the hospital, in case a member of the ISA came to visit their fallen comrade. Wildcat did retrieve the logs, but the only one that visited him, or at least logged in, was Henry King Jr.. While trying to escape the center, Wildcat accidentally entered Dr. King's room where she almost harmed Henry, until she heard him tearfully admit to his father that he needs him to wake up. Henry later leaves his father's room, but BVHS principal Anaya Bowin arrives forcing Wildcat and Stargirl to hide. She plays her violin to him but when he still doesn't awaken, she packs up and leaves.[5]

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Henry visits his father at Blue Valley Medical Center where he takes more medication to manage his onslaught of headaches. He is surprised when Cindy Burman arrives with flowers, claiming to be there in support of her boyfriend. He admits that he feels as though he can wake his father up if he just concentrates enough, to which Cindy agrees that it sounds crazy. Henry refuses to go to the dance so he can stay with his father.[6]

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Henry continues to visit his father as his powers progress in every possible way. He goes to his father's study in a frenzied attempt to find more pain medication for his crippling headaches. It is here that Henry discovers his father's Brainwave key that, eventually, opens Dr. King's secret Brainwave room. Henry is shocked to find a picture of his mother, VHS tapes, and the Brainwave Suit. He also discovers a letter from Dr. King to Dr. Shiro Ito, arranging for Ito's daughter Cindy to spy on Henry in case the boy exhibits Brainwave's powers. That night, Henry's telekinesis and telepathic powers grow to the point where he explodes in a fit of telekinetic energy. He learns from Stargirl that his father was Brainwave and a member of the ISA, and a telepath just like his son. Henry runs away feeling overwhelmed. Dr. Ito watches from his lair as he notes that Brainwave passed on his powers.[7]

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Henry returns home and beings to watch the VHS tapes in his father's library room, starting with Day 1. A young Henry King Sr. appears on the screen, looking antsy and squirrelly. He tells the camera about his cerebral expansion experiments that were deemed to advanced, by his higher-ups. He explains that he performed the experiments on himself and began hearing voices soon after, accompanied by crippling headaches. That night, he had been attacked by a mugger who was going to kill him and elaborates that he felt the man's hatred and anger. Instinct kicked in and he managed to telekinetically disarm the mugger before giving him a seizure that killed him. Henry eerily remarks that his headaches are gone now that he's killed and that he feels relief.

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Day 10. Henry reveals that he discovered he can move things with his mind. He can also manipulate objects. He levitates a soda can into the air, pulling it into the frame and crushes it completely. Henry Jr, still watching, replicates this gesture.

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Day 90. Henry reminiscences his childhood. One day, while at a store with his father, a young Henry wasn't allowed to buy a rubber ball that lights up, so he stole it from the store but was caught by his father. His father wanted him to return it but Henry threw the rubber ball into a well out of objection. His father held him by the ankles over the well and said that he would drop him if he ever disobeyed him again. Henry ponders he still remembers how powerless he felt then, and how powerless he's been feeling until he finally got his powers. He removes his glasses and remarks that he now knows what power feels like.

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Day 91. Henry read a man's thoughts on the subway. The man was looking at a woman, his mind filled with the vilest thoughts of what he would do to the girl. Henry Sr. rendered the man blind, and even then, the man continued to think terrible thoughts. As Henry got off the subway, he pushed the man with his telekinetic powers towards an oncoming car, and the man died, just like that. Henry Sr. said he felt "better" after killing the man until he heard another vile thought and another. He realizes that humans deep down, are all monsters that he hates.

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Henry Jr. is interrupted from his viewing when Maria, the King's maid, enters. She mentions that an attorney from his father's estate is looking for Junior to speak to him about Senior's wishes. A few moments later, Henry hears his father's voice in his head calling for him. Henry rushes out of the home and to the hospital to confront his father. Henry holds his father's hand and tries to reach out to him telepathically, but fails. He asks if he inherited the powers from his father, who still doesn't stir. A nurse arrives and begins to think that Junior should terminate life support as Senior had been there for months with no real change. When the nurse is gone, Henry holds his father's hand and agrees with him that humans are monsters.

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In the hospital, Henry Jr. is still with his father when there's a knock at the door, revealing the lawyer, Mr. Green, that Maria mentioned earlier. Henry Jr., reading the attorney's mind, realizes that Mr. Green is lying, and only doing it for the money. He realizes the papers are fake, though Mr. Green tries to reason that Senior gave specific instructions to have life support terminated after a certain amount of time with no brain activity. Henry accidentally gives the attorney a seizure, causing him to die on the floor of the hospital room, just as Henry Sr. wakes up, asking his son what's going on.[8]

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Henry sits in the hospital bed, shaken by the events. Junior walks in and Henry reminisces that last month Junior blew out six birthday candles. He can't believe where the last ten years went but assure his son that he will get his memories back. He then asks what they're doing here, to which Junior explains they're in a hospital. Henry corrects that he meant in Nebraska, to which Junior is forced to tell him that he moved them here when mom died. Henry didn't know that Merri had died, and is crushed by the news. Junior explains that Merri drowned in the pool and that Henry found her, but she was already ice cold. The men are emotional and Henry hugs his son and begins to think about how much he loved Merri. Junior responds telepathically and Henry is surprised to learn that his son has his gift. He asks if he knew this and was training him, but Junior explains that the powers started when Henry was in a coma. Henry muses on this saying that he may have been trying to reach out telepathically which is what triggered Junior's latent abilities. He puts his hand on his son's shoulder, assuring him that even though the powers are scary when they first start that it will be okay. He'll teach him control.

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Junior is sound asleep when Henry's thoughts awaken him. The thoughts are about Merri and how much he loved her. He is thinking about last day, drowned, my wife's dead, and last day on repeat. Junior tries to wake him telepathically to no avail, so he leaves the hospital to watch the last tape. A few moments after he leaves, Jordan Mahkent enters the room and awakens Henry by saying his name. Henry sits up and Jordan says hello to his old friend.

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They converse with Jordan learning that Brainwave doesn't remember anything from the past ten years. Jordan proudly states the decade-long progress of Project: New America is nearing its reality, but Brainwave is the last piece needed to control every mind within six states. As Henry gets dressed, Jordan excitedly tells Henry about helping people see the light - their light, their way. Brainwave asks about this Stargirl that Jordan was talking about. As he does, the Cosmic Staff crashes into the room, hitting Jordan with a beam of energy that sends him into a wall. Henry immediately neutralizes it, trapping it in place with his mental shield. The Staff cries out in warbled shrieks as Jordan approaches. Jordan touches the tip of the staff and encases it in ice. He smiles as he holds the neutralized staff. Brainwave asks if that is Starman's staff. Jordan tells his friend that all of his questions will be answered when Dr. Ito restores his member. As they step out of the room, Brainwave senses the mental presence of his son, whose hiding nearby. Jordan asks what Brainwave is sensing but the latter claims that it's nothing and they leave.

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Courtney, Yolanda, and Henry arrive in Dragon King's lair, where they see Brainwave in his suit, hooked up to different wires. Dragon King hovers over Brainwave's body, telling the man that he'll be fixed soon. The trio is ousted by Cindy Burman who is enslaved in a cell. A fight between the trio and Dragon King's minions commence while Brainwave is attached to the wires and unconscious. He eventually gets to his father and places his hands on his father's tunic covered chest and telepathically calls to his father who jolts awake. Henry tries to hurry his father along claiming that they have to go. Brainwave stoically responds causing Henry to turn around in horror as he realizes his father is his old self again. He sadly admits that he's too late and they've turned him back, a statement that confuses Brainwave. Brainwave claims this is who he has always been and who he is at his core. He pushes that Henry is just like him, causing Henry to emotionally scream "no!" and send a telekinetic blast at his father that sends Brainwave into the wall. Henry hurries to the girls who have defeated Dragon King, for now, telling them that they were too late and have to get out of there now.

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Brainwave calmly follows the group where he finds Henry and the JSA fighting against some bars and telepathically tells them all to calm down. Stargirl doesn't hesitate and attacks him with her staff. Hourman tries to pull apart the bars again but Brainwave is manipulating the bars with telekinesis as well. Henry asks if he needs assistance and uses telekinesis on top of Hourman's super strength to pull the bar apart. Once the JSA is safe, Henry forces Stargirl to safety, and Brainwave is able to snap the bars shut again. Henry turns to his father and emotionally pleads for his father to listen. Brainwave admits that Henry is strong just untrained, which is a good thing. He sends a telepathic wave at Henry that shoots pain through Henry's entire body, crippling him to his knees. The JSA fervently tries to break through the force field that Brainwave has put around the bars. Henry lets out a screen as he sends a smaller blast back at his father and staggers to his feet, the blast only knocking Brainwave off balance. He pleads with his father to listen. He knows what the powers did to Brainwave how they warped what he believed in, but people aren't monsters. He doesn't want to fight him - he loves him. Brainwave returns the sentiment telepathically and wants to train Henry. He has no idea of the power he is capable of.

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Henry emotionally refuses. He believes Brainwave is better than this and that mom knew he could be good, that she believed in him. He knows Brainwave loved her. He also knows that Jordan killed her because she saw the good in him too. He breaks down a little as he emotionally speaks, tears in his eyes. Brainwave calmly addresses Junior, telling him that Jordan didn't kill his mother - he did. The revelation shocks Henry who can barely comprehend the thought. Brainwave presses that Henry should stand by his side now or not at all. Henry takes a moment before gritting his teeth and emphatically states he will never stand by Brainwave's side. He lets out a yell as he telekinetically pulls debris and chunks of rock from the ground so they surround him. The feat is riddled with emotion and strength as he hurls the rocks at his father, whose force field stops the rocks instantly.

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Brainwave merely states goodbye son and throws the rocks back at Henry, who is thrown into the metal bars. He then begins to break the ceiling loose, large metal pipes splitting in half. The JSA screams in horror and tries to break through the shield but fails. Brainwave allows Henry to stay goodbye before collapsing the ceiling on Henry seconds later, covering his son in large rocks and rubble. The JSA breaks into tears as Brainwave disappears into the night.[9]

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The next morning, Jordan enters his office at The American Dream to find Brainwave waiting for him. Brainwave informs Jordan that his memories have been restored by Dr. Ito. Jordan extends his sympathies for the death of Brainwave's son, Henry, but Brainwave only asks why he's sorry. He counters by saying that he remembers who Stargirl is. He informs Jordan that their archnemesis is Courtney Whitmore, who Jordan instantly recognizes as Barbara's daughter. Brainwave adds that Jordan might remember his stepfather Pat Dugan as Stripesy, Starman's sidekick from the JSA. Henry announces he's going to go kill the family. Jordan however, declares he won't. Henry asks why not, and reads Joran's mind, outraged to discover he's hesitating because of Courtney's mother. Furious, Jordan demands Henry to get out of his head and admits that the death of her daughter will devastate Barbara. Henry incredulously admits he killed his own wife and son for Project: New America, and Jordan's hesitating because of a woman who works for him. He proposes erasing Barbara's memories of Courtney and Pat, but Jordan tells him no since no one is the same afterward. Henry presses that when he killed his son, he felt his powers grow as if he absorbed his son's abilities into him. Project: America will be even bigger than imagined, as he has the power to reprogram half the country now. It is everything Jordan wanted, everything his wife ever wanted. Brainwave demands that Jordan make up his mind soon or he will. Brainwave leaves and Jordan watches him leave with a tense expression.

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A memorial is held for Junior at the school, and Henry speaks to the students. He thanks them for coming, and says he can feel how much they loved his son. Henry says Junior's death is no one fault, but he telepathically tells Courtney that it is her fault, and tells her to come and get him. Henry then goes to the ISA headquarters and waits for Jordan to arrive. He can tell Jordan is ready for Courtney and her family to be killed. Henry tells Jordan he made the right choice, and as he walks by Jordan, Jordan stops him and says to kill Mike Dugan as well. They can't have any of them living, and Henry agrees.[10]

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Henry goes to Dr. Ito's lair where an imprisoned Cindy Burman calls out to him and asks him if Stargirl is dead. Henry telepathically admonishes Cindy for not doing her job and monitoring his son for signs of his power emerging. Henry says he could have helped Junior and would have done anything to help him instead he had to end him; he speaks the last words to Cindy and starts to walk away. Cindy tells Henry what would have really helped Junior as if he wasn't in the hospital wearing adult diapers while the rest of them picked up his slack. Henry approaches Cindy and asks if she really wants to know what her father thinks of her. He pushes on that Dr. Ito thinks of her as a failed experience, and Cindy says her father loves her. Henry asks her why would he lie, and Cindy asks to be let out, saying she can be valuable to them. Henry says they feel the same way about her as her father does: They don't want her. He then slams the slider door shut as Cindy screams at him.

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Dr. Ito comes to get Henry and leads him into the room with the device. Henry sits in a chair and Ito places a sensor on each side of Henry's forehead. Ito warns Henry that if complications occur, every brain cell in his cerebral cortex would be fried, and his spine would to slush. Henry says he understands and tells Ito to proceed. Dr. Ito turns the machine on and electricity courses through him as he hears the voices of millions of people. Dr. Ito turns the machine off and Henry goes limp. He calls out to Henry, who says he heard their voices and was disgusted by all their thoughts. Henry declares triumphantly that the machine works. Later, he Ito, and Steven start to use it to take control of every developed mind, including Pat, Barbara, and Justin.[11]

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Henry controls Pat to attack Courtney, but Beth figures out a way to distract Steven long enough to hack into the controls and enable the frequency jammers in the tunnels, thus, freeing Pat and Justin. Dragon King realizes something is wrong and leaves the machine room. As Henry heard his comrades fighting the Justice Society, he asks Steven to loop his signal until he returns. Steven asks Henry where he is going, and Henry responds that he's going to kill the kids once and for all.

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Yolanda, dressed as Wildcat, slashes through Dragon King's minions and begins to attack another minion. This minion holds up his hands and tells her to stop, removing his mask to reveal that it's Henry Jr. Yolanda is relieved that he's alive and hugs him, with him explaining that his father didn't kill him and he's been hiding out in the tunnels ever since. He asks if she remembers what he said before about being sorry, to which she nods yes. He tells her that he meant it and has been thinking of only her since then. When everything is over he wants to talk things through. She smiles at him. He knows where Brainwave's machine is and wants to help her destroy it. He asks what her plan is and where her friends are. The smile on her face falls and she takes a step back which confuses him. Without hesitating, she slashes his throat with her claws. He grasps his throat as blood pools down his throat. She coldly states that they were Henry's friends too, and Henry's face slowly shifts into that of his father, revealing that Brainwave was merely trying to use Henry's memory to manipulate Yolanda. The illusion Brainwave placed malfunctions and reveals only Brainwave's face. He falls to the ground, blood pooling around him. Wildcat stands over the dying man coolly stating that she watched Henry die, and now she's going to watch him die too. With the death of Brainwave, Henry's murder is avenged.[12]

Season 2[]

Yolanda spends the next few months being tormented by the death of Brainwave, feeling overwhelming guilt for taking the life of another human. She seeks solace in prayer, her church, and Courtney. But the guilt ultimately becomes too much to bear as her headaches worsen. She falls asleep in class and dreams of seeing Brainwave in the halls of Blue Valley High School, taunting her over his death. She sees him again in the church where she dreams of him tormenting her over his death. He claims that when he died, he transferred part of his conscious into her, meaning that they share a body now. Her guilt has made her mind weak while he's growing stronger, and soon, he'll take over her body and walk again. Stargirl arrives to fight off Brainwave, but the villain inflicts pain on Stargirl. Yolanda transforms into Wildcat and attacks Brainwave to save Stargirl. She slashes his throat once again, but this time, he glamour's from Brainwave to Henry. Yolanda collapses on the ground as she holds Henry, who promises that she will burn with him. Yolanda is snapped back to reality by Courtney, who is holding the Cosmic Staff, though Yolanda refuses her help. Yolanda later quits the JSA while Courtney wonders if the pain Yolanda feels is part of Eclipso's plans, really Brainwave, or just all in Yolanda's head.[13]


Prior to Henry acquiring his powers, he was an extremely meek and easily frightened man, often suffering periods of shaking and stuttering, which was only elevated by the frequent headaches he suffered as his powers started to develop. He also felt a sense of powerlessness brought about by the abuse he suffered from his father as a child, terrified that his life would end if he ever acted out.

But upon Henry acquiring his telepathic powers, Henry's persona slowly shifted to a much darker state and he became the villainous Brainwave. He was constantly exposed to the darkest thoughts of everyone around him and developed an extreme sense of misanthropy, believing that all humans were cruel and selfish individuals. Thus; he felt no guilt in killing them. Henry publicly presented himself as a fellow intellectual with a measured, methodical demeanor appropriate for his occupation as a surgeon which combined with his superhuman powers, stimulated a respectable reputation for being the best among his colleagues in their line of work. Behind that, Henry is a cold and abrasive man with little empathy for others. His hatred toward Starman blinded his ability to see things clearly. He has no regard for whom he hurts if he feels threatened or betrayed, as he attacks the fifteen year old Courtney, simply because he views her as a threat to his son, Henry King Jr..

Despite Henry caring for his son, Henry Jr., he acts in a cold demeanor toward him and is regularly disappointed that Jr. isn't developing psionic powers similar to his. Jr. confided in Yolanda that Henry had been abusive to him growing up. Henry is also extremely unethical, manipulative and surrounds himself with people that he can further manipulate. He remained dedicated to Project New America and refused to allow anyone to deter it. His dedication is such he did not hesitate to murder his own wife, the only person whose thoughts he considered truly good and pure in the world, as it became clear that she wouldn't side with him after the Justice Society was destroyed. This heartless dedication is further cemented when he showed no mercy to his own son, who Henry also murdered for not standing by him and the ISA.

While most of Henry's actions are a charade to further his grand plans, he is capable of real emotions and remorse, especially after the death of his wife. Though this was early in his journey with the ISA, and would change later as he became more dedicated to their plans and more exposed to horrendous thoughts. Instead of accepting responsibility for killing his son, Jr., Henry shifts the blame to Courtney and Cindy. He delusionally believed that Courtney turned Henry against him and forced him to kill his son. Henry was a cold, meticulously planned individual, who's true-self was Brainwave, while Dr. King was the mask he wore for society's sake.

Physical Appearance[]

Henry was a slender man of middle age with slick red hair that he parted away from his face. He had a tall stature to impose on others. He strongly resembled his son, Henry Jr, with his pale complexion and sharp, prominent facial features. His face was oval-shaped with prominent mouth wrinkles, small lips, a pointed nose, and beady eyes. His attire usually consisted of wearing round-rimmed glasses and black clothing in a smart fashion like turtlenecks and suits. When fighting as Brainwave, Henry wore his signature suit.


Today I finally realized, I can do more... than read thoughts. I can move things with my mind. I can manipulate objects however I desire. As my abilities continue to grow, so too does my confidence in them.
Henry King in "Brainwave"

Henry was a brilliant neurosurgeon who wanted to conduct cerebral expansion experiments, though his superiors deemed them too dangerous for trials. Dr. King was determined to prove himself right and conducted the experiments on himself. The experiments caused him to develop mental-based powers that manifested in varying stages. He heavily documented his abilities in a VHS series. When he went prolonged periods without exerting himself telekinetically or telepathically, his migraines become more intense and debilitating. When he used his powers to kill, it relieved much of the pain and he could function normally once again. During his battle with the modern day Justice Society of America, Dr. King demonstrated he could effortlessly use multiple aspects of his powers simultaneously without showing any visible strain. After killing his son and absorbing his powers, Henry's abilities increased substantially. Overall, Henry was one of the most dangerous members of the ISA. The experiments also altered his genetics as he passed the cerebral expansion onto his son, Henry.

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  • Force Field: Henry can produce a slightly visible force field using his mind. The field allows him to protect himself from various forms of harm. His shield was once weakened and eventually deteriorated by the Cosmic Staff during the Battle of Los Angeles. He visibly struggled to keep the force field steady, and even began to sweat as his mental stamina was tested by the sheer power of the staff. Ten years later, Brainwave was struck in the head with the Staff and created a cosmic energy force field. His powers were uncontrollable for a few brief seconds before he went unconscious.
  • Power Augmentation: Henry Sr, has mentioned that killing people makes his powers stronger. He told Jordan that when he killed his son Junior, Henry felt his powers increase as if he stole his son's powers after killing him. He also mentioned that he doesn't need to kill people to make his powers stronger, as when he told Jordan that he is about to reprogram millions of people's minds, which would inevitably strengthen his powers.
  • Psychokinesis: The ability to move objects that are not within eyesight of the user. Brainwave once used his powers to shut down S.T.R.I.P.E.'s hand, which had been launched at him. He demonstrated psychokinesis when he turned off the mechanisms within the hand.
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  • Telekinesis: Henry is able to move objects with his mind. His telekinetic abilities allow him to throw tires, drag Courtney, and toss a bus through the air with barely a thought. Since being rendered comatose, Henry has exhibited minute telekinetic abilities that are a shell of his former power. After waking up, Henry further displayed his prowess with his powers by being able to overpower both Rick and his own son despite both using their abilities simultaneously.
    • Choking: Brainwave can use his telekinetic abilities to choke his victims from a great distance away. He used this power when he confronted Courtney at Blue Valley Tires.
    • Biokinesis: In one of his recordings Henry mentioned rendering a man blind likely using his telekinesis to do so, indicating he can use his powers to manipulate the biology of other people.
    • Telekinetic Blast: Henry is also able to use in Telekinesis in a more dangerous way as revealed in "Brainwave Jr.." when he launched a telekinetic blast on his son towards steel bars.
  • Telepathy: Henry is an incredibly powerful telepath. He can read the minds of others and speak to people in their minds. He can also control people's thoughts.
    • Hallucikinesis: Henry is able to use his telepathic abilities to make illusions of people. This is shown when he tried to make Wildcat think he was Henry Jr.
    • Pain Infliction: He can inflict a lethal stroke or brain hemorrhage with a mere thought. By placing his hand on Stargirl's forehead, he was able to cause her immense pain to the point her ears bled. Henry remarked that he forgot how great it felt to inflict pain.
    • Memory Wiping: He has mentioned that he can erase a person's memories of his choice.
    • Sensing: Henry Sr is able to sense others via telepathic powers. This is shown when he sensed his son in the hospital hiding from Jordan behind a desk, or when he felt Stargirl at the Blue Valley High School open house.


  • Medical Degree: Henry is a well-known and highly praised neurological surgeon, meaning that he has extensive knowledge of the medical field; specifically, in terms of neurological functions and structures.


Former Weaknesses[]

  • Amnesia: After being in a coma for sometime, Henry lost his memories of the last decade. Thanks to Dr. Ito/Dragon King's machine, Henry regained his memories.
  • Cosmic Staff: During the massive battle in 2010 between the JSA and the ISA, the energy from the staff combined with the unbreakable will of its wielder was able to break through Brainwave's mental shield. In the present day, Brainwave was struck in the face with the cosmic staff which created an energy surge that rendered him comatose for months.
  • Overconfidence: Due to Henry's immense power, he was extremely confident in his capabilities to the point of sheer arrogance. It was this arrogance that resulted in his early defeat at the hands of Stargirl during their first battle. He made this mistake again when he thought he could easily fool Yolanda by masking as Jr. His overconfidence led to his death at the hands of Wildcat.



  • In Season 1, Henry's body appears throughout the first half in a comatose state.
  • In Season 2, with exceptions of flashbacks in 2x01 and 2x07, are not Henry, but a telepathic hallucination created by Eclipso. These figments were an extension of Eclipso, not Brainwave.
Stargirl 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Season 1 P
Season 2 M M
Season 3 M M M M

Notes and Trivia[]

  • Christopher James Baker describes the character as, "Brainwave is the true being; Dr. Henry King is a mask".[14]
  • According to Pat, Henry is responsible for the deaths of JSA members Johnny Thunder, Hawkman, and Hawkgirl.
  • Henry could use his powers in small bouts even from his comatose state.
  • Brainwave killed the most members of the Pemberton family, including Merry King and Henry King Jr..