Classification: Terrestrial technology

Creator: Scientists working for the U.S. military

User/Possessors: The Leader (Samuel Sterns)

First Appearance: Incredible Hulk II#139 (May, 1971)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: Built within the confines of a subterranean military installation, the Brain-wave Booster was an immense, mile-long electronic device which could amplify human brain-waves into three-dimensional objects when a subject placed a "mentallo-projector" headset upon his head and concentrated on the image -- its main limitation seemed to be that there was no one with the massive intellect necessary to power it, until the Leader came along.

  The Brain-wave Booster also allowed the Leader to audibly and visually monitor the Hulk from a remote location without the need of any transmitters.









(Incredible Hulk II#139) - Wanting to destroy the Hulk, the Leader came up with the idea of sending all of the jade giant's foes against him at once, making him physically exert himself to the point that he would have a heart attack. To this end, the Leader allied himself with Major Glen Talbot and General "Thunderbolt" Ross, who took him to the Brain-wave Booster.

  Activating the device, the Leader individually sent simulated images of the Rhino, Xeron, the Sub-Mariner, and the Missing Link against the Hulk, but he defeated them all, though he started to suffer some chest pains. Becoming alarmed at the Leader's true intentions, Talbot and Ross attempted to stop him, but the Leader paralyzed the two with a mental burst and continued with his scheme.

  The Leader went on to send images of the Night-Crawler, the Mandarin, the Sandman, the Glob, and Iron Man against the Hulk, but he once again defeated the projections, although his heartbeat grew faster and faster, just as the Leader intended.

  While the Hulk was fighting an image of the Absorbing Man, the Hulk's friend Jim Wilson became concerned and broke into the underground installation. He then began to haphazardly rewire some of the circuitry of the Brain-wave Booster.

  The Leader continued with his plan, when suddenly the Hulk (actually a 3-D simulation) broke through a wall and chased him from the control panel of the machine. The Leader ran through the underground corridors of the installation and later found himself surrounded by five Hulks; terrified and shocked, the Leader was left in a catatonic state of paralysis -- Wilson's sabotage of the Brain-wave Booster had somehow reversed things and made the Leader see the foe that he hated most: the Hulk.

  Meanwhile, back on the surface, the Hulk was fighting the Abomination...who suddenly faded away as the effects of the Brain-wave Booster ceased and the Leader's plot failed.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas and Herb Trimpe.

Because of its great size, only sections of the Brain-wave Booster were seen, so there is no single picture of what the entire device actually looked like.

Since the images had mass and were solid (i.e. the Hulk could touch/punch/throw them), I 'd guess the Brain-wave Booster's image-projections worked on a principle similar to that of the Holodeck from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In regards to the "mentallo-projector" headset -- maybe psychic Marvin Flumm/Mentallo (a former member of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s ESP Division, and thus a former government employee) was somehow involved with its development.

Hmm...clever idea, Leader -- sending an army of super-foes against your enemy -- too bad Doctor Doom thought of it first (see HERE).

The Brain-wave Booster couldn't be used originally because there was no one with a great enough intellect to power it -- Do you mean to tell me that the government would actually put all that money and effort into a project that was (for all intents and purposes) useless?! -- Nah, that's so unlike them...

Brain-Wave Booster was Roy Thomas' creation and it gave the Leader the ability to mimic the powers of Roy's other creation Brain-Child as well as Barnaby Wade, Johnny Rogers and Willie Evans Jr.'s powers in his first appearance. Mento the Mighty's Brain-Charging Machine works the same way. The Star Trek Holodeck is photons & force fields and if DC Comics villain Doctor Light was a Marvel villain the Holodeck is how you would describe his ability to create light duplicates of himself or others.

Profile by John Kaminski


The Brain-Wave Booster has no known connections to

images: (without ads)
Incredible Hulk II#139, p7, pan3 (main image)

p8, pan2 (Leader before control panel, wearing "mentallo-projector")
p22, pan6 (Leader wearing mentallo-projector)

Incredible Hulk II#139 (May, 1971) - Roy Thomas (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Sam Grainger (inks), Stan Lee (editor)

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

First Posted: 08/12/2007
Last Updated: 08/12/2007

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