Dennis O’Neil: Absorbascon, Omcromicon, and Me


Gentlefolk, the question I would put before the august company today is: If I had known about the Absorbascon would the Omcromicon have ever come to be and I would chose to elaborate on this inquiry by seeking your opinion as to whether the Omcromicon did, in fact, ever exist.

We may be tip-toeing into metaphyscs here, but I give you my word that we will not venture far.

Let’s begin my backing up a week. In our previous meeting I dissertated on a device used by Hawkman, a well-respected comic book character who also is currently appearing on television. I was not exactly heedless because I did preface my remarks by admitting that “I’m on shaky ground here because I’m not sure that I’m spelling “Omcromicon correctly” and that I knew of “…the Hawks’ favored weapons, antique harmbringers like maces and such,” but a hasty search of the web yielded no mention of this Omcromicon.

That’s because there was none. The Omcromicon was unintentionally created by me as I attended to writing last week’s column. Our esteemed friend Mr. Howard Margolin posts: “Denny, the device you’re referring to was called the Absorbascon.”

Much obliged, Howard.

Absorbascon/omcromicon…Absorbascon/omcromicon…The words aren’t exactly doppelgangers, are they? We’re not dealing with a misplaced letter or two. So out of what orifice did I pull “Omcromicon?”  I don’t know.

I am prepared to state the obvious: If I hadn’t been trying to write about the “Absorbascon,” I would not have coined “Omcromicon” So is one of these things real and the other unreal? Are both real? Neither?

Well, consider: neither is a tangible object that can be handled or dropped on the floor just after the warranty expires. But we’re giving them names and how can you name something that isn’t?

Perhaps we can solve this conundrum by borrowing a rhetorical tactic from St. Anselm. Let us refer the gadgets in question as The Most Perfect Omcromicon and The Most Perfect Absorbascon. So something that exists is more perfect than something that doesn’t and thus simple logic reveals that the most perfect iterations of both devices most exist or they wouldn’t be the most perfect. Of course, anything less than the most perfect has a problem, assuming that nonexistent things can have problems. (Could they have nonexistent problems and if so, how would we know about them? How would they know about them?)

I doubt that the writers who work on the television versions of Hawkman and Hawkwoman will incorporate any of this into their scripts. But that’s their problem.