[identity profile] dr_hermes.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Some bits from 1961 and 1962 issues of THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. Script by Gardner Fox, art by Joe Kubert.

One of the most off-beat but underused aspects of the Silver Age Hawkman strip was that Katar and Shayera Hol had prepped for their arrival by using a device called an Absorbascon to transmit all memories and knowledge from the brains of Earth people. (There has to be a limit to the depth and type of information fed into the Hols' brains, I think. Probably they started with intake of language, geography, history, that sort of thing and cut off before they started getting into what size shoes Trotsky wore or how to make haggis. But you never know. The text says "everything" and perhaps the information was stored in compressed form in their brains, sort of like cerebral MP3s.)It was a slightly eerie touch that made our Hawks seem "other," not just everyday humans in costumes. They would sometimes sit in the dark and concentrate to try to bring out just the bit of knowledge they needed. One limitation was that (as I recall) they only did this Absorbascon process once. So if a Mad Scientist invented a reverse evolution ray while the Hols were here, they wouldn't have any information on it. Whether they would know about Green Lantern's weakness or Alfred's collection of antique keys is debatable. On the other hand, they would be great to have around when trying to do the SUNDAY TIMES crossword.

This last page doesn't relate to the Absorbascon, but I wanted to show off some Joe Kubert art. He often drew Hawkman and Hawkgirl at night, making them seem more mysterious and even ominous. Kubert also drew regular human bodies, something of a lost art. Shayera is not Jenna Jameson, Katar is not Lou Ferrigno. They're normal people in good athletic shape and that's enough.

Date: 2009-08-22 04:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nezchan.insanejournal.com
Shayera just looks so evil in that last scan, I love it!

Date: 2009-08-22 06:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] box_in_the_box.insanejournal.com
Nowadays, they'd simply say that the Hols studied the Internet to learn about Earth culture, which is both more realistic (because if you were a member of an alien culture looking to assimilate, it would surely seem like the ideal tool for learning everything from the Britannica facts to the more colliquial stuff quickly and easily), and potentially more hilarious (because the Internet has a very Internet-centric view of how social interactions work, which could make people think that Katar and Shayera were, like, autistic /b/tards, constantly spouting memes in 1337-speak).

Date: 2009-08-22 08:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icon_uk.insanejournal.com
The implication was the Absorbascon had access to ALL knowledge on Earth (Hence the villains stealing one to learn all the heroes ID's in the "Silver Age" event)

It was an absurdly powerful plot device which even as a kid disturbed me at the implications of.

Date: 2009-08-22 11:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alschroeder.insanejournal.com
As I remember it, there was a good mini-series in the early eighties called "Shadow War of Hawkman" in which evil Thanagarians could manipulate almost ANYONE because they knew all their secrets via the Absorbascon. They knew the secret fetish of the prominent politicians, they knew who had been embezzling money from their bosses, etc. They could pull launch codes for nuclear missiles out of the President's mind. The Hawks couldn't even depend on their fellow JLAers because anything they confided to them would be instantly known to their enemies. One of the better Hawk series---I think Tony Isabella was the writer?

"Our bodies have been specially treated"

Date: 2009-08-22 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freeman333.insanejournal.com
Who exactly is Hawkman explaining that to? Does Shayera not know about these body treatments? Was she expecting to be freezing and wind-seared, and Hawkman is explaining to her why she isn't? Because if so, she's awfully brave to have just dove out there along with him.


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