An Absorbascon is a piece of technology that features in DC Comics.
The Absorbacon was a device created by the Thanagarians and allowed its users to learn languages at the speed of thought. Both Hawkman and his lover Hawkwoman utilized one such machine in order to learn the languages of Earth.
After accidently arriving on the other-dimensional world of Illora, the Absorbascon used by Hawkman and Hawkgirl was damaged in a battle with the native Tiger-Men. (Hawkman v1 #6)
During an attack by the Manhawks, Katar's ship was struck with the Absorbascon being destroyed as a result before he could use it to probe the invaders minds for the location of his love Shayera. (Hawkman v1 #18)
Afterwards, Thanagar suffered from a loss of its great splendour and power with it looking to reclaim much of its lost technology. Agents from the planet were dispatched to Earth to steal back the anti-gravity technology worn by Hawkman and Hawkwoman. However, during the attempted theft, Rab Mekir was responsible for killing Shayera Thal thus losing the desired equipment in the process. For his failure, he was forcibly hooked into the Absorbascon that began to probe the minds of people across the planet for the remaining anti-gravity technology. A result of this exposure meant that he lost all sense of self as he became one with the machine. (Shadow War of Hawkman v1 #3)
According to one account, the Absorbascon was an ancient relic from the planet Thanagar that was older than Nth Metal and gave the power of flight. It was said that it was lost on a trek to Earth centuries ago with legends speaking of its power to absorb souls and knowledge. A book in France spoke of a tale of the Absorbascon's power when a farmer wished for his competitor to get sick and this wish resulted in the Black Plague. (Hawkman v4 #11)
Speed Saunders sought out the Absorbascon with a colleague but this turned out to be a trap set by Doctor Helene Astar who was a reincarnation of Hath-Set. The helmet shaped device was damaged during a fight with Hawkman Carter Hall and Hawkgirl Kendra Saunders leading it to releasing energy that turned Helen Astar to stone. Her lover Darkraven attempted to save her but the energy from the Absorbascon merged him with his raven turning him into a large raven shaped monster. (Hawkman v4 #11)
Following the Flashpoint, a new version of reality was created with a different history of events.
After the Source Wall was broken, Nth Metal began to become more reactive and powerful with the potential to alter reality. This was combined with the Absorbascon to make memories real but this required a powerful mind as a vessel to harness it. By this point, the Thanagarians were suffering from the loss of their homeworld and had re-settled on Thanagar Prime. Empress Shayera Hol decided to make use of the Absorbascon to help restore her peoples empire and importance in the cosmos which she did by kidnapping the ancient Martian Keep. She was kept hidden in a vault on Thanagar Prime and hooked up to an Absorbascon with her being forced to make the memories of the Thanagarians real thus restoring much of their splendour with them keeping this fact a secret. (Justice League v4 #15)
Its power was said to be able to absorb knowledge and even the soul of people. However, it could alternatively restore lost memories allowing a person to remember events forgotten or hidden. (Hawkman v4 #11) Due to its abilities, it was held as the most powerful artefact of the Thanagarian people. (Justice League v4 #15)
- The Absorbacon was created by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert where it made its first appearance in Brave and the Bold v1 #34 (March 1961).
In other media
- In Justice League Unlimited, the Absorbascon featured in the continuity of the DC Animated Universe where it appeared in the episode "Shadow of the Hawk". It was revealed that a Thanagarian ship crash landed in ancient Egypt where Katar Hol and Shayera Hol survived. The device later stored their memories after their death where it was uncovered a Human archaeologist. After touching the machine, the mind of Katar Hol was imprinted in his mind whilst his darker nature became a shadow entity called the Shadow Thief. Katar in his civilian guise attempted to get Hawkgirl to use the Absorbacon as he believed she was his reincarnated lover and secretly assisted by Shadow Thief. The nature of their past was revealed by Shadow Thief when Hawkman, Hawkgirl and John Stewart touch the Absorbacon where their past lives were shown to them.
- Brave and the Bold v1:
- Hawkman v1:
- Shadow War of Hawkman v1:
- Justice League v4: