ocam-watcherOCAM the WATCHER

Real Name: Ocam

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Watchers);
    presumably the distant past to modern era

Occupation: Observer and recorder of phenomena within his space sector

Group Membership: Watchers

Affiliations: Quasar (Wendell Vaughn), the Stranger;

Enemies: Indirectly Deathurge, Maelstrom (also in his incarnation of Anomaly);
    see comments

Known Relatives: None;

Aliases: None known

Base of Operations: Unrevealed

First Appearance: Quasar I#16 (November, 1990)

Powers/Abilities: Like other Watchers, Ocam possessed vast cosmic powers, well beyond human comprehension.

    While he did not demonstrate powers in his limited appearances, he presumably could transport himself across intergalactic distances; alter his size, frame, and appearance; use cosmic power to vastly augment his physical strength and speed; convert into energy; communicate telepathically.

    He presumably was virtually immortal (although vulnerable to delta rays) possessed telekinesis and clairvoyance, and could project energy blasts, form force field, manipulate time, etc.

Height: Unrevealed (variable; sizes estimated at 15' observed)
Weight: Unrevealed (variable)
Eyes: Solid white; no visible irides or pupils (presumably variable)
Hair: Bald (presumably variable)

History: Ocam is one of the cosmic Watchers, who observe the universe but have vowed never to interfere with events and other beings.

(Quasar I#22 (fb) - BTS / Quasar I#23 (fb) - BTS) - The Deviant-Inhuman hybrid Maelstrom plotted to stop all motion in the universe, destroying everything.

(Quasar I#22 (fb) - BTS) - Having usurped the role of the cosmic entity Anomaly, gained cosmic awareness from Eon, and become an agent of Oblivion, Maelstrom feared that when he actively pursued his goals, the Watchers would detect him and that some of their renegade members might inform other beings, potentially leading to the great powers of the universe being aligned against him.

    Wishing to eliminate the Watchers without calling attention to himself, Maelstrom resolved manipulate the Watchers into eliminating themselves via suicide. To this end, he conceived the "Oblivion Plague" (an idea that the very act of watching the universe itself affected the universe around it, which would lead Watchers to end their existence to prevent such interference). Maelstrom then sent Deathurge to disseminate the Plague, beginning with the nearby Otmu.

(Quasar#16 (fb) - BTS) - As the Watchers were telepathic, Otmu's philosophy became like a virus, spreading throughout the other Watchers in the universe at the speed of thought. Virtually every mind the doctrine entered became obsessed with it.

    As the Watchers could make their wishes reality, any Watcher who contemplated the notion of nothingness for too long would inadvertently succumb to oblivion.

(Quasar#15 (fb) - BTS / Quasar I#16 (fb) - BTS) - Over a billion (see comments) Watchers embraced Otmu's doctrine and willed themselves unalive rather than continue to violate the oath.ocam-watcher-group

(Quasar#16) - Seeking the Stranger's advice on their current philosophical struggle, approximately two dozen Watchers materialized in the Stranger's laboratory world's atmosphere, arriving as the Stranger suffered under the assault of the Over-Mind. Seeing these Watchers, the Over-Mind accused the Stranger of summoning them.
    The Stranger's losing struggle caused one Watcher to note that if he was vanquished, the Stranger would be unable to help them. After another Watcher noted that they could not interfere no matter what, Ocam suggested that, with the fate of their entire race at stake, this must grant them some latitude with their oath. Another unidentified Watcher replied that if Ocam dared to act he would counteract him, and yet another Watcher announced that all actions would be censured and that they must all allow events to take their course.

    Nonetheless, the collective presence of so many Watchers made the Over-Mind fear they were the Stranger's allies. Ultimately, the Over-Mind's paranoia and psychoses caused him to collapse in a catatonic state.
oblivion_plague-maelstrom-willdeath

    The Watchers
then asked the Stranger for his input, noting that despite Otmu's apparent demise, the philosophy had spread telepathically amongst their entire race.

The Stranger concluded that allowing themselves to be seen indeed affected others, as demonstrated by the Over-Mind's self-defeat; this point led four more of the Watchers present to think themselves to death (these Watchers were not clearly shown, so it is uncertain whether Ocam was amongst those who willed their deaths).

    The Watchers asked him to hold his tongue if it was in the service of the Oblivion virus. The Stranger apologized for causing that, but when they asked for his recommendation, he was flattered but knew they wouldn't like his advice: To abandon their oaths and become active experimenters like himself.

    After the Watchers explained that they cataloged the universe's history for the benefit of those who existed in the next universe that would follow, the Stranger told them he had no information to help resolve their debate.

    When Quasar offered his help, the Stranger dismissed him, and the Watchers continued to ignore him. Generating a massive energy release to get the Watcher's attention, Quasar explained how their dying also affected things (as the Stranger had spent time investigating their deaths, allowing the Over-Mind to prepare an ambush), and that their collective deaths would massively affect the universe's balance of power.

    When Quasar concluded that the importance of their database would outweigh their limited interference, the recently deceased Watchers revived, and they collectively agreed to continue their mission.

Comments: Created by Mark Gruenwald, Mike Manley, and Dan Panosian.

    The name Ocam is presumably an homage to Occam's razor, the problem-solving principle that "entities should not be multipled without necessity (often paraphrased as "the simplest explanation is most likely the right one"). It is attributed to English Franciscan friar William of Ockham (circa 1287-1347 AD), a scholasit philospopher and theologian who used a preference for simplicity to defend the idea of divine miracles.
    --Information courtesy of Wikipedia.

    Quasar#15 had Ualu note that 10 billion Watchers had terminated their existence, while #16 had another Watcher note this number to be "over a billion." Obviously 10 billion is still over a billion, but I'm not sure if the latter number was intended to be a correction/downgrading of the numbers to a little over a billion...

    The distraction of the Watchers' deaths aided the Over-Mind's plot against the Stranger, but the Watchers seeking the Stranger's aid in the matter led to the Over-Mind's defeat. Regardless, I don't think Ocam was an ally or an enemy of the Over-Mind...although the Over-Mind might think differently.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Ocam
should be distinguished from:


images: (without ads)
Quasar I#16, pg. 27, panel 2 (solo picture);
          panel 3 (with group of Watchers);
        pg. 31, panel 2 (Watchers willing themselves to death)


Appearances:
Quasar I#15 (October, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Manley (pencils), Dan Panosian (inker), Len Kaminski (editor)
Quasar I#16 (November, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Manley (pencils), Dan Panosian & Keith Williams (inks), Len Kaminski (editor)
Quasar I#22 (May, 1991) -
Mark Gruenwald (writer), Greg Capullo (penciler), Keith Williams (inker), Len Kaminski (managing editor), Howard Mackie (editor)


First posted: 11/07/2020
Last updated: 11/07/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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