otmu-watcher-ualuOTMU the WATCHER

Real Name: Otmu

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

Occupation: Observer and recorder of phenomena within his space sector (presumably within the Shi'ar Empire (see comments))

Group Membership: Watchers

Affiliations: Ualu the Watcher (and presumably many other Watchers);
    unwitting pawn
Maelstrom and, at least indirectly,  Oblivion

Enemies: Deathurge, Maelstrom (also in his incarnation of Anomaly), Quasar (Wendell Vaughn), the Stranger;
    via his dissemination of the Oblivion Plague/Virus he was in some fashion an enemy of the Watchers' race

Known Relatives: None;
    he called "Ualu" brother, but that may have just been a term of familiarity

Aliases: "Mr. Oath of Non-Interference" (from Quasar);
    "the chubby one" (from Quasar, more of a term of description to distinguish him from the smaller form of Ualu)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    at least formerly a base on asteroid in the midst of the Shi'ar Empire

First Appearance: (Behind-the-scenes) Quasar I#14 (September, 1990);
    (seen, identified)
Quasar I#15 (October, 1990)

otmu-watcher-massivePowers/Abilities: Like other Watchers, Otmu possessed vast cosmic powers, well beyond human comprehension.

    Amongst the abilities he demonstrated in his limited appearances were transporting himself others to distant sites presumably across interstellar or even intergalactic distances; altering his size, frame, and appearance; using cosmic power to vastly augment his physical strength and speed; conversion into energy able to penetrate even Quasar's quantum energy force field; and telepathic communication.

    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.

    Instilled with the Oblivion Plague, Otmu actively spread his Doctrine of Non-Interference. Presumably his fanaticism with spreading his doctrine is what drove him to betray his oath of non-interference by directly combating those whom he saw as interfering with his mission.

Height: Unrevealed (variable; sizes estimated at 15' and 25' observed)
Weight: Unrevealed (variable)
Eyes: Solid white with black marks adjacent to palpebra (eyelids), presumably representing energy radiating from the eyes(?); no visible irides or pupils (presumably variable)
Hair: Bald (presumably variable)

History: Otmu was one of the cosmic Watchers, who observed the universe but 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)) - Having usurped the role of the cosmic entity Anomaly, gained cosmic awareness from Eon, and become an agent of Oblivion, Maelstrom observed one of the Watchers (almost certainly Otmu) and was pleased to confirm that his anomalous nature allowed him to remain undetected by even the cosmic Watchers. However, 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, Otmu was inspired by his associate Deathurge (also an agent of Oblivion) to 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 implanted the secret of the Oblivion Plague within Deathurge and sent him to disseminate it, beginning with the Watcher in their immediate proximity.

(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.

(Quasar#15 (fb) - BTS) - While engaged in his usual specimen-gathering, the Stranger happened upon a dead Watcher. Unable to determine the cause of his death, the Stranger took the Watcher's corpse to the next sector's Watcher to ask him for assistance. The Stranger found that Watcher dead as well. The next Watchers he encountered were dead as well.

(Quasar#15 (fb) - BTS) - The Stranger brought the deceased Watchers' bodies aboard his ship for further study.otmu-watcher-punch

(Quasar#14 (fb) - BTS) - Finding a total of nine dead Watchers, the Stranger continued his investigation.

(Quasar#14) - Investigating the Watchers' deaths, the Stranger traveled to the largest moon of the 4th planet in the Sirius system and investigated that Watcher's home, finding that Watcher dead as well. Receiving a message from his starship that someone (the Over-Mind) was tampering with his Laboratory World. More concerned with the matter of the Watchers, the Stranger swept the message from his consciousness.

(Quasar#15 (fb) - BTS) - Otmu met with Ualu the Watcher, telling him of the Doctrine of Ultimate Non-Interference,  noting that even the act of observing altered that which they observed: Therefore, the only way to not interfere was to not observe, and the only way to not observe was to not exist.

(Quasar#15 - BTS) - Seeking out the Stranger and then determining to help resolve the mystery of the Watchers' deaths so the Stranger would return to his Laboratory World (and prevent the Over-Mind from killing the mind-controlled Squadron Supreme), Quasar questioned Eon about the Watchers and traveled to a site where two Watchers were communicating.

(Quasar#15) - As Otmu reiterated his point that in the act of observing they were observed to a dejected Ualu, he detected Quasar's energies; advising Ualu to consider what he had said, Otmu adopted a more massive form to deal with the unwelcome intruder. When Ualu cautioned Otmu against violating their sacred oath, Otmu clarified that he was hoping the assumption of a more formidable aspect would persuade the intruder to retreat. As Quasar nonetheless approached and began asking them questions, Otmu noted that the oath allowed them to take minimal necessary actions to ensure their privacy; he demonstrated his point by teleporting Quasar away. However, Quasar simply quantum-jumped right back and pointed out Otmu's behavior to be unfriendly. When Quasar began asking about the dead Watchers, Otmu informed him that the affairs of the Watchers had nothing to do with him, and that he should depart at once. When Quasar refused Otmu told Ualu, "Do not watch this, my brother," as he rushed forward and -- before Quasar could even see it coming -- punched Quasar, smashing him out of the building and into space. Quasar flew back at top speed and punched Otmu, causing him to fall back into and through a wall, leading Otmu to convert into a pulse of energy that flew right through Quasar's energy shield, making him feel like passing out. Focusing his concentration, Quasar used his Quantum Bands to lock onto Otmu's energy signature and force him back into material form, after which Quasar punched him down with a giant energy glove.otmu-watcher-energy

    Quasar again tried to convince Otmu to discuss things peacefully, and as Otmu told him he wouldn't understand, the Stranger then arrived, shocked to see Quasar having attacked a Watcher. Considering Otmu to be a renegade Watcher, one of which he had previously encountered, the Stranger warned Quasar of Otmu's dangerous ability of doing almost anything and
urged Quasar that Otmu must be neutralized at once. As Quasar and the Stranger combined their power against him, Otmu considered that he could repulse one but not both of them. Considering himself undone as the Stranger would break his mind and rob him of his resolve, Otmu renounced his watch and terminated his life functions.

    Ualu then informed Quasar and the Stranger that Otmu had killed himself. otmu-watcher-death


(Quasar#15 - BTS) - With the mystery resolved, the Stranger agreed to return with Quasar back to the Laboratory World.

(Quasar#16 (fb) - BTS) - The Stranger had Otmu's body transported to his lightship (see comments), which would travel back to his Laboratory World at a slower rate than he could transport himself.

(Quasar#15 - BTS) - Arriving on his Laboratory World, the Stranger was instantly assaulted by the Over-Mind's trap.

(Quasar#16 (fb) - BTS) - Despite Otmu's apparent demise, his doctrine/philosophy spread continued to affect the Watchers.

(Quasar#16 - BTS) - 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 Over-Mind's assault. Quasar introduced himself to the Watchers and queried them on their reason for being there, but they ignored him.

    Seeing these Watchers, the Over-Mind accused the Stranger of summoning them. The Stranger's losing struggle caused some Watchers (including Ocam) to consider interfering so they could gain his input, but ultimately the Watchers resolved to let events take their course (further noting that any actions of interference would be censured). Nonetheless, the collective presence of so many Watchers made the Over-Mind fear they were the Stranger's allies. Einu asked if he could apprise the Over-Mind of the erroneous nature of his assumption, but another Watcher countered that even that would constitute an infraction of the oath. Ultimately, the Over-Mind's paranoia and psychoses caused him to collapse in a catatonic state.

    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. 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.

    Tapping into a nearby star and 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, which should allow some subjectivity to their oath, the recently deceased Watchers revived, and they collectively agreed to continue their mission. After their departure, the Stranger explained that life and death were not absolute concepts to beings such as the Watchers or himself.

    Quasar then considered that all of the dead Watchers may be coming back, and he was pleased to have saved the lives of a billion Watchers.

    Whether Otmu revived or not was not revealed.

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

    The name Otmu was an intentional tip of the hat to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, which Mark Gruenwald and his compatriots used to abbreviate as OTMU...as most Watchers seem to have two syllable names, OHotMU may have seemed a little off.

    I would think Otmu did not revive himself but rather remained in a state of oblivion...perhaps some future story might shown him to be in the realm of Oblivion and perhaps now a servant/pawn of Oblivion. It could happen...just not very likely!

    Otmu is not identified by name in the flashback in Quasar I#22 in which Maelstrom and Deathurge generate the Oblivion Plague and instill it within a Watcher. As Otmu is known as the one who spread the plague, I think it is almost certainly Otmu, but it's possible that the Watcher in #22 immediately terminated his own existence but the information nonetheless spread telepathically to Otmu, who then willfully disseminated it.

    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...

    In Quasar#14 and #15, the Stranger noted that he had found ten dead Watchers, whose bodies he brought aboard his ship. In Quasar#16, he noted that he had ten dead Watchers on his ship, including Otmu. Either he didn't retrieve Otmu or he had eleven Watchers on his ship. I'd think the latter is more likely. Given the Stranger was only minutes out after recovering from a devastating mental assault by the Over-Mind, I think the Stranger's mistake is quite understandable.

    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 Otmu was an ally or an enemy of the Over-Mind...although the Over-Mind might think differently.

    Otmu may have encountered various Shi'ar associated beings and various other cosmic beings over his extensive existence, but he may well have avoided any such interaction much more consistently than Uatu, which may have made him a more suitable recipient of the Oblivion Plague information.

    Some have speculated that the Shi'ar Empire is within the M-33 galaxy. This is unconfirmed. See a discussion in the comments of the Aquanox profile.

    I had intended to finish and post this profile on June 18, the birthday of creator Mark Gruenwald...but time conspired against me. Love and miss you, Gru!

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Otmu
should be distinguished from:


otmu-watcher-baseOtmu's base

    Otmu (or the Watcher with whom the oblivion plague was first instilled, on the off-chance that it wasn't Otmu) observed a sector of space in the midst of the Shi'ar empire from his asteroid base (see comments)

(Quasar I#22 (fb)) - Having usurped the role of the cosmic entity Anomaly, gained cosmic awareness from Eon, and become an agent of Oblivion, Maelstrom observed one of the Watchers (almost certainly Otmu) and was pleased to confirm that his anomalous nature allowed him to remain undetected by even the cosmic Watchers.

    However, 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, Otmu was inspired by his associate Deathurge (also an agent of Oblivion) to manipulate the Watchers into eliminating themselves via suicide.

    To this end, Maelstrom 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 implanted the secret of the Oblivion Plague within Deathurge and sent him to disseminate it, beginning with the Watcher in their immediate proximity.

--Quasar I#22

Note: One could speculate on similarities on differences between Otmu's and Uatu's bases...but this one will not.

images: (without ads)
Quasar I#15, pg. 12, panel 2 (smaller (true?) form meeting with Ualu);
          panel 5 (more massive form);
       pg. 15-16, panel 1 (punching Quasar);
       pg. 18, panel 1 (energy form assaulting Quasar);
       pg. 21, panel 3 (willing self into oblivion);
    #22, pg. 1 (at base, observed by Maelstrom/Anomaly)
       


Appearances:
Quasar I#14-15 (September-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: 06/20/2020
Last updated: 09/26/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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