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Cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #46 (March, 1967), the Shocker's introduction. Art by John Romita, Sr.
|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #46 (March 1967)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
John Romita, Sr.
|Alter ego||Herman Schultz|
|Team affiliations||Sinister Six
Masters of Evil
Villains for Hire
Self invented suit provides:
|This section requires expansion. (December 2012)|
He appeared as a regular character in Thunderbolts from issue #157 to 162, when he deserted the team.
Fictional character biography
Herman Schultz was born in New York City. He was a high school dropout who had brilliant talents as both an inventor and an engineer. Instead of using such talents to gain legitimate employment, he became a successful burglar and (according to him in later stories) the world's best safe-cracker. After finally being caught and incarcerated for his crimes, he developed a pair of gauntlets designed to shoot air blasts, vibrating at high frequency.
Schultz uses his gauntlets to escape from prison and becomes the supervillain known as "The Shocker". He defeats Spider-Man in their first confrontation (Spider-Man was at a disadvantage due to having a bad sprain in his left arm from his earlier battle with the Lizard) during a robbery. But he was later beaten and sent back to prison by Spider-Man while robbing a bank (who pinned Schultz's thumbs away from the gauntlets' triggers with his webbing then knocked him out).
The Shocker later stole an ancient stone tablet with an inscription for a formula that could restore youth, that had been earlier stolen by the Kingpin. Likely Schultz's most ambitious solo exploit was his attempt to hold New York City for ransom by blacking out various electrical grids to spell out his name, and extort one million dollars from the city. He then made one million dollars by harassing a stock broker. The Shocker later joined Egghead's Masters of Evil (with Radioactive Man, Tiger Shark, Moonstone, and the Beetle) to incriminate Dr. Henry Pym, who was then on trial for treason. The Masters battled the Avengers in this encounter. The Shocker was later hired by the Nazi war criminal Baron Von Lundt to kill Dominic Fortune, and built the vibro-shock units into his entire uniform to do so. The Shocker was hired by the Chameleon and Hammerhead to induce Electro to join their organization. The Shocker later attempted to steal thousands of charity dollars at the celebrity fund raiser for the New York City Library. He's captured by Spider-Man and sent to prison. He later escapes with the help of fellow inmate Boomerang. By this time, he's developed severe confidence issues and has become terrified that the Scourge of the Underworld is going to kill him. A tipping point occurs when Spider-Man apprehends him and seems to not take him seriously. An enraged Shocker defeats Spider-Man and is about to finish him off when a Scourge imposter intervenes, causing Shocker to flee. When he next appeared his confidence issues are gone. He aims to hunt down Scourge himself and kill him first.
The Shocker has proven to be a constant presence among Spider-Man's gallery of enemies. He often works as a member of a team (including Hobgoblin's Sinister Seven, Norman Osborn's Sinister Twelve, Doctor Octopus's most recent Sinister Six, and the Masters of Evil) or in partnership with at least one other villain. Previous alliances include Boomerang, The Beetle, Rhino, Leila Davis, Hydro-Man, and Speed Demon (all of which made up the Sinister Syndicate), and Trapster, Constrictor and Jack O'Lantern. He also teamed up with a large group of villains during the Acts of Vengeance, when he helped them unsuccessfully attack the Fantastic Four.
During one of his team-ups with Doctor Octopus, he participated in a raid on Avengers Mansion, hoping to help conquer it as the heroes were distracted by the events of the Infinity War. Shocker was forced to fight alongside the heroes called the Guardians of the Galaxy when alien doubles of both sides attacked. After the doubles stopped coming, Octopus tried to order Shocker and the others to continue fighting the heroes but instead, they turned on him. They did not wish to harm the people who had helped save their lives. Shocker helped chase Octopus out of the building.
At one point in his career, the Shocker became increasingly paranoid that he was on the Scourge of the Underworld's hit list, even though there was no actual proof that he was. He thus started seeking ways to become more powerful, hoping to thwart any attempt on his life by the vigilante group.[volume & issue needed] Somehow the Shocker acquired actual superhuman vibration powers. As he becomes more powerful he realizes that the new powers will eventually kill him. He seeks a vibrational harness to cure himself and is aided by Night Thrasher and Spider-Man.
The Shocker has had Spider-Man on the ropes on several occasions, with timely interventions often saving Spider-Man. Individuals thwarting Shocker's victories over Spider-Man include security guards, Dominic Fortune, and even a Scourge of the Underworld impostor. The Shocker has also let Spider-Man go on a few occasions, the first being when he found Spider-Man incapacitated with a bout of vertigo on the outside of a tall building. He doesn't kill Spider-Man, thinking it an unworthy end, but doesn't help him either.
The Shocker found another moment of victory over Spider-Man when he teamed up with the Trapster. Sent by the Friends of Humanity to assassinate Paul Stacy, the duo managed to glue Stacy and Spider-Man together and corner them, only to be called off their assignment moments before finishing them off.
Shocker would later turn on the Trapster at the bequest of Norman Osborn (who sought to have the Trapster eliminated as a potential witness against his recent attempt to frame Spider-Man for murder). Preparing to kill the resigned Trapster in an alley, he was attacked and rendered unconscious at the last minute by Spider-Man (then disguised under the alias of Dusk).
Shocker was terminated as a freelance agent by Hammer Industries and captured by Spider-Man while trying to rob a federal bank alongside Hydro-Man. He accidentally evaporates his water-based ally with a misplaced vibration.
He allied himself with Speed Demon of the New Thunderbolts in order to break into a particularly well-guarded safe. Though the police arrived at his hide-out in quick pursuit, he was saved by Speed Demon, who dashed in and stole both the loot and Shocker's weapons, removing all traces of evidence (and, unfortunately for Shocker, also keeping the money to fund the Thunderbolts' further activities).
In The Punisher War Journal #4, he was among the group of villains that the Punisher attempts to kill at the wake of the recently deceased Stilt-Man. He survives the poisoning and fire-bombing. He later appears in She-Hulk #17 and later again in Avengers: The Initiative #3, in which he was shown to have partially reformed the Sinister Syndicate alongside Hydro-Man and Boomerang. This group attempts to rob Baily's Auction House but are interrupted by Spider-Man and then Initiative members War Machine and Komodo. The latter are there to neutralize Spider-Man. The trio escapes, only to be found and attacked by government operatives called 'Scarlet Spiders'.
In his first Brand New Day appearance, he is shown to have been hired by a mobster to take out a subway train wagon full of jurors. After a brief battle with Spider-Man, he is knocked unconscious while Spider-Man uses his gauntlets to destroy rubble blocking the path. Although he seems cooperative at first, as soon as he is secured by Spider-Man, he activates a powerful shock in his gauntlets through his belt, causing the main exit to collapse and allowing him to escape. On their way to collect money from bets on superhero fights, Shocker and Boomerang discover the dead body of "the Bookie".
During the "Origin of the Species" storyline, Shocker is invited by Doctor Octopus to join his supervillain team where he exchange for securing some specific items for him. He and Tombstone went after Menace's infant in the restaurant shop, until Spider-Man interfered. After he passes out from his fight, the police arrive but Shocker is carried away by Tombstone, who escapes. When Spider-Man goes on a rampage against the villains after the infant was stolen from him by the Chameleon, he attacks Shocker in his hideout and threatens Shocker to tell him everything about the villains' whereabouts. Shocker tells Spider-Man that Chameleon has the baby at the Kravinoff Mansion.
Shocker was then seen in the Raft due to a popular online vote at Marvel.com and was selected to join the Thunderbolts's new Beta team called the Underbolts where it was revealed that MACH-V has put his name on the list of likely candidates.
During the "Spider-Island" storyline, Spider-Man and Carlie Cooper encounter a six-armed Shocker. During the fight, Shocker reveals that he wants the money so that Mad Thinker can cure him. Shocker then pulls off his mask to reveal that he's slowly mutating into a spider-like creature.
Powers and abilities
The Shocker wears a pair of gauntlets he designed with vibro-shock units known as "vibro-smashers" that, when activated by a pump-action thumb trigger, can project a concentrated blast of compressed air that vibrates at an intense frequency. This creates a series of rapid-succession high-pressure air blasts that result in a series of powerful impacts. This allows the Shocker to both effectively throw long range vibrational punches from a distance, creating destructive vibrations that can crumble solid concrete and cause extensive damage to the human body and its internal organs, as well as throw shock waves which vibrate the structure of something in order to weaken or destroy it. A lesser known ability of the gaunlets allows Shocker to make incredible leaps, by directing the air blasts toward the ground in front of him. Holding the thumb triggers down for an extended period of time increases the intensity, speed, and even spread of the air blasts.
The feedback from the Shocker's gauntlets is extremely intense (the initial test almost killed him). To guard himself from this, Schultz developed a protective costume consisting largely of yellow quilt patches designed to absorb the shock. The costume is made of foam-lined synthetic fabric which absorbs all vibrations and establishes a vibrational shield which deflects normal blows and allows him to slip from any grasp. The costume's appearance has been the source of ridicule on the part of Spider-Man and other characters. How fellow villain the Looter was able to once wield one of the gauntlets without wearing a protective costume and suffering injury is unclear, though his super strength and durability were presumably a factor. Despite having no superhuman abilities, Schultz's vibrating suit and gauntlets enable him to trade blows with Spider-Man.
Around the year 2000 (real time), Schultz began upgrading the abilities of his costume and weapons. His suit now contains a number of built-in shock units, which throw up a protective vibrational field when triggered by accompanying motion detectors. Besides deflecting most physical blows, this makes it difficult, if not impossible for someone to physically assault or grasp him by surprise. This power upgrade was accompanied by a much bulkier and more protective looking costume (as designed by artist John Romita, Jr.).
He also recently allowed Hammer Industries to drastically upgrade the power of his gauntlets. However, not trusting to share the whole of his secrets (and thus become what he perceives as expendable), he refused Hammer's technicians access to his actual costume, which (at least at the time) likely wasn't providing him with thorough protection from the feedback of the upgraded gauntlets (Schultz cited nosebleeds as a risk he was willing to take).
Shocker has since appeared repeatedly in his original costume and minus the redesigned super-gauntlets provided to him by Hammer Industries. Whether or not this means he has found a way to retain his upgraded abilities in his old costume or whether he no longer uses them remains in question.
While most Spider-Man villains usually shift from their original goals to a vendetta against Spider-Man, the Shocker is still concerned largely with making a living and protecting his reputation. As such, the character is usually portrayed as behaving in a more professional manner than the majority of his maniacal peers.
Shocker has a notably rational personality among Spider-Man's enemies. He has often been shown to recognize his own limitations amongst a universe of super-powered individuals. He was once stricken with chronic anxiety and paranoia (in the Deadly Foes of Spider-Man series) stemming from his fears about being targeted by anti-heroes Scourge and the Punisher (surprisingly, he has survived encounters with both). While partnered with the Trapster, he mentions that he engages in psychotherapy.
In recent stories ("Venomous" and "Senseless Violence"), Shocker has revealed that he is extremely frustrated with his place in life, not wanting to be known as a punching bag for superheroes like Spider-Man. He unsuccessfully attempts to purchase the Venom symbiote at auction in order to gain some respect. When temporarily partnered with Hydro-Man, he rebukes Morrie's suggestion that they go kill Spider-Man, being far more interested in more financially lucrative ventures and trying to rebuild a professional reputation.
While the Shocker has not actually appeared in the MC2 universe, his gauntlets have been seen in the use of the bounty hunter Mad Dog Rassitano.
In the Ultimate Marvel continuity, Shocker is a 33-year-old petty crook named Herman Schultz who raids money transports. He wears a purple trench coat and a pair of goggles to protect his eyes. He used to work at Roxxon Industries and invented his weapons there. He was fired later and then became the Shocker to "get what he deserves" for all the work he has done. He is not especially dangerous and has fought Ultimate Spider-Man five times in the first 100 issues. During several, there was an unusual factor—Spider-Man wearing the Venom suit, or the presence of Kitty Pryde, or Wolverine—putting the Shocker at a disadvantage. Ultimately, he suffers five embarrassing defeats.
Thus, he perpetually ends up in jail, and his equipment is confiscated. However, he somehow manages to get a new set every time he escapes. It was shown in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up that he does make new vibration units in the machine shop of the prison. It is also implied that he isn't always charged with anything; Spider-Man simply leaves him at the crime scene. This was noted in their encounter in the second annual, when Foggy Nelson advised Spider-Man to hand him over to the police rather than leave him on the ground.[volume & issue needed] He is seen in the annual being dropped off at a police station while crying.[volume & issue needed] He gets some measure of revenge in issue #122, where he unexpectedly defeats, captures, and tortures Spider-Man before once again being arrested by the authorities led by NYPD's Captain Frank Quaid under a tip from Kitty Pryde and Mary Jane Watson.
In other media
- Shocker appeared in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode "Along Came a Spidey" voiced by John Stephenson.
- In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, the Shocker (voiced by Jim Cummings) is a villain usually hired by the Kingpin. In Shocker's first appearance in The Alien Costume saga, the Kingpin was worried that Eddie Brock could compromise the recent theft of Prometheus X and hired the Shocker to eliminate him. In this series, the Shocker was recommended to the Kingpin by Alistair Smythe, who also designed the Shocker's suit. However, due to the arrival of a black-costumed Spider-Man, Brock escaped. Spider-Man followed Shocker back to his hideout, where he stole back the Prometheum X (stolen by the Rhino in the previous episode). Hired again to retrieve it, Shocker kidnapped a hospitalized John Jameson and demanded that his father, J. Jonah Jameson, bring him both Spider-Man and the Prometheum X. Meeting in a church tower, John was handed over safely, but after the Jamesons left, a battle ensued between Shocker and Spider-Man. Despite Shocker's initial confidence, Spider-Man gained the upper hand, destroyed his shocking weapons and (driven over the edge by his black alien symbiote) nearly killed him before coming to his senses and saving him from a lethal fall. In the third and final episode of the saga, Shocker and Rhino teamup against Spider-Man. (It is never stated onscreen if they were ordered to do so by the Kingpin or if they were acting on their own.) The pair nearly succeeded, but before they could finish him, Venom attacked and defeated them both, wanting the kill for himself. It is unknown how Rhino and Shocker got to jail, but in The Insidious Six two-parter, the Shocker is part of a prison break arranged by the Kingpin. He joins the Insidious Six, again scheming and ultimately failing to kill Spider-Man. When Spider-Man tricks the unintelligent Rhino into attacking the Shocker by claiming to be the Chameleon, his horn rips the Shocker's electroshock suit. Spider-Man throws Shocker into a water-tank, causing his suit to become unstable and forcing him to take it off and get out before it explodes. Following a major defeat, the entire team rejects the Kingpin and disbands. Later in The Awakening, though, the Shocker was hired yet again by the Kingpin to work with Dr. Herbert Landon to kidnap a vampire Michael Morbius. They succeeded, but Morbius escaped in the end with help from Spider-Man and the Black Cat. The Shocker's last appearance was being an Insidious Six member in the Six Forgotten Warriors saga (Oddly, despite appearing in every part of the storyline, he only has one line of dialogue). Here he fires electric bolts from his gauntlets rather than compressed air. It's also hinted that Shocker was a high level thug and friend of Alistaire Smythe, before he wore his trademark suit. Additionally, his real face is never shown as demonstrated from such examples of wearing his mask while his suit is damaged and even while in prison.
- Shocker appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man, where his identity is instead Montana (voiced by Jeff Bennett) of the Enforcers. He first appears in the episode "Market Forces," where he stole technology from a TriCorp truck - including a pair of shockwave gloves - that allowed him to become the Shocker, under the orders of Hammerhead. As Shocker, he was able to defeat Spider-Man with ease. After realizing he didn't kill Spider-Man, he fought him again at a condemned theater. Spider-Man was able to defeat him by bringing the whole building down on top of him. He was shown webbed up with his costume on the ground as the police arrived. In the episode "Group Therapy", Shocker, alongside Doc Octopus, Rhino, Sandman, the Enforcers and Vulture are busted out of jail by Electro, and is told to stay behind by Hammerhead as the Shocker and helps form the Sinister Six. Despite this, he is defeated once again by a symbiote-controlled Spider-Man after gradually removing his gauntlets and knocking him unconscious with the symbiote's power. Shocker returns in the season 2 episode "Probable Cause" alongside the other Enforcers, Ricochet and Ox. Together, the three stage several robberies while fighting Spider-Man on the way. In the end, Shocker and The Enforcers are all captured and arrested, after Hammerhead turned on The Big Man and laid out a spike trap to stop their getaway van. Series producer Greg Weisman made a creative choice on his part of Shocker during production of this series.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2008)|
- Android replicas of the Shocker appear repeatedly in Spider-Man/X-Men: Arcade's Revenge as mini-bosses during Spider-Man levels.
- The Shocker appears as the first boss in Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, voiced by Daran Norris. In this game, the Shocker is hired by Electro to steal a piece of the Bio-Nexus Device. Spider-Man eventually uses his spider tracer to track down Shocker at a warehouse. When the Shocker arrives at a warehouse, he gives the brief case that has the piece of the Bio-Nexus Device to Hammerhead to prevent Spider-Man from getting it. Shocker is later defeated by Spider-Man and is left for the police.
- Shocker appears in Spider-Man: The Movie voiced by Michael Beattie. He is initially allied with the Vulture when the two rob a jewelry store, but betrays the location of Vulture's headquarters after he is defeated by Spider-Man in a fight; he refuses to allow Vulture his share of the loot when the Shocker can't have it. He and his thugs later fight Spider-Man at Grand Central Station.
- Michael Beattie reprises his role of Shocker who returns in Spider-Man 2 where he escapes prison while participating in a contest arranged by Quentin Beck, who is trying to prove Spider-Man's powers were fake. Despite having gained access to an experimental space propulsion system that enhances his powers, he is defeated by Spider-Man and the Black Cat.
- Shocker appears in Ultimate Spider-Man voiced by Brian George. He is only a minor villain who occasionally pops up attempting to rob banks, consistent with the type of character he is in the Ultimate comics.
- The Shocker is a minor boss in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Michael Gough. He is a member of Doctor Doom's Masters of Evil. He works alongside the Rhino in fighting the heroes: The first time was in Murderworld and then guarding a defeated Heimdall. Shocker has special dialogue with Human Torch. A simulation disk has the heroes fighting Shocker on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier.
- Shocker appeared in the PSP and PS2 version of Spider-Man: Web of Shadows voiced by Liam O'Brien. An earlier mission involved Spider-Man having to obtain Shocker's gauntlets as part of the components for a sonic emitter that can stop the Symbiotes. He also appears as an assist character who will use the intense vibrations shot from his gauntlets to attack.
- Shocker appears as a mini-boss in the Xbox and PS3 versions of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, voiced by Rick D. Wasserman. The players encounter him holding Ms. Marvel prisoner in the tunnels to Roosevelt Island.
- Shocker appeared exclusively in the Nintendo DS version of Spider-Man: Edge of Time, voiced by Steve Blum. He fights Spider-Man 2099 after Miguel is stranded in the sewers of 616 New York. Spider-Man mentions that he learned about Shocker from a second-rate villains class.
Toys and collectibles
- Shocker has twice been produced as an action figure by Toy Biz, first as part of their Spider-Man: The Animated Series line and later as part of their Spider-Man Classics series.
- He has also been produced as a six-inch (152 mm) mini-bust by Bowen Designs.
- There has also been a Shocker toy which coincides with The Spectacular Spider-Man television show.
- The first 3 3/4" Shocker toy (Strike missile Shocker) was released in 2011 by Hasbro.
- Shocker is also a figure in the HeroClix game.
- The Amazing Spider-Man #44-45
- The Amazing Spider-Man #46
- The Amazing Spider-Man #72
- The Amazing Spider-Man #151-152
- Defenders #64
- Avengers #228
- Web of Spider-Man #10
- Spectacular Spider-Man #157
- The Amazing Spider-Man #335
- The Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #1-3
- The Amazing Spider-Man #364
- Fantastic Four #334
- Guardians of the Galaxy #28-29
- Deadly Foes of Spider Man #1
- Web of Spider-Man #109
- Spider-Man vol. 1 #83
- Spider-Man vol. 1 #85-87
- Spider-Man vol. 1 #91
- Iron Man vol. 3 #42
- The Hood #1-6
- Spider-Man vol. 2 #51-52
- New Thunderbolts #8
- Secret War #3-5
- Civil War #3
- The Amazing Spider-Man #578-579
- The Amazing Spider-Man #584
- Dark Reign: The Hood #4-5
- The Amazing Spider-Man #642
- The Amazing Spider-Man #644
- The Amazing Spider-Man #645
- Thunderbolts #156
- The Amazing Spider-Man #669
- Villains for Hire #1
- The Superior Spider-Man #1
- Ultimate Spider-Man #8
- Ultimate Spider-Man #122
- Ultimate Spider-Man #35
- Ultimate Spider-Man #112
- Ultimate Spider-Man #67
- Ultimate Spider-Man #122
- "Market Forces". The Spectacular Spider-Man.
- "Group Therapy". The Spectacular Spider-Man.
- "Probable Cause". The Spectacular Spider-Man.
- Shocker at Marvel.com