Shocker (comics)


Shocker (comics)

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caption=
comic_color=background:#ff8080
character_name=The Shocker
real_name=Herman Schultz
publisher=Marvel Comics
debut="The Amazing Spider-Man" (vol. 1) #46 (Mar 1967)
creators=Stan Lee
John Romita, Sr.
alliance_color=background:#c0c0ff
alliances=Sinister Six Masters of Evil Sinister Syndicate
aliases=
powers=Suit deflects blows and makes it difficult to grasp
Gauntlets shoot concentrated vibrational air blasts|

The Shocker is a supervillain that appears in the fictional Marvel Universe. The character is a long-term recurring foe of the superhero Spider-Man and was ranked #3 as the coolest Spider-Man villain ever, after Green Goblin and Venom, at Marvel's official website in 2005.

Fictional character biography

Herman Schultz was born in New York City. He was a high school 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 broken arm from his earlier battle with the Lizard), but was later beaten and sent back to prison by Spider-Man (who pinned Schultz's thumbs away from the gauntlets' triggers with his webbing).

The Shocker would go on to prove a constant presence among Spider-Man's gallery of enemies, often as either a thief or subordinate to the more prominent of Spider-Man's foes (notably Wilson Fisk and the Owl). He regularly works either 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, Trapster, Hydro-Man, and Speed Demon all of which made up the Sinister Syndicate). 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.

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.

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 imposter.

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).

He recently 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).

Shortly after, he 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.

Shocker plays a small role in the "Secret War" crossover event.

Civil War

A new version of the Sinister Six, with the Shocker as a member, bands together during the Civil War but were stopped by Captain America and his Secret Avengers.

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 "" #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 . The latter are there to neutralize Spider-Man. The trio escapes, only to be found and attacked by government operatives called 'Scarlet Spiders'.

Powers and abilities

The Shocker wears a pair of gauntlets known as "vibro-smashers" that, when activated by a thumb trigger, can project a concentrated blast of air that vibrates at an intense frequency. This allows the Shocker to both effectively throw long range vibrational punches, as well as throw shock waves which vibrate the structure of something in order to weaken or destroy it. 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'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.

Motivations

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.

Other versions

MC2

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.

Ultimate Shocker

In the Ultimate Marvel continuity, Shocker is a 33-year-old petty crook named Herman Schultz (revealed in Ultimate Spider-Man) 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, 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. He is seen in the annual being dropped off at a police station while crying. 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 Quaid under a tip from Kitty Pryde and Mary Jane Watson.

Other media

Television

"Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends"

* Shocker appeared in the "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" episode "Along Came a Spidey" voiced by John Stephenson.

"Spider-Man: The Animated Series"

In "", the Shocker (voiced by Jim Cummings) is a villain usually hired by the Kingpin. In his first appearance in "The Alien Costume" saga, the Kingpin, worried that Eddie Brock would reveal his real occupation as a crime lord, 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, and 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 (along with Rhino) was hired one more time to kill Spider-Man. The pair nearly succeeded, but before they could finish him, Venom attacked, wanting the kill for himself. It is unknown how Rhino and Shocker got to jail, but in "The Insidious Six" two-parter, the Shocker escaped, becoming a member of the Insidious Six, again scheming and ultimately again failing to kill Spider-Man. In "The Awakening", 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.

Here he fires electric bolts from his gauntlets rather than compressed air.

"The Spectacular Spider-Man"

In "The Spectacular Spider-Man" episode "Market Forces", Montana (voiced by Jeff Bennett) stole technology from a TriCorp truck that allowed him to become the Shocker under the orders of Hammerhead. As the 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 Ock, 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 unconsious with the symbiote's power.

Video games

* The Shocker is fought in four recent Spider-Man games; ', ', "Spider-Man 2", and "Ultimate Spider-Man".

* Android replicas of the Shocker appear repeatedly in "" as mini-bosses during Spider-Man levels.

* He appears as a boss in "Spider-Man: The Animated Series" for the Sega Genesis.

* In "", the Shocker (voiced by Michael Beattie) is initially allied with the Vulture, but betrays him 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.

* Michael Beattie reprises his role of Shocker who returns in "Spider-Man 2" where he escapes prison while Quentin Beck is trying to prove Spider-Man's powers were fake, having gained access to an experimental space propulsion system that enhances his powers. He is defeated by Spider-Man and the Black Cat.

* In "Ultimate Spider-Man", Shocker (voiced by Brian George) 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. It is revealed that his name is "Herman".

* The Shocker is a minor boss in "". 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.

Toys & 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 mini-bust by Bowen Designs.

References

External links

* [http://marvel.com/universe/Shocker_%28Herman_Schultz%29 Shocker] at Marvel.com


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