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Over the years, Spider-Man has tangled with all manner of vile villains and nefarious nemeses, ranging from common hoodlums to actual deities from beyond the imagining of mortal man. Between gods and monsters, there has been one foe who has always popped up like a bad penny to torment the sensational webslinger. A man who turned a talent for engineering into a career of crime and has spent more time behind bars than in the civilised world.

Always ready to pounce and always defeated in the end, prepare yourself for the shocking might…of the Shocker!

Origin

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A career criminal, Herman Schultz was dedicated to a life of petty larceny and burglary, but he had one key weakness: He wasn’t any good at it. Busted yet again during a caper, Schultz used his talent for engineering to construct the ultimate safecracker tools, busting out of jail and starting a new career as…The Shocker!

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Often tangling with Spider-Man during his robberies, the Shocker has so far been one of the more unremarkable foes in Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. Often easily defeated, the Shocker would often find himself allying with other villains such as the new Masters of Evil, the Sinister Seven (Yup, seven!) and later on the Black Cat’s personal army of super-criminals.

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At one point, the Shocker even found himself infected by the Spider Virus during the Spider Island saga, growing four extra arms and outfitting them with extra Vibro-shock gauntlets so that he could rob banks and use the money to cure himself of his newfound affliction. The Shocker eventually turned into a giant spider along with the rest of the infected New York populace, but he got much better thanks to Spidey putting an end to the disastrous plague.

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Currently, the Shocker may have embarked on his most successful criminal venture yet alongside 8-Ball and Javelynn: Setting up a bar that caters exclusively to New York’s supervillain underworld.

Powers and abilities

Gifted Engineer

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While he may not possess an intelligence that can rival that of Tony Stark or Hank Pym, the Shocker is still a gifted thinker whose knack for guerrilla technology allowed him to create his signature Vibro-Shock gauntlets and protective suit from scratch, using nothing but the restricted materials available to him in a prison workshop.

Outside of prison walls, the Shocker has also proven to be capable of more imaginative design, upgrading his suit over the years to counter Spider-Man who in turn had developed new tactics to deal with his persistent foe.

Vibro-Shock Gauntlets

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The calling card of the Shocker, these gauntlets are capable of firing concentrated high-frequency air blasts, which makes the Shocker a threat at any range. Using the gauntlets, the Shocker can throw devastating haymakers or long-range blasts. At one point in his career, the Shocker even developed gauntlets that allowed him to fly (Spider-Man vol. 1 #86 true believers!), although the maintenance of these gauntlets was simply too expensive to be considered feasible for long-term use.

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When pressed into a corner, the Shocker can dial up his gauntlets to be even more destructive, amplifying their power over a wide range as they vibrate nearby structures into dust. On a more subtle level, the Shocker’s original intention for his gauntlets was to allow him to crack safes more quietly and efficiently, something which the villain has proven adept at as his ability to shake a safe has earned him a reputation for being one of the best safe-crackers in the criminal underworld.

Padded suit

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If the Shocker had an Achilles heel, it would be the fact that his gauntlets are a double-edged sword. Unprotected, Shocker’s gauntlets can kill an ordinary man, something that Schultz experienced first-hand during the maiden test of his iconic device. To compensate for this weakness, Shocker developed a suit that was made from vibration-absorbing quilt patches. It may look ridiculous, but the Shocker would have been dead a dozen times over were it not for the protective suit.

At one point, the Shocker even augmented his suit to be capable of unleashing shockwave blasts from anywhere on his body, but this unstable suit was abandoned after Spider-Man eventually defeated him.

Love of cats

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Oh it’s true.

Recommended reading

Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #46

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The very first appearance of the Shocker, Spider-Man quickly finds himself out-armed (literally, thanks to a recent injury that saw him web an arm up into a cast) and outgunned as he tangles for the first time against the padded peril of the persistent punching bag who’ll become a thorn in his side for years to come.

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man

With a new Sinister Six having formed to counter the threat of a more ruthless Spider-Man (Who is actually Dock inhabiting Spider-Man’s body but hoo boy that’s a whole other can of worms to open), the Shocker’s mindset, motivations and weaknesses are laid bare in this riveting collection of the worst rogues to ever infest New York City.

Venom #164

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The lethal protector versus the Shocker! Who will come out on top? A symbiote with a taste for human brains or the quilted terror of the Shocker? Only one villain can survive this encounter and you can bet your bottom dollar that the Shocker will screw up even when he has the power of positive thinking behind him!

Spider-Man #85-#87

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Back in action and ready to rid himself of the reputation of being nothing more than a glorified nuisance for Spider-Man, the Shocker is deadlier than ever and ready to prove that he has what it takes to hang with the heavyweights.

Last Updated: August 28, 2018

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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