Spider-Man will be facing more than just the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is now in theaters. The web-slinger will also face a D-list villain from yesteryear, the Shocker. Many fans may not be too familiar with this character, since he doesn't often appear in the comics. So who is the Shocker and where does he come from?
This will be the first appearance of Shocker on the big screen. Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo, Total Recall) plays Herman Schultz in the film, who goes on to become Shocker #2, according to IMDb. The comic book version of the Shocker first made his debut in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #46 in 1967. The character was created by legendary writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita.
The man under the Shocker mask is New York City-born engineer Herman Schultz. This inventor dropped out of high school and used his talents to become the world's best safe-cracker. However, he was eventually caught and put in prison for his crimes.
While incarcerated, Schultz developed gauntlets that could shoot air blasts that vibrate at a high frequency. After using his new powers to escape prison, he became a super-powered criminal and one of Spider-Man's many villains.
In addition to his gauntlets, Shocker developed a suit that would allow him to absorb the shock from his weapon. In later years, Schultz upgraded his suit further, allowing him the ability to create a protective vibrational field. You may be wondering where the "shock" part comes from The Shocker. Well, his powers are not at all electricity based; they instead revolve around projecting and absorbing force or shock.
In the realm of comics, there aren't a lot of great stories involving this Silver Age character. Aside from a few one-shots, the only serious story of note is "The Origin of the Species" from 2010. During that event, Norman Osborn--also known as the Green Goblin--has a baby, and Spider-Man's villains are out to take the Goblin's kin away from him. Shocker isn't the star of the story, but he's around for the entirety of it.
The book that every comic book fan--and Shocker fan--should read is Superior Foes of Spider-Man. The 12-issue series follows a group of Spider-Man's lesser-known villains as they plan a heist. The Shocker has his own interesting arc in this book, which involves him babysitting the disembodied head of Silvermane--which is shown above. It's hilarious and one of the few series that gives readers an inside look into the world of villainy.
If you're looking for more stories involving Shocker, check these comics out.
- Superior Foes of Spider-Man: Not only is it one of Marvel's best and weirdest books of the 21st century, it's a great comedy and heist comic. This was a 12-issue miniseries, available in trade.
- "Origin of the Species": The villains in Spider-Man's life are after the Green Goblin's child. Takes place in Amazing Spider-Man #642-647.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is out now. You can check out our review here. You can also learn more about characters and elements in the film by checking out "Who Is The Vulture" and "What Is Damage Control."