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The Shocker (Spider-Man enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Shocker

(Herman Schultz) (Profile #1 - 1960s, 1970s, 1980s)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

The Shocker is a classic but C-list Spider-Man villain, who appeared in 1967. This chronological profile covers the first three decades of his career. It stops precisely in December, 1989.

At this point the Shocker is mostly a stock villain, and a jobber . This profile describes the era before he received the bulk of his character development. This handy for people who are only familiar with older comics, or want an almost literally faceless super-villain to play a bit part.


Background

  • Real Name: Herman Schultz
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Martin (brother, deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: Former member of the Masters of Evil
  • Base Of Operations: A hidden palace in the South Bronx
  • Height: 5’9” Weight: 175 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


Powers & Abilities

Schultz is good with tools and mechanics, and has developed an expertise in vibration-based devices that allows him to build powerful devices. He’s also an experienced safecracker and B&E guy, though not an exceptional one. This includes small-scale demolitions skills.

He’s somewhat smart, but nowhere as smart as he thinks he is. Though he doesn’t appear to have any special training, he’s surprisingly good in hand-to-hand combat.

Offense

As the Shocker, his signature weapons are the vibro-shock units (aka “vibro-smashers”) worn over his hands. These can release powerful vibrations capable of shaking loose the door of an old-fashioned mechanical safe – or of an armoured truck.

These are also powerful weapons, both to reinforce the Shocker’s punches and to emit a ranged vibration blast. Such punches hit with superhuman power, that seems roughly comparable to being hit by a person with “class 30” superhuman strength. Ranged attacks are a bit less dangerous, as the blast appears to lose power as it travels.

The vibro-smashers proved powerful enough to rattle the She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters) during the early 1980s. However that was a close-range, surprise attack from behind. And it didn’t actually delay her much.

Shocker (Herman Schultz) and Spider-Man

Schultz is remarkably good at hitting people with his vibro-shock units, either in melee or at a range. His speed and precision with his punches and blasts give him a fighting chance against even Spider-Man, unless Spidey is actively dodging rather than attacking.

The vibro-smashers are reportedly less loud than a comparable explosion, though walls and floors near a discharge will still shake.

By 1986 the Shocker has integrated the vibro-smashers to his costume, and no longer needs his gauntlets. He does keep a pair of dummy gauntlets on, though, to fool his enemies into trying to disarm him.

Defense

The Shocker’s costume is heavily padded and reinforced, to protect him against the effects of his vibro-shock units. It is also surrounded with a tight, invisible, inaudible vibration field that deflects hits such as punches or bullets. Even Spider-Man needs to employ his full strength to hurt the Shocker with his costume on and the vibration shield.

This vibration field also allows the Shocker to vibrate and slip out of wrestling holds and similar restrains. Even Spider-Man cannot hold the Shocker in a full nelson .

After Spider-Man used webbing to cover the Shocker’s eye-holes, the vibration field was further tuned to shake loose any substances sticking to Schult’s costume.

However, early on the vibration field had to be activated by pressing the thumb controls on the vibro-shock units. Apparently, it can only be up for several seconds at a time, and can’t be just left on all the time. A later refinement did away with this limitation – the vibration field is now activated whenever the Shocker is hit, without having to push a button.

The Shocker later developed his vibration field so it would triple the strength of his movements, and trained hard enough to fully master this asset. This puts him in the “peak human strength” range.


History

Schultz was originally a small-time safecracker in New York City. His third arrested resulted in a lengthy prison sentence. Since he was good with tools, he was put to work at the prison shop – but there he clandestinely built an invention that could quickly blast safes open.

Though he nearly killed himself when he used it against a prison wall, his first vibro-smasher blew a hole that let him escape.

In 1967, after weeks of machining, sewing, etc. the Shocker was born. Schultz went on a crime spree during which he defeated Spider-Man. Spider-Man prevailed during a second encounter – by webbing the Shocker’s thumbs so he could no longer activate his vibro-shock units. The Shocker was thus arrested again.

Two years later the Shocker was back, and stole a rare antique from the NYPD’s Captain Stacy. Frustrated that he couldn’t fence it since it was too hot, the Shocker went on another crime wave to build up his street cred. While attacking a cash transport, he was intercepted by Spider-Man, and arrested again.

1970s

In 1975, the Shocker worked in the sewers of Manhattan to reaffirm his ego, by cutting the power to selected blocks. His plan was only comprehensible from a high enough altitude – the Shocker was actually spelling his name using entire city blocks to form the letters.

Spider-Man intervened, but Schultz nearly killed him by collapsing part of a sewer tunnel. The Shocker went on to blackmail the Mayor of New York City, demanding one million dollars ($4.35M in 2014 USD). After the Mayor refused, Schultz attempted to destroy the Queens power station, but this time Spider-Man defeated him and left him for the cop to find.

Shocker (Herman Schultz) destroys a wall

In 1978, the Shocker was among the villains recruited by Libra (from the android version of the Zodiac) to sow chaos as fake Defenders. During an attack on the New York Stock Exchange, Schultz forced a trader to commit fraud and walked away with a million dollars. The real Defenders intervened, but the Shocker apparently escaped after the Valkyrie went berserk.

The Shocker apparently used this windfall to buy himself new headquarters. Situated in a rats-infested, dilapidated part of the South Bronx, his quarters were hidden behind well-protected trick doors. The Shocker enjoyed luxurious furnishing and decorations albeit with tacky, distinctly nouveau riche aesthetics.

Circa 1980, Schultz’s brother Marty, a student at ESU, committed suicide for unrevealed reasons. As correctional authorities refused to let the Shocker attend his brother’s funeral, he escaped.

After fighting the police and Spider-Man, Schultz’s went to his brother’s grave. He unexpectedly found Spider-Man there (Spidey knew Marty Schultz as a fellow ESU student). The Shocker and Spider-Man ended up talking about Marty, and Herman agreed to finish his prison sentence then attempt to turn his life around by renouncing crime – so unlike his brother he would have a future.

1980s

In 1983, the Shocker was hand-picked by Egghead (Elihas Starr) to join his Masters of Evil. The team was part of Starr’s cunning plot to make his nemesis Henry Pym look like a despicable criminal.

The Masters attacked while Pym was on trial, to make it look like he was escaping with underworld allies. The Shocker was taken down by the She-Hulk and Hawkeye (Clint Barton), but that was part of Egghead’s plan all along. Schultz has been unknowingly brainwashed so he would be certain that his employer was Henry Pym.

(It is possible that the Shocker intended to go straight but was brainwashed by Egghead into becoming a criminal again to make Pym’s protests of innocence look hollow. This is strictly a No-Prize Hypothesis , though.)

In 1986 the Shocker was free – perhaps because the brainwashing meant that he wasn’t responsible for his actions. He was hired by Nazi war criminal Wolfgang von Lundt (now known as “Simon Steele”) to kill Dominic Fortune (Duvid Fortunov).

The Shocker nearly killed an intervening Spider-Man, but focused too much on his old enemy and Fortune stunned Schultz just in time. Defeated by Spider-Man, the Shocker was arrested.

The Shocker thought that he could blackmail “Steele” into getting him out of prison using footage of their deal. But the Nazi had anticipated Schultz’s basic attempt at security, and had the Shocker’s headquarters demolished to destroy the evidence.

In 1989 the Shocker was again active, and bought blueprints from a security firm called Sensor so he could rob the firm’s clients. This was possible since he had some dirt about the firm’s CEO, acquired while in prison. However, Electro (Maxwell Dillon) was running the exact same racket and became furious after he twice hit a place right after the Shocker robbed it.

Electro narrowly won his fight against the Shocker when he discovered the truth, but the Shocker escaped when Spider-Man intervened and knocked Electro out.

A few months later, Schultz was among the local New York City villains who were manipulated into attacking the Fantastic Four during the Acts of Vengeance conspiracy. His assault on Four Freedom Plaza, like most, was defeated by the automated security systems and the Shocker was arrested.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

Originally, Schultz was fed up with being arrested (can’t a man just rob in peace ?). He wanted to be tougher than any cadre of guards or cops so he could always escape with his loot.

His Shocker equipment greatly bolstered his confidence. He was always boasting about how powerful and unstoppable he was – and reveling in his power. This need to affirm his ego led to increasingly grandiose and public crimes, as he wanted everyone to know that the Shocker was in control.

As can be imagined, this ego trip did not improve his social skills. Schultz is greedy (often in a petty way), conflict-prone, temperamental, holds grudges, and wants to be the alpha and project an impression of opulence. He can still work fairly well with employers, though, as long as they paycheck is large enough to flatter him.

He also tends to overestimate his power (once getting into a brawl with Tiger Shark) though the Shocker *is* surprisingly powerful for his niche.

After the incident with Egghead, the Shocker was determined never to get used by an employer again, and took various precautions such as hidden cameras recording his deals.


Quotes

“All right… you asked for it, fool ! See how you like a punch with a triphammer vibration shock added !”

“Next time you’ll know better than to challenge your superiors ! My vibro-blast power makes me the most invincible human on Earth… as you’ve already learned !”

(Stealing from a cash truck) “Don’t worry about this money, gentlemen ! I promise you that the Shocker will put it to very good use !”

“Hey, you ! The Shocker wants to be a millionaire — so hop to it !”

“I’m not gonna be some hotshot’s stooge — or take a rap for one ! Never again !”

“He thinks I’m a lowlife — a loser ! Well, I’m not ! I’ve learned from my past mistakes ! I’ll kill Fortune and I’ll humiliate and kill Spider-Man ! Then I’ll have the respect I DESERVE ! The Shocker is one of the WINNERS, now !” (KA-BLOOM !)


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Shocker I

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Burglar, hitman
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 014 HP: 030

Skills:
Gadgetry: 05, Military science (Demolitions): 04, Scientist (Drawing plans): 04, Thief (Locks and safes, Security systems): 04, Weaponry (Vibro-shock units (both ranged and melee)): 08

Advantages
Headquarters (Extensive, between 1978 and 1986), Scholar (Vibration-based devices)

Connections:
Underworld (Low)

Drawbacks:
Socially Inept

Equipment:

  • VIBRO-SHOCK UNITS [BODY 07, Vibe (Diminishing): 11, Thief (Locks and Safes): 07, Bonus: Thief can be done within a single Phase and without further equipment, Limitation: Thief can only be used on locks and safes that can be opened by shaking the mechanism loose, Drawback: MPR (operating the UNITS without proper protection is usually dangerous), Limitation: Vibe is considered a blunt attack for characters with special defenses against those, such as Spider-Man.]
  • COSTUME [STR 11 /STR/ 05 /BODY/ 06, Skin armour: 02, Bonuses & Limitations :
    • The non-italicised STR is originally only useable to defend against Wrestling and Grappling
    • Later on, the non-italicised STR is also becomes useable against various forms of Snare, and ripping off things stuck to his costume (such as webbing on his mask)
    • Early on, STR and Skin Armour both required pressing the controls of the VIBRO-SHOCK UNITS to erect the vibration field – this didn’t take a Dice or Move Action, but they couldn’t be just left on all the time. This limitation was soon removed.]
  • The VIBRO-SHOCK UNITS are later integrated to the COSTUME, although he keeps a pair of fake Vibro-Smashers [BODY 02 – note that these can be Taken Away] as a decoy.

Design notes

The Shocker has a high AV, and will happily spend HPs on it to hit difficult opponents. This allows him to hit even a non-Dodging Spider-Man quite often. However, he doesn’t have the HPs to keep doing that and boost his EV, so his precise blows are survivable by superhuman tough opponents.

He *does* force most of them to LDD, though, since at close range his EV is high by street-level standards.


By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: I don’t have the Untold Tales of Spider-Man novel, so the note about the events therein are second-hand (specifically from Spider-fan.org ).

Helper(s): Paul Ewande, Kansas Jim, Sean Quaid, Nick Yankovec, Jay Myers, Peter Piispanen, David Johnston.

Writeup completed on the 21st of March, 2014.

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