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 super villain 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).
Major Story Arcs
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, Sinister Six, and the Masters of Evil) or in partnership with at least one other villain. Previous alliances include Boomerang, 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.
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 has a run-in with Iron Man on a subway car in NYC.
Shocker is hired by the Golem, along with Constrictor and Jack O'Lantern, to protect a diamond delivery. He battles the Hood.
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).
Shocker plays a small role in the Secret War crossover event.
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 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.
Shocker later appeared as a member of Hood's crime syndicate and Boomerang's Sinister Six.
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 gauntlets 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.
Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610)
Sharing little of the success of his Earth-616 counterpart, this version of the Shocker is a middle-aged crook who often fights Spider-Man and is always defeated and placed in prison only to break out with new gear. He has become something of a running joke throughout the series. Before he settled on a life of crime Herman went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also worked at Roxxon Industries where he would develop some of his first weapons including a rotating Gyro splint which he claimed could "take out a tank" and compound geno-cycles which he also claimed could paralyze a man. For an unknown reason he was fired from his job at Roxxon and decided to become shocker. In his first five encounters with Spider-man he was defeated, making him an embarrassment to the super-villain community. He wound up in jail with his all of his equipment taken away but somehow escaped with brand new equipment. He has been seen fighting both Shadowcat and Spider-Man together twice.
Shocker was never actually charged with anything, Spider-Man simply dropped him off at the police at the behest of Foggy Nelson. He later actually kidnapped Spider-Man and brought him to a warehouse at the docks. There he unmasked Spider-Man and was surprised to find a teenager under the mask. Shocker tortured Peter with his vibro-gauntlets, he wanted revenge on Spider-Man for embarrassing him and causing him to lose his job. He lost his grip on the shockers and it accidentally blew the chain that was holding Spider-Man off. Peter threatened to beat him to a pulp but Kitty Pryde arrived and convinced him otherwise. She walked Peter out where the police were standing buy to arrest shocker, however the police didn't consider him a priority calling him a joke.
In Other Media
Shocker appeared on the 1980's cartoon Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends in the episode Along Came a Spidey where he attacks Aunt May. He was voiced by John Stephenson. He appeared five times on Spider-Man: The Animated Series in the episodes The Alien Costume, The Insidious Six Part One and Two, The Awakening, and the Six Forgotten Warriors Saga. He was voiced Jim Cummings.
In The Spectacular Spider-Man series he was not Herman Schultz but instead Jackson Brice, mercenary working for The Enforcers. He was voiced by Jeff Benett.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance (2006)
Shocker also appeared in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance game as one of the bosses in the pinball machine in Murderworld along with Rhino. He later appears in Asgard as a boss with Rhino. On the wii version, a special battle disk allows you to fight Shocker whenever you wish. He has special conversations with Human Torch in the pinfall fight.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (2009)
In the second installment of the Ultimate Alliance series Shocker is this time encountered by the heroes in the tunnels to Roosevelt Island, having captured Ms. Marvel and holding her prisoner.
Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro (2001/2002)
In the sequel to the original Spider-Man, Shocker is the first boss the player fights in the game. He was one of the few villains to help Electro obtaining the Bio-Nexus Device. Shocker's voice was provided by Darran Norris.
Ultimate Spider-Man (Video Game, 2005)
Shocker was once again the first boss in the game. Here he was robbing a bank and the player must stop him. He was voiced by Brian George.