#1280: Marvel’s Shocker

MARVEL’S SHOCKER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Herman Schultz suits up in battle armor that produces intense shockwaves, earning him the notorious name Shocker.”

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about Hasbro’s latest iteration of Marvel Legends, it’s that the current development team definitely has some favorite team line-ups, and they sort of have running themes in each assortment to finish up some sets.  One of the favored teams over on the Spider-Man side of things is the Superior Foes of Spider-Man, the stars of the eponymous book by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber.  It all started with Boomerang (who was himself granted a slot courtesy of being part of Jeff Parker’s Thunderbolts, another favorite team) back in the Ultimate Green Goblin Series.  Then we got both Beetle and Speed Demon (*and* the head of Silverman) in last year’s Absorbing Man Series.  Now we’ve gotten probably the most recognizable member of the team, Shocker!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shocker (who get’s the “Marvel’s” description, which is sort of amusing to me, since it kind of sounds like Marvel’s flipping me off) was released in the Sandman Series of Marvel Legends.  This is Shocker’s first time as an official Marvel Legend, though he was released in Toy Biz’s Legends-compatible Spider-Man: Classics back in 2006.  Of course, that was 11 years ago, and Shocker was one of the many villains from that line to be hampered by a gimmicky action feature, so a new figure is very much appreciated.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Included in that articulation? Elbow joints!  Shocker seems to lose those a lot, so it’s nice that this figure is different.  He’s seen here in his most recent costume, which is the one he was sporting during his time with the Superior Foes, as well as his tenure with the Thunderbolts a few years back.  It’s different from the classic costume stylistically, but very similar in spirit.  I dig it.  The figure is built on the Bucky Cap body.  While I personally tend to think of Herman as being a little bulkier (especially with all that padding), he’s certainly been drawn a size similar to this on more than one occasion.  In a perfect world, he’d get unique tooling to capture the quilted texture of the costume, but that’s not where Legends is right now, so he makes due with the standard pieces.  He also gets a new head, forearms, hands, and knees.  The forearms and hands add Shocker’s signature vibro-shock gauntlets, which feature a really awesome sculpt; there’s tons of little dings and such that really add character to the figure.  The kneepads seem a little out of place on the otherwise streamlined design of the figure, but they’re true to the comics.  The head is surprisingly well-done.  Masked characters don’t tend to gent noticeable expressions, but Herman’s got something of a bewildered look that just seems perfectly in character for the Spider-Verse’s resident punching bag.  This is how you sculpt a fully face-masked character!  Shocker’s paintwork is passable; it has to handle all of the quilted parts of the costume, which look pretty decent here.  The changes from the yellow to brown could probably be a little cleaner, but they aren’t too terrible.  I do really like the pearlescent white they used for the eyes; it really makes them pop.  There’s a running change on this guy, which adds a belt buckle with the Thunderbolts logo on it, allowing him to officially be the Thunderbolts version as well.  My figure is the earlier, non-Thunderbolts version.  No clue which of the two will be the rarer one, but I’m happy with the one I got.  Shocker includes the energy pieces used by Havok, Wonder Man, and Polaris.  I lamented their overuse in my Polaris review, and it seems even more egregious here, since the pieces don’t actually make any sense for Shocker’s powers.  The gauntlets cause vibrations; there’s no “energy” component to them at all.  I honestly would have preferred an unmasked head, but I guess the that would have cost too much.  Shocker also includes the left leg of the BAF Sandman.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been hoping for Shocker since Speed Demon and Beetle were first announced.  Superior Foes was one of my favorite books when it was coming out, so I’m happy to have most of the team.  With that being said, I didn’t really know what to expect from this figure.  Shocker’s not a particular favorite of mine or anything, but the figure looked kinda cool.  I ended up finding him at the same time as Spidey, for the same low price, which was enough to push me into grabbing him.  He’s sort of the anti-Black Spidey: a figure I wanted but didn’t need, but who ended up being one of my favorites from the series.  I’m glad I picked up this guy, because he may actually be my favorite of the Superior Foes sub-set.  Now, what are the chances of getting an Overdrive?

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#0626: Shocker

SHOCKER

SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (TOYBIZ)

Shocker1

Spider-Man definitely has one of the best rogues galleries around. Maybe it’s not as cool as Batman’s (though that mostly falls to personal opinion), and sure, for my money, it doesn’t quite have the same flare as the Flash’s, but it’s definitely a strong contender. Of course, with every rogue’s gallery comes the inevitable selection of less than threatening entries. Those, by the way, are my personal favorites. I love the lower tier guys. My favorite Batman villain is Calendar Man for God’s sake! So, I have a real appreciation for them. One of the Spider-Man foes who has never really managed to be anything more than a nuisance is the Shocker, eternal punching bag.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shocker2Shocker was released in the third series of ToyBiz’s 90s Spider-Man line. The line was designed as a tie-in to the cartoon of the same time, and as such, the characters drew from their animated designs. Fortunately, Shocker was pretty much unchanged from the comics, so this is just a fairly basic classic Shocker figure. The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and features 7 points of articulation. That’s less articulation than was usual at the time, due to the figure’s action feature preventing him from having elbow joints. And what was this feature? It was dubbed “Shooting Power Blasts” on the box; in reality, he comes with two red missiles, which pop into the spring-loaded arms and can be “launched” by…well, just letting them go. The springs have no locking feature, so the missiles just launch as soon as you let go. Also, the feature doesn’t really make much sense for Shocker. His powers are based on vibration, so he doesn’t actually blast anything. I don’t know. Shocker featured a sculpt that was unique to him. It’s in line with the rest of the figures in the series; the details are rather simple, and the proportions are slightly boxy. He’s a little pigeon-toed, but not excessively, and due to the action feature, his arms are really straight and stiff. That can’t be a comfortable position. Still, the sculpt isn’t bad, and it does a pretty good job of translating Shocker’s design into three dimensions. Shocker’s paintwork is also pretty simplistic, with basic color work. Most of its pretty clean, but the silver areas seem especially prone to bleed over. The figure included the two missiles to go with the action feature and nothing else, though I can’t say I know of anything Shocker would really need to include.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the vast majority of the 90s Marvel stuff I’ve been reviewing as of late, Shocker was purchased from a vendor at this year’s Balticon. I missed out on a lot of the Spider-Man stuff growing up, mostly due to me not liking Spider-Man: The Animated Series as much as the other cartoons of the time. That said, I still appreciate the series, and I love Spidey’s rogues gallery, so I’m glad to be filling some holes in my collection. Shocker’s not a perfect figure, but he’s fun enough to make the purchase worthwhile.