Spidey Friday Night Fights: Whole Lotta Shockin’ Goin’ On!


I’m Shocked, SHOCKED!, To Find Fighting Going On In Here!”

Surely you Crawl Spacers wouldn’t begrudge me the chance to reference Captain Louis Renault from Casablanca for this fight, would you?  Because if you did I’d be shocked, SHOCKED!, to find out that you would.  And if you think I’m going to beat that phrase into the ground for this fight – you’re right!

Friday is yet again upon us, and that means it’s time once again for us to turn in to Spidey’s illustrious career and find a battle to enjoy.  And today we turn to March 1966 for Amazing Spider-Man #46 by Stan Lee and “Jazzy” Johnny Romita called ‘The Sinister Shocker.’  Romita had been on Amazing Spider-Man for less than a year at this point but he was definitely making a name for himself and working hard to give us what would become the definitive artistic representation of Spider-Man.  In fact, as I type this I have a Romita Sr. inspired Spider-Man Bowen statue staring down at me, standing next to the Doctor Doom Bowen statue and surrounded by the Bowen Fantastic Four statues.  And I am definitely not showing off or anything right now.  *ahem*

This was the first appearance of the Shocker in the Marvel Universe, and he would later go on to become a mainstay in Spider-Man’s rogues gallery.  And he’s still around these days, still as cranky and aggressive as ever.  I know, I know – you’re shocked, SHOCKED!, to find that out, right?

So what is it about the Shocker anyway?  A lot of Spider-Man fans really love this guy as a villain.  I admit, I’m also a bit of a fan.  But why is that exactly?  My theory is that his power set is pretty unique in the Marvel Universe.  That and when he lets loose he tends to create a lot of collateral damage, which is always a plus.  I’m pretty sure Damage Control’s got a framed picture of this guy in their office for giving them so much work over the years.

Tired of me yappin’ already?  I’m shocked, SHOCKED!, to hear that!  Alright, on with the fight!

Our Story: It’s pretty cut and dry here, Crawl Spacers.  Herman Schultz likes to rob banks.  Hey, who doesn’t, right?  Specifically he’s a safe & vault man.  After being nabbed and put back into the Big House he developed his own shock machine in the prison workshop to bust himself out.  Afterward he made himself a pair of vibro-shock gauntlets, along with and a shock absorbent suit, and got right back to work busting open bank safes.  You have to admire the work ethic with this guy!


TONIGHT’S CARD


In the left corner…

Peter Benjamin Parker, aka ‘The Spider-Man’

Height & Weight: 5′10″ / 165 lbs.
Powers: Proportionate strength, speed and agility of a spider.
Spider-Sense.  Webshooters.  Photography.


And in the right corner…

Herman Schultz, aka ‘the Shocker’

Height & Weight: 5’9″ / 175 lbs.
Powers: Vibro-Shock Gauntlets
Padded Armor
Likes Breaking Stuff
Knitting
Bad Attitude


ROUND ONE – DING!


Okay right off the bat Spidey’s coming into this fight with a liability.  He’s got a clipped wing, so to speak, after hurting his arm in a brutal fight against the Lizard in Amazing Spider-Man #44-#45.  Luckily this was before the Lizard was eating his own kid and non-raping people so Spidey managed to come away with just a wounded arm. And I am shocked, SHOCKED!, that he managed to stop the Lizard!

So Spidey’s not 100% when he comes across the Shocker pulling a bank job.  He was actually alerted to Shocker’s nefarious deed-doing when the wall he was resting against began to violently shake.

That’s one thing about the Shocker – he doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘subtle.’  Everything he does is big and loud.  And when Spidey crosses his path with a gimp arm the Shocker lets loose with the ol’ One-Two.

And make no mistake, kids.  That’s hard metal the Shocker’s pummeling our hero with.  Right in his Spider-Face.  Spidey’s reaction time is down, his quickness is down and he’s off-balance and taken ‘unawares’ by how lame he starts off against this new and deadly foe.

I love that Shocker starts the party off so violently.  Kids this is how you build threat from a villain – by showing exactly what he can do and why that makes him dangerous.  Preferably against the main hero he’ll be fighting.  The easy way out would’ve been to have him come out of the gate and kill Doctor Octopus to establish his villain cred or something.

Either way, Round One of this fight is all Shocker.  He’s lucky to be squaring off against a wounded Spidey that’s a little off his game, otherwise this fight would start off completely different.


ROUND TWO – DING!


But one of Spidey’s best traits is his ability to quickly adapt to adverse circumstances.  After getting his bell rung by Shocker’s shaking man-hands it’s time for Spidey to dish up a little Pain Train magic of his own.  Mess with the bull and you get the horns, Schultzie.

Now Spidey’s in the driver’s seat, working Shocker back with one blow followed quickly by another.  This is the first time the Shocker’s getting a taste of Spidey Strength.  I wouldn’t be shocked, SHOCKED!, to learn he’s not keen for second helpings.

But second-wind gimped Spidey is still a gimped Spidey, and the Shocker’s proving to be a tougher customer than your garden variety bank robbers.  Herman regains his balance long enough to put a vibro-shock smackdown on our hero, and it’s “Down Goes Parker!  Down Goes Parker!”

And Herman doesn’t waste anytime getting the hell out of Dodge after that lucky shot.  He could stay and try to finish Spidey off, sure, but he’s more worried about not going back to jail again.  Herman really, really, really hated jail, as we learn in this issue, and so rather than risk Spidey getting back up to kick his ass he just runs off with a suitcase full of cash.

Another thing to note here is that at no time is the Shocker in the least bit intimidated by Spidey.  To him, Spidey’s just something to kill if he gets in the way.  A lot of other criminals would scream out “Cheeze it, it’s Spidey!” and drop the loot and try to escape.  Not the Shocker.  He stays, goes toe-to-toe and then casually walks out past a collapsed Spidey sprawled out on the rubble of the bank floor.

Again – Round Two goes to the Shocker.


ROUND THREE – DING!


After getting embarrassed, Spidey decides it’s time to man-up and work past the whole injured arm thing.  So off come the bandages and our hero gets back to life as usual.  With a quick payday from Old Man Jameson at the Bugle and a pick me-up form Mary Jane Spidey is back on the prowl.

Our hero overhears a cop talking about the Shocker possibly pulling another bank job and faster than Quesada’s Marvel can renumber a title at #1 he’s off to get him another piece of Shocker Pie.

This time Shocker’s facing a fully ambulatory Spidey who is ready for whatever the baddie can throw at him.  This includes kicking a marble column back at the Shocker after his initial shock assault, turning the tables on Herman.

Herman compensates but the lost second costs him dearly, cause Spidey’s lunging and Herman is shocked, SHOCKED!, to find out it is officially clobberin’ time.

Let’s take a moment to admire Romita Sr.’s work here.  It’s panels like this that make me always say that Spidey’s visually best when there’s a Romita handling the art.  I love that last panel on the right of Spidey hurling himself at Shocker like a lightning bolt made of hurt.  It’s work like this that makes Romita Sr. my all time favorite Spider-Man artist – followed closely by John Romita Jr.

I almost feel sorry for ol’ Herman here, cause things are about to take a turn into Uglytown, Population: Shocker’s Face & Spidey’s red fists.  Ding Dong, Schultzie!  Your weekly shipment of FAIL has just arrived.  Ha-cha!


ROUND FOUR – DING!


Shocker proves he can adjust pretty well himself and he meets Spidey’s lunge with a well-timed right hook with his own patented Shocksauce.  Spidey hits the floor but then instantly gives the Shocker as good as he just got with a kick to his ugly face.

Spidey then takes a page out of Lionel Ritchie’s book and does a damage-dance on the ceiling.  This time Herman can’t compensate and it’s Spidey coldcocks him mid-leap.  I like Spidey’s taunting arms on the right there, like he’s challenging the Shocker to an inverted hug.

We don’t see enough of Spider-Man hitting people while he’s upside down like that when he’s all upside down.  But when Spidey pulls it off it’s always a treat, and usually a little something extra for the crowd.

Either way, it’s Herman’s turn to eat floor, leaving Spidey in the driver’s seat.  Sorry Shocker, but it’s just not looking that good for you from here on out.  Even with an ailing arm Spidey’s just too darn good.

You’re new and powerful, Herman, but Peter Benjamin Parker’s been around the block more than a few times and has handled way tougher than a safe cracker with shock-paws.  And when it comes to handing out the whoopin’ our favorite Wallcrawler does it Economy Size style.


ROUND FIVE – DING!


Speaking of those shock-paws, Spidey decides it’s time to put that jazz on ice once and for all before the Shocker can bring the whole building down on top of them.  Throughout the fight our intrepid Arach-Knight Detective has figured out that if Schultzie can’t move his thumbs, he can’t shock stuff.  The bad news?  A quick thwipp, thwipp! and the Shocker’s shocked, SHOCKED!, to find out how villain-emasculated he just got.  The good news?  Hey, at least Spidey didn’t just cut your thumbs off instead, punk!

With the Shocker completely helpless at this point what is there left for Spidey to do, really, then hit Herman in the face as hard as he possibly can.  Why?  This sends a message.  The first thing Shocker will remember seeing when he wakes up in jail is a zephyr-like red and blue whirlwind flattening his mug.

So the battle’s done, our hero’s won, and we’re shocked, SHOCKED!, to see that Shocker’s going right back to jail.  And he’s probably glad for the time he’ll get to rest up in the prison infirmary, eating the pasty applesauce.

Don’t feel bad for the Shocker.  He’s got a long, semi-illustrious criminal career ahead of him.  It’s not over, it’s just “so long for now!” and we’ll probably see him back here some day in another Spidey Friday Night Fight.  Cause he’s just too much fun.

In fact Shocker played a minor role in a war between New York’s underworld over the Tablet of Time.  And I bet you’re shocked, SHOCKED!, to learn that he got his butt handed to him yet again by the Wallcrawler.  We even get a Shocker vs. Captain Stacy fight that lasts for exactly one splash page.  Heh.

After this fight Spidey went on to battle Kraven, then the Vulture, and then Kraven and the Vulture.  Hmm.  That sounds like a good idea for another fight.

Anyhoo, we’re shocked, SHOCKED!, to find out that it’s time for our decision.  And that is…


DECISION – SPIDER-MAN


Yeah, and in pretty clear fashion.  And that’s a good thing, too, when you consider that the last two fight’s we’ve covered here were draws.  Way to go, Spidey!

And as we do every Friday night we head back to our Spidey Friday Night Fight studios for expert analysis from our fight doctors, Ben Grimm and Shang Chi.  Unfortunately Ben is out in the Negative Zone on assignment with the Fantastic Four and can’t be with us tonight.  We were very lucky to find a fantastic fill in for him though, so please give a big Crawl Space welcome to Mohandas “Boom Boom” Gandhi, star of this summer’s upcoming “Gandhi 2: This Time It’s Personal!”


“Hello, hello!  It is very good to be here with you tonight for the Spidey Friday Night Fights.  I never miss an episode and I am not ashamed to say I am a big fan.  You cannot see it but under my robe I am totally wearing a Spidey Friday Night Fights t-shirt.  Spidey Rocks Your Lame Backsides!

Let us now turn to tonight’s fight.  Oh my God, he was totally kicking that guy in the face, were you seeing that?!  I was like “Oh my God, the Shocker is eating his toes!” because Spidey’s feet were all up in Shocker’s grill.  And there were a few other times when Spidey was hitting Shocker in the face – I mean he just kept hitting him in the face! – that I thought for sure Shocker’s skull would collapse from the thunderous blows.  He is lucky he is not dead!  And even luckier “Boom Boom” Gandhi could not get his hands on him as well!  If there is one thing that really just pisses me right off it is someone committing violence on someone the way Shocker was doing.  And if I ever see him I will make him eat my toes as well!  Chomp, freak!  Chomp!

I am totally glad that Shocker’s mask never came off so that we couldn’t see the blood and teeth flying out of his mouth.  That is always my favorite part – when one dude makes another dude spit teeth and then you get that wonderful, colorful arc of blood through the air as some poor freak’s head gets twisted around when someone is hitting his face off.  But my wife, she does not like it so much and it makes her hurl.  And then I cannot kiss her, and that makes me sad.

My advice for Shocker?  When you get back to Ryker’s don’t pick up the soap when Hammerhead’s in the shower.  My advice to Spidey?  Oh my God you are so totally awesome and I love it when you are hitting things!  Please do not ever stop the hitting and the kicking bad guys because Gandhi eats it up like Pez!  Shang Chi, please be telling me now how much you like kicking the bad guys in the face!”


“Well.  How does one follow that?  I welcome the Mahatma to our big show and am glad to hear that he is such a big fan.  Hopefully Ben can stop clowning around in the Negative Zone in time to join us back in the studio next week.

It’s good to see Spider-Man coming home with a win after the last two weeks.  While I am glad that he and my friend Luke battled one another to a draw week before last I do admit I wish Spidey could’ve found a way to beat Crusher and Titania last week.  Nonetheless, congrats to Spidey on a well earned victory over the Shocker.

What are the important elements to look at in this fight?  First – just because Spider-Man is wounded that does not mean he’s not going to beat you like an old rug.  In fact an opponent can often become even more dangerous, even more deadly, when they are injured or truly feel threatened.  More than a few hippies have found this out after accosting Shang Chi in the park, I can tell you that.

Second – the way Spider-Man uses his environment to his advantage in the second part of the fight.  Kicking that marble column back at the Shocker was masterful, but whereas someone Luke Cage or Iron Fist would do it just by quick thinking Spider-Man does it just on raw instinct, reflex and nerve.  Shang Chi doesn’t do that often, though, at least not with marble columns.  Because Shang Chi is not as strong and he would suddenly be very flat and very sad.

I will give Shocker this, though.  He displays a dangerous criminal attitude here the likes of which someone usually has to find amongst the Wrecking Crew.  His ego is not backed up by his powers against a superior foe but still he displays gravitas here by the truck load.  That is far better than just falling to the floor and pleading for mercy, which is what Shang Chi is usually confronted with when he is putting the hurt on a man.”


Thanks, Shang – and thanks again for filling in at the last second, Gandhi.  We appreciate it and it was fantastic having you on tonight’s show.  Impending display of the ‘Next Week’ teaser in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…


NEXT WEEK: What do you want on YOUR Tombstone?


Normally this is where we’d say goodnight but this week, since Spidey Friday Night Fights has expanded into Marvel Fight Club, we’ll be taking a quick look at the results of our very first Marvel Fight Club battle.  Some of you who missed last week may be asking “But George – what’s Marvel Fight Club?”

It’s a new feature on the Crawl Space message boards where we pick two combatants from the Marvel Universe, completely at random, and then pick a completely random location for them to fight in.  Marvel Fight Club is hosted by She-Hulk with a little help from the High Evolutionary and you, the Crawl Spacer at home, gets to vote on the outcome of the fight.  Random heroes & villains, random locations, and YOU pick the winner!

A new fight is posted every Tuesday.  The voting lasts for three days and then we cover the result here at Spidey Friday Night Fights.  This past week’s fight pitted Sasquatch of Alpha Flight against Skurge the Executioner of Asgard battling it out at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee.

75% of you Crawl Spacers picked Skurge the Executioner as the winner of Marvel Fight Club #1: Tennessee Thunder.  I myself had voted on Sasquatch as an underdog but the Crawl Spacers apparently felt an Asgardian who normally fights whole armies with machine guns and who has battled the Avengers – a lot – has the edge here.  And I can see that.

So be sure to check in the Spider-Man Crawl Space 101 Forum each Tuesday for each and every Marvel Fight Club (MFC) fight.  Just look for the post titles that start with MFC followed by a number (i.e. MFC #1, MFC #2, etc.) and you’ll be fine.  I’ll also post a link to each new Tuesday fight in the comments of the previous Spidey Friday Night Fight as a reminder.  So be sure to vote and comment and we’ll see you there!


For Ben Grimm, Mohandas K. Gandhi, Shang Chi and everyone at Spidey Friday Night Fights & Marvel Fight Club, this is George Berryman saying “Have a great weekend, Crawl Spacers!”


–George Berryman!