Excitement continues to build for next year's Spider-Man: Homecoming! Starring Tom Holland's #SpiderMan, the film is skipping the origin story and showing us a Spidey who - although still in high school - has been part of the superhero world for nearly a year. As such, he's already been building up his rogues' gallery, and now we can say for certain that the Shocker is a part of it...
Is the Shocker Coming to the #MCU?
Rumors that the Shocker was appearing in Spider-Man: Homecoming kicked off in July, when Marvelous Realm announced that the character would be played by Bokeem Woodbine. The same report was correct about the casting of Laura Harrier as Liz Allan and Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson, which made the possibility seem believable. In August, the Marvel Cinematic Universe Facebook page followed suit, making it pretty much the first exclusive it had reported. Not long later, a leaked cast list - which increasingly looks to be accurate - suggested the same.
Now, photos have emerged from Spider-Man: Homecoming featuring the Shocker. Although the actor's not confirmed, it seems increasingly likely that these rumors were correct; Bokeem Woodbine is indeed playing the part of the Shocker! Take a look at Instagram to get a sense of the design...
It's an impressively comic-book-accurate design, and is sure to delight Spider-Man fans. We're certainly seeing Spider-Man's rogues' gallery expand!
Who is the Shocker?
Although hardly one of Spider-Man's most notable foes, the Shocker is a villain who's popped up time and again. Real name Herman Schultz, the Shocker is a criminal who invented high-tech gauntlets to project vibrational energy waves at his targets. He could use them to break open safes - or to shoot attacks at his enemies, stunning them with concussive blasts. The Shocker actually won in his first battle with Spider-Man (although mainly because Spidey was already injured).
The Shocker's a street-level supervillain, and his focus is usually on simply robbing banks. Irritated by his constant defeats at the hands (or webs) of Spider-Man, the Shocker has been a recurring member of the Sinister Six, a band of Spider-Man villains who Sony at one time planned to have star in their own film. Is it possible there's still a desire to spin a Sinister Six film out of the much-talked-about Spider-Man universe?
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Interestingly enough, during the Infinity War arc, the Shocker was one of a group of supervillains who broke into Avengers Mansion! He wound up teaming up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to protect the world from alien invaders.
Why Would Marvel Add the Shocker?
With Spider-Man an already-active superhero, it makes sense for him to already have a rogues' gallery. The Shocker has a history of teaming up with other supervillains, including of course the Vulture - who we know will be the major villain. Even if he doesn't take part in a team-up, though, a number of Spider-Man comics have often kicked off with a brief clash with the Shocker, using him to indicate simply that Spidey's already having a busy day!
Here's an odd detail, though. Spider-Man: Homecoming is increasingly sounding to be inspired by Sam Raimi's never-developed Spider-Man 4. Concept art for Spider-Man 4 showed the film opening with a montage of Spidey working his way through a range of C- and D-list supervillains - including the Shocker, the Rhino, and Mysterio - before using the Vulture as the main supervillain. It sounds as though Marvel Studios may have breathed new life into an old concept.
If Woodbine is indeed the Shocker, we can still expect at least one supervillain casting announcement. Logan Marshall-Green is believed to be playing another as-yet-unrevealed supervillain...
Speaking as a long-time Spider-Man fan, I have to say that I'm tremendously excited to see even the C- and D-list supervillains brought to life! It's pretty clear that the MCU's Spider-Man will be operating on a different scale to the Avengers, dealing with local crime-lords and bank robbers - just as he does in the comics. Spider-Man: Homecoming gets more promising by the moment!
Do you want to see the Shocker in Spider-Man: Homecoming? Let me know in the comments- and be sure to check out our video about why Tom Holland is the perfect Spidey below!