First Appearance: November 1992
Shockwave is a humanoid female 5’4” tall and weighing approximately 130lbs. She has blonde hair and fair, freckled skin. She typically wears an electric blue bodysuit of Adaptex material, together with a matching blue streamlined crash helmet with a gold reflective visor providing limited UV protection. She generally also wears black knee and elbow pads, fingerless gloves, and other rudimentary protective gear as well as specially made black running shoes.
The world falls silently behind, streaks of light and color. Feeling nothing, not even the weight of the kid in her arms. Tasting the faint hint of lamb. Hmmm...kabob. Everything goes black.
When she woke up that morning, she was just a disgruntled grunt, enlisted in an army that wouldn't let her fight. The whole army idea was a free education, figures she'd signed up just before a war broke out. Probably should watch the news more. Oh, well. Free food, free housing, and the extra bucks she's making in that medical trial should leave her pretty flush at the end of her tour.
But for now, she's in Iraq standing in front of a kabob cart, across the street from a card board box that will, in a few moments, be the center of a blast zone.
The street's not too crowded. An army work crew has the road blocked off at the end, working on a power line. And it's hot as hell out, nobody in their right mind is outside unless they have to be, or they really want a kabob.
A glint of light catches the corner of her eye and she looks up. Down the street, second floor window, looks like a telescope, maybe. Probably somebody watching that freak meteor storm last night and never put the thing away.
She pays for her kabob, turns to go, and ducks just in time as a soccer ball flies through the space her head occupied a few minutes ago. The kid laughs as he chases after the ball.
"Nice", she says shaking her head.
Stupid brat. Good thing she wasn't taking a bite of the kabob just then.
As she steps out into the street, a strong breeze blows by. It's not a cool breeze, but feels good just the same. The breeze kicks up a wake of trash. Paper swirling in the air around it, the box doesn't move. That doesn't seem right. She crosses the street, towards the box, glances back up at that window where she saw the telescope and notices it move in her direction. Doesn't seem right either. In fact, she's got a really bad feeling about this.
For a moment the scent of grilled lamb makes everything seem ok. She takes a bite of the kabob as she walks.
Still chewing, she reaches the box. Card board, four flaps folded in on each other.
The soccer ball just misses her again. But it doesn't miss the box. The impact shifts the box slightly and pops open the flaps far enough for her to see the explosives.
She turns to run towards the work crew. That big heavy truck looks really inviting to duck behind.
The kid, standing in the street, laughing suddenly realizes she's running right at him and freezes. She tosses the kabob, and snatches up the kid.
Somehow, even through the sound of her heart pounding in her ears, her boots slapping pavement, she hears the click.
Everything goes into slow motion. Beside her the telephone pole slowly falls. A kabob cart tumbles past. She sees the faces of the work crew ahead as their mouths crank open wide in a stop motion scream.
Feet still a running but not touching ground, she flies towards an electric line crawling away from the junction box in a snaking arc throwing sparks. The sparks somehow defy time. They flash fast and bright even against the glare of the blast. She wants to but can't look away as the line gets closer.
She hits the shower of sparks and the super slo-mo comes to an abrupt halt. Everything stops. Time stops...
...for a moment...
Without warning it starts again, and she's moving fast as the world falls silently behind, streaks of light and color.
She wakes up face down in the sand. With a groan, she pushes herself up. The kid is sitting a few feet away from her, staring, hugging his knees, terrified.
Her uniform is full of shrapnel holes, but no blood. She looks behind her. The town looks a few miles away. Her stomach growls. Hmmm...kabob.
Shockwave first appeared on the Philadelphia streets soon after System Four were publicly noted as missing in 1992, having departed Earth for the Space Opera Universe in an effort to thwart the trans-dimensional invasion plans of the Dark Fold. She appears to have concentrated on battling street crime until mid-1994, when she was contacted by Anastasia Doom and Mindy Westerberg, as their first replacement superhero recruit. While this team, eventually including superheroines Athena and Doppleganger, officially continued to operate under the name System Four, the technical inaccuracy of that title encouraged the use of less dignified group names by the press and public (including "Fem Force" and "Fox Force Five"), much to the group's frustration. Occasional irritated comments to the press by Shockwave made her a frequent target for their provocation, but also secured her a loyal public fan base. During this period, the group, evicted from its original Liberty headquarters by the dissolution of the FSAB, established a new base of operations at the top of Philadelphia's Drake Building. The team's operations soon became global in scope. While most of the foes they faced were of a conventional criminal or paramilitary nature, they had several notable clashes with supervillains, including Imhotep, Skorpion, Harvestman, and, of course, The Flaming Skull.
Since the return of the original members of System Four, the reorganization of the combined team as System 4ce, and the relocation of the group's headquarters to the XTS Firehawk, Shockwave has been the member of the team most likely to chafe at the isolation of the open sea, and spends extended periods ashore. She is known to engage in some conventional crime-fighting during these intervals, but rumors that she has undertaken clandestine "commando" missions against oppressive third world governments remain unsubstantiated.
Shockwave has not submitted to systematic study, and the precise origin and nature of her superhuman abilities remain poorly understood. It is known that the vibrational motion of the molecules in her body is somewhat greater than normal at all times and can become vastly so at her direction.
Hyper-Running – Shockwave possesses physical agility and endurance well in excess of human norms, an effect deriving from her elevated metabolic rate, which in turn is likely due to the elevated activity in her body at the molecular level. Her ability to run at speeds of up to 760 MPH, however, outstrips what should be physiologically possible even given her metabolism, and appears to represent a volitional, directional application of synchronous vibrational activity at the molecular, or possibly even subatomic, level.
Vibratory and Electrical Powers – While it is accepted that Shockwave's ability to pass through normal matter is a product of vibrational effects, as in the case of her running, it remains unclear whether it operates at the molecular or subatomic level. While most theorize that vibrational effects simply allow her molecules to bypass those of other matter, overcoming electromagnetic chemical bonding forces in the process, it has also been suggested that her body's electron flow might merge directly with that of the foreign matter. This would effectively "electrically lubricate" and accelerate her passage, and might also contribute to her accelerated running in an atmosphere, as well as her ability to generate vibratory "blasts" of electrically accelerated air molecules, and bolts of actual electrical energy.
Still others speculate that Shockwave's vibrational powers actually extend down to the subatomic level, dispersing the electron clouds of her body's constituent atoms in such a way as to permit her body to permeate through normal matter. Put another way, the wave functions of her matter extend in such a way as to make the probability of her passage through normal matter far greater than "non-zero".
Shockwave, for her part, knows that she is very, very fast.
Shockwave is not known to speak any languages other than English. She is believed to have studied kickboxing and other martial arts, and to have formally studied parkour.
Shockwave typically carries no equipment other than an SSC-2 watch, and various snacks.