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OVERRIDE

Real Name: Dr. Gregory "Greg" Herd

Identity/Class: Human technology user

Occupation: Professional criminal;
    former mercenary, bounty hunter, research scientist

Group Membership: Hammerhead's "villain army" (Hammerhead, Answer (Aaron Nicholson), Ape-Man, Aura (Ann Herd), Bloodshed, Clown (Eliot "Crafty" Franklin), Discus (Tim Stuart), Electro (Max Dillon), Great Gambonnos, Man Mountain Marko, Mauler (Brendan Doyle), Ringmaster (Maynard Tiboldt), Spot, Squid (Donny Callahan), Trapster, Will O' The Wisp, others);
    formerly the Gathering of Five (Norman Osborn, Mattie Franklin, Madame Web, Morris Maxwell);
    formerly Doctor Octopus' strike team (Aura, Looter)

Affiliations: Aura, Doctor Octopus (Carolyn Trainer), Iceman (Bobby Drake), Master Programmer, Norman Osborn, Spider-Man (Peter Parker)

Enemies: Cyber-Slayers, Dealy Boys (Lee, Harv, Ozzie), Gray Dolman, Green Goblin (construct), Iceman, Iron Man (Stark), Morris Maxwell, Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly), SHIELD, Alistaire Smythe, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Spider-Man/Spider-Woman (Mattie Franklin), Technomancers, Jason Tso

Known Relatives: Ann Herd (Aura, wife)

Aliases: Shadrac, "Overpower", "Shadraq"

Place of Birth: Reston, Virginia

Base of Operations: Unknown;
    formerly Doctor Octopus' headquarters, Staten Island

First Appearance: Spectacular Scarlet Spider#1 (November, 1995)

Powers/Abilities: Herd is a gifted engineer, and possesses a Ph.D in cybernetics.  Override's cybernetic costume provides him with enhanced durability, and the ability to lift up to 5 tons.  It also allows him to shut down or control any machine, from complicated electronics to simple machines (like firearms or Spider-Man's webshooters).

While in the form of Shadrac, Herd possessed superhuman strength and resistance, and was constantly being consumed by mystical fire.  The fire did not typically physically burn objects or people, but caused intense pain when touched.  However, Shadrac could use his flames to melt through solid metal and concrete.

Height: 5'10" (Herd); 6'5'' (Shadrac)
Weight: 170 lbs. (Herd); 110 lbs. (Shadrac)
Eyes: Blue (Herd); burning red (Shadrac)
Hair: Black (Herd); none (Shadrac)

History:

(Marvel Encyclopedia Vol. 4: Spider-Man/Spider-Man: Back in Black Handbook) - When Greg Herd was hired by Carolyn Trainer for his technological know-how, he insisted that she hire his wife, Ann, as his assistant.  Eventually, Trainer offered them a more active part in her criminal activities.  They accepted, and the Herds donned cybernetic costumes of their own design to become Override and Aura.  They designed a third cybernetic costume for the Looter, another of Ock's agents.

(Spectacular Scarlet Spider#1) - Aura, Override, and the Looter combat-trained in Doctor Octopus' secret base.  Override managed to shut down the Looter's cybernetic costume, but was only saved from a Looter-thrown forklift by Aura's force field.  Before the three could cause more property damage, they were interrupted by Trainer, who briefed them on their next mission.

Later that night, the three cyber-criminals attacked Jason Tso's Club Noir, in search of some valuable microchips.  Override "overrode" a truck, sending it crashing into the club, and used his powers to open the valves of the Scarlet Spider's web-shooters, sending web-fluid everywhere.  Taking advantage of this, the Spider shot Override full of tranquilizing stingers.  He managed to escape with the others, albeit without the microchips, when the Looter collapsed the club's ceiling, forcing the Spider to ignore them and save the clubgoers below.

(Web of Scarlet Spider#2) - Doc Ock berated Override and his teammates over their failure to recover the microchips until she was contacted by Tso.  Arranging a meeting at the children's zoo in Central Park, she sent the three there to ambush Tso.

  Override and his teammates ambushed the Scarlet Spider at the zoo, thinking him to be Tso's hired muscle, blowing up the monkey house in the process.  They briefly managed to restrain him until Tso and his new ally Alistaire Smythe sent their Cyber-Slayers in.  Override managed to shut down one of the robots, but was knocked out by the Spider.  He and his teammates were subsequently taken away by the police.

(Sensational Spider-Man I#25) - Having apparently beaten the rap and moved out of the city, Ann and Greg came back to New York, lured by the $5 million bounty on Spider-Man.  Despite her misgivings, Ann agreed to resume their criminal careers to make enough money to retire.  Wearing upgraded costumes, they ambushed Spider-Man.  Although weary from battling bounty hunters, Spider-Man managed to maneuver Aura into blasting Override and escape in the resulting confusion. 

  Back in their room at the Manhattan Marriot, Ann tried to convince Greg to give up, but he remained determined, and promised her that nothing would go wrong.

  Leaping into a confrontation between Spider-Man and the Dealy Boys, Aura blew away a cop with her force blast while Override shut down the Dealy Boys' weapons.  Override opened up an 'area of operability' around Aura to allow her to ensnare Spider-Man in a force field...unaware that one of the Dealy Boys was also in that sphere.  He fired his laser at Aura, and she raised her force field an instant too late, trapping the laser beam in it with her.  The beam ricocheted about the energy bubble, tearing her apart.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#255) - Greg Herd stared helplessly at his comatose wife, and set out to collect the bounty on either Spider-Man or the Green Goblin (who had kidnapped Norman Osborn's grandson, Normie) in order to pay her medical bills.  Witnessing the Goblin abduct Norman Osborn from the ransom drop-off, he shut down the Goblin's glider, sending him crashing into a building.  While Spider-Man chased the Goblin off, Override recovered the money and returned it to Osborn, introducing himself.

Later, at a press conference, Osborn gave Herd full credit for saving him from the Goblin, paid him one hundred thousand dollars for his trouble, and pledged to pay for Ann's care.

(Marvel Encyclopedia Vol. 4: Spider-Man) - Override stole a spindle needed for the Gathering of Five ceremony from mystic Gray Dolman.

(Sensational Spider-Man I#32) - Greg Herd accompanied Norman Osborn to the Technomancer Building, where they met with Hamilton Cromwell.  They showed him the spindle, a complement to Cromwell's own fifth of the artifact.  Although Cromwell refused to take part in the ceremony, Osborn and Herd planned to make a return visit...

  Later that day, Override barged into the Technomancer Building with Spider-Man hot on his tail.  After killing two guards by overriding their guns, he shut down the building's security grid and stole the fragment.  Running into Spider-Man, he slowed down the wall-crawler by opening the valves in his web-shooters and turning the security grid back on.  With more guards in hot pursuit, Override ran into the building's menagerie.  Freeing one of the monstrous creatures housed within, Override escaped in the confusion and presented his prize to Osborn.  In return, he asked to participate in the ceremony in order to gain the power to cure his wife, a request Osborn gladly acquiesced to.

(Sensational Spider-Man I#33) - Greg visited Anne's bedside in the Kriezier Private Hospital in Oyster Bay.  Feeling that leaving her in her condition would be cruel, he briefly considered using his powers to shut off the machinery keeping her alive, but decided against it.  She soon regained consciousness, but had given up all hope of recovering, even after Greg told her about his participation in the Gathering of Five ceremony.

Robbing an armored car to pay for Ann's care in case the Gathering of Five went wrong, Override once again ran into Spider-Man.  Ducking into a hotel with two suitcases of cash, took the elevator to the roof, locking the doors behind him with his powers.  Finding nothing to override on the roof, Override was soon confronted by Spider-Man, who kicked him off the roof.  Snagging him with a web-line, Spider-Man reminded Herd that overriding his webshooters probably wouldn't be a good idea.  Shortly afterwards, Spider-Man handed a webbed-up Override and a cash-filled suitcase over to the police. 

(Sensational Spider-Man I#33 - (fb)) - The police took enough time getting Override away from the crime scene that the webbing dissolved, allowing him to override the police car's controls and escape.  He returned to the hotel and retrieved the second suitcase from the locked elevator, giving him enough money to keep Ann's hospital bills paid.

(Sensational Spider-Man I#33) - Back at the hospital, Greg pleaded with Ann to hold on, just for a little while longer...

(Amazing Spider-Man I#441) - Greg and the others prepared for the ceremony in Osborn Industries' headquarters.  He watched as Madame Web apparently was granted death, and Mattie Franklin received knowledge.  Putting his shard in place, Herd felt as if every cell in his body were exploding, then calm, and isolated from the rest of the world.  Morris Maxwell, another participant in the ceremony, surmised that he had received the gift of immortality.  He then witnessed Maxwell endowed with madness, and Osborn granted power.

(Amazing Spider-Man II#3 - (fb)/Spider-Woman III#4 - (fb)) - Greg Herd did not, in fact, receive immortality.  His gift was death.  Possessed by the soul of Shadrac, the creator of the ceremony, Herd became the horrific Shadrac, a flaming skeleton constantly and painfully consumed by searing mystical flames.  Unable to help his wife, Herd sought out Morris Maxwell, who had truly been granted knowledge.  Maxwell directed him to the Long Island home of Bobby Drake, the X-Man known as Iceman.  Before he could ask for help, however, the previous owner of the spindle - a mystic named Gray Dolman - seized control of Shadrac's form and attacked Drake.  Drawn back to New York City by Dolman, he was sent to Osborn Industries to steal the spindle back.

(Amazing Spider-Man II#2) - Disguised with bandages, a trenchcoat, and a fedora, Shadrac showed up in the lobby of Osborn Industries and demanded to see John Stone, the replacement CEO for the now-insane Norman Osborn.  When asked to leave, he attacked the guards with bursts of fire until the new Spider-Man (secretly fellow Gathering of Five participant Mattie Franklin) arrived to subdue him.  Escaping by melting through the sidewalk, Shadrac fled into the subterranean tunnels of Osborn Industries.  Spider-Man followed, and tore off his bandages to reveal his burning skeletal form.  Although unwilling to hurt her and in incredible pain, Dolman commanded him to throw her back to the surface.

(Amazing Spider-Man II#3) - Dolman recounted Shadrac's origin to his unwilling pawn, who pleaded to be allowed to get help from Iceman.  Refusing, Dolman commanded Shadrac to attack Morris Maxwell's pawn shop, and then to blow away the cops who'd followed them.  Before he could kill them, he was attacked by Spider-Man and Iceman, who tried to subdue him under a pile of webbing and ice.  After turning that into steam, he was subdued by Spider-Man's ice-covered fists, then frozen solid by Iceman.  He begged Iceman to freeze his blood to a temperature approaching absolute zero to save his life.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#3) - The operation was successful in both keeping Shadrac alive and breaking Dolman's control over him.  Herd led the two heroes after Dolman, who had abducted Maxwell.  Finding Dolman in a subterranean cavern, holding Maxwell over a deep chasm, Spider-Man and Iceman were forced to flee as the mystic reasserted his control over Shadrac.  He blasted Dolman in rage, but was forced to battle the heroes again before being coated in an ice-web mixture, once again allowing him to reassert control of himself.   As Dolman's mystic energy began to collapse the cavern, Shadrac leapt into his energy-engorged form, sending them both plunging into the chasm. 

Later, as Dolman emerged from the pit, he found to his horror that Herd had merged with him, and could override whatever evil he planned...

(Spider-Woman III#3-4 - BTS) - Dolman's mind merged with Shadrac's body, displacing Herd's consciousness.  Their incomplete merger eventually allowed the true Shadrac to emerge, who retreated to the center of the Earth.

(Civil War: War Crimes) - Somehow separated from both Shadrac and Dolman, restored to human form, reunited with a healed Aura, and back in his original costume, Override joined Hammerhead's "villain army" in order to take advantage of the raging superhero Civil War.  Before they could begin doing so, however, their headquarters was raided by Iron Man and a small army of SHIELD agents.  Override's fate in the ensuing melee is unknown. 

Comments: Override created by Todd Dezago, Sal Buscema, and Jimmy Palmiotti, and Shadrac-ified by Howard Mackie, John Byrne, and Scott Hanna.

Quick rundown - someone or something named Shadrac created the Gathering of Five ceremony which involves the assembly of a cylindrical spindle and four mystical fragments. The ceremony requires five participants, and bestows one of five gifts on them: death, madness, immortality, knowledge, and power. Gray Dolman somehow acquired the spindle seven hundred years ago, which granted him all five gifts, to a lesser degree. Greg Herd steals the spindle, participates in the ceremony, gets death, and...somehow ends up housing the soul of Shadrac, becoming a flaming skeleton guy. Dolman uses his residual spindle-power to control Herd, but apparently the soul of Shadrac stays suppressed. Herd bodily merges with Dolman, but it isn't quite successful, because it desiccates Dolman.  Herd's mind gets suppressed, and because the merger was incomplete, the real Shadrac re-emerges.  Shadrac fights Spider-Woman, then takes his ball and goes home to the center of the Earth. And...uh, somehow Greg Herd ends up a regular dude again.

No idea how Herd stopped being Shadrac - although the powers endowed by the Gathering of Five seem to wear off after a while.  Madame Web's back to being old, Norman Osborn's madness is controllable with medication, and Mattie Franklin...while she still has superpowers, her supposedly epic powers weren't enough to stop some losers from making parts of her into drugs.  So maybe Greg just stopped being a flaming skeleton.  Or, of course, it could be a new guy in the suit...

Override received two entries in the Spider-Man Encyclopedia; a joint entry with Aura for Override, and one for Shadrac.  He also had an entry in the Spider-Man: Back in Black Handbook.

Norman Osborn calls Override "Overpower" in Amazing Spider-Man I#441, and Shadrac is consistently spelled "Shadraq" in Spider-Woman.  Both appearances were written by John Byrne.  Coincidence...or conspiracy?  Also, his second costume changes color a lot.  When he first puts it on, in Sensational #25, it's green, but by the time he fights Spider-Man in the same issue, it's blue, and stays that way throughout Spectacular #255.  It's back to green in Sensational #32 and 33, but blue on the cover of 33.

Shadrac (often spelled Shadrach) is a Biblical figure; he, along with two other youths, was cast into a fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar for refusing to bow before a golden idol.  Once in the furnace, the youths were unharmed, and the king saw a fourth figure walking with them (SPOILER: It was God).  Given that they would not burn, it's kind of a funny name for a guy whose shtick is being on fire.

Profile by Minor Irritant.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Greg Herd, Override/Shadrac  should be distinguished from:

...but has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Spectacular Scarlet Spider#1, p2, pan1 (main image)
Amazing Spider-Man II#3, p5, pan2 (helmetless)
Sensational Spider-Man I#25, p34, pan1 (second costume)
Amazing Spider-Man I#441, p17, pan2 (Gathering of Five robes)
Amazing Spider-Man II#2, p9, pan2 (bandages/trenchcoat)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#3, p4, pan1 (Shadrac)


Appearances:
Spectacular Scarlet Spider#1 (November, 1995) - Todd Dezago (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Eric Fein (editor)
Web of Scarlet Spider#2 (December, 1995) - Tom DeFalco (plotter), Todd Dezago (scripter), Tom Morgan (penciler), Randy Emberlin, Hector Collazo, & Don Hudson (inkers), Eric Fein (editor) Sensational Spider-Man I#25 (March, 1998) - Todd Dezago (writer), Joe Bennett (penciler), Al Milgrom & Dan Green (inkers), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#255 (March, 1998) - Tom DeFalco (plotter), J.M. DeMatteis (scripter), Luke Ross (penciller), Al Milgrom & Dan Green (inkers), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Sensational Spider-Man I#32 (October, 1998) - Todd Dezago (writer), Joe Bennett (penciler), Ralph Cabrera (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Sensational Spider-Man I#33 (November, 1998) - Todd Dezago (writer), Joe Bennett (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#441 (November, 1998) - John Byrne (writer), Rafael Kayanan (penciller), Bud LaRosa (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man II#2 (February, 1999) - Howard Mackie (writer), John Byrne (penciller), Scott Hanna (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man II#3 (March, 1999) - Howard Mackie (writer), John Byrne (penciller), Scott Hanna (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#3 (March, 1999) - Howard Mackie (writer), John Romita Jr. (penciller), Scott Hanna (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Spider-Woman III#3 (September, 1999) - John Byrne (writer), Bart Sears (penciller), Randy Elliott & Raymond Kryssing (inkers), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Civil War: War Crimes (February, 2007) - Frank Tieri (writer), Staz Johnson (penciller), Tom Palmer & Robin Riggs (inkers), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 04/28/07

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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