Lancaster Sneed was born in Newcastle, United Kingdom. He was the nephew of Sir Denis Nayland Smith and became an agent for MI6. During a mission in Africa, he suffered severe injuries to his face. Instead of utilizing plastic surgery, Sneed had himselkf rebuilt using metal plates. Hoowever, the doctors at MI-6 considered him mentally unfit to resume service and he was discharged. He studied martial arts and became a circus performer, calling himself Shockwave.
He returned to America and created an experimental exoskeleton. He conspired to kill his uncle and Black Jack Tarr, and began working as a freelance spy. When James Larner was discharged from MI-6, Sneed tried recruiting him, but Larner refused. Sneed battled Shang-Chi and was revealed as Smith's nephew, after which he was defeated by Shang Chi and was left severely injured.
A roboot duplicate of Sneed appeared, controlled by Doctor Doom. Sneed was later brainwashed by MI-6, and attacked his uncle, and battled Clive Reston and Shang-Chi again.
Sneed later worked with the robot Brynocki battled Shang Chi and Leiko Wu on Mordillo Island. When Brynocki turned against him, Sneed battled Brynocki and his robots alongside Shang Chi, Leiko Wu, and Black Jack Tarr.
Sneed was later a member of an army of super-villains involved in a R.A.I.D. terrorist plot in London, only to be foiled by Union Jack. Teamed up with Jack O'Lantern and Jackhammer and charged with flooding the Thames Tunnel, the villains were singlehandedly defeated by the determined Englishman. Shockwave was the only one of R.A.I.D.'s operatives freed by Ecstasy during her assault on MI5's headquarters before being captured herself.
He later joined up with The Hood as part of Hood's Army. When Tony Stark was a fugitive from Norman Osborn, Shockwave was sent to capture Stark in Bayeux, France. He was defeated when Tony electrocuted him with his arc reactor.
Experienced martial artist, intelligence agent and demolitions expert. 
Shockwave Armor: The armored exoskeleton that gives him his superhuman powers. Superhuman strength and electric blasts and armor provided by his exoskeleton. The suit was later water-proofed to avoid shorting out on contact with water.
Lancaster has been identified as one of the 142 registered superheroes who appear on the cover of the comic book Avengers: The Initiative #1.
Shockwave took part in the battle between the Marvel and DC Universe.