Mordecai Shaw, a mild-mannered FBI doctor, forensics specialist and researcher, developed an incredible condition during his adolescence - when he became agitated, he would transform into a monstrous, rampaging creature (it is unclear whether he always had his two tiny, extra arms, though, or if he developed them as the Monstrosity emerged). This colossal, extremely violent brute, with a personality dissociated from Shaw's, was dubbed the "Monstrosity".
Some years back, Dr. Shaw was kidnapped by two of the Daemonite nobility on Earth Lord Defile and Lady Decadence. The terrifying aliens had determined that Shaw was actually half-Daemonite, but Shaw was not an ordinary Daemonite. He was a crossbreed, the product of an experimental program conducted decades ago. The nobles fast-talked and flattered Shaw about his brilliance, and he was fascinated about discovering his alien heritage, not knowing anything about Daemonites. However, the aliens used and violated Shaw, turning him into a version of the Monstrosity that was far worse and far more powerful than before, which was then abandoned to cover Defile and Decadence's retreat when Fuji and Diva of StormWatch discovered the lab. The Monstrosity's clash against the two heroes was titanic, and resulted in tremendous collateral damage and loss of lives. StormWatch personnel eventually managed to cure him and to be confident that he would not turn into the Monstrosity again. Shaw, recovered, returned to his FBI work.
Although he seemed meek and under control, Shaw actually wanted vengeance against the Daemonites nobles, and was approached by Jackson King who offered him a position at Stormwatch PHD unit. Shaw took the job, and became the team's specialist in post human forensics. Especially for his knowledge of Daemonite physiology. In his early stay in PHD while working on a seemingly abandoned Daemonite base and six suspected Daemonite infiltrator in Nevada, Shaw was found first by Lady Decadence. Before other PHD operatives could intervene, the local scientists working with Shaw were slaughtered and Decadence almost managed to have Shaw manifest the Monstrosity. Although Shaw resisted, the other Daemonites were satisfied and knew the next time would be conclusive. Defile, Decadence and several Daemonite and post-human allies next struck PHD in the very precinct house they were sharing with NYPD personnel; this time they successfully forced Shaw to become the Monstrosity, by promising to the creature it would get Gorgeous, an attractive and provocative PHD operative. A master of psychology and manipulation, Gorgeous easily wrapped the Monstrosity around her finger, promising it she would have sex with it if it turned against Defile, and telling it it would be much more enjoyable than just raping her. This proved the turning point at which, incredibly, the PHD agents and the precinct's cops turned the tables against the invaders. Though Defile managed to 'turn off' the Monstrosity and revert it to Shaw through hypnotic command, the PHD agents and experts managed to defeat all assailants and force Defile and Decadence to flee before Stormwatch Prime could reach them.
This episode was also a turning point in Shaw's life. Gorgeous has a habit in keeping in her word, and decided to honor her promise to have sex with the Monstrosity (even though it was manifestly made under duress and for manipulative purposes) by offering her erotic talents to Dr. Shaw. That night had remarkable effects on Shaw, especially after Gorgeous started showing some romantic interest in him, and he started shedding his neuroses. Some time later, when the powerful criminal Slaughterhouse Smith collapsed a building on the team, Shaw turned into the Monstrosity at the right moment to hold the ruins, preventing them from crushing Gorgeous and the other team members. To the amazement of the others, it communicated almost normally, told them it loved Gorgeous and to do anything necessary to save her, holding up the debris and staying behind to let the other get out and evacuate the unconscious Gorgeous. The building then finally collapsed, but despite Doran's fears the Monstrosity easily survived this. Doran then asked the Monstrosity to turn back into Shaw to accompany them to the hospital and amazingly it did so, conserving a continuous stream of awareness between its alien form and his human form.
After this incident Shaw started facing the psychological drives he had always avoided for fear of turning into the Monstrosity; when his colleague Dino Manolis crudely warned him that Gorgeous was a dangerous person to date, Shaw very uncharacteristically punched him in the face, and even more amazingly did not become the Monstrosity despite the outburst. His team mates, including Dino, were favorably impressed by the assertive answer and his newfound control over his other half.
Following the events of Armageddon, Shaw's activities are unknown, but according to one anecdote, he became involved with Gorgeous and they are living in a house somewhere. Where he keeps themselves safe from marauders as the Monstrosity.
As the Monstrosity:
- Shaw is a skilled medical researcher for the FBI - it is likely his fields include forensics and toxicology, and it was strong implied that he was competent in exotic biology (post-human and seedling physiology, alien physiology, superpowers research, etc.).
- In an interview on Newsarama, Christos Gage stated that he based the Monstrosity on Batman supporting character Man-Bat.
- 10 Appearances of Mordecai Shaw (Wildstorm Universe)
- 3 Images featuring Mordecai Shaw (Wildstorm Universe)
- Quotations by or about Mordecai Shaw (Wildstorm Universe)
- Character Gallery: Mordecai Shaw (Wildstorm Universe)