Dazzler may have been Marvel’s most famous roller disco themed character, but she was not the first. That dubious and dated honor goes to the heelie-rockin’ heel known as…
A member of SHIELD’s short-lived “Super Agents” initiative, Blue Streak was pure and simple roster fodder built around a harried writer’s asking himself “What if Quicksilver was a lounge lizard redhead who took his style cues from Vegas Era Elvis? And instead of vanilla superspeed powers, he has a pair of rocket-powered rollerskates?”
The concept of jet assisted quads as an effective means of transport is one that falls apart after five seconds of contemplation. (Unlike most other superhero comics tropes, which fall apart after ten seconds or so.) As my wife, who spent half a decade on the roller derby circuit put it, “So he had the power to get knocked back on his ass while his skates dragged him in random directions?”
Even within the world of disbelief-suspending superheroics, Blue Streak’s ill-conceived gimmick served only one effective purpose — hurling his midsection at a breakneck pace into the waiting swashbuckler-booted foot of Captain America.
It’s cool, though, because Streak turned out to be a double agent planted by sinister “Corporation” to infiltrate SHIELD and make Cap’s life as difficult as possible. While the plan lacked the direct elegance of their previous effort to send a weaponized VW Beetle to trash the Living Legend’s second floor apartment, it did keep him distracted until the writer returned to the subplot ten issues later.
After his treachery was revealed, Streak suffered an extreme beatdown at the hands of the jodhpur-rocking Vamp (keep watching this space). As a fellow Super Agent and Corporation mole, Vamp hoped to preserve her cover and keep Streak from spilling his guts with a little down home “accidentally died during arrest” brutality.
It’s a scene that has stuck with me over the decades, mainly because it was the first time my younger self had ever seen the effects of a superpowered fist on a human face rendered in such creepy detail. Sure, artists such as Sal Buscema were fond of sending stray teeth a’flying when some bad guy got pasted in the kisser, but those cartoon abstractions paled compared to the contused ruin of Blue Streak’s face in Captain America #229.
Blue Streak dropped from the public eye for a few years before the late Mark Gruenwald dragged him back into the pages of Cap’s ongoing. The half-decade hiatus had been relatively good to the Wheeled Would’ve Been, thanks to the wonders of cosmetic dentistry and advances in costume technology.
No longer was his vulnerable breadbasket projected by a thin veneer of a Presley-ian polyester tracksuit. The mid-1980s streak sported the finest fighting wear to be found in a rejected G.I. Joe character’s concept art.
Streak’s reappearance coincided with the inventory clearing murder spree being conducted at the time by the mysterious Scourge of the Underworld. After turning down an offer to attend a summit of vulnerable z-list villains, Streak had a brief and inconclusive run-in with the Star Spangled Avenger before — oh telegraphed irony of irony — becoming Scourge’s next low-hanging victim.
A tragic fate, but still more dignified than being returned to life by a demonic pact so he could be killed again by a rocket powered skateboard.