Fictional character biography
Sleepwalker #2 (cover)
|First appearance||Sleepwalker #1 (June 1991) (Cameo on television)
Sleepwalker #2 (July 1991) (Full)
|Created by||Bob Budiansky
|Alter ego||Jeff Hagees|
|Team affiliations||8-Ball Gang|
|Notable aliases||The Crook With the Jet-Propelled Cue-Stick, Eightball|
The man who would later become 8-Ball was born in Duluth, Minnesota. A former defense contractor who designed missile propulsion systems, Jeff Hagees took to playing pool to relieve the stress of his job. He soon amasses large gambling debts, which arouses the suspicion of his employers, who thought he was selling company secrets to raise money to pay off his debts. Although they had no proof, Hagees' employers fired him. Combining his love of pool with his engineering talents, he fashions a criminal identity for himself as 8-Ball, inventing his cue stick weapons, and engaging in a highly successful crime spree in New York with his gang. In one of his costumed robberies, he faces the alien Sleepwalker, who demands to know what he was doing. Sleepwalker had the battle won and nearly captured 8-Ball for the police, until Rick Sheridan (the human to whom Sleepwalker is bonded) woke up. The alien is forced back into Rick's mind. 8-Ball escaped.
When 8-Ball and Sleepwalker next meet, 8-Ball proves victorious; he distracts the hero by shooting innocent bystanders. He attempts to kill Sleepwalker, although the alien hero manages to escape. Later, when Rick and Sleepwalker had switched bodies, 8-Ball and the Hobgoblin each attack Rick, trying to kill what they thought was Sleepwalker to win a $100,000 bet. The inexperienced Rick is no match for them, which made 8-Ball realize that Rick was not the actual Sleepwalker. 8-Ball defeats Hobgoblin to make him stop, although by that time Rick was already dying. 8-Ball later abandons Rick to his fate, marking his last appearance in the Sleepwalker series.
8-Ball (with his real named revealed to be Jeff Hagees at the time) joins up with Freezer Burn, Humbug, and Whirlwind. They steal from the crime lord Ricadonna by breaking into her home later at night while she is at a party. They leave with what is unwittingly a dangerous computer virus; they are caught by a hidden camera.
Freezer Burn is slain by Razor Fist as part of Ricadonna's revenge plan. 8-Ball is tracked down at his grandmother's house by the bounty hunters Misty Knight and Colleen Wing. Before he can give them any information, 8-Ball is killed by the Wrecker who uses a grenade on the car he was in. Ricadonna is later imprisoned.
A successor to the original 8-Ball (wearing a simple cowl mask instead of the full-face mask of his predecessor) was present as one of the villains in the Bar With No Name. Spider-Man and Daredevil roust the bar with unofficial support from the police.
Roderick Kingsley later gave an unnamed criminal 8-Ball's gear where he became Roderick's version of 8-Ball. 8-Ball was seen on Roderick Kingsley's side at the time when Hobgoblin (who was actually Roderick Kingsley's butler Claude) was leading his henchmen into fighting the Goblin King's Goblin Underground. After Hobgoblin was killed by the Goblin King, 8-Ball was among the villains who defected to the Goblin Underground.
Powers and abilities
8-Ball was a brilliant engineer with an advanced degree in engineering, who created a four-man hovercraft in the shape of pool rack and led a gang of costumed villains, named also after pool balls. He designed a cue stick equipped with mechanisms enabling it to amplify the force applied to objects it strikes a thousand times over, turning them into potentially lethal missiles. 8-Ball was known to use everything from tires to dumpsters to cars as weapons in this manner. The cover to Sleepwalker #2 portrays him blasting an entire telephone booth at the hero. 8-Ball also used explosive grenades and fireworks, a round floating hovercraft, and flying miniature cameras, all painted to resemble billiard balls.
8-Ball is a skilled gymnast, expert pool player, experienced designer of missile propulsion systems, and a gifted inventor.
The members of 8-Ball's gang were 6-Ball, 9-Ball and 11-Ball. Their weapons included exploding billiard balls.
There are other minor characters who have the temporarily held the mantle of Eightball. These include:
- Fatboys member, Eight-Ball, who was the boyfriend of the first Jubilee (Darla). He first appeared alongside the Fatboys in Daredevil #248.
- Mr. Pow, an agent of Oddjob, took on the mantle as Eightball and only appeared in Deadline #2.
- A member of the Yancy Street Gang, is called Eightball as well and has only appeared in Thing vol. 2 #6.
- She-Hulk vol. 3 #6
- Sleepwalker #2
- Captain America #395
- Sleepwalker #19
- Sleepwalker #21-22 (Feb.-March 1993)
- She-Hulk #5-6
- Daughters of the Dragon #1 (2006)
- Daughters of the Dragon #2 (2006)
- Daughters of the Dragon #6 (2006)
- Amazing Spider-Man #600 (2009)
- Superior Spider-Man #26