The 1980’s marked an extremely important time for comic books. Game-changing stories were on the way for several books. Marvel’s Secret Wars was set for 1984. DC launched its Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline in 1985. Dark Horse comics debut in 1986. At the same time, many of the storylines that took place in the 80s for Marvel and DC would define both companies for the next several decades. Yes, the industry was prepping for the most influential era to that point. That doesn’t mean that everything that came out in the 80’s was gold…
The Worst Comic Book Ever Created?
In November 1983, Pacific Comics introduced the world to Billy Moon, a Vietnam war veteran who pursued a career in roller derby before becoming a roller-skating crime fighter by the name of Skateman. Well… That’s quite the synopsis for a comic book superhero. Needless to say, Skateman didn’t go over very well. The book was written by Neal Adams, and only released one single issue. It is widely considered to be one of the worst comic books ever created.
What went wrong for Skateman?
The story began with Billy, as Skateman, fighting off a motorcycle gang by …skating around them and doing karate… Unfortunately for Billy, a wooden plank to the back of his head provided a painful reality check. Before the thugs could finish him off though, they were startled by police sirens. Billy was then tended to by a young boy on a skateboard named Paco. Billy asked Paco to help him avoid the police by taking him to a woman named Jill.
As Skateman was edging closer to death, his horrendous origin was finally revealed in a flashback. While playing roller derby, Billy accidentally killed his best friend by hitting him too hard. He was labeled a killer by fans and the media. He and his girlfriend Angel hitchhiked to California to start a new life. It was there that Billy met Paco, whom he developed a bond with.
Billy taught Paco how to defend himself and trained him for a skateboarding championship. The two were celebrating Paco’s victory with a food fight when Angel came home one day covered in blood, and then died in Billy’s arms. A motorcyclist sped away from the scene. Following Angel’s death, Billy became enraged. In order to get justice, he became Skateman.
Back in the present day, Billy was able to heal up with Jill’s help. He and Jill went on a date at a local roller rink, when a fight broke out involving a familiar biker gang. Billy pursued the bikers but Jill was kidnapped in the chaos. Billy was able to track the kidnappers back to their hideout. There, the final showdown ensued, and Skateman was able to save the day. The story ended with Skateman and Jill exiting the building as it blew up, with Paco cheering them on.
One & Done
It’s easy to see why there was never another issue of Skateman created. This was by far one of the most poorly written stories in comic book history. The character was poorly conceived. His origin story was convoluted. The dialogue was beyond campy. Also, Skateman clearly had some psychological issues…