Costume Critique: Blue Streak

The first one came so easily to me, that I decided to do one more. And John bringing up the terrifying mental image of a roller skating Iron Man just made me think of this guy:

BLUE STREAK! The hard-skatin’, gas mask-sportin’, rootin’, tootin’ supervillain. God, I loved the late 80s, the age of over-armored bad guys with horrible “current events” gimmicks. Blue Streak first appeared waaaaay back in 1978 in a Captain America comic. Of course, back then his costume was fashioned after another timely fad…DISCO.

Groovy, man. I don’t even want to go into what’s wrong with that picture. Let’s just stick to the later version.

The Marvel editors must have spent a lot of free time wandering the aisles of the nearby Modell’s. A “battle suit” made out of shoulder pads, a catcher’s chestplate, knee and elbow pads, shin guards and a ski mask is not something you stumble upon by accident, unless you have a shopping cart and a limited budget.

The sad thing is that he’s not even wearing Rollerblades, which would’ve been somewhat more acceptable. I think. No, this guy’s sporting the old school skates…the kind of outfit you expect from the Freddie Mercury lookalike in the mesh tank top cruising down the Santa Monica promenade. How did Captain America take this guy seriously. Sure, he could fire lasers from his wrists and throw down razor-edged caltrops from his fancy hip pouches, but when it comes down to it, he’s a bright blue dude on roller skates. You know how you defeat someone like that? Trip him.

Son of a bimbo??? Did he just call Cap a “geek?” I’m sorry, Roy Thomas and John Buscema must’ve lost a bet to have created this tool. It is nice to see Cap on his Ameribike shooting out the ass-end of his Amerivan though. VROOM!

And what’s with the gas mask? Was Blue Streak moving so fast on his little training wheels that he was actually at risk of losing his breath? My guess? That mask is actually just used to catch the tears of shame streaming down his cheeks.

You know you suck as a bad guy when another bad guy makes it his life’s work to kill you.

Scourge: Saving Evil’s Reputation, One Mercy Killing at a Time.

Jason was kind enough to take the lead on this post because he’s better at finding and posting pictures than I, and because he seemed to need to get some thoughts about this guy off his chest. Sadly, he has once again said most of what needs to be said about this loser. Of course, I made that statement about Night Thrasher, and still managed to ramble on about him at length, so let’s see if I can do that again, shall we?

I would actually very much enjoy picking on his original, Disco-era costume, but I suppose we shouldn’t be too harsh on that decade, since fashion took a holiday for those ten years. Perhaps his costume looked good when it debuted, although I’m guessing it was considered a fashion faux pas even back then. I’m sure that Blue Streak and his creators thought that the new, armored duds were an improvement over the white leather suit with the blue lightning, but you know, they were kind of wrong. Sure, the armor makes practical sense, so they get points for that, but then they immediately lose those points for choosing to make the armor ugly, and decidedly impractical in many ways.

Certainly, if one is roller skating along at speeds of 40-50 mph, one would want head and face protection, if for no other reason than one doesn’t want to pick bugs our of one’s teeth. However, the design of the helmet (or ski mask; I’m unclear as to whether that’s supposed to be a thin helmet or a thick wool mask; I’ve been studying the art and it’s not horribly clear and I can’t find the information online anywhere) is so unnecessarily ugly that I have to wonder what the designer was thinking. The worst thing about the headpiece is that ridiculous air hose, which makes him look like some sort of alien. While I agree that an air supply probably wasn’t necessary, I don’t begrudge Blue Streak having one, except that it would have been possible to use one that wasn’t connected to a distracting hose, particularly when that hose goes….nowhere? The best I can tell is that the other end of the hose is connected to the back of his suit, which seems odd, since shouldn’t it connect to an air tank? Is he basically sniffing his back? Man, I hope he doesn’t stop for beans before a superhero fight; that air hose could end up being deadlier than any fight with Captain America!

Besides, what self-respecting villain would want to use an air supply that was dependent on an old fashioned hose like that? That hose is begging to be cut, and Captain America could easily sever it with one throw of his shield. Considering that armored heroes like Iron Man had been running around with internal air supplies for years before this outfit first saw print, I’m not sure why Blue Streak felt he needed to pretend he was getting his air from somewhere else. Perhaps the hose was just for looks? If that’s the case, it’s still a bad idea; once Cap severed it with his shield, he could then have grabbed it and used it to yank this guy’s helmet/hood right off his noggin and then proceeded to beat this loser with his own costume. Ahhh, I would have enjoyed seeing that fight depicted in an issue of his comic.

A closer look at those skates reveal them to appear to be the skates of the 70s-80s variety, the type which younger readers are probably wholly unfamiliar. These skates required a key, which was used to tighten or loosen the skates, and that’s how one put them on and removed them. I wonder if any of his villain comrades ever played practical jokes on him, where they hid his key, and he was stuck in his skates for a few days, rolling through the showers and the mess hall. Or perhaps they could have hidden his key when he wasn’t wearing his skates, and when he went to commit a crime, he would have had to do it sans his trademark mode of transportation. I can see the cab pulling up to the bank, and Blue Streak climbing out, wearing the outfit at the top of the entry, but instead of skates, he has on white tennis shoes. It couldn’t make the outfit look any worse.

Yes, Scourge did the comics world a favor when he killed this one. Sad that Marvel felt the need to bring this lame villain back during Civil War. He appears to be wearing the same costume. <sigh> Marvel, Marvel, Marvel….

Blue Streak

Well, on the plus side, it looks like they’ve at least simplified the stupid air hose on his mask. I can’t see enough of his costume to determine if they lost those snazzy hip packs or not. I will say one thing though, you know you’re pretty bad-ass when you need knuckle guards. Rock on, newly resurrected Blue Streak!

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