CAN YOU BELIEVE I HAD NEVER HEARD OF THIS ONE BEFORE TODAY?
So, MarvelX42 sends me a link to an article and in the comments, someone makes reference to Jim Nastics. It was only mentioned by name, so I did a little digging (because there are some things we've just got to know) and this is what I found out:
I believe this came out around 1985, and was self-published. The first issue gives us the awesome origin of the conveniently-named Jim Nastics, who undergoes the infamous "experimental treatment" and is able to bounce as if he were made of rubber.
In other words, he was Speedball:
and when you're a rip-off of Speedball, that's really all there is to say about that.
UPDATE: I was prematurely snarky. Actually, Jim Nastics came about BEFORE Speedball, so it appears that Speedball is the rip-off unless someone has info to the contrary. If not, Speedball goes into the Character Hall of Shame for that reason alone.
Except many characters had puns for names, which only makes sense because if your name is "Jim Nastics," you're probably going to seek out people who have names as terrible as yours to avoid the constant berating that would otherwise follow you wherever you went. Jim's supporting cast included Ellie Faunt, Hilly Landon, General Bull Dozier and even the dog was inflicted with the name "Auf Auf Weidersein."
Actually, "Auf Auf Weidersein" is kind of cute. I may hang on to that one for one of my future dogs.
My only regret is that I can only the covers, but I will find the actual issues someday. Oh yes... they will be mine. Until then, Jim Nastics, you will be the elusive prize that drives me onward.
See you tomorrow!