Jeff Hagees was once a designer of missile propulsion systems for a defense contractor. To cope with the stress of his job, he turned to gambling, losing thousands in pool rooms. When he fell into serious financial jeopardy, his employers took notice of his gambling problem, and fired him, fearing he was selling defense secrets to pay his debts. Furious, he designed the costumed identity of 8-Ball, basing his custom pool cue on his propulsion system work. He organized a gang of henchmen and went on a crime spree in New York city to make his fortune.
He has encountered many heroes in his time ranging from Sleepwalker to She-Hulk to the Avengers, many of which ended with 8-Ball's incarceration. However, his biggest mistake was when he decided to pull a heist with three partners - Freezer Burn, Humbug and Whirlwind - to rob the publishing mogul, Ricadonna. Unaware Ricadonna was really an up and coming crime figure with a lot of connections, 8-Ball and company inadvertently stole a one-of-a-kind microchip worth billions, and she would do anything to get it back. When Misty Knight and Colleen Wing came looking for him because of a warrant for his arrest, 8-Ball told them he stole to pay for his elderly grandmother's nursing home. That story may have slightly tugged at their heart strings, but Ricadonna hired the Wrecker to take him out - which he did by blowing up the car he was in.