- Rick Jones (comics)
caption=Art by Aaron Lopresti.
full name=Richard Milhouse "Rick" Jones
debut="Incredible Hulk" (vol. 1) #1 (May 1962)
Stan Lee Jack Kirby
alliances=Avengers (honorary member)
aliases=A-Bomb, Bucky, Hulk ["The Incredible Hulk" #332]
Captain America, Captain Marvel, Rom, Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell)
*As a monstrosity resembling the Abomination: Superhuman strength, superior stamina, and durability
*As a teenage version of the Hulk: Superhuman strength, stamina, speed, resistance to mind control, regenerative healing and durability.|
Richard Milhouse "Rick" Jones is a
fictional comic book characterin the Marvel Universe. He first appeared in "The Incredible Hulk vol. 1 #1," as a sidekick to the Incredible Hulk. Jones has also appeared as a sidekick to the Captain America, Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell), Rom, and Captain Marvel (Genis).
Fictional character biography
Rick Jones was born in Scarsdale, Arizona. He lost his parents at a young age and grew up at an orphanage. He gains notoriety when he accepts a dare to drive out to a
bombtesting ground in New Mexico. As luck would have it, the gamma bombdesigned by Dr. Bruce Banner is being tested. Dr. Banner pushes Rick into a protective trench, saving his life but absorbing the gamma raysthat first transform him into the Hulk. Rick then becomes the sole confidant of the Hulk's true identity. ["The Incredible Hulk" Vol. 1 #1]
Early days with the Hulk and the Avengers
Rick's guilt over causing the incident (and lack of any other place to go) leads him to stay close to Dr. Banner and his alter ego, spending some time as the Hulk's sidekick. For a time, he even gains mental control over the Hulk. Eventually the dangerous unpredictability of the Hulk forces Rick to keep his distance. Rick forms the
Teen Brigade, a loose network of teenagers with ham radios throughout the United States. The first Teen Brigade played a role in the origin of the Avengers, because it was the tampering of a radio transmission the Brigade intended to send to the Fantastic Fourthat brought the original Avengers ( Iron Man, Ant-Man, Wasp, and Thor) together to fight the Hulk as part of a plan by Loki. Loki's plan backfires and the Avengers are formed. ["Avengers" Vol. 1 #1]
After the Hulk's departure from the team, Rick remains close to the Avengers, earning a position as an honorary Avenger. He became close to the recently revived
Captain Americaalthough his guilt leads him to leave the Avengers and seek out Banner and the Hulk for a time. ["Avengers" Vol. 1 #17; "Tales to Astonish" #69] Captain America rescues Rick from one of the Hulk's rampages, and Rick becomes Captain America's sidekick. Rick briefly takes the title and uniform of Bucky, Cap's long-dead partner. This was on Jones' own insistence: Cap continues to have guilty objections, noting that others have lost partners and it was time to move on. Rick's brief time as Bucky gave him the training to survive around superheroes to this day. ["Captain America" #110-116]
Shortly after his split with Captain America, Rick joined with the
KreeCaptain Marvel when he finds himself drawn to the mystical Nega-Bands. Donning the Bands, he is immediately linked to Captain Marvel. Once joined, one of the two remains in a protective bubble in the Negative Zone. After either the person not in the negative zone strikes the Nega-Bands together or a certain amount of time passes, the two switch places. ["Captain Marvel" #17]
Rick and Mar-Vell play a critical part in the
Kree-Skrull War. Rick is freed from the Negative Zone through a portal in the Fantastic Four headquarters. Mar-Vell is released from the Negative Zone while Rick is still in the regular world without the use of the Nega-Bands. The bond between the two is broken. At the height of the conflict, the Kree Supreme Intelligencebriefly unleashes the Destiny Forcefrom within Rick. Rick uses his newfound ability to summon images of various Golden Age heroes. While at full power, Rick single-handedly stops both the Kreeand Skrullfleets long enough to put an end to the conflict. Injuries that Rick sustains lead Mar-Vell to willingly bonding with Rick in order to save his life. ["Avengers" #89-97] Shortly after this the Captain Marvel series was re-launched and we found that Rick wasn't able to contain the energy of Mar-Vell. He was then bombarded with photonic energy which saved him and enabled him to contain Mar-Vell safely. A consequence of this was that Mar-Vell gained the ability to absorb energy in addition to the nega-band energies to boost his strength and could fly with the photonic energy now.
Rick and Mar-Vell serve as a duo for several years while Rick pursues his musical career and love life. Eventually, the two are again freed from their bond while aiding the Avengers against the
Super-Adaptoid. Rick then parts company with Mar-Vell. ["Captain Marvel" #50-51] Rick begins to spend his time with the Hulk again and briefly forms a new Teen Brigade, after which Rick finds himself again teamed with Mar-Vell, though not merged with him as they deal with a legacy left by the Mad Titan Thanos. Some time after, Mar-Vell dies of cancer that he received when he was exposed to a deadly nerve gas stolen by the villain Nitro. Note: Mar-Vell collapsed from the gas and was comatose until he was given an antidote to the gas. However despite the antidote, Mar-Vell still developed cancer. Rick was at Mar-Vell's bedside when he died.
After Mar-Vell's tragic death, Rick began to team with the Hulk again. Guilt over causing Banner to be hit with the gamma rays made Rick decide to expose himself to gamma rays in an attempt to become another Hulk-like being that could stop the Hulk. However this plan backfired and Rick was dying of Gamma poisoning until Banner cured him. However this too led to the consequence of Rick developing a form of blood-cancer. Rick was stunned at the irony of this considering what happened to his old friend, Mar-Vell. Rick was going to undergo a massive blood transfusion to treat this ailment when the hospital was attacked by monsters created by the
Dire Wraiths. Rick was saved by the Spaceknight, Rom and began to team with Rom despite the fact that he was slowly dying. Upon the final defeat of the Wraiths, Rom banished them all to Limbo and then bade farewell to Rick Jones and the Earth. Shortly after Rom left, Rick Jones and Brandy Clark, the woman who loved Rom, met the alien called the Beyonder (a Secret Wars 2 tie in issue of ROM). The Beyonder briefly granted Rick superhuman powers but Rick realized he couldn't handle them, and the Beyonder stripped him of his powers but left him cured of his cancer.
Further encounters with the Hulk
Soon after the encounter with the Beyonder, Rick teams with the Hulk again. This time, the Hulk had been split into two beings, Banner and the Hulk, but the experiment was a failure and both were dying. General Ross tried to stop the process of remerging the two, and Rick intervened only to be dumped into the chemical nutrient bath that was fusing Banner and the Hulk again. This resulted in Rick somehow becoming a Hulk-like creature of his own and he took off into the desert on a savage rampage. Rick would be human at day and be his own green-skinned near mindless Hulk at night.
The other effect of Rick becoming a Hulk is that Banner is reverted from Green Hulk into the Grey Hulk. During this time, the Rick-Hulk battled the Grey Hulk,
Zzaxx, the Hulkbusters, and the Outcasts. The Grey Hulk is manipulated by Sam Sterns, along with Banner, into siphoning the radiation from Rick into Sterns. Sterns is then turned back into the Leader, drastically altering his appearance, and Rick is cured of his Hulk transformations. ["Incredible Hulk" Vol. 2 #324-329, 332]
Rick stays with Banner, the Grey Hulk,
Betty Banner, and Clay Quartermainfor several months as they travel the country looking for a government supply of gamma bombs. The group splits after the apparent death of the Hulk at the hands of the Leader.
At one point, Rick's psionic potential was released by
Moondragonagainst Atlantean invaders. ["Avengers Annual" #18]
Rick authors the book "Sidekick," an autobiography of his time with super-heroes. While on a book tour, he meets
Marlo Chandlerwithout realizing that she had only recently broken up with the Hulk (then acting as a Las Vegas leg breakerwith the alias "Mr. Fixit"). Rick is kidnapped by a Skrullvessel and the Hulk aids in Rick's rescue. ["Incredible Hulk" Vol. 2 #374-376] This starts another period with Rick and the Hulk, this time with Marlo and Betty.
Rick and Death
Rick came in touch with
deathin several ways during this time with the Hulk. First, Rick dies at the hands of Thanos, along with half of the universe, when Thanos uses the Infinity Gauntletto impress Death. Rick and the others are brought back in ensuing events. Rick remembers meeting several deceased rock stars.
Rick assisted the Hulk many times during his tenure with the Pantheon. ["Incredible Hulk" Vol. 2 #386-390] During the time, he guns down an insane killer, but is still wracked with remorse. Over time he bonds with Wolfsbane of X-Factor, who also killed another insane murderer during the same debacle (he even ends up inviting her to his wedding).
Another major encounter with death occurs when
Jackie Shorr(who is revealed to be a demented mass murderer) comes into his life and claims to be his mother. It is still not known for sure whether this claim is true or not, as the same claim is made by many others. She, however, insists that those she killed and left mummified in her basement were substitutes for Rick, and that he is her real son. Shorr is discovered to be insane, but not until after she kills Marlo by stabbing her with a kitchen knife. A horrified Rick refuses to test her DNA, saying that he doesn't want to know, especially if she is truly his mother.
Rick attempts to bring Marlo back using a
resurrectiondevice known as the " deus ex machina" that the Leader developed, but the Hulk destroys the equipment part way through the process. Marlo is left in a catatonicstate. Fortunately, Rick's care eventually helps Marlo return to full health despite the intervention of many other well-meaning friends and family.
Shortly after Marlo is revived, the two become engaged and quickly marry. Neither of them realize, however, that a portion of Death remains "in" Marlo. This piece of Death attracted many strange visitors to the wedding, including Mephisto and Death herself.
The married couple soon finds success in a popular talk show called "Keeping Up with the Joneses", cut short when Rick is crippled by a Banner-less Hulk that made a deal to work for Apocalypse and become his Horseman "War" if he would remove the shrapnel from the Hulk's brain. The injury confines Rick to a wheelchair and the debilitation strains his relationship with Marlo. The strain increases with the tragic death of Betty Banner by
radiation poisoningto the point that the couple split shortly thereafter.
Rick joins Dr. Banner again after his reappearance. His serious health problems force him to be brought by the Avengers to the now-captive Supreme Intelligence for aid. This marks the beginning of the
Destiny War. Over the course of these events, Rick's injury is healed and he is joined with Genis-Vell(the recently endowed Captain Marvel and son of Mar-Vell).
Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell)
Rick's bond with Genis works in about the same way as his bond with Mar-Vell. The biggest difference is that the two switch in and out of the
Microverserather than the Negative Zone. Genis-Vell's unique birth and accelerated aging makes him the opposite of Rick: full of power but without experience. They compensate for each other's weaknesses with Rick taking on the role of mentor. He helped Genis learn to control his cosmic awarenessand accept his role as a super-hero. As Rick's confidence grew, he also attempted to rekindle his romance with Marlo.
It wasn't until this point that Marlo's connection with Death is finally revealed. Thanos aids in separating the two, but Rick is prematurely aged and loses an arm in the process. He is later yanked back in time to the Destiny War, where he aids his younger self in the conflict leading to his bond with Genis.
Marlo tries to aid the elderly Rick the way he had helped her when she was catatonic. Rick's pride, however, just causes more problems. The
Supreme Intelligenceattempts and fails to restore Rick to his normal condition, but he is spontaneously restored to his normal age and health shortly thereafter. Rick believes this was divine aid while Genis believes it was a delayed reaction to the Supreme Intelligence's procedure. No definitive explanation has yet been determined.
For a while, Rick and Genis are yanked back and forth through time. Rick encounters two older versions of himself: one an aging collector surviving under the rule of the Maestro; the other a super-villain named Thanatos. The super-villain Rick was in the process of creating the "ultimate Rick Jones". He is stopped by the elder Rick's ability to wield Thor's hammer, Rick having been judged worthy for things the present Rick had yet to do and things that Thanatos would never achieve.
It is, however, unclear if Rick will become either of these older versions of himself. It has been established that the "specific" timeline that the old Rick lived in will not come to pass due to the Hulk having been drawn into the future to defeat his future self.
Rick and Marlo again split when Marlo becomes romantically involved with
Moondragon. Shortly after, Genis goes insane when his cosmic awareness reaches its peak. Rick's attempts to continue as Genis's guide are fairly unsuccessful. Genis becomes a callous, homicidal maniac believing himself a god. Rick's friend even destroys the universe just to rebuild it with Rick and Genis as sole survivors.
In the rebuilt reality, Genis again loses his mind. Rick develops an ability to mentally attack Genis through their psychic bond (although the pain is reciprocal). For a time, Genis uses this same link to control Rick. He goes as far as 'convincing' Rick to kill himself on a whim. Genis brings Rick right back to life just as easily.
In part due to Rick's influence, Genis' madness calmed to a point where he was able to maintain a veneer of sanity, albeit with some unpredictability. He creates a recording studio for Rick that allows for fame and fortune at the sake of Internet based sales of a song written for Marlo. The same song also acts as a catalyst for the two to reunite, with Marlo ending her relationship with Moondragon.
At the end of the series, it is revealed that Rick has a "comic awareness" that the "Captain Marvel" comic series was coming to an end. He pushed for several of the loose ends of the series to be resolved: Rick and Genis were separated again, and Rick was reunited with Marlo at last report. This ability was primarily created for the needs of this one issue, and it seems unlikely that it will see future usage.
Rick was recently revealed to be the mysterious benefactor of Excelsior. The group is comprised of former teenage superheroes dedicated to reforming other super-powered kids from following down the same path. Their first targets are the underage Runaways patrolling Los Angeles in the wake of the supervillain power vacuum since the defeat of the Runaways' evil parents, The Pride, who once controlled the city. Rick tells Excelsior that he wanted the Runaways back in foster care because he didn't want them to go through the same experiences he went through.
Fallen Son: Death of Captain America
Rick appeared at Cap's funeral in Arlington, Virginia. When Sam Wilson (The Falcon) made a speech, he mentioned that Rick would know what it's like to have called Captain America a partner. He replied by saying "Right on."
World War Hulk"
Rick re-connects with the Hulk during the "
World War Hulk" mini-series. He seeks out the Hulk and supports his punishing the Illuminati for their exiling him to Sakaarand their apparent involvement with the deaths of thousands of innocent people on that planet, including the Hulk's wife and unborn child. After the Hulk's climactic battle with the Sentry, one of the Hulk's associates, Miek (who was the true cause of the deaths on Sakaar), impales Rick through the chest. Rick is seen being loaded into an ambulance. [" World War Hulk" #1-5]
In the aftermath of
World War Hulk, a new Red Hulkhas emerged, "Hulk" #1 (March 2008)] brutally beating and then shooting the Abomination to death.
Following this, Red Hulk confronts Rick Jones at Gamma Base, where Bruce Banner is being held. In defense, Jones turns into a creature resembling Abomination, calling himself A-Bomb." Hulk" #2 (April 2008)] During the fight, the base security measures activate, and giant
android Harpies(with the face of Betty Ross) attack the two, and attempt to remove them from the base. A-Bomb manages to disable one mid-flight, and they both crash to earth, the robot exploding as it does." Hulk" #3 (May 2008)]
A-Bomb joined with several heroes including the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, She-Hulk and the Hulk to help stop an impending earthquake in San Francisco which was caused by Red Hulk. ["Hulk" #5 (August 2008)] After the Red Hulk was defeated, A-Bomb reverted back to Rick. He attempted to reveal who Red Hulk really was, but was shot and dragged away by
Doc Samson. ["Hulk" #6 (September 2008)]
Powers and abilities
Rick Jones is an athletic man that previously had no superhuman powers. He has received training in combat gymnastics by Captain America. He is also a skilled self-taught folk and rock n' roll singer and guitarist.
Jones's latent psionic potential was once unleashed by the Kree Supreme Intelligence, but he cannot utilize it at will. He was also for a time able to shift spacial/temporal positions with Mar-Vell, and later Genis-Vell.
For an as yet unexplained reason, Rick Jones has gained the ability to turn into a creature resembling the Abomination, granting him superhuman strength and durability (even the
Red Hulkproved unable to damage it in the slightest), but reducing his intelligence in a similar manner to the classic Hulk persona.
Partial appearance list
This list is not intended to be complete. Rather, this list is intended to indicate time periods where Rick frequently appeared throughout a series of issues of a book. There may be other issues in which Rick appeared that are not listed, and there may be a handful of individual issues within a specific series that Rick did not appear in. For a detailed and complete appearance list, see the [http://www.chronologyproject.com/j.htm#JONES Marvel Chronology Project] .
*"The Incredible Hulk" (vol. 1) #1-6
*"The Avengers" (vol. 1) #1-17, 89-100
Tales to Astonish" #68-92
*"The Incredible Hulk" (vol. 2) #103-106, 245-282, 319-346, 373-419, 441-470 (intermittently)
Captain America" #110-118
*"Captain Marvel" #17-62
*"Marvel Spotlight" #1-3 (continuing the story of Captain Marvel)
Graphic Novel" #1: "The Death of Captain Marvel"
Avengers Forever" ( limited series) #1-12
*"Captain Marvel" (vol. 3) #0-35
*"Captain Marvel" (vol. 4) #1/36-25/60
*"Runaways" (vol. 2) #6
Captain America(vol. 5) #26
World War Hulk#1-5
Thanatos originally appeared in "
Spider-Man 2099". It was only established years after the series was cancelled that Thanatos was actually Rick Jones. Thanatos' plan to create the "ultimate Rick Jones" was author Peter David's attempt to poke fun at the Ultimate Marveluniverse. Shortly after this story finished, another issue of "Captain Marvel" had the cover text "The Ultimate Captain Marvel" and imitated the cover style of the Ultimate books.
* Rick initially appeared in the 1966 "Incredible Hulk" segment of "
The Marvel Superheroes".
* Rick was also a regular character on the 1982 "The Incredible Hulk". There, Rick - voiced by
Michael Holton- was blond, wore a cowboy hat, and had a girlfriend named Rita.
* Rick appeared alongside Hulk in the 1994 "Fantastic Four" episode "Nightmare In Green", played by
* Rick was a regular character on the 1996 animated program "The Incredible Hulk", played by
Luke Perry. In the season finale of the first season, Rick Jones falls into a toxic Nutrient Bath, (which was used to separate Hulk and Bruce Banner), and becomes a teen Hulk. Rick is later cured after The Leader abosrbed his power in order to restore his own with the help of The Gargoyle.
* Although he does not appear in "The Incredible Hulk", Rick's name is briefly shown on a list of Bruce Banner's known associates during the film's
* Rick Jones appears in the "The Incredible Hulk" video game voiced by Jon Curry. In the game, he is a faithful ally of the Hulk and seems to share his comic book counterpart's back story as a sidekick.
* Rick has been a regular or recurring character in numerous series from Marvel, including "The Avengers", "
Captain America", two or three "Captain Marvel" series (depending on how you choose to count them), "Rom", the " Avengers Forever" limited series, and, most commonly, "The Incredible Hulk" (and the related " Tales to Astonish").
* When Marvel characters are being "matched" to their equivalents in
DC Comics, Rick is usually associated with the Justice League of America's former mascot Lucas "Snapper" Carr. He and Snapper are seen as the best of friends in " Justice League/The Avengers" issue #3.
* When Rick first appears at the gamma bomb test site, he is playing a
harmonica. It was later established that he had been playing the song "That'll Be the Day" by Buddy Holly.
* During Jones' most recent string of appearances in "The Incredible Hulk", a fan campaign was started to give Rick Jones his own trading card. Although this campaign (which for a long time consisted of one persistent individual) was less than successful, Jones did receive a
Marvel value stampin the back of one issue of the Incredible Hulk. Also, a baseball cardof Jones (along with cards of Marlo, Betty, and the Hulk) was printed on a page of an issue of "The Incredible Hulk" in which the Hulk briefly joins a baseball team.
* In the
alternate futureof the Maestro, Rick has a great-granddaughter named Janis. Rick has chosen the name himself, naming her after Janis Joplin. In the present, Rick has not yet had any children. However, one version of Janis traveled back in time to shortly before the time Rick was handicapped by the War Hulk. She is still believed to be in this time period.
* An early 2000s issue of "Avengers", #issue, reveals that Rick has released music albums. Ant-Man says, "He owns both (of Rick's) albums". Rick promptly responds, "So you're the one". "Alias" #issue and "Runaways" (vol. 2) issue #4 also reveal that Rick has released a few music singles.
* "Alias" #issue reveals he is also the author of the book "Sidekick," which chronicles his life alongside various superheroes.
* In Avengers #1-6, the teenaged leader of the Teen Brigade is referred to as Rick "Brown", then in issue #7, he is referred to as Rick Jones. No explanation for this is given.
* Rick Jones's body was once possessed by Namor's mind.
Victor Manchaof the Runaways and the Young Avengersall have a sense of respect for Rick. Patriot of the Young Avengers has a stated desire to meet Rick.
* [http://marvel.com/universe/Jones%2C_Rick Rick Jones] at Marvel.com
* [http://chronologyproject.com Marvel Chronology Project] 's [http://www.chronologyproject.com/j.htm#JONES Rick Jones] listing.
* [http://marvelite.prohosting.com/surfer/cmarvel/rickjones.html Profile] of Rick Jones.
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