Rick Jones (comics)
Rick Jones. Art by Aaron Lopresti.
|First appearance||As Rick:
The Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962)
Hulk #2 (January 2008)
|Created by||Stan Lee
|Full name||Richard Milhouse "Rick" Jones|
|Supporting character of||Hulk, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Rom, Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell)|
|Notable aliases||A-Bomb, Bucky, Hulk|
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Other versions
- 5 In other media
- 6 References
- 7 External links
|This section requires expansion. (April 2010)|
Rick Jones first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #1, as a sidekick to the Incredible Hulk. He has also appeared as a sidekick to Captain America, Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell), Rom the Spaceknight, and Captain Marvel (Genis).
Fictional character biography
Rick Jones was born in Scarsdale, Arizona. He lost his parents at a young age and as a result grew up at an orphanage. He gains notoriety when he accepts a dare to drive out to a bomb testing ground in New Mexico. As luck would have it, the gamma bomb designed by Dr. Robert Bruce Banner is being tested. Banner pushes Rick into a protective trench, saving his life but absorbing the gamma rays that first transform him into the Hulk. Rick then becomes the sole confidant of the Hulk's true identity.
Early days with the Hulk and the Avengers
||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (January 2013)|
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. Later 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 (by Loki) the Brigade intended to send to the Fantastic Four that 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.
After the Hulk's departure from the team, Rick remains close to the Avengers, earning a position as an honorary Avenger. He alerted the team to the presence of the Hulk when they began searching for him. Rick does fear the vengeance of the Hulk though. He became close to the recently revived Captain America although his guilt leads him to leave the Avengers and seek out Banner and the Hulk for a time. 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, Captain America'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. When Rick believed the Hulk to be dead at one point (the Hulk had actually been sent to the Future), he revealed the truth of Banner's Hulk condition to Col. Glenn Talbot, thus inadvertently making Banner a wanted fugitive by the US Military when he returned.
Shortly after his split with Captain America, Rick joined with the Kree Captain 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.
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 Intelligence briefly unleashes the Destiny Force from within Rick. Rick uses his new-found ability to summon images of various Golden Age heroes. While at full power, Rick single-handedly stops both the Kree and Skrull fleets long enough to put an end to the conflict. Injuries that Rick sustains lead Mar-Vell to willingly bond with Rick in order to save his life. 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. Rick begins to spend his time with the Hulk again and briefly forms a new Teen Brigade,[volume & issue needed] after which Rick finds himself again teamed with Mar-Vell,[volume & issue needed] though not merged with him as they deal with a legacy left by the Mad Titan Thanos.[volume & issue needed] Sometime 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 and there was some momentary concern that the link Rick shared with him could have caused himself to contract the condition. Rick was at Mar-Vell's bedside when he died.
Venturing with Rom
After Mar-Vell's death, Rick began to team with the Hulk again.[volume & issue needed] 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.[volume & issue needed] However this plan backfired and Rick was dying of Gamma poisoning until Banner cured him.[volume & issue needed] However, this too led to the consequence of Rick developing a form of blood cancer. 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 Rick was slowly dying. Upon the final defeat of the Wraiths, Rom banished them all to Limbo and then bade farewell to Rick Jones and Earth. Shortly after Rom left, Rick Jones met the alien called The Beyonder, who cured Jones of his cancer.
Reunion with the Hulk
Shortly after the encounter with the Beyonder, Rick once again teamed with the Hulk.[volume & issue needed] This time, the Hulk had been split into two beings, Banner and the Hulk, but the experiment was a failure and both were dying.[volume & issue needed] 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.[volume & issue needed] This resulted in Rick somehow becoming a Hulk-like creature of his own and he took off into the desert on a savage rampage.[volume & issue needed] Rick would be human at day and be his own green-skinned near mindless Hulk at night.
With the help of Vision, Banner and the Hulk are made whole again, but, both are weak and still dying. As a result of a Nutrient Bath developed by Doc Samson, Banner/Hulk is reverted from Green Hulk into the Grey Hulk. During this time, the Rick-Hulk battled the Grey Hulk, Zzzax, 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.
Rick stays with Banner, the Grey Hulk, Betty Banner, and Clay Quartermain for 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.[volume & issue needed] Rick's psionic potential is later released by Moondragon against Atlantean invaders.
Rick authors the book "Sidekick," an autobiography of his time with super-heroes. While on a book tour, he meets Marlo Chandler without realizing that she had only recently broken up with the Hulk (then acting as a Las Vegas thug with the alias Mr. Fixit). Rick is kidnapped by a Skrull vessel and the Hulk aids in Rick's rescue. This starts another period with Rick and the Hulk, this time with Marlo and Betty.
Rick and death
Rick came in touch with death in 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 Gauntlet to impress Death.[volume & issue needed] Rick and the others are brought back in ensuing events.[volume & issue needed] Rick remembers meeting several deceased rock stars.[volume & issue needed]
Rick assisted the Hulk many times during his tenure with the Pantheon. During the time, he guns down an insane killer, but is still wracked with remorse.[volume & issue needed] 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).[volume & issue needed]
Another major encounter with death occurs when Jackie Shorr (who is revealed to be a demented serial killer) comes into his life and claims to be his mother.[volume & issue needed] It is still not known for sure whether this claim is true or not, as the same claim is made by many others.[volume & issue needed] 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.[volume & issue needed] A horrified Rick refuses to test her DNA, saying that he doesn't want to know, especially if she is truly his mother.[volume & issue needed]
Rick attempts to bring Marlo back using a resurrection device known as the "deus ex machina" that the Leader developed, but the Hulk destroys the equipment part way through the process.[volume & issue needed] Marlo is left in a catatonic state.[volume & issue needed] Rick's care eventually helps Marlo return to full health despite the intervention of many other well-meaning friends and family.[volume & issue needed]
Shortly after Marlo is revived, the two become engaged and quickly marry.[volume & issue needed] Neither of them realizes, however, that a portion of Death remains in Marlo.[volume & issue needed] This piece of Death attracted many strange visitors to the wedding, including Mephisto and Death herself.[volume & issue needed]
The married couple soon finds success in a popular talk show called "Keeping Up with the Joneses",[volume & issue needed] cut short when Rick is crippled by a Banner-less Hulk,[volume & issue needed] that made a deal to work for Apocalypse and become his Horseman "War" if he would remove the shrapnel from the Hulk's brain.[volume & issue needed] The injury confines Rick to a wheelchair and the debilitation strains his relationship with Marlo.[volume & issue needed] The strain increases with the death of Betty Banner by radiation poisoning to the point that the couple split shortly thereafter.[volume & issue needed]
Rick joins Dr. Banner again after his reappearance.[volume & issue needed] His serious health problems force him to be brought by the Avengers to the now-captive Supreme Intelligence for aid.[volume & issue needed] This marks the beginning of the Destiny War.[volume & issue needed] Over the course of these events, Rick's injury is healed,[volume & issue needed] and he is joined with Genis-Vell (the recently endowed Captain Marvel and son of Mar-Vell).[volume & issue needed]
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 Microverse rather 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 Awareness and accept his role as a superhero. 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 Intelligence attempts 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' 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 revealed to be the mysterious benefactor of Excelsior.[volume & issue needed] The group is composed 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.[volume & issue needed] 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.[volume & issue needed]
Fallen Son: Death of Captain America
Rick served as one of the pallbearers at the memorial service for Captain America, along with Ben Grimm, Ms. Marvel, The Falcon, T'Challa and Tony Stark. When Sam Wilson (The Falcon) made his inspirational speech, he mentioned that Rick would know what it's like to have called Captain America a partner. Jones 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 attempts to talk him down, telling his friend that, while he recognized that the Illuminati had been out of line in their decision to exile him to Sakaar and their apparent involvement with the deaths of thousands of innocent people on that planet, including the Hulk's wife and unborn child, his current blind quest for vengeance was not him, using Hulk's willingness to protect innocent people caught in the fight between him and a Zom-possessed Doctor Strange as proof that the Hulk was still a hero rather than a man blindly seeking vengeance. After the Hulk's climactic battle with the Sentry resulted in him reverting to Bruce Banner, one of the Hulk's associates, Miek (who witnesses and did not prevent the true cause of the deaths on Sakaar which was not the humans), impales Rick through the chest to provoke Bruce into turning back into the Hulk. Rick is seen being loaded into an ambulance.
In the aftermath of "World War Hulk", a new Red Hulk emerged, brutally beating and then shooting the Abomination to death.[volume & issue needed] After this occurred, Jones escaped from a secret base in Alaska that had been destroyed in a "Hulk-like" manner.[volume & issue needed] Following this, Red Hulk confronts Jones at Gamma Base, where Bruce Banner is being held. In defense, Jones inexplicably transforms into a creature resembling the Abomination, calling himself A-Bomb. 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.
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. After the Red Hulk was defeated, A-Bomb reverted to Rick. He attempted to reveal who Red Hulk really was, but was shot and dragged away by Doc Samson. In Incredible Hulk #600 it is revealed the reason Doc Samson shot Rick Jones is because he now has multiple personality syndrome. It's also revealed that MODOK was involved in Rick's new condition. After Red Hulk drained the gamma energy from Hulk, A-Bomb had enough intelligence to get Bruce Banner to safety. In Incredible Hulk #604, A-Bomb was shown to be fully healed, participating along with Korg as Skaar's sparring partner to prepare him for the time when the Hulk will return. In the same issue, Rick was reunited with Marlo, who was transformed by the Leader into Harpy, whom Bruce mistakes for Betty Ross.
It was eventually revealed that Rick was transformed into A-Bomb by the Intelligencia under command of the Leader and MODOK. Using the Abomination's blood they changed him to become their weapon, but soon learned that he could not be controlled as easily as they planned. Instead, they gave him one simple command with a certain trigger—kill Bruce Banner. Suspecting this, Bruce was able to trigger Rick at an earlier time of his choosing and talk him down, thus preventing Rick from being triggered in the future when his plans were to be carried out.[volume & issue needed] During the Chaos War storyline, A-Bomb and Korg assist the Hulks in fighting Abomination, a Zom-possessed Doctor Strange, and the forces of Amatsu-Mikaboshi. It is later revealed that Rick is able to revert between A-Bomb and his normal form.
Powers and abilities
Rick Jones is an athletic man who 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.
At one point Jones wielded the Destiny Force, a powerful ability utilized during the Kree-Skrull War storyline. With this power, through focus, he was able to perform amazing feats such as pull various members of the superhero team Avengers from the past, present and future, although this ability is generally random unless another controlling influence, such as Libra, is assisting him.
Jones' latent psionic potential was once unleashed by the Kree Supreme Intelligence, but Jones is unable to utilize it at will. He was also for a time able to shift spacial/temporal positions with Mar-Vell, and later Genis-Vell.
After being held captive and subjected to extreme experiments by the Intelligencia,[volume & issue needed] Rick Jones has gained the ability to transform into a creature resembling the Abomination, granting him vast superhuman strength and durability (even the Red Hulk only caused superficial damage), but stunting his speech patterns in a similar manner to the classic Hulk persona. His scales can change color to blend in with his surroundings. Following experimentation on him by MODOK, Rick's human persona became dominant, but at the price of trapping him in A-Bomb form. Bruce speculates in a later storyline that this is actually a deliberate, albeit subconscious, action on Rick's part stemming from his fear of allowing others to come to harm because he may be unable to help them, prompting him to remain A-Bomb so that he can always be ready to help. Due to the Hulk's wish, Rick can now transform at will while maintaining his full intelligence and personality.
In the series Spider-Man 2099, which is set in the future, Thanatos first appeared in 2099 chasing a confused, amnesiac man known as the Net Prophet. He was later revealed to be an alternate Rick Jones who had stayed with the Supreme Intelligence after the Kree-Skrull War. Thanatos wanted to merge various Ricks into an "Ultimate Rick Jones." He was defeated by the Rick Jones of the present and the Rick of the Future Imperfect timeline.
In the dystopian alternate future seen in the miniseries The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect, in which the Hulk has become the insane megolomaniac known as the Maestro after two nuclear wars, the elderly Rick Jones is the near-senile and crippled leader of the last bastion of resistance against the Maestro. He lives in a museum of artifacts that had belonged to various deceased superhumans. He uses a time machine to send his followers back in time to recruit the Hulk in order to defeat the Maestro. During the ensuing conflict, Rick is killed, and when the Hulk returns to his own time period, he spreads Rick's ashes over Captain America's shield before throwing it into space.
House of M
In Ultimate Origins #5, the Ultimate Watchers announce to the Fantastic Four that they "will now pick a herald to help you with your new world order." They choose young Rick, who then develops superpowers in his backyard in Queens.
Six months after Ultimatum, Rick woke up in a hospital from a coma that was induced by the surge of energy given to him by the Watchers. Rick's mother thought her son was a mutant, and confided in her neighbor, May Parker. May then told Peter, Bobby and Johnny to "suit up" and go talk to Rick. When they confronted Rick, he was startled and accidentally used his newfound powers to teleport himself and Spider-Man to a restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Getting even more scared, Rick stated that he wanted to go home, at which point he teleported themselves back to New York. When Bobby told Rick it was okay to be a mutant, Rick exclaimed that he wasn't a mutant and that he was given his powers by a "floating eye". At this point, Johnny recalled over a half a year prior when he and the former Fantastic Four were investigating the appearance of the Watchers. He then told Rick that he must be the herald the Watchers chose.
Upon learning this, Rick was too upset and reluctant to accept the Watchers' mysterious role and wanted to travel to Project Pegasus to demand the Watcher Uatu, who was previously kept there, of relinquishing his powers. Despite Johnny Storm's protest, Rick teleported everyone to Project Pegasus and discovered it be attacked and trespassed by the Serpent Squad. Rick and his allies fought the Serpent Squad, in which Rick successfully controls his powers in defeating the Squad. After returning to New York, Rick realized that he actually enjoys having superpowers and chooses to take the superhero alias Nova. Rick decided to go on a self-discovering journey to understand what his role is for the world after bidding goodbye to his family.
In other media
- Rick Jones first appeared in the 1966 The Marvel Super Heroes series episode "The Origin of the Hulk", voiced by Paul Soles. Bruce Banner rushes out to save Rick from the Gamma Bomb blast which turns Bruce into the Hulk after which Rick befriends Bruce and does his best to try and help him in his adventures and keep his secret.
- Rick Jones was also a regular character on the 1982 The Incredible Hulk, voiced by Michael Horton. There, Rick was blond, wore a cowboy hat, and had a girlfriend named Rita.
- Rick Jones was a regular character on the 1996 animated program The Incredible Hulk, voiced by Luke Perry. In the first season finale, Rick falls into the radiation-saturated Nutrient Bath (which had been used to separate Hulk and Bruce Banner, and was at that moment being used to fuse them back together), Rick soaks up enough of the gamma radiation to become his own teenaged Hulk version. Rick is later cured after Leader absorbed his power in order to restore his own with Gargoyle's help.
- Rick Jones appeared in the Iron Man: Armored Adventures, voiced by Andrew Francis. In the episode "Uncontrollable", the Controller found the task of controlling the Hulk himself impossible instead he tried to control Rick and use his friendship with Hulk to make him carry out his revenge on A.I.M. when both attempts failed, the latter due to Iron Man's intervention, he decided to take control of Iron Man to carryout his revenge. Rick and Pepper Potts are eventually able to convince Hulk to Smash the Controller's disk on Iron Man causing the Controller to pass out with the thought of being smashed by Iron Man's Dynamo Buster armor and Hulk simultaneously. He reappears in a flashback during the episode "Rage of the Hulk" when Bruce Banner describes Hulk's origins. Bruce calls Rick a runaway.
- Rick Jones/A-Bomb appears in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., voiced by Seth Green. He debuts in the beginning of the series in his human form and develops some levitating cameras to film the Hulk's heroic acts in the style of a reality show. During the fight against Annihilus's army, Rick is exposed to gamma radiation at the end of the first episode. In the second episode, he mutates into his A-Bomb form but retains his original personality. Following the fight with Annihilus and his army, A-Bomb is the one who comes up with a name for their group called the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
- Rick Jones appears in 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.
- A-Bomb appears as an NPC in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, with vocal effects provided by Fred Tatasciore. He ends up under the control of The Fold when he is encountered in Wakanda on the path to the Black Panther's palace. He is assisted in battle by Justice. His powers were later copied by Nick Fury's Nanite form along with Electro, Firestar, Multiple Man and Bishop.
- Rick Jones and A-Bomb appear as DLC characters in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, with Rick Jones voiced by Will Friedle and A-Bomb voiced by Steven Blum.
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