- This is your brains. This is my fist. This will be your brains on my fist.
- -- Hulk
Appearing in "No Autographs"
- Various Skrulls
Races and Species:'
Synopsis for "No Autographs"
In the town of Bunkport, Utah, Rick Jones is being chased by the locals. He manages to get away from his pursuers and when he rounds a corner and runs into what appears to be the Thing. Rick explains that he came here to sign his new book, "Sidekick" when the people in town got all weird on him. When Rick puzzles over the Thing's form his would-be savior knocks him out with a single blow. Suddenly, the "Thing" transforms into an innocuous looking little girl.
Elsewhere, Betty Banner is purchasing a copy of Rick's book, after some idle chit-chat with the clerk he warns her to be careful walking alone at night. No sooner is Betty outside is she jumped by some muggers who steal her purse. They don't get very far when the Hulk steps in to intervene. The Hulk makes short work of the crooks and leaves them for the police by wrapping a lamp post around them. On a rooftop shortly thereafter, the Hulk reads some of Rick's book, particularly a chapter about Rick's time in the orphanage and about how he can't remember what his parents look like. The Hulk scoffs at this, thinking that Rick was lucky considering the upbringing he had. When Betty asks what Bruce means, he tells her to forget it. Betty then suggests they track Rick down as he is on a book tour. The Hulk tells her he doesn't need help, Betty snaps back that if he doesn't want help he should just leave. This leads to a tense moment of silence, but the Hulk finally gives in. Looking at the map of Rick's book tour, Betty has determined his current stop is the town of Bunkport, Utah.
Meanwhile, Rick Jones is woken when a bucket of water is splashed on his face. He finds himself tied up in a room and is confronted by... himself! Or, rather the Rick Jones who wandered out into the middle of the gamma bomb test that created the Hulk, lo those many years ago. The younger Rick Jones then begins slapping the elder around, berating him for going out on the gamma test site on a dare, intentionally endangering Bruce Banner. Rick finally caves in and admits that he blames himself for ruining Bruce Banner's life. The following morning, Bruce Banner wakes up in a forest with his wife snuggled up next to him. When Betty wakes up he tells her that they need to get moving. When she tells him they should get some more rest since she was up late talking to the Hulk. Bruce snaps at Betty, telling her that he doesn't car what the Hulk does and does not do when he is in control and tells her they should get going. Betty is worried and wonders if Bruce had slept at all.
Back at the room, Rick is confronted by a version of himself dressed up like Bucky. This version accuses Rick of abandoning everyone he worked alongside Captain America, to Captain Marvel, to Rom the Spaceknight, to Betty. Beaten black and blue and with a fractured rib, Rick admits that he has used everyone who crosses his paths and begs for the beating to stop. The Buck-Rick Jones is joined by the younger, and they examine his body finding him unconscious. They are then joined by their master who scolds them for mentioning the name of the late Mar-Vell, but it is all part of their plan. Soon, Bruce and Betty arrive in Buckport and are surprised that the town is practically deserted, making them wonder why Rick would come here on his book tour. They go to the local bookstore where they are told that Jones never showed up. This angers Bruce, who suspects that something fishy is going on but can't figure out what. When they leave the bookstore, Betty confronts Bruce over his outbursts. He tells her that he is juggle three personalities in his mind and could be going crazy.
In the bar the interrogation continues, his captors have now assumed the forms of Rom, Captain America, the Hulk, and Captain Marvel and continue bombarding him with questions. In mid-communication, they change into the various forms Rick Jones has adopted over the years: young Rick Jones, Bucky, and the two Hulk forms that Rick has adopted at one time or another. They demand to know who Rick Jones really is, and Jones tells them that he doesn't know anymore. Meanwhile, Betty and Bruce go to the police station to report Rick missing. When the police can't help, Bruce begins to lose his temper again, and Betty drags him out before they get arrested. It's then that they are approached by a little girl who tells them that Rick is being held prisoner in a nearby room. While back at the room, the interrogators believe that they have completely broken Rick Jones' mind. The Bucky-Jones stays behind to get the answers they are looking for. However, Rick had been faking it the whole time, having broke free of his bonds, he jumps the Bucky-Jones and steals his costume. Exiting the room, he is shocked by what he sees in the other room.
Outside of the building, the little girl takes Betty and Bruce where Rick is being held captive. As they try to enter the building, the "little girl" sheds her form and knocks Bruce out. Betty turns around and finds herself face-to-face with the Super-Skrull.
- Rick Jones first published his book in Avengers Spotlight #25.
- The Hulk makes a vague mention of his abusive upbringing. This was first explored in Incredible Hulk #312.
- References are made to the various heroes that Rick was a sidekick to. They are:
- The Hulk from Incredible Hulk #1-6, he later left the Hulk to hang out with the Avengers after the Hulk quit the group in Avengers #2. He returned to the Hulk's side on a number of occasions since, namely Tales to Astonish #68-100/Incredible Hulk #103-111, 245-279, and lastly from Incredible Hulk #319-346.
- Rick was briefly a sidekick to Captain America, taking on the role of Bucky from Captain America #111-118.
- Rick was a long-standing partner to Captain Marvel from Captain Marvel #17-62.
- More recently he was also a partner to Rom the Spaceknight from Rom #54-71.
The Skrulls in this story also adopt the various identities that Rick had over the years:
- In his book, Rick Jones states that he doesn't remember what his parents look like. However, this contradicts a statement made in Incredible Hulk #268, where Rick states that his father gave him his guitar.
- This issue contains a letters page, Gray Matter. Letters are published from The Clarkster, George Stiglish, Paret Richardson, Bradford R. Poston, Rima S. Osorno, Glenn "Squid" Kuhn, Steve Bierly, Chris Bakanowski, and Charles Marsh.
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