Richard "Rick" Jones was orphaned at a young age, and after being expelled from several orphanages for disciplinary reasons he was placed into a state institution called Tempest Town. A troubled and rebellious youth, Jones soon came to the attention of the institution's chief administrator who smashed his guitar, a gift from his late father, and then had him severely thrashed. Soon afterward, Jones ran away from the institution. He spent the first half of his teens drifting from town to town throughout the Southwest, trying to avoid the authorities, and doing menial work when he could get it.
At the age of 16, he got his driver's license and managed to save enough money to buy a used car. Overhearing a teenager dare a friend to ride out with him on the desert where it was rumored an atomic bomb was going to be tested, Jones offered to take him up on the challenge. He drove his car out to the test site to discover his challenger was too timid to show up. Dr. Robert Bruce Banner, designer of the Gamma Bomb to be tested, learned that someone had ventured onto the test site, and believing the countdown had been delayed, ran out into the desert to warn him back. Banner managed to throw Jones into a protective trench before the bomb detonated, but he himself was bombarded with gamma radiation. This radiation triggered a mutagenic change in Banner, causing him to turn into the raging superhuman Hulk. Feeling responsible for Banner's condition and being the only person to know that the rampaging brute was actually Banner, Jones became the Hulk's sometimes unwanted companion and ally. Jones soon organized the Teen Brigade, a group of young amateur ham radio enthusiasts to help him monitor the Hulk's activities. Jones was present during the Hulk's first encounters with the army, as well as superhuman menaces as the Gargoyle, the alien Toadmen, the Ringmaster, Tyrannus, and the Metal Master, and even a run-in with the Fantastic Four.
The Avengers formed due to Rick's radio broadcast warning about the Hulk. He temporarily became a sidekick for Captain America. His resemblance to Bucky was noted, Rick even wore Bucky's costume for a time. However, Captain America felt he did not want to lose another partner and that while Rick was a good athlete, he was not quite up to the level Bucky was. When Iron Man suggested that Rick be made a full member of the Avengers, Cap strongly opposed the idea.
Travels With Marvel
The Kree hero Captain Mar-Vell was bonded to Rick due to only being able to function out of the Negative Zone for a few hours. Using the Negative Zone portal in the Baxter Building seemed to remove that limitation. Shortly after Rick and Mar-Vell had to be re-merged. Eventually, they were separated.
Rick received one of the Nega-Bands and gained similar powers to Captain Marvel.As it turned out, this was a plot by the Supreme Intelligence so that Jones and Mar-Vell had to share the power of the Nega-Bands. As the Supremor, challenged them in battle at the same time, intending to defeat them in time for their minds being ravaged by the Millenia Bloom, leaving them mindless soldiers which the intelligence would use to destroy Earth and absorb Jones' potential. He was defeated when Jones activated the Intelligence's ship's weapons systems to cause a solar flare from Hala. The Intelligence was forced to divert all of its energy into the planetary shields, leaving it and all of the Kree powerless and unconscious.
On their way back to Earth, they passed too close to a black hole, merging them and trapping Jones in the Negative Zone once more.
After Mar-Vell's death, Rick began to team with the Hulk again. An attempt to cure the Hulk instead gave Rick radiation poisoning. In the hospital, the Dire Wraiths began to replace the staff, but were stopped by Rom. Rick assisted Rom against the Wraiths, and temporarily lived with Brandy Clark. Jones was cured by the Beyonder at the same time Rom and Brandy left for Galador.
Rick soon began dating Marlo Chandler, a former girlfriend of the Hulk's. The two later married with a great number of heroes in attendance. The Impossible Man did his best to usurp the proceedings by inviting the Kree, Skrulls, even Mephisto to the ceremony. After a period of estrangement that also involved Moondragon and Death becoming involved with Marlo, the two reunited.
Bonding with Genis-Vell
Jones was temporarily paralyzed while Hulk was the Horseman War. In an attempt to stop this 'War Hulk' he was thrown against a pyramid. Rick was cured during the Destiny War, summoning Avengers from various realities to battle for their very existence against the Time-Keepers. The strain was incredible, and a future version of Genis-Vell bonded to him, much like Rick had with Mar-Vell. Rick and Genis later discovered this bond still applied to the current Genis.
For a time Rick was trapped in the Microverse as an insane Captain Marvel ran amok throughout the universe, in the microverse Rick met the cosmic beings Epiphany and her brother Entropy who were behind Captain Marvels insanity and who helped him in destroying and then remaking the universe despite Rick trying to use a new skill to induce pain in Genis through their psychic link to stop him, something which he risks brain damage from if he does it too often or with too much force. Genis preserved Rick as a molecularly dispersed being after ending the universe, Rick was able to convince Entropy to remake the universe which returned Rick to the microverse while Genis began to become even more insane than he was before.
Genis allowed Rick to return to Earth to speak at the trial of Karl Coven a deranged serial killer and to attend his execution where Coven returned to life after his lethal injection and was released and then tried to murder Rick.
Rick returned to the microverse to escape Coven where his injuries were treated by a group referring to themselves as being 'Jonesys', huge fans of Rick's music which he played across the microverse while he was stranded there with Epiphany.
Due to an agreement with Genis, Jones and he would switch places every 24 hours and met Lucy Harper the wife of one of Coven's victims who wanted Rick to help her kill him which Rick wouldn't do. Lucy was abducted by Coven and Genis wouldn't help her so Rick had to save her and then threaten Genis to get him to help which he did by removing Coven's powers, Coven was able to tap back into them after Rick shot him in the crotch. Coven's powers were removed again shortly after and he was killed
Genis became capable of influencing Rick's mind so that Rick wouldn't be as bothered by what Genis was doing and would even agree with him. Due to Genis' recreation of the universe and powers Rick came face to face with himself as a teenager and himself years later while operating as Captain America's sidekick wearing Bucky's old uniform. Rick was offered the chance to change the outcome of his life but decided against it.
Genis then revealed he had full control of Rick through their psychic link and could force Rick to do whatever he wanted without Rick realising or caring, including killing himself. Genis quickly began to miss Rick as he felt it was easier to feel superior with him around so he brought him back to life at Rick's funeral moments before his body was going to be burned by his fans on a funeral pyor. Shortly after this Genis regained his sanity and was congratulated by Rick.
Still molecularly bonded to Genis, Rick recorded a song on Titan for Marlo Chandler whom he hoped to win back, Genis broadcast the song across Earth and even set up a website where people could purchase it which made Rick millions. Rick then met with Genis' sister Phyla-Vell who tells them that no one is going to come to Genis for his help as Captain Marvel as they are all afraid of him. In the office Rick is attacked by a superpowered future version of Marlo Chandler who quickly disintegrates, Rick then begs Genis to save her before that becomes Marlo's future.
Captain Marvel defeated alien forces plaguing the Earth of a future world, continuing to travel further into the future he questioned the son of his future self Ely-Vell for information about Marlo, he then switched places with Rick Jones who did some questioning of his own. Ely revealed some new powers however, and seemingly destroyed Rick Jones and took his Nega-Bands.
Rick Jones had in fact not been killed by Ely but instead launched into the future and still maintained his connection to Captain Marvel. Ely was revealed to be working for Magus together with the future Marlo. Captain Marvel directed Rick Jones to the location of his Nega-Bands, and Rick Jones arrived to find Ely and Marlo. Ely gave Jones his Nega-Bands back and forcibly summoned Captain Marvel before attacking him by using Phyla-Vell's Nega-Bands.
Moondragon lied to Rick about the nature of her relationship with Marlo, claiming that the Magus was responsible through psychic manipulation so that Rick and Marlo could get back together without feeling guilty. While he and Marlo are attempting to 'celebrate' their reunion the cosmic beings Eulogy and Expediency arrive and separate Rick from Genis while breaking the 4th wall.
Seperated from Genis
Jones authored a best-selling autobiographical novel on his personal history with superhumans such as the Hulk, Captain America, Captain Marvel and The Avengers with a focus on his days as a sidekick, the novel was titled 'Sidekick'. After the book was published there was a man impersonating Jones and attempting to make it as a musician.
Rick invested the royalties he earned from the publishing of 'Sidekick' and was rewarded with a substantial windfall. He anonymously offered a former teen superhero support group, Excelsior, a one million dollar donation if they could track down the children of the criminal group The Pride, who were operating in Los Angeles as the Runaways after Captain America informed him they had left their foster homes. The group ultimately failed to bring the Runaways in but Rick revealed himself as their benefactor and still suggested they turn their support group into a team to help deal with the uprise in superpowered crime in California that had resulted from the death of the Pride.
When the Hulk returned to Earth, Jones attempted to calm him down by telling him about Captain America's death, but when the Hulk almost calmed down, Dr. Strange invaded the Hulk's mind. Rick later went to Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum, but was attacked by the Hulk's allies.
Wounded, Rick was transported to the gamma bomb site that gave birth to the original Hulk. After being dropped off, he encountered the Red Hulk. After seeing that he had murdered Emil Blonsky, the Abomination, Rick was transformed by Intelligencia members the Leader and M.O.D.O.K. into a new blue creature who quite resembled the Abomination; calling himself A-Bomb. In his new form, he was much like the original Hulk incarnation in that he could not remember being anybody else once the transformation was complete, had a temper which flared easily, and simplified speech patterns. He held his own against the Red Hulk for an extended period of time, withstanding all of his blows and injuring him multiple times, which previously nobody had been able to accomplish. The battle was interrupted by several giant android harpies that were specifically designed by United States Military in case Bruce Banner escaped the facility as the Hulk. A-Bomb has proven to hold onto fragments of his memories as Rick Jones because he recognized the harpies all had the face of Betty Ross; Bruce Banner's first love. A-Bomb managed to disable one mid-flight, and they both crashed to Earth. The robot exploded.
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 back to Rick. He attempted to reveal who Red Hulk really was, but was shot and dragged away by Doc Samson from the area.
Rick would use his powers as A-Bomb to help people, but when the Hulk, under a new persona called "Doc Green," decided to eliminate all the other Gamma powered people, he started with Rick. A-Bomb confronted Doc Green and refused to be "cured," but ultimately, Hulk proved himself stronger, and injected A-Bomb with a dose of the cure, which made Rick completely human once more.
As a byproduct of being depowered, Rick's brain suffered side effects, he discovered his learning capabilities had been greatly increased. He decided to direct his new ability towards communications technology, and ended up becoming a hacktivist known as the Whisperer. One of Rick's major accomplishments as the Whisperer was leaking to the public the existence of the proposal for a S.H.I.E.L.D. project named Kobik, which consisted of the fusion of different fragments of Cosmic Cubes into a single one, to reshape reality as it would be deemed necessary.
When S.H.I.E.L.D. tried to hunt the Whisperer down, he was helped by Captain America to evade the authorities, as Cap believed the Whisperer's intentions to be righteous and opposed S.H.I.E.L.D.'s potential disproportionate retribution. From then on, Rick became an ally of Sam Wilson, while keeping his identity a secret, helping him in numerous cases. Shortly later, Rick found out that the Kobik program had actually never been terminated.  He gave Sam Wilson the location of the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. site and fled into the underground, only to be captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents because Rick had misjudged Jemma Simmons. He subsequently was freed by the new A.I.M.'s New Avengers whom he had contacted.
Even though the New Avengers had rescued Rick, he doubted their true intentions due to the track record of the previous iteration of A.I.M. This lack of trust prompted Rick to refuse to flee from Avengers Island through a portal to the Savage Land when S.H.I.E.L.D. forces invaded the facilities. Instead, Rick remained hidden in the island, and eventually escaped unnoticed by the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents confiscating it. Rick was tracked down by Captain America, and offered amnesty for his crimes as the Whisperer at the cost of being forced to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. as tech support and aid Captain America in his missions to fight Hydra. Unbeknownst to anybody, Captain America had secretly been replaced by a twisted and evil version of himself by the sentient Cosmic Cube Kobik. Rogers used Rick's position in S.H.I.E.L.D. to trick him into handing him the codes to the Planetary Defense Shield, allowing Rogers to strand many heroes in space behind the Defense Shield while at the mercy of invading Chitauri to help pave the way for Hydra's takeover of the United States.
After Rogers came out as a member of Hydra and took over the United States, Rick was taken into protective custody. While in Hydra custody, Rick hacked into Hydra's network and obtain files that belonged to Hydra scientist Erik Selvig that would reveal the truth about Rogers. Rick sent the data over to hacker Rayshaun Lucas. When Hydra found out about Rick's actions, he was arrested and thrown in jail. Rogers met with Rick in his prison cell and tried to convince Rick to tell him what data he had taken. Rick refused to cooperate and was convinced that Rogers was being brainwashed into believing he was a Hydra agent. Under pressure from the High Council of Hydra to get tough on Hydra's enemies, Rogers decided to make an example of Rick and had him executed by firing squad on live television. Before being shot, Rick shouted out, "Avengers Assemble!" Rick was buried in Severin Memorial Cemetery.
After his death, his husk of a body seemingly appeared in the Below-Place to meet Hulk and Jackie McGee. Hulk remarked that the body in front of them didn't have have a soul, and instead was an empty shell that could only repeat old lines from the time when Bruce Banner first became the Hulk. For an unknown reason, some semblance of the "real" Rick Jones manifested through the empty husk and he transformed into an emaciated version of A-bomb to aid the Hulk against a horde of demons summoned by the One Below All, but he was quickly overwhelmed and shredded to pieces. It was later revealed to be a manifestation from the One Below All to torment the Hulk.
Becoming Subject B
Rick's body was disinterred by agents of U.S. Hulk Operations and brought to Shadow Base where a team of scientists led by Dr. Charlene McGowan used it as "scaffolding" for a shell of gamma-irradiated tissue recovered from the remains of Emil Blonsky, the original Abomination. The procedure encased the corpse in a cocoon, bringing Jones back to life, and rapidly evolving him into a nightmarish and horrific beast with an appearance similar to that of Abomination's, but with several rows of finger-like mandibles almost completely concealing a head with two human faces, both contorted in agony.
Rick was sent to attack the Hulk, who was hiding out in a motel in Reno, Nevada while Hulk Operations monitored everything through a camera placed inside Rick's head. After killing two innocent bystanders, the Hulk confronted him and initially mistook him for the Abomination, but the Hulk eventually realized that it was Rick when he saw his two faces each speaking short, tortured sentences.
Hulk chose to continue fighting Jones regardless of his condition. However, Jones unleashed a highly corrosive acid that could not only dissolve the Hulk's flesh but also negate his ability to heal. After dissolving the Hulk's limbs, Betty Ross, in her new Harpy form, unexpectedly appeared with reporter Jackie McGee and ripped open the Hulk's body to consume his heart.
Rick then attacked Betty, but he was punched by Hulk whose heart being removed jump-started Hulk's healing factor, allowing him to come back to life and heal from his injuries. Betty next ripped Rick's stomach so he could no longer generate acid. When the U.S. Operations came in with two War-Wagons, Hulk got Jackie to safety while Betty fought Rick. After fighting Rick in the air, Betty dropped Rick onto one of the War-Wagons, badly damaging it. The War-Wagon was then punched by Hulk into the other one, destroying them both. After that, Hulk ripped open Rick, revealing that his new form was actually a shell containing his human form. Hulk, Betty, and Jackie then fled with Rick in tow.
|Power Grid |
Destiny Force: On rare occasions, and through unusual circumstances, Jones has been able to tap into a mysterious, near-limitless energy source known as the Destiny Force. The Destiny Force is believed to be inherent in all humanity. Jones has used this power to alter reality in the past by bringing figures from his own imagination to life or even figures from different times of existence. He has proven able to render thousands of Kree and Skrull warriors immobile with a thought, single-handedly overcome the Atlantean army, augment all of his own physical attributes, heal himself after sustaining life threatening energies, and levitate. The full limits of the Destiny Force, its overall nature, and why only Jones has been able to harness it at only certain times, all these are currently unknown.
Enhanced Learning Capabilities: As a consequence of being depowered from his A-Bomb form, Rick's brain was changed. According to himself, he was now able to pick new skills up lightning-fast.
Jones is an accomplished gymnast and hand to hand combatant. Jones has a thorough knowledge of Judo and Karate and has even had some training from Captain America himself. He also has exceptional musical talent and has proven himself to be a skilled songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player.
Skilled Combatant: After received training by Captain America in several martial arts including combat gymnastics, he is a highly experienced hand-to-hand combatant. As A-Bomb, he does not seem to remember any of it but is a natural fighter, making him a formidable opponent in combat.
Computer Skills: Through his altered brain chemistry, Rick learned how to be a skilled computer user. With his skills, he is able to hack into the computers of high-level organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D.
Average strength; formerly exactly class 100, although this is only a symbolic scale for comparisons between characters, and should not remotely be taken literally.
- Impaired Intelligence During his brief tenure as the Hulk, Rick also suffered from a decrease in intellect, similar to many of Banner’s incarnations as the monster. As A-Bomb, Jones' intelligence was impaired and below that of an average human. As A-Bomb, he had little recall of his memories or his past. He loses all of his musical abilities and all but the most rudimentary form of combat skills. Jones was able to get control of his mind as A-Bomb, and retained all of his intelligence and possessed complete control as A-Bomb, but he was also trapped in his A-Bomb form. Rick eventually gained the ability to transform at will, retaining his mind in his A-Bomb form due to the Hulk's wish. As Subject B, Rick no longer has control of his mind and can barely speak. He will also attack innocent people that cross his path.
- Rick has been stated to have 'comics awareness' a form of 4th wall breaking which allowed him to identify tropes and cliches connected with the medium of comic books as well as to be aware when his own comic series was ending.
- A-Bomb had an appearance similar to a blue-skinned Abomination.
- 590 Appearances of Richard Jones (Earth-616)
- 52 Minor Appearances of Richard Jones (Earth-616)
- Media Richard Jones (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 129 Images featuring Richard Jones (Earth-616)
- 44 Quotations by or about Richard Jones (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Richard Jones (Earth-616)
Discover and Discuss
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- ↑ Immortal Hulk #17
- ↑ Hulk Vol 2 #1
- ↑ Captain America #110
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Incredible Hulk #325
- ↑ Captain America: Sam Wilson #1
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Immortal Hulk #18
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Incredible Hulk #3
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Incredible Hulk #395
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Fall of the Hulks: Red Hulk #3
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Incredible Hulk #1
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Incredible Hulk #6
- ↑ Incredible Hulk #2
- ↑ Incredible Hulk #5
- ↑ Fantastic Four #12
- ↑ Avengers #1
- ↑ Avengers #4
- ↑ Avengers #10
- ↑ Captain Marvel #17
- ↑ Captain Marvel #41
- ↑ Captain Marvel #46
- ↑ Captain Marvel #47
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 5 #1-5
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 5 #7
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 5 #6
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 5 #9
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 5 #10
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 5 #11-12
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 5 #13-15
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 5 #14
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 5 #15
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 5 #16
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 5 #18
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 5 #19
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 5 #21-22
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 5 #23-24
- ↑ 36.0 36.1 Captain Marvel Vol 5 #25
- ↑ Alias #7
- ↑ Alias #7-9
- ↑ Runaways Vol 2 #1-6
- ↑ Hulk Vol 2 #3
- ↑ Hulk Vol 2 #5
- ↑ Hulk Vol 2 #6
- ↑ 43.0 43.1 Hulk Vol 3 #6
- ↑ 44.0 44.1 44.2 44.3 Avengers Standoff: Assault On Pleasant Hill Alpha #1
- ↑ 45.0 45.1 Captain America: Sam Wilson #2
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #3
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 4 #8
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 4 #9
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 4 #10
- ↑ Avengers Standoff: Assault On Pleasant Hill Omega #1
- ↑ Captain America: Steve Rogers #1
- ↑ Captain America: Steve Rogers #2
- ↑ Captain America: Steve Rogers #16
- ↑ Secret Empire #0
- ↑ Secret Empire #1
- ↑ Immortal Hulk #15
- ↑ Immortal Hulk #11-13
- ↑ Immortal Hulk #14-18
- ↑ 59.0 59.1 Immortal Hulk #19
- ↑ 60.0 60.1 60.2 Immortal Hulk #20
- ↑ Incredible Hulk #324
- ↑ Incredible Hulk #332
- ↑ Immortal Hulk #16-17
- ↑ Avengers #5
- ↑ Incredible Hulks #635
- ↑ Incredible Hulk #467
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 6
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