- —Rick Jones[src]
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 teen 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 however, allowed Mar-Vell to co-exist with Rick on Earth once again. Almost immediately afterward, war broke out between the Kree and Skrull Empires; this war directly involved the Avengers. Eventually, the Supreme Intelligence arranged for Rick to be brought before it and awakened his latent psionic powers. Jones used them to paralyze the entire Skrull Space Fleet as well as Ronan and his forces, thereby ending the "Kree-Skrull War" and allowing the Supreme Intelligence to return to power. The Supreme Intelligence then robbed Jones of his power, leaving the young man exhausted and lying on the point of death. As the Supreme Intelligence had planned, Mar-Vell had to be linked with Jones, in the same manner as before, so that his own life force would restore Jones to health.
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 returning to Earth Jones pursued his music career, appearing as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live.
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 Marvel's 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 realizing 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 pyre. 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 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 told them that no one was going to come to Genis for his help as Captain Marvel as they were all afraid of him. In the office Rick was attacked by a superpowered future version of Marlo Chandler who quickly disintegrated. Rick then begged Genis to save her before that became 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.
Separated 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 from Sakaar where he had been exiled, Jones attempted to calm him down by telling him about Captain America's death and the way the heroes had changed while he was gone, but just when the Hulk had calmed down and was listening to him, Dr. Strange invaded the Hulk's mind reigniting his rage. Rick later went to Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum to try and speak with him, but was stopped by the Hulk's Warbound. He was able to escape the Madison Square Garden arena he was taken to when Dr. Strange arrived and attacked the hulk, utilizing the power of the demon Zom, and again attempted to talk the Hulk down by reminding that he was a hero and Bruce Banner at heart to no avail. Once the Hulk had finally calmed and reverted to Bruce Banner, Rick attempted to embrace him but was stabbed by a member of the Hulk's Warbound, Miek, causing Bruce to hulk out once more and learn that Miek had been responsible for the destruction of Sakaar.
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 (Sam Wilson) 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!" His body was later buried in Severin Memorial Cemetery.
As part of their continued efforts to detain the Hulk, the covert organization Shadow Base disinterred Rick's body and used it as "scaffolding" for a shell of Gamma-Activated 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.
The mutated Rick was sent to attack Bruce Banner, who was hiding out in Reno, Nevada. He almost succeeded, using an acidic secretion to dismember the Hulk, until Betty Ross intervened, having been mutated into the Harpy. During the subsequent fight, the Hulk dug up Rick's body from the mutagenic shell and took off with it. Rick eventually recovered, having developed the ability to emanate gamma radiation, but with his mind secretly taken over by the Leader in the process. Feigning to be Rick, the Leader provided the Hulk and his allies with the location of Shadow Base, resulting on a raid after which the Hulk seized command of the operation from its unhinged leader, General Fortean.
The Leader kept puppeteering Rick as he joined Banner's efforts to repurpose Shadow Base to embark on a countercultural movement to fight humankind for the destruction of the environment, only revealing himself to one of the Hulk's enemies, Dario Agger, after he had been left incapacitated when his ally Xemnu turned against him and mangled him. After Xemnu's defeat skyrocketed the Hulk's popularity, he was invited to Georgeville. During a photo-op, the Leader used Rick to overload the Hulk with gamma radiation, causing him to detonate.
The gamma blast devastated the surrounding area, but the Leader used Rick's body to shield them from the explosion and absorb the radiation. This left Rick severely deformed; his body elongated with extra arms and legs sprouted. The Leader concurrently took control of Del Frye, a gamma mutate in custody of Shadow Base. With his concentration spread thin over Frye and Rick in addition to his probing of the Hulk's mind, the Leader accidentally let his control over Rick show when Gamma Flight arrived at Georgeville to detain the Hulk. Rick was shortly afterward teleported back to Shadow Base, and the Leader attempted to entice operative Dr. McGowan into joining his side. She refused and attempted to rid of him by activating the base's translocator on Rick, splitting him in half. Although Rick was freed from the Leader's control, the remains of his body fused into Frye's body.
The combined creature burrowed through the ground in a frenzy until it reached the surface. They stumbled into Shaman and Gamma Flight's Puck and Doc Sasquatch, the latter being Doc Samson resurrected into Sasquatch's body. Although Shaman determined the two men couldn't be separated, he managed to ease their pain. Rick and Del joined Gamma Flight in intercepting the Hulk's fight against the Avengers, and they helped the Hulk and his allies evade the heroes. After parting ways with the Hulk, Gamma Flight went into hiding. The team resurfaced after a new gamma mutate codenamed Stockpile went on a rampage, leading to the discovery that a rogue government agency called Project Green Spring was experimenting with gamma on the townsfolk of Thomasville. During Gamma Flight's raid on Green Spring's facility, the Absorbing Man absorbed the properties of the Cathexis Ray and used his only charge to separate Rick and Del. With Green Spring's operations shut down, Rick decided to leave Gamma Flight, wishing to get some space for himself.
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 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.
Gamma Mutation: After being free from the Gamma-Activated Tissue, Rick developed some new powers:
- Energy Projection: Rick is able to release gamma energy at will. The full extent of the ability and how much control of it he has are unrevealed. He is able to release energy from his hands intense enough to melt through a thick, steel door.
- Flight: Rick is able to fly through the air through unknown means.
- Gamma Tracking: Rick is able to track gamma mutates through some sort of extrasensory power.
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.
- 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.
- Rick Jones has done some writing work for Marvel Comics where he wrote about some of his own adventures for them, as he is listed as the writer for Marvels Captain America #1.
- 591 appearance(s) of Richard Jones (Earth-616)
- 75 minor appearance(s) of Richard Jones (Earth-616)
- 45 mentions of Richard Jones (Earth-616)
- 230 image(s) of Richard Jones (Earth-616)
- 45 quotation(s) by or about Richard Jones (Earth-616)
- 3 item(s) used/owned by Richard Jones (Earth-616)