Ruby's origin is probably unknown outside of the Headmen. Gorilla Man II inducted her into the Headmen -- a group of megalomaniacal villains that also included Shrunken Bones and Chondu the Mystic -- shortly before their second entanglement with the Defenders. In their first confrontation, she managed to knock out the team of super heroes single-handedly. After her first defeat by the Defenders, she started a campaign as a presidential candidate, but was defeated again along with the Headmen by the Defenders.
Against the Defenders
A few years later, Ruby and a new servant of her own creation, Dibbuk, were committing petty crimes in Las Vegas. Ruby noticed the gambling successes of Omega the Unknown and Gramps and targeted them for robbery. Masquerading as a normal-looking woman as part of a pretext to momentarily win their confidence, she incapacitated them and escaped with their winnings. Omega recovered quickly and caught up to her, causing her escape vehicle to crash. The two emerged from the crash relatively unscathed, whereupon Omega pressed Ruby for the whereabouts of his winnings. Las Vegas police officers arrived on the scene almost immediately, assumed that Omega was in the midst of criminally assaulting Ruby, and instructed him to desist and surrender; Omega disobeyed, and they shot him dead. Having observed that Omega had superhuman powers, Ruby stole Omega's corpse soon afterward with the intent of determining the source of his powers and incorporating or duplicating it into her own body. Just as she was about to surgically open Omega, his body vanished and was replaced by James-Michael Starling (Earth's counterpart to Omega). She grilled him unsuccessfully for Omega's whereabouts, then concluded that Starling might have the same powers as Omega and intended to perform discovery on his body instead. Meanwhile, Valkyrie, Hellcat and Wasp had traveled to Las Vegas to find Staring; they soon encountered Moondragon, who was probing the Omega-seeking Protar, who joined them. Valkyrie, Hellcat and Wasp encountered Ruby and Dibbuk; in the ensuing confrontation, Wasp shattered Ruby's head with a sting blast, thereby apparently killing her. Dibbuk hysterically collected her and teleported away.
Ruby reappeared with the Headmen several years later in their plot to replace Chondu's monstrous body with a clone of She-Hulk's body. Due to a miscalculation by Dr. Nagan, Spider-Man learned of the Headmen's activity and confronted them. Ruby revealed to Spider-Man that she had recovered from death. She-Hulk and Spider-Man defeated the Headmen and bound them until they could be taken into custody by the New York Police Department.
A few years after that, Ruby reappeared with the Headmen to once again pursue the prospect of attaching Chondu's head to Spider-Man's body (despite Dr. Morgan's earlier determination that it wasn't feasible). They tracked Spider-Man to an art gallery event that coincidentally had the Human Torch in attendance. With the Human Torch's help, Spider-Man subdued the Headmen for submission to New York authorities.
A few years later, a Doombot (robot built by Doctor Doom) formed its own will and personality. Calling itself Mechadoom, it began using Capturebots to subdue cyborgs and "sentient" robots for the purpose of dismantling and analyzing them with the hope of learning how to adapt to its new individuality. It succeeded in subduing Ruby, Forge, Bushwacker, Machine Man and Ultron. With Capturebots on her trail, Misty Knight approached Deathlok to alert him to the danger; he and members of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men found and defeated Mechadoom and convinced it to release its captives. Having been a victim rather than a criminal perpetrator in this case, Ruby was presumably allowed to go her own way upon release.
A few years later, the Headmen learned of and sought out a mystical idol called the God from Beyond. Soon afterwards, they used another mystical artifact, the Star of Capistan, to power the idol in order to summon and control the monstrous and powerful extraterrestrial Orrgo. In the midst of this they incidentally rescued MODOK from extradimensional exile; in exchange, he availed himself and his organization, Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM), to them. Per Dr. Nagan's instruction, Orrgo seized mental control of all life (or at least all humans) on Earth except those who had previously touched the idol (which Orrgo couldn't affect) and MODOK and the operatives of AIM. Fortunately, the Defenders had previously touched the idol and thus were free to oppose the Headmen. During their period of control over life on Earth, Ruby interfaced with some AIM computers and researched the ramifications of introducing seventh-dimensional objects into the three-dimensional universe. Thanks to Nighthawk's quick thinking, the weaker contingent of the Defenders defeated the Headmen and scared Orrgo away from Earth; MODOK and the AIM operatives presumably escaped in the confusion.
She had a brief romantic liaison with the Answer at some point in the past, to which she called an end. She more recently approached him and asked him to fetch AIM's procurement budget for her, which he did. Soon afterward, word got to him that Bullseye was out to assassinate him, but he later discovered that Bullseye was actually hired by AIM to assassinate Ruby instead, and wanted to get to her through him. Bullseye decapitated her, but he let the Answer keep her head. The Answer went into hiding to search for a way to reactivate her head. He apparently succeeded at some point, because she has been listed as having been incarcerated during the events of Civil War.
Ruby, working alongside the Headmen once again, located another broken down Doombot which had been partially repaired by a young boy. Ruby was able to reprogram the Doombot to serve the Headmen. This brought her and her allies up against the Heroes For Hire. She was defeated, alongside the others, by an enraged Shang-Chi after their Doombot killed his teammate Orka
After being imprisoned in the Raft, Ruby was released by Wolverine in his plan against Romulus. Ruby was contacted by Romulus and her daughter's life was threatened, forcing her to give Romulus the information to Wolverine's plans. When confronted by Wolverine, Ruby attacked, defeating him by impaling him with the tentacles she had formed with her head. Soon, Cloak, Silver Samurai, Skaar, and Bruce Banner appeared, all battling Ruby Thursday. She held her own, but was eventually caught by Skaar and teleported back to The Raft by Cloak. It was later discovered The Answer was the one who had planned her escape.
She battled Spider-Man along with a group of other villains including Angar the Screamer, Shrunken Bones, Gorilla-Man, and Chondu the Mystic. Led by Doctor Bong, they planned on conquering the Multiverse by creating a “Cosmic Bong” in the world’s quietest room.
Powers and Abilities
Ruby's head has been somehow replaced with a mass of "organic circuitry," a malleable red plastic that can mimic all the proper functions of a human head (thinking, seeing, hearing, speaking and presumably breathing and eating). It also allows Ruby to exercise a number of powers:
- She can extrude up to eight tentacles from her head, each of which can elongate and constrict an opponent. She can form blunt or edged weapons on the ends of these tentacles for bludgeoning or swordplay instead of constriction.
- She can also form other shapes and certain other colors with her head. With concentration, Ruby can disguise herself as a normal red-haired woman.
- She can emit a huge sticky blanket or up to twenty projectiles at a time from her head. Her head immediately replenishes its lost mass, presumably from an extradimensional source.
- She can separate her head from her neck. In this condition, she can control both her head and body, albeit in a lesser capacity. Her head can fly fast enough to dodge some attacks.
- She can fire blasts of pure force from her head. If in contact with an individual, the head can generate amazing intensity energy of almost any type.
- She can cause her head to explode and reform. She can make the magnitude of the explosion large enough to knock out durable human and humanoid creatures such as the Hulk.
- Super-Genius Intelligence: Ruby is considered one of the smartest people on the planet. She has shown herself to be skilled in scientific matters, particularly physics and computers. She is an accomplished engineer.
Ruby possesses the normal human strength of a woman of her age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.
- She began wearing long opera gloves and stopped showing her "eyes" in Sensational She-Hulk #1. Her head was smaller starting in #2; this may have been an artistic error on John Byrne's part, but it could be suggested that this tactic allowed Ruby to better evade attacks aimed at her head. She sported a sleeveless version of her bodysuit in the Deathlok Volume 2 series. She switched back to her previous costume and original head volume in Web of Spider-Man. She had reverted to her original costume in the Defenders Volume 2 series.
- Ruby Thursday was one of the candidates on Steve Rogers' list of supervillains to enroll in Luke Cage's Thunderbolts roster.
- 37 appearance(s) of Thursday Rubinstein (Earth-616)
- 4 minor appearance(s) of Thursday Rubinstein (Earth-616)
- 2 mentions of Thursday Rubinstein (Earth-616)
- 21 image(s) of Thursday Rubinstein (Earth-616)
- 3 quotation(s) by or about Thursday Rubinstein (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Thursday Rubinstein (Earth-616) on Wikipedia.org
- The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Ruby Thursday
- The Brave and the Blog!: Crime Lords Month: Ruby Thursday
- Rapsheet: Ruby Thursday
- Norseman Central: Ruby (profile)
- Marvel Bad Guys (?): Ruby Thursday (profile)
- ComicsDB: Ruby Thursday (list of appearances)
- Comic Book Resources: Forums: Name That Marvel!: #427
- Marvel Ladies: Ruby Thursday (contains more links)