Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Today we look at the coolest cat in the Marvel Universe: Rick Jones
Appearances in Heroclix: What If?, Wizkids Marvel, Avengers Assemble, Incredible Hulk, Supernova
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk #1
Team Affiliations: Avengers, Loners
Created By: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Rick Jones is orphaned at a young age in Scarsdale, Arizona. When he is a teenager, he accepts a dare to drive out to a bomb test site. Dr. Banner sees the teen and pushes him into a trench, saving the young man’s life but absorbing a large amount of gamma rays that transform him into the Hulk. This makes Rick Jones the original confidant of the Hulk and an early friend of the behemoth.
For several years after this first encounter, Rick continues to be involved in the life of the Hulk as well as an integral piece of the Avengers’ formation and even an honorary Avenger. He even adopts the codename of Bucky for a short time and trains with Captain America.
Soon after this, Rick finds the mystical Nega-Bands. He puts them on and is instantly linked to the Kree Mar-Vell, known as Captain Marvel. Rick trades places with Captain Marvel in the Negative Zone and thus becomes a part time super-hero. During the Kree-Skrull War, Rick Jones and Captain Marvel’s link is severed when they are both transported from the Negative Zone without the use of the Nega-Bands.
The Kree Supreme Intelligence then uses its power to unleash a mysterious Destiny Force from within Rick. This power allows Rick to summon powerful constructs of heroes he read about when growing up. Using this power, Rick is able to single-handedly stop both the Kree and Skrull fleets long enough to stop the war. This power leaves Rick, however, and he later bonds with Captain Marvel again though it is only temporary. When Captain Marvel dies of cancer, Rick Jones is at his side.
Rick Jones goes on to have several more adventures with the Hulk, even unsuccessfully trying to recreate the accident that created the monster so that Jones could become a Hulk-like being and defeat him. He also adventures with Rom, the Space Knight. Rick eventually is transformed into a Hulk-like creature that only emerges at night. The Leader eventually siphons the gamma radiation from Rick and cures him of his Hulk alter-ego.
After a brief paralysis, Rick is returned to heal and bonded with Genis-Vell (the son of Mar-Vell). The two have several adventures through time and meet several younger and older versions of Rick Jones. Though Genis eventually goes insane as a result of his cosmic awareness growing too powerful, he is able to regain a shred of sanity after several trials and tribulations. Rick and Genis are then separated.
Rick Jones is the mysterious benefactor of Excelsior, a group of former teenage superheroes that tries to reform other super-powered children and stop them from losing a chance at a normal life. When the Hulk returns from Sakaar to seek revenge on the Illuminati, Rick Jones attempts to talk his former friend down. This fails, however, when Miek stabs Rick through the chest.
MODOK and the Leader heal the injured Rick Jones by using the Abomination’s blood to transform him into a A-Bomb, a creature with the appearance of the Abomination but blue in color. A-Bomb battles the Red Hulk early during one of the Red Hulk’s first appearances. A-Bomb is implanted with a trigger to kill Bruce Banner that Banner discovers and is able to deprogram. Rick also helps train the Hulk’s son, Skaar, in preparation of a battle with the Hulk.
A new Hulk persona emerges and begins calling himself Doc Green. Doc Green decides that gamma-powered superhumans are a threat to humanity and uses his own body to create a cure. Green seeks Rick out first and is able to successfully “cure” him of the A-Bomb transformation. Green informs Rick that Betty, who can now transform into the Red She-Hulk, helped to try and assassinate Bruce Banner. With this information and trusting his friend, Rick sneaks the gamma cure into Betty’s food. When Doc Green arrives, Betty transforms only to suddenly revert against her will.
Once Rick is cured of the A-Bomb transformation, he finds that he can now learn any task at incredible speed. He uses this to quickly become a skilled hacker and activist, now calling himself the Whisperer. He is the one that discovers Project Kobik and that Maria Hill is behind it. This brings him under Phil Coulson’s scrutiny and Rick is soon captured and taken to a new S.H.I.E.L.D. Battlecarrier. The New Avengers are secretly contacted by Rick and attack the Battlecarrier to free him. Later, trying to reveal the truth about the false Hydra Captain America, Jones is murdered by a Hydra firing squad.
Jones body is later dug up and bathed in gamma radiaton by a secret US organization. This resurrects him and transforms him into a new hideous creatue with two faces and appendages around his face that they call Subject B. The “US Hulk Operations” sends Subject B to Reno, Nevada in an attempt to draw out the Hulk. Once two bystanders are killed, Hulk arrives and believes Subject B to be some new Abomination. However, he soon realizes it is actually his old friend Rick Jones and reluctantly fights it. During their fight, Betty Ross’ Harpy form also arrives and tries to eat the Hulk’s heart, which prompts Rick into fighting Betty to defend his friend.
Betty eventually incapacitates Subject B leading to Hulk to ripping open his body only to find an emaciated and very human Rick Jones inside. Hulk takes his friend and flees the scene as Gamma Flight approaches. A strange energy strikes Rick some time later and restores his vitality. With his hazy memories from being Subject B, Rick directs Hulk, Harpy and Jackie McGee to the US Hulk Operations’ base at Groom Lake.