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 age 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 upon 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.
Travels with Marvel Edit
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.
During the Kree-Skrull War, an 'omniwave' machine from the Supreme Intelligence caused the Destiny Force to trigger within Rick.
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 Inelligence 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
Later Adventures Edit
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 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.
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.
Rick authored a best-selling novel on his days as a sidekick.