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Your Top Teens part 58

Written by Chris Mitchell on Friday, October 23 2009 and posted in Features

The final two before the Top 10...


12. Molly Hayes (165 points - 4 first place slots)

"Should probably be team leader. Of the X-Men."

"Does She Count? If so, she's PRINCESS POWERFUL, motherfuckers! And she kicked the Punisher and Wolverine's asses, because she's awesome."


"A little girl that beat up Wolverine. Any hero who falls asleep after a fight has to be awesome."

"Consistently the best thing about Runaways, even (especially) during the Moore run."

Molly Hayes is the daughter of Alice Hayes and Gene Hayes, two mutants who were chosen to be part of the Pride. While her parents' powers were mental in nature, Molly's mutant ability is physical. When it was revealed by Molly's peers, the children of other members of the Pride, that their parents killed an innocent girl, they ran away from home. While on the run, the children tried to escape the grasp of their parents out of fear. Molly, being the youngest out of this group of Runaways, believed this was her chance to become a superhero.

It's worth noting that Molly is the only member of the Runaways that created a costume, though she made it from old clothes and bedding.

Recently, she was once paired up again with the mutant Wolverine, who was her reluctant tour guide at the X-Men's new facility in San Francisco. She was invited to live at the institute, given the rationale that she's one of the few hundred remaining mutants left on the planet. As Wolverine is taking her back to her friends (who at this time were hanging out with the rest of the X-students), they are attacked and captured by a mutant hating extremist who wanted revenge for the cruelty of her parents. Though Wolverine and Molly eventually escape and defeat the villain, Molly's faith of her parents' love for her is shaken by the stories told to her about her parents' evil deeds and hatred of humanity. Wolverine, in a rare moment of compassion and tenderness, then reassures her that if her parents raised such a good kid, then they couldn't have been all bad, and that they loved her as much as she thought they did.

Molly is a mutant with extreme strength and invulnerability. Her strength level is such that at peak performance, she was able to rip off Cloak's cloak from his corporeal form; something which Cloak stated even a god's strength was incapable of doing. She was also able to prevent a skyscraper-sized monster from stepping on her.

Use of her powers is fatiguing. While the upper limits of her strength have yet to be measured, the more she exerts herself, the more quickly she becomes fatigued, often to the point of becoming very drowsy and falling asleep. Her power seems to be enhanced by adrenaline. She was once awakened from her fatigue-induced sleep by a nearby explosion, and was able to again use her strength (though not to the same extreme levels). She was also once given a power-boost by Nico through a mystical caffeine injection from the Staff of One.

Use of her powers is voluntary. Her eyes glow with a purple-colored light whenever she exerts herself, in the same way her parents' eyes glowed whenever they used their powers. It has also been hinted that she is more intelligent than she lets on.

She is one of the few mutants to retain their powers after M-Day.

11. Rick Jones (174 points - 6 first place slots)
"Marvel's journeyman everyman, Rick's been a sidekick for everybody from the hulk to Cap to Capt. Marvel to ROM. He's gone on tour, written books, married a smoking hottie who was also the Hulk's sloppy seconds, traveled the universe, won the Kree-Skrull War by himself, been paralyzed and super powered and everywhere in-between (we'll just choose to ignore Loeb's A-Bomb nonsense). He is the reader's eyes into the Marvel U., and all the while he's had a blast doing it."

"It's Rick Jones, bitch! Seriously, what more could you want in a teen character? He's the sidekick of everyone in the Marvel U. From the Hulk to Captain America to the Avengers to Captain Marvel to Quasar to the FF to ROM, and beyond, he has connections everywhere. He should be in the top 10, but he won't be. And it's a damn shame."

"The Swiss Army Marvel sidekick."

"Where are this guy’s parents? He’s spent most of his late teen years with Hulk, the Avengers, both Captains America and Marvel."

"He was the teen sidekick for most of the 60s Marvel Universe. That is something that has to be respected."

Rick Jones is an orphan who eventually became an honorary Avenger. At the character's pinnacle usage, the Marvel Universe is often seen through his eyes as the reader. He is often portrayed as the "ultimate sidekick" character, however the character's raw roots are of a more angst ridden nature.

Rick Jones is a musician, a fighter, and a rebel...with the underlying potential to be a hero.

As a teenager, Rick Jones knew no fear. When he was dared to sneak onto a military testing facility, he didn't give it a second thought. What he and his friends did not know was the facility was a test center for an experimental Gamma bomb. When scientist Bruce Banner noticed Rick sneaking on, he raced out to save him seconds before the bomb was to detonate. Time only allowed for Banner to push Rick into the safety of a trench as the explosion irradiated his shocked body. Thus the incredible Hulk was born. Rick Jones swore never to leave Dr. Banner again.

The sacrifice that Banner had made caused Rick to grow up fast. He knew it was his fault and took the responsibility to assist Banner and the Hulk, knowing how dangerous it would be. Rick would eventually become the second Bucky, and be trained by Captain America himself, even donning the Bucky suit for a while.

Rick Jones and the "Teen Brigade", an underground network of what may be described as "pirate radio" or a group of angst ridden teens, heard of the Hulk's rampage and summoned the Fantastic Four. However, instead a few of solo heroes simultaneously answered the call, thus directly or indirectly giving birth to the legendary super team known as The Avengers.

Rick Jones was trained in hand to hand combat by Captain America, himself. Rick would go on to become Captain America's sidekick as the second Bucky. Rick's resemblance to Bucky made him a near clone in the original suit. His development went well until the Red Skull switched minds with Captain America and rejected Rick. Rick left Cap feeling let down and still not knowing the real situation that took place, resurfacing his own feelings of abandonment by his family, and his anger of the world.

After the rebellion to defend Earth, Captain Mar-Vell eventually found himself trapped in the Negative Zone. The Supreme Intelligence secretly enables Mar-Vell to telepathically contact Rick. Feeling drawn Rick enters a cave and he puts on a pair of "nega-bands" around his wrists. After slamming the bands together, Mar-Vell and Rick bonded and would trade places in the Negative Zone.

Rick and Captain Mar-Vell had many adventures together, they even fought his old partner Hulk and the Zodiac Cartel along with the Avengers. Mar-Vell and the Fantastic Four were in a battle with Annihilus, when Mr. Fantastic managed to free Rick from the Negative Zone which allowed both men the freedom from each other. During a misunderstanding with the Avengers, Mar-Vell was hospitalized, and he and Rick were abducted by the Skrulls. This would lead into the Kree/Skrull War.

This is where Rick discovered his own latent "Destiny Force" for the first time. Rick Jones realized his own worth beyond being the "perennial sidekick", after a life of rejection. Through his experiences of living vicariously through the hero Mar-Vell, Rick realized he had the power within himself. A concept that has almost become cliche', but when done well as it is here, is a story of self confidence and discovery. It is noteworthy that this story was told before many of the popular or more well known versions of the concept, and they were done in the pages of Captain Marvel.

At the end of the Kree/Skrull War, Rick and Mar-Vell would once again become bonded to each other, to save Rick's life, he became Mar-Vell's "host body", so they could exchange atoms for three hours for Mar-Vell to fight evil, yet maintaining a mental link of conversation. Soon after the war, Rick and Mar-Vell would fight the evil Thanos and his plans to literally kill the universe in a twisted sacrifice to "death itself". It is during this time the original Captain Marvel becomes the original "Protector of the Universe" and defeats Thanos.

Afterwards, "Captain Marvel and Rick Jones would fight many different villains and have many adventures, at one point even sharing one of the nega bands and merging to form Captain Marvel, with Rick having his own powers and costume, jokingly (although not "officially") referred to as "Marvel Boy". Soon Mar-Vell and Rick would trade places with the being known as the Super Adaptoid, and be able to co-exsist on the same plane together, and finally be able to pursue their own separate paths. (Captain Marvel #50)

Rick would also roam from town to town pursuing his at times successful music career and dealing with his own sense of being lost, and his own angst. Rick's close friend Mar-Vell would engage in combat with the terroristic villain known as Nitro, part of the Lunatic Legion who was stealing a canister of deadly nerve gas, a bio-chemical warfare canister known as "Compound 13". Rick switched places with Mar-Vell, and Mar-Vell streaked into action, during the fight the canister would leak. Mar-Vell would have no choice but to seal the canister with his bare hands, as enough of the poison would depopulate the Earth. Though he won the fight itself, eventually the exposure with the deadly gas would prove fatally cancerous.

Rick would be emotionally shattered by this, as many were, but would pick up the pieces later on. Although many would say that the Rick Jones character interfered with the uniqueness of exploring the Captain Mar-Vell character as a solo act, it is during this period, and his experiences described in Captain Marvel, where the Rick Jones character is most defined.


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