The son of a wealthy oilman, Hugh Jones inherited his father's corporation which became known as Roxxon Oil. While running Roxxon, Jones arranged the murders of several of the company's competitors and rivals, among them Howard and Maria Stark. Eventually he was kidnapped and was forced to wear the Serpent Crown and become the vessel for the Elder God Set, who wished to use his corporate power to establish a firm grasp over Earth.
Hugh Jones was created by Steve Englehart and Sal Buscema and first appeared in Captain America #180.
Hugh Jones became a recurring character linked to the Serpent Crown after he was exposed to the Crown in his first appearances during the Nomad story arc. Jones subsequently appeared in several stories which related to the Crown such as The Serpent Crown Saga, The Serpent Crown Affair, Atlantis Attacks and Saga of the Serpent Crown. The character has not appeared since the supposed destruction of the Serpent Crown in Atlantis Attacks although some of his corporate past was fleshed out in Iron Man: The Iron Age.
Major Story Arcs
When the Atlantean warlord Krang discovered the Serpent Crown at the bottom of the ocean, he wore the talisman on his head and was told to deliver it to the Serpent Squad by Set. Wishing to use the Serpent Squad as his heralds, Set planned to conquer Earth and to this end had the Squad kidnap Hugh Jones and force him to wear the Crown himself so Set could use him and his resources to further his agenda.
Eventually, Jones was liberated by Captain America (in the guise of Nomad) and the Sub-Mariner who together were able to defeat Krang and the Serpent Squad. Realizing her imminent capture, the Squad's leader Viper fled with the Crown in tow at but it was apparently lost in the sewer as she escaped.
Not long after being saved by Captain America, Jones sought him out and revealed to him the location of the Red Skull's headquarters - considering this sufficient repayment for the debt he owed Captain America for freeing him from the Serpent Squad. With the information Captain America, Falcon and S.H.I.E.L.D. were able to confront the Red Skull over the murder of novice superhero Roscoe Simons and avert his own plans to take over the world.
Serpent Crown Saga
Although only wearing it for a short time, Jones maintained psychic contact with the Serpent Crown and began a lengthy search for the artefact which he eventually found and resumed wearing. Through the knowledge of Set, Jones learnt of the Multiverse and was able to contact and ally himself with the Serpent Cartel of Earth-712, a group of that reality's greatest corporate figures who were similarly thralls of Set. On Earth-712, the President of the United States wore the Serpent Crown and almost all the country's population were under Set's command.
Pooling their resources to spread Set's conquest across two realities, Earth-712's superheroes the Squadron Supreme were transported to aid Jones in spreading Set's influence in his reality. As the Squadron Supreme battled the Avengers, Jones feared exposure of his plans and transported both teams of heroes to Earth-712.
Despite Jones and the Serpent Cartel's best efforts, the Avengers were able to overthrow the Serpent Crown's control over Earth-712 and the Squadron Supreme were free from Set's power. Returning to their own world, with Earth-712's Serpent Crown, the Avengers were confronted by Jones who dispatched the Orka to battle them. During the skirmish, the Serpent Crown of Earth-712 was lost and Jones was captured when Moondragon and Thor arrived to join their team-mates in battle.
Serpent Crown Affair
Still in possession of his Serpent Crown, Jones formed a new iteration of the Serpent Squad and sent them to find and locate the missing Crown of Earth-712 which he sought to combine with his to double his power. Opposed by various heroes including the Scarlet Witch, Stingray, the Thing and Triton, the Squad's leader Sidewinder was able to escape with the Crown in tow while the heroes fought the rest of the Serpent Squad.
Reporting back to Jones, Sidewinder gave him the second Crown which he wore atop his Crown. With immense psychic power, Jones took complete control over all of Washington D.C. and again wished to bring Set to Earth. The heroes arrived in Washington to stop Jones, who conjured up an army of ethereal images of past wearers of the Serpent Crown to battle them. Scarlet Witch approached Jones and attempted to battle him but was overpowered by his superior mental power. Scarlet Witch surrendered and promised to be loyal to Set as a ploy to confuse Jones while the Thing caught him off guard and removed the Crowns from his head.
The Serpent Crowns called out and attempted to take control of the Thing's will, much to the resentment of the spurned Jones, but with stronger willpower, the Thing was able to reject the power of the Crowns. Jones was defeated and the Crowns were taking to Project PEGASUS for safe-keeping and research.
During Atlantis Attacks, Hugh Jones had apparently been institutionalized following his separation from the Crown and replaced as CEO of Roxxon. Jones retained his connection to the Crown and was one of the many past wearers who began having headaches when Ghaur and Llyra attempted to bring Set to Earth with a giant Serpent Crown, the Golden Serpent and the Brides of Set.
Powers and Abilities
Hugh Jones possesses no superhuman powers unless wearing the Serpent Crown. While donning the Crown, Jones is capable of great psychic power granted by Set and is able to read and control other's minds, cast illusions and fire bolts of energy as an offensive blast. He is also granted superhuman strength and endurance. Without the Crown, Jones possesses a psychic connection to the Crown, although this may have faded over the years he and the Crown have been parted.