Monday 24th November 2014,
Comic Booked

“ROCKTOBER’S” Character Of The Month

Comic Booked Guest Writer 10/01/2010 Reviews 4 Comments

Yes, instead of October we call it Rocktober, here at Comic Booked, cause we Rock!!

Our character of the month is no other than : The Thing.

The first time I saw The Thing was in his own show:

Ring Thing, do your Thing, really?  80′ were the best!

Vintage TheThing Cartoon

Now on to the real Thing:

Benjamin Jacob Grimm was born on Yancy Street in New York City to a poor family. His older brother Daniel was a part of the Yancy Street Gang, a group of young troublemakers from the area. Eventually, Ben was ‘beaten in’ and became a member himself, becoming street hardened early in life.

But tragedy would befall Ben’s family. His parents both died and his brother also lost his life in a gang fight. This left Ben to the custody of his father’s brother,Jake, and took him from New York to Arizona. After Jake’s wife’s death, he remarried a much younger woman named Petunia (who Ben would reference often).

Away from his past troubles, Ben did well in high school, becoming a talented athlete. An excellent football player, Ben was able to get a scholarship to Empire State University. There he would meet Reed Richards and they became close friends.

After college, Ben joined the US Air Force and became a fantastic pilot, often testing experimental aircraft and even flying top-secret missions for the US government. His piloting skills eventually landed him a spot at NASA.

Ben was later contacted by his old friend Reed who wanted him to pilot his experimental rocket into space (as they joked about in school together). Ben was reluctant to pilot the ship as he was unsure that it would be safe for them. Ben was persuaded to do so anyway and they took off with Susan Storm, who helped fund the project, and her younger brother Johnny.

Still not cleared for takeoff, Ben took off at the others request and they made their fateful trip into outer space. Unfortunately, Ben was right to assume the safety risks, and the ship was bombarded with cosmic rays. just as he had feared. The rays caused the ship to lose control and Ben’s incredible piloting skills saved their lives in a miraculous crash landing that none should have survived.

Once safely on Earth, the others soon realized that they had gained super powers. But Ben got the unfortunate powers of the group, his skin becoming a hard, rocky orange crust. They all agreed to use their powers for the good of humanity. Ben chose the super name of the Thing after being referred to as such by Susan. Together they became the Fantastic Four.

Ben remained a reliable member of the team, but was constantly shunned and often dwelled on his monstrous appearance. usually trying to make jokes about it to keep his spirits high. Although he considered himself deformed, his skin gave Ben incredible strength and durability, making him the powerhouse of the team. Reed blamed Ben’s appearance on himself and swore to cure Ben one way or the other. Ben would wear a trench coat and hat to cover himself up to avoid scaring anyone or people gawking at his appearance.

Ben developed a different point of view about his problem when he met the blind sculptress Alicia Masters. She loved Ben for Ben, not his appearance. This made Ben believe that she actually loved him for his rocky hide and made him cautious about reverting to his original self.

After the events of the Secret Wars far from Earth, Ben decides to remain on a planet known as Battleworld where he has the ability to control his transformation. Eventually, he returns to Earth, only to find that Alicia is now dating Johnny. Learning this put Ben into a well of self-pity, having lost the only one he believed could love his ‘ugly mug.’ Unable to bear this torture, Ben briefly joined the West Coast Avengers and was replaced on the FF by She-Hulk. Eventually it was revealed that it was not Alicia, but a Skrullimpostor named Lyja. Ben then returned to the team.

While Reed and Sue took some time off from the team to have their son Franklin, Ben became the leader of the team. He invited Crystal of the Inhumansand Sharon Ventura to join the team in their absence. On a mission, Ben was again irradiated with cosmic rays, this time changing his appearance for the worse (which he though would be impossible). Luckily, this was not permanent.

When Onslaught became a threat to the entire planet, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Avengers and many other heroes all joined together to stop him. After Onslaught was released from his physical encasements, he became a far more powerful enemy. In order to defeat him, all the non-mutants sacrificed themselves, including the Thing. Franklin Richards preserved their lives and sent them to a Counter Earth he had created, where they had no memories of their pasts. Upon return to their original reality, Ben learned that Alicia seemed to have a relationship with the Silver Surfer. Although he loved Alicia, he still needed some time to figure out who he was after the confusion of his return.

During the Super-Human Civil War, Ben briefly chooses the pro-registration side with Iron Man. This is before he witness a civilian death caused by villains trying to intensify the already calamitous situation. He tells both side of his disgust for them and their lack of heroism. Not wanting to participate on either side, Ben moves to France.

He returns to New York City, but not to choose sides. He protects the innocent from the super heroes and their battles against one another. At the end of the war, the team joins together to discuss their future, as there has been much tension between them, specifically Reed and Sue. They temporarily leave the team to rekindle their love on another honeymoon and are replaced with the Black Panther and Storm. After mending their marriage, they returned to the team. The Thing remains the ever-loving blue-eyed member of the team.
New Avenger
In New Avengers #1 Luke asks Thing to join but everybody thinks it’s a bad idea because he was apart of the Fantastic Four. Then when the eye of agamato possessed him he knocked thing into central park. In New Avenger #2 after iron fist knocked it out of his hand thing punched him saying “It’s Payback Time.” In issues 3 He, Spider-Man, and  Ms. Marvel banter back and forth. Thing says “playtime’s over” because he’s coming up with a new avenger friendly catchphrase but spidey doesn’t like it.

Powers

The Thing has immense superhuman strength. In his first appearance, he could only lift 5 tons. Over the years, he was steady at 80 tons. But as time passed, he has increased his strength up to 100 Tons or more. He has enhanced stamina and his body can withstand extreme environments and abuse. His skin can withstand 15 pounds of explosives. He can live in the deep crushing pressures of the ocean. Despite his size, he still has a decent amount of agility and movement. He is trained to operate a number of aircraft’s, including the many inventions created by Richards. He has some training in hand-to-hand combat and is a very skilled wrestler.

Physical Attributes

Height: 7’1”.

Weight: 1200 lbs.

Eyes: Blue

Hair: None (Brown before transformation)

Interesting Facts

In the Thing’s first appearance, Jack Kirby (the original illustrator) had intended his skin to be something like dinosaur hide.  Over the years his skin has evolved growing into more rocky plate like structures.  The rocky exterior moves over a more viscous inner hide.  This can be seen in story lines from the 1980s where Reed Richards attempted to cure the Thing.  He succeeded in removing the rocky exterior but was not so successful in removing the inner hide which left the Thing looking like bumpy mush for a period of time.  It is commonly accepted that the evolution of the Thing’s skin is a measure of the Thing’s overall physical changes and strength.

Alternate Realities

Earth-1610

In the Ultimate universe Thing is a bit younger and still a member of the Fantastic Four. He is also shown to be very sensitive about his condition and what people have to say about it as it has been shown and stated by Ben himself many times that he has tried to commit suicide. It is also shown that this version of Ben could be stronger than the Hulk as he was able to take out the Zombie Hulk when they went to the Marvel Zombie universe to save Reed and was also able to defeat  Ultimate Hulk however this was while the Hulk was being suffocated by Sue Storm and Spider-man as well as taking a beating from the Ultimates. During Ultimatum Ben was alone for the first time since the fantastic four formed as Johnny was missing and Reed leaves to try to bring Nick Fury back to the Ultimate universe. He is forced to find the Mole man as Sue slipped into a coma and Mole man is the only person who can help her. They use Pym particles to Sink down to microscopic size to wake her up. He helps Sue fight Dourmamu to get Johnny back and joins S.H.I.E.L.D after the Fantastic Four disband. Ben travels to Latveria under Reeds request to kill Doctor Doom  for the part he played in Ultimatum.

Ultimate Enemy
Sue Storm, genius biologist and ex-teammate of the world-famous Fantastic Four, uses her invisible powers to hide herself from the rest of the world while taking a walk in the city. She feels better when not having to be a world spectacle to the rest of the world. Once back in the Baxter she wonders all alone the place only to find Ben Grim interrupts her loneliness. After a brief catching up between the two, Sue examines Ben’s recent shedding of rocks and Ben drops a bomb on her by telling her that he loves her. Now that her relationship with Reed is over he took the opportunity to tell her that. One of the Thing’s rocks falls and leaves Sue by saying: “something to remember me by”. Then a huge, purple, cloud/octopus-like creatures overtakes the Baxter building and Ben even when trying to stop it he is thrown to a street.

Ultimate Comics Thing

Earth-982

In the MC2 universe Thing is a member of the Fantastic Five alongside Human Torch, Ms Fantastic, Franklin Richards and Big Brain. Much of the past history of the Fantastic Four remains as it is in the 616 reality. His left arm and much of the body has been replaced by cybernetic parts needed after a battle with Terrax.

Thing married Sharon (later to become Sharon Ventura after remarrying) and had two children named Alyce and Jake.

Earth-2149

In the Marvel Zombies universe the Thing has, as most of earth’s heroes been turned into a zombie.

Earth-721

In this reality, also known as Earth A, (first seen in Fantastic Four #118), Only Reed Richards and Ben Grimm was aboard the spaceship and got exposed to cosmic rays. Afterwards Reed Richards got the Thing powers and Ben Grimm got the Mr. Fantastic powers. Furthermore Johnny Storm was believed to have died in Vietnam, but he became Gaard and later Vangaard. Sue Storm married Ben Grimm.

Earth-311

In the 1602 reality Benjamin Grimm got his powers from the Anomaly and became a member of The Four of the Fantastick.

Earth-58163

In the House of M reality Doctor Doom is leader of the Fanatic Four which consists of himself, Invincible Woman ( Valeria Von Doom), Inhuman Torch ( Kristoff Vernard) and The Thing, Here known as The It.

Earth-772

In this reality Thing is a member of Fantastic Five alongside Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch, Invisible Woman and Spider-Man.

Earth-917

In this reality Thing is a member of Fantastic Five alongside Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch, Invisible Woman and Namor.

Earth-912

In this reality Thing is a member of Fantastic Five alongside Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch, Invisible Woman and Silver Surfer.

Earth-4400

Thing was also a member of Fantastic Five in this reality, alongside Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch, Invisible Woman and Spider-Man. They were all killed by Hyperion and Weapon X.

Earth-295

In a “What if?: Age of Apocalypse”, Ben is a member of the Defenders, the AoA version of the Avengers. In this reality where Legion killed both Professor X andMagneto leading to the X-Men to never be formed, The Defenders are composed of Ben, Captain Britain in Iron Man’s armor, Wolverine aka Weapon X, Brother Voodoo, who is the Sorcerer Supreme in this universe, X-Man, Molecule Man, Colossus and Sauron with their leader, Captain America, in possession of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Ben was killed by Apocalypse’s son, Holocaust.

Earth-2301

In the Marvel Mangaverse, Ben is a member of the Fantastic Four, a team that battle giant monsters with their mecha power packs. The whole team was killed by The Hand, except the Human Torch.

Earth-9939 (Earth Charnel)
In this reality Thing is a member of the Avengers and is married to Alicia Masters, but has tragically been rendered paralyzed by the evil entity known as Charnel. To move and fight, Thing must be connected to a mechanical exoskeleton.

Earth-X (9997)
In this reality Thing, like the rest of the Marvel heroes is quite a bit older. He is married to Alicia and they have two children that look just like him named Buzz and Chuck.

Doc Fantastic and his Five for the Future
In this reality, Ben was the only one sent on Reed’s space flight. Set in the 1930’s, Ben was the pilot of a satellite that was shot into orbit around the Moon. Because of his disfigurement, Ben hides his appearance with a mask, gloves and long coat. He is a member of the Five for the Future. He goes by the name Mister Grim.

Challengers of Doom
In this reality, Ben Grimm was married to Sue Storm. Because of some incident, they were divorced and he was not allowed to be near her through a court ordered restraining order.

Thanks to Comicvine.com for the info.

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4 Comments

  1. Kai charles 10/02/2010 at 11:37 am

    Great article!I didn't know all those things about Ben :)

  2. Sokos6 11/11/2012 at 5:58 am

    An awesome look into the Fantastic Four great, Thing!

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