- This article is about the comic book character. For other meanings of thing, see Thing.
The Thing, from the cover to Thing (2005) Beatiful Thing #1.
Art by Andrea Di Vito
||The Fantastic Four #1
||Stan Lee Beauitful Thing & Jack Kirby
||Benjamin Jacob Grimm
||Fantastic Four, UCWF, Beuatiful Thing West Coast Avengers, Thunderiders, Beauiful Thing former leader of the Yancy Street Gang
||Blackbeard the Pirate
||Superhuman strength, stamina, speed and Beautifu Thing durability
The Thing (Benjamin Jacob "Ben" Grimm) is a fictional character, a founding member of the superhero team The Bautiful Thing Fantastic Four in the Marvel Comics universe. He was Beautuful Thing created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961). His trademark orange rocky appearance, sense Beautifil Thing of humour, and battle cry, "It's clobberin' time!" makes him Beautiul Thing one of comics' most recognizable and popular characters.
- 1 Publication Baeutiful Thing history
- 1.1 Strange Tales
- 1.2 Marvel Two-In-One
- 1.3 The Beaautiful Thing Thing Beaitiful Thing (1983-1986)
- 1.4 The Thing (2005-2006)
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers Beauttiful Thing and abilities
- 4 Alternate versions
- 4.1 Ultimate Thing
- 4.2 MC2
- 4.3 Marvel Mangaverse
- 4.4 Marvel 1602
- 4.5 House of M
- 4.6 Planetary
- 4.7 Fantastic Four: The End
- 5 Appearances in other media
- 5.1 Film
- 5.2 Television
- 5.3 Video games
- 6 Catchphrases
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Bibliography
- 8.1 Solo titles and lead features
- 8.2 Reprints
- 9 References
In addition to appearing in the Fantastic Four, the Thing has been the star of Marvel Two-In-One, Strange Tales (with his fellow Fantastic Four member the Human Torch) and two incarnations of his own eponymous series, not to mention many miniseries and one-shots.
The Thing joined his Fantastic Four partner and frequent rival the Human Torch with #124 (1964) of Strange Tales, which then featured solo adventures of the Human Torch and backup Doctor Strange stories. The change was intended to liven the comic through the always humourous chemistry between the Torch and the Thing. They were replaced with the "modern-day" version of Nick Fury , Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, who was then already appearing in Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos in #135 (1965).
The Thing later appeared in the long-running series Marvel Two-In-One, which lasted 100 issues with seven annuals. In each issue Ben Grimm would be paired with another character from the Marvel Universe, frequently an obscure or colourful choice. The series was undoubtedly intended to introduce readers to new characters from Marvel's further reaches, by way of the more recognisable Thing's gruff, avuncular and pomposity-deflating humour.
The Thing (1983-1986)
The cancellation of Marvel Two-In-One led to the Thing's first completely solo series, originally written and drawn by John Byrne, which was notable for elaborating on Ben Grimm's poor childhood in Yancy Street.
The Thing (2005-2006)
After the success of the Fantastic Four feature film and events in the Fantastic Four on-going series which contrived to make Ben a millionaire, the Thing was once again given his own series, written by fan favourite Dan Slott and pencilled by Andrea DiVito and, later, Kieron Dwyer. Despite becoming a critically-acclaimed fan favourite, in the midst of large-scale, company-wide events from both Marvel and DC, The Thing met with low sales and was cancelled with #8.
Fictional character biography
Born on Yancy Street in New York City's Lower East Side, to a Jewish family, Benjamin Jacob Grimm's early life was one of poverty and hardship, shaping young Grimm into a tough, streetwise scrapper. His older brother Daniel, whom Ben idolized, was killed in a street gang fight when Ben was eight years old. This portion of his own life is modeled on that of Jack Kirby, who grew up on tough Delancey Street, whose brother died when he was young, whose father was named Benjamin, and who was named Jacob at birth. Following the death of his parents, Ben was raised by his Uncle Jake (who at some point married a much younger wife, Petunia ).
Excelling in football as a high school student, Ben received a full scholarship to Empire State University, where he first met his eventual life-long friend Reed Richards. Science student Richards described his dream to one day build a space rocket and Grimm jokingly agreed to fly that rocket.
Following college, Grimm joined the United States Army Air Force as a test pilot. (His exploits as a military aviator were chronicled to a limited extent in issue #7 of the "Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders" comic, in a story entitled "Objective: Ben Grimm!")
Some years later, Reed Richards once again made contact with Grimm. Richards had built his spaceship, and reminded Grimm of his promise to fly the ship. After the government denied him permission to fly the spaceship himself, Richards plotted a clandestine flight piloted by Grimm and accompanied by Richards' future wife Susan Storm and her brother Johnny Storm. During this unauthorized ride into the upper atmosphere of Earth, they were pelted by a cosmic ray storm and exposed to radiation against which the ship's shields were no protection. Upon crashing down to Earth, each of the four learned that they had developed fantastic superhuman abilities. Grimm's skin had been transformed into a thick, orange hide, which gradually evolved into his now-familiar covering of large rocky plates. Richards proposed the quartet band together to use their new abilities for the betterment of humanity, and Grimm, in a moment of understandable self-pity, adopted the superheroic sobriquet The Thing. 
Trapped in his monstrous form, Grimm was an unhappy yet reliable member of the team. He trusted in his friend Reed Richards to one day develop a cure for his condition. However, when he encountered blind sculptress Alicia Masters, Grimm developed a subconscious resistance to being transformed back to his human form. Fearing that Masters preferred him to remain in the monstrous form of the Thing, Grimm's body rejected various attempts by Richards to restore his human form lest he lose the love of Masters. His subconscious fear kept him in his rocky form and Grimm remained a stalwart member of the Fantastic Four for years.
He left the team when he opted to remain on an alien planet where he could control his transformation to and from his rocky superpowered form. Upon returning to Earth he learned that Alicia had become romantically involved with his team mate Johnny Storm while he was absent. Grimm wallowed in self-pity for a time but eventually returned to his surrogate family. (The relationship between Alicia and Johnny was vehemently disliked by many fans, and was later retconned and explained that the Alicia that Johnny fell in love with was actually Lyja, a member of the shape-changing Skrull.) The real Alicia, who was in suspended animation was soon rescued by the Fantastic Four and reunited with the Thing.
Ben became the leader of the Fantastic Four for a time when the Richards took a sabbatical.
#310 (January, 1988). The Thing gets rockier.
After being further mutated into a more monstrous rocky form and briefly being changed back to his human form, Grimm has once more returned to his traditional orange rocky form. He remains a steadfast member of the Fantastic Four and one of the most easily recognizable characters of the Marvel Universe.
In a Fantastic Four comic published in 2005, Ben learned he was entitled to a large sum of money, his share of the Fantastic Four fortune (which Reed Richards had never touched over the years to pay off various costs and debts of the group, unlike the shares of the other teammates, who were family members). The following year, spurred by the success of the Fantastic Four feature film (of which much of the press was centred on the portrayal of the Thing  ) the Thing, under writer Dan Slott, began starring in his first solo title in more than 20 years. Slott's series, though a critical success, suffered from low sales, and was cancelled after the eighth issue.
The Thing used his newfound wealth to build a community center in his old neighborhood on Yancy Street, the "Grimm Youth Center". Thinking the center was named after the Thing himself, Yancy Street Gang planned to graffiti the building exterior, but when they discovered that the building was named after Daniel Grimm, the Thing's deceased older brother, who had been a leader of the Yancy Street Gang, the relationship between the Yancy Streeters and the Thing was effectively reconciled, at least to a more good-natured, playful (the comic ending with Yancy Streeters spray-prainting the sleeping Thing).
Some personality traits of the cantankerously lovable, occasionally cigar-smoking, Jewish native of the Lower East Side are popularly recognized as having been inspired by those of co-creator Kirby, who in interviews  said he'd intended Grimm to be an alter ego of himself. However, as was usual for comic-book characters of that era, no religion was publicly mentioned. Grimm has since been revealed to be Jewish, like Kirby, in Fantastic Four (3rd series) #56, published in August 2002, in a story titled "Remembrance of Things Past". In the final issue of his solo series, Ben even agrees to finally have his very own Bar Mitzvah, it being 13 years since he began his "second life" as the Thing. To celebrate the ceremony, Ben organised a poker tournament for every available superhero in the Marvel Universe. 
Initially in the Super Hero Civil War Ben is a reluctant member of Iron Man's side, until the Thing witnesses a battle on Yancy Street where Captain America's forces try to rescue captured allies held by Iron Man's forces. Old FF foes the Mad Thinker and the Puppet Master try to escalate the battle, using a mind-controlled Yancy Streeter to deliver a bomb. The young man dies and the Thing verbally blasts both sides for not caring about the civilians caught in the conflict. He announces that while he thinks the registration is wrong, he is also not going to fight the government and is thus leaving the country. 
Powers and abilities
As a result of exposure to cosmic rays, the Thing possesses high levels of superhuman strength, stamina, and resistance to physical injury.
His strength has increased over the years due to a combination of further mutation and special exercise equipment designed for him by Reed Richards. The Thing's body is also highly resistant to physical injury. He is capable of surviving impacts of great strength and force without sustaining injury.
The Thing's highly advanced musculature generates fewer fatigue toxins during physical activity, granting him superhuman levels of stamina.
Aside from his physical attributes, The Thing's senses can withstand greater levels of sensory stimulation than an ordinary human, with the exception of his sense of touch.
His lungs possess greater efficiency and volume than those of an ordinary human. As a result, the Thing is capable of holding his breath for much greater periods of time.
Despite his brutish, even monsterous form, the Thing suffers no change in his personality nor his level of intelligence. Despite his greatly increased size, the Thing's agility and reflexes remain at the same level they had been prior to his transformation.
The Thing is an exceptionally skilled pilot, due to his time spent as a test pilot in the United States Air Force and as a member of the Fantastic Four.
He is also a formidable hand to hand combatant (His fighting style incorporates elements of boxing, wrestling, and streetfighting techniques, as well as hand-to-hand combat training from the military.
In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Ben is Reed's childhood friend. When they were in school together, Ben would protect Reed from bullies and Reed would help Ben with his homework. Ben moved on to college and was invited to watch Reed's teleportation experiment. The experiment gave Ben a rocky hide which boosts his strength. The Ultimate version of the Thing is nigh-invulnerable to physical damage and physiologically stressful conditions, such as extreme temperatures and toxic breathing environments. His physical strength is possibly greater than that of his 616 counterpart, as he could easily defeat The Hulk in physical combat; of course, the Hulk in question was from the Marvel Zombies universe. However, this Thing has taken his transformation even worse than his 616 counterpart, recently revealing that he has tried to commit suicide, and has at least once attacked Reed and still carries some resentment towards him, since Reed is admittedly responsible for his condition.
In the alternate timeline of the Marvel universe published under the MC2 imprint, a possible future of Ben is shown. In this future, he was married to Sharon Ventura and had two children by her, though they are now divorced. Much of the left half of his body has been replaced with cybernetic parts, although no explanation is given for when, or why, this happened. He always appears alongside the Fantastic 5 (the teams roster had expanded, despite Invisible Woman's disappearance) whenever they do in the Spider-Girl series and related miniseries.
In the Marvel Mangaverse comics Benjamin (pronounced "Ben-ya-meen") Grimm is a member of the Megascale Metatalent Response Team Fantastic Four. The team uses powerpacks to boost their talents to manifest at mecha-sized levels. Benjamin is a shy, intelligent, somewhat neurotic man with a stutter in his civilian identity; however, once he uses his metatalents, he pretends to be a "serious badass." His metatalent exoskeletal armature is subsumed from miscellaneous urban materials such as bricks, cars, steel rods, concrete, etc. The team fights giant Godzilla-sized monsters from alien cultures that attack Earth for performing experiments which endanger all of reality. In New Mangaverse, the Fantastic Four, with the exception of the Human Torch, are murdered by ninja assassins employed by the Hand.
In Neil Gaiman's 1602, Benjamin Grimm is the captain of the ship The Fantastick, before gaining his abilities from the Anomaly. His power is associated with the classical element of earth.
In the sequel 1602: Fantastick Four Benjamin has found work as an actor with William Shakespeare's troupe, where he can hide his monstrous form behind false whiskers as Falstaff. He is soon forced to reveal himself, however, when Otto von Doom's vulture soldiers kidnap Shakespeare.
House of M
In the House of M, Ben Grimm was the pilot in Reed Richards' voyage to space, alongside Susan Storm and John Jameson. Like the others, Grimm was mutated, though he was the only survivor of the rocket's explosion. Ben was transformed into a rock-skinned creature with superhuman strength and a diminished intellect. He was taken by Dr. Doom, who named him the It. The It became one of the Frightful Four, though he was treated like an animal and was often the victim of Doom's frustrations. Tired of being mistreated, the It betrayed Doom and sided with Polaris after Doom tried to kill Magneto and Quicksilver. After Doom was defeated, the It ended up meeting Alicia Masters, who took him to the Human Resistance.
Warren Ellis' Planetary features a villainous take on the FF known simply as The Four. One of them, a covert-ops pilot called Jacob Greene, is granted superhuman powers during a top-secret spaceflight and transforms into a rocky skinned engine of destruction. Described by one character as "inexhaustible cannon-fodder", Greene's role in The Four's conspiracy seems to be purely as a weapon, something to be unleashed when the job is simply requires the straightforward approach of killing everything standing between The Four and their goals. From his lack of dialogue Greene may no longer pocess higher brain functions, but it's also possible that, given the revelation concerning the Reed Richards analogue's powers (Randall Dowling) Ellis is hinting that Greene shared Ben Grimm's repressed fury towards his teammate for sticking him with a monster's body, Dowling however took action to provide and outlet for Greene's anger while still retaining the use of his superhuman capacity for violence.
Fantastic Four: The End
In this setting, where the entire Sol System is being colonised by humanity, with humanity undergoing a Golden Age because of the use of technology developed by Reed Richards in an effort to create a utopia, The Thing is married to Alicia Masters with 3 super-powered children, residing on Mars with the Inhumans. He is now capable of shifting between human form and 'Thing' form at will.
In this setting, the Fantastic Four are in a state of flux, with the Human Torch a member of the Avengers, Susan Storm an archaeologist, the Thing a contented house-husband and Reed Richard a reclusive scientific hermit.
Appearances in other media
The Thing, played by Michael Chiklis, in the 2005 movie Fantastic Four
The Thing in the 2006 Animated Series
- He appears in the unreleased 1994 Fantastic Four movie produced by Roger Corman. He was portrayed by Michael Bailey Smith (as Ben) and Carl Ciarfalio (as the Thing).
- The Thing also appeared in the 2005 film released by 20th Century Fox, in which he was portrayed by Michael Chiklis.
- He will return in the sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer where he is seen at Reed and Sue's wedding as Reed's best man. It is said that he, the Silver Surfer, and Alicia Masters will be involved in a love triangle.
- Although The Thing has always been closely identified with the Fantastic Four, he did appear as a solo character in a bizarre and short-lived 1979 spinoff of the animated series The Flintstones, entitled Fred and Barney Meet the Thing. For this series, Grimm became a gangly underweight teenager named "Benjy" Grimm as a result of a failed attempt to cure his Thing form. Since further work using this method could make him physically even younger, he has to live with this form as the best he can have for now. However when he needs it, he is able to change himself into The Thing by striking together two special rings and the saying "Thing Ring! Do your thing!". The only other Marvel characters who were recurring in the series were the Yancy Street Gang (remade into "TV-friendly" practical jokers, rather than a violent street gang), who served as Benjy's principal antagonists. Despite the title of the series, The Thing hardly ever encountered the Flintstones characters.
- In addition, he has been a regular in the various incarnations of Fantastic Four cartoons, especially in the 1994 series.
- The Thing also makes a single episode appearance in the 90's Incredible Hulk cartoon. The episode seems to place this show in the same continuity with the Fantastic Four cartoon of the same decade as this episode plays off the Hulk's appearance in the other show. The Thing also briefly falls for the She-Hulk during the episode.
- Most recently, Thing appears in the new Fantastic Four cartoon with the Fantastic Four symbol spray painted onto his chest.
The Thing is a playable character in the Fantastic Four game for the PlayStation. The Thing has a cameo appearance in the Spider-Man game based on the Spider-Man 1994 animated series for Sega Mega Drive and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. After reaching certain levels of the game, the player can call the Thing a limited number of times for assistance against enemies. The Thing is also playable on the game based on the 2005 film, which was released on several consoles and was voiced by Michael Chiklis. The Thing and the Human Torch are playable characters in the fighting game Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects. The Thing is also a playable hero in the game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.
- "It's clobberin' time!"
- "Wotta revoltin' development."
- "I'm the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing."
- "...Aunt Petunia's favorite nephew..."
- "I'm the idol o' millions."
- "... my Aunt Petunia."
- Jack Kirby, the original artist behind the Fantastic Four, drew the Thing such that he was shorter than Reed Richards, at a height of approximately 5'9". Over time, his appearance has grown increasingly exaggerated, and while his height cannot presently be pinpointed to one single number, it had remained at 6' for a long time, and is now close to the 7' range as, along with his strength and durability, over time, his size has also increased.citations needed]
- Stan Lee has stated that Thing's speech patterns are loosely based on those of Jimmy Durante.
- Unlike most Marvel characters, The Thing has only four fingers on each hand and four toes on each foot.
Solo titles and lead features
- Strange Tales (joined ongoing Human Torch solo series) #124–134 (Sept. 1964 – July 1965)
- Marvel Two-in-One #1–100 (Jan. 1974 – June 1983)
- Marvel Two-in-One Annual #1–7 (1976 – 1982)
- The Thing #1–36 (July 1983 – June 1986)
- Marvel Graphic Novel #29 (Nov. 1987)
- Thing and She-Hulk: The Long Night (May 2005)
- The Thing: Freakshow #1–4 (Aug. – Nov. 2002)
- Startling Stories: The Thing #1–5 (June – Oct. 2003)
- Hulk/Thing: Hard Knocks #1–4 (Nov. 2004 – Feb. 2005; reprinted as trade paperback, 2005)
- What if Dr. Doom Had Become the Thing? (Feb. 2005)
- Marvel Adventures: Tales of the Thing (May 2005)
- The Thing vol. 2, #1–8 (Jan. – Aug. 2006)
- Warlock #6 (May, 1983, also collected with #1–5 in 1992 trade paperback; reprints MTIO Annual #2)
- The Thing: The Project Pegasus Saga trade paperback (1988; reprints MTIO #53–58, 60)
- Adventures of the Thing #1–4 (April 1992 – July 1992; reprints MTIO #50, 80, 51, 77)
- Marvel's Greatest Super Battles trade paperback (1994; includes reprints MTIO Annual #7)
- Marvel Super-Heroes Megazine #5 (February, 1995; includes reprint of MTIO #50)
- Thunderbolts: Marvel's Most Wanted trade paperback (1998; includes reprints of MTIO #54 (partial), 56)
- The Thing: Idol of Millions trade paperback (2006; reprints The Thing #1–8 (2006 series))
- BeliefNet article on Ben Grimm and Jewish comic book writers
- Website dedicated to the comic book series Marvel Two-in-One, starring the Thing
- The Thing biography at Marvel.com
- Ultimate Thing on the Marvel Universe Character Biography Wiki
||Mister Fantastic · The Invisible Woman · The Human Torch · The Thing
Supporting characters · Villains
||Main continuity: Fantastic Four · Four · The Thing
Other continuities: Ultimate Fantastic Four · Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four · Marvel 1602: Fantastick Four
||Fantastic Four (1967) · Fantastic Four (1978) · Fantastic Four (1994) · Fantastic Four (2006) · Other appearances
||The Fantastic Four (1994) · Fantastic Four (2005) · Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
||Fantastic Four writers · Fantastic Four artists · Locations · Video games
Categories: Articles lacking sources from October 2006 | All articles lacking sources | Articles with unsourced statements | 1961 introductions | Hulk supporting characters | Fictional astronauts | Fictional Jews | Fictional aviators | Fictional football players | Fictional interdimensional travelers | Fictional New Yorkers | Jewish comic book characters | Marvel Comics mutates | Suicidal fictional characters | Marvel Comics characters with superhuman strength | Marvel Comics titles