|“||It's clobberin' time!||„|
|~ The Thing's most famous quote.|
|“||My point, an' I got one, is this: Safety ain't all it's cracked up t' be. Not if ya live a life worth th' risks. Sure, I coulda wallowed over one lousy break instead o' facin' th' world. An' some days, I still do. I backslide. And yer gonna do that, too. It's hard not ta. Yer gonna get lost in th' bad. But so long as ya got folks around who love ya, ya gotta remember tomorrow c'n always be better.||„|
|~ The Thing.|
The Thing (real name Benjamin Jacob "Ben" Grimm) is a fictional character and superhero from Marvel comics, appearing as one of the main protagonists of the Fantastic Four comics, and a major character in other comics.
He is the best friend of Reed Richards who was caught in the accident that created the Fantastic Four - while the others remained relatively human he was mutated into a rock-like monster and he is very sensitive about that fact - Reed has promised to find a cure for Ben but so far has been unsuccessful. Despite his new appearance, Ben has used his newfound abilities to protect the world from threats as a member of the Fantastic Four.
Despite the tragedy behind the Thing the man remains a hero - famous for his battle-cry of "It's Clobberin' Time!" and being the resident strongman of the team he is the one most likely tearing apart a Doom-Bot or holding up a bus to save some innocents, of course he has a softer side too, despite his appearance. The Thing has also been a member of the Future Foundation, West Coast Avengers, New Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and S.H.I.E.L.D.
He was created by the late Stan Lee and the late Jack Kirby, and first appeared in Fantastic Four #1 in 1961.
In the unreleased 1994 Fantastic Four film, he was portrayed by Michael Bailey Smith and Carl Ciarfalio in his Thing form. In the 2005 film and its sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer, he was portrayed by Michael Chiklis, as Jamie Bell played the character in the 2015 reboot.
Benjamin Jacob Grimm was born on Yancy Street, Manhattan to Daniel and Elise Grimm, and younger brother to Daniel Jr., and lived on the Lower East Side. Grimm's family grew up in poverty, with his father being an alcoholic who was unable to keep a job, forcing his brother to gain money as the leader of the Yancy Street Gang.
Ben idolized his brother, and became embittered when he was killed by a rival gang, with the former becoming a member of the gang years later. After his parents' death, Ben was taken in by his Uncle Jake, a successful physician. Ben grew to care for his family, and left the gang to become a football player at school, and was offered a scholarship to State University.
Ben was the roommate of Reed Richards, who would become his best friend during their years together. Reed told Ben that he wanted to build a starship someday, and the latter jokingly agreed to fly the starship when he built it. Ben would graduate from State, and join the United States Air Force, becoming a fighter pilot. When he left the military, Reed reminded him of his promise to fly the starship.
Becoming the Thing
Ben agreed to fly the starship, but warned Reed of not doing the test flight because of the shielding might prove inadequate from radiation storms. Ben was persuaded to fly despite the risks, and was joined by Susan Storm, her brother Johnny, and Reed himself. Ben's warnings were true, as the shield didn't protect the group from cosmic rays, and Ben was force to abort from space back to Earth.
While crashing back on Earth, Ben transformed into an orange-like thing, who was super strong, and durable. Reed convinced the three to use their powers for good, and the Fantastic Four was founded. Ben would found himself depress and unwanted due to his monster look, but found himself become a surrogate family member to the others.
Despite this, Ben (at first) became angered at his new appearance, and wanted to return back to human self. Reed promised Ben that he would find a cure, but to no avail, and accepted his fate. Ben would meet Alicia Masters by helping her defeat her step-father, the Puppet Master, and became her boyfriend. He would, however, return back to his human form when exposed to Hulk's gamma radiation after a fight. Luke Cage replaced him as a member of the team, and Ben was given an exoskeleton to continue to aid the heroes. Despite this, Ben was returned back to his rock form, as punishment from Galactus.
Reed eventually discovered that Ben could reach a state in which he could transform from his rock appearance to his normal state at will. However, Ben feared that Alicia would only love him as the Thing, as she didn't know before his transformation. As a result of this, Ben suffered from a subconscious mental block that prevented him from returning to his human form. During the Secret Wars storyline, Ben would be trapped on another planet by the Beyonder, but was able to turn back into his human form. Mr. Fantastic would state that being on the planet allowed him to turn back, but this was a lie told by Reed to not hurt his feelings since it was actually his mental blocks. Ben would stay on the planet for months but found himself unable to turn back later on, and decided to return home where he found Alicia was in a relationship with Johnny, and that Reed lied to him.
Angered at his friends and Alicia, Ben decided to quit the team and went off to join the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation, and assisted the West Coast Avengers. While assisting the Avengers, Ben would go through more mutations that resulted in him becoming more hideous, and he decided to travel to Monster Isle. There, he befriended the Mole Man, who allowed to join his society that was made of individuals who were considered ugly. However, the Thing would return to the Fantastic Four to assist his allies in stopping the Mole Man's plans of starting earthquakes in California.
Returning to the team, Ben would recruit Sharon Ventura and Crystal after Reed and Susan retired from heroics to raise their children. Ben developed a romantic relationship with Ventura, who would go through her own mutation to appear like a She-Thing, but she would leave the team to receive aid from Dr. Doom to become human. Grimm would also help the team rescue the real Alicia, as the "Alicia" Johnny married was actually the Skrull agent Lyja. Though Ben reunited with Alicia, the two decided to remain friends since Grimm wanted to continue heroics.
By the start of the Civil War, Ben was a reluctant member of Iron Man's team until he decided to call out both Stark and Captain America's sides for not caring about civilians caught in the crossfire. Seeing that he wasn't going to fight the government, Ben decided to move to France for a while, and assisted the Les Heroes de Paris (Heroes of Paris). He would return later and became a member of the new Fantastic Four with Johnny, Black Panther, and Storm. Ben would be recruited into the New Avengers by Luke Cage, and was allowed to become a joint member of the team and the Fantastic Four. In addition, Grimm also became Angrir the "Breaker of Souls" when he claimed a hammer after Skadi released the world serpent.
Powers and Abilities
The Thing is super human strong and virtually immune to damage - able to fight against the Hulk for a while, he also tires slowly and can leap pretty far and high - probably due to his sheer size and strength. Also despite his rocky appearance the Thing retains the same agility and reflexes he had as an ordinary human and can catch unwary opponents off-guard, the Thing is also a highly trained pilot as he was a former test pilot in the United States Air Force and is equally well-trained in hand-to-hand combat with knowledge of boxing, wrestling, judo, jujutsu and street fighting techniques.
- Alicia Masters
- Sharon Ventura
- Kathleen O'Meara
- In the unreleased 1994 Fantastic Four film, he was portrayed by Michael Bailey Smith and Carl Ciarfalio as the Thing.
- In the 2000s Fantastic Four films, he was portrayed by Michael Chiklis.
- In the 2015 reboot Fantastic Four, he was portrayed by Jamie Bell.
- In the 1967 Fantastic Four animated series, he was voiced by the late Paul Frees.
- In the 1978 Fantastic Four animated series, he was voiced by the late Ted Cassidy.
- In Fred and Barney meet the Thing, he was voiced by Wayne Morton and by Joe Baker as the Thing.
- In the 1994 Fantastic Four animated series, he was voiced by the late Chuck McCann, who also voiced Leatherneck in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, G.I. Joe: Arise, Serpentor, Arise! and G.I. Joe: The Movie, and Duckworth in DuckTales.
- McCann reprised his voice for the character in Incredible Hulk.
- In the 1990s Spider-Man animated series, he was voiced by Patrick Pinney, who also voiced He-Man and Sylvester J. Pussycat, Sr. in Robot Chicken.
- In Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, he was voiced by Brian Dobson, who also voiced Flint in G.I. Joe: Spy Troops and G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom.
- In The Super Hero Squad Show, he was voiced by Dave Boat.
- Boat reprised his voice for the character in Marvel Super Hero Squad, Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, Ultimate Spider-Man, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Marvel Heroes, Avengers Assembled, Lego Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order.
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, he was voiced by Fred Tatasciore, who also voiced Poseidon in 2005s God of War, Damon Baird and Tai Kaliso in the Gears of War series, Nikolai Belinski in Treyarch's Call of Duty series, and Mario Auditore in the Assassin's Creed series.
- Tatasciore reprised his voice for the character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.
- In Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, he was voiced by Mark Gibbon.
- In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, he was voiced by Gregg Berger, who also voiced Cutter in G.I. Joe: The Revenge of Cobra, Odie in Garfield's Halloween Adventure, Garfield in Paradise, Garfield and Friends, Garfield's Thanksgiving, Garfield's Feline Fantasies and The Garfield Show, Plo Koon in Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles, Eeyore in Disney's Activity Center: Tigger, Winnie the Pooh: Baby, Playhouse Disney's The Book of Pooh: A Story Without a Tail, Piglet's Big Game, Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ and Kinect: Disneyland Adventures, Jecht in the Final Fantasy series, and Agent K in Men in Black: The Series.
- In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, he was voiced by Joey Camen, who also voiced Terrafin and Free Ranger in the Skylanders series.
- In Pinball FX 2, he was voiced by Zach Hanks.
- Ranked 23rd on "The Top 50 Avengers" by IGN in 2012.
- Ranked 18th in the "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes" by IGN in 2011.
- Ranked #2 on a listing of Marvel Comics' monster characters in 2015.
- Named by Empire Magazine as the tenth of "The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters" in 2008.
- The powers of the Fantastic Four are based on the four elements, with The Thing's being earth.