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Quote1 It's Clobberin' Time! Quote2

Ben Grimm a.k.a. The Thing was an astronaut and former USAF test pilot.[17] Grimm was exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation when his best friend, scientist Dr. Reed Richards took him and his friends Sue Storm and her younger brother Johnny Storm, into space in the stolen rocket; Marvel-1. The radiation mutated him and his friends, turning him into a super-strong rock like monster with a "Heart of Gold".[37] Together they became the Fantastic Four, a team of adventurers who explored space, time, and alternate dimensions and saved the world along the way from science-based threats.[38]


This is an abridged version of Ben Grimm's history. For a complete history see Ben Grimm's Expanded History

Early Life[]

Benjamin J. Grimm was born on Yancy Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side, where he grew up in poverty. His father, an alcoholic, was unable to hold a job. Much of the family's income came from Grimm's older brother, Daniel, who obtained funds illegally as leader of the Yancy Street Gang. Grimm, who idolized his brother, became embittered against the world when Daniel was killed in a battle between rival gangs. Grimm was only eight years old at the time. Within ten years, he had succeeded his brother as leader of the Yancy Street Gang. After his parents died, Grimm was taken in by his Uncle Jake, who had risen from poverty to become a successful physician. At first, Grimm resisted his new guardians' kindness toward him. But eventually, he came to return their love. He left his life with the Yancy Street Gang behind, entered high school, and became a football star there. While he was a senior at Stuyvesant High School, Ben received a football scholarship to State University in Hegeman, New York. On the football field, Ben received the nickname "Grimm Reaper."[17]

Early Years[]

Grimm's freshman year roommate was the brilliant science student Reed Richards, who became his closest friend. During their first meeting, Richards confided in Grimm his intention someday to build a starship for interstellar travel. Grimm jokingly promised that he would pilot the starship for Richards if he ever built it.[39]

Upon graduating, Grimm went into the U.S. Air Force and became a highly skilled fighter pilot,[17] as well as a test pilot and an astronaut. In the meantime, Richards went ahead with his project to build a starship, using both his own fortune and funding from the federal government. On the day that Grimm left the military, Richards came to him to remind him of his promise to pilot the starship.

Fantastic Four[]

Benjamin Grimm (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 0001

Ben's early costume

Richards' project was based in Central City, California. When the federal government threatened to withdraw its funding from Richards' project, Richards decided to take the starship on a test flight himself as soon as possible. Grimm was opposed to the idea, warning that the starship's shielding might prove to be inadequate protection from intense radiation storms. Nevertheless, Grimm was persuaded to serve as the pilot, and Richards' future wife Sue Storm and her teenage brother Johnny insisted on accompanying Richards' as passengers. The four friends stole into the launch facility, entered the starship, and launched it. They intended to travel through hyperspace to another solar system and back. However, when the ship passed through a cosmic ray storm, they were met with an unexpected intensity. Since the ship was designed to shield against ordinary levels of radiation, the cabin interior was subject to intense cosmic ray bombardment which irradiated the four passengers and wrought havoc on the ship's controls. Pilot Grimm was forced to abort the flight and return to Earth.

Benjamin Grimm (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 2 001

Ben's early lumpy form

Once back on Earth, the four passengers discovered that the cosmic radiation had triggered mutagenic changes in their bodies. Grimm was transformed into an orange-colored, thick-skinned, heavily-muscled, and superhumanly strong "thing." Richards convinced the three others that the four of them should use their new powers for the good of humanity as members of a team named the Fantastic Four. Richards called himself Mister Fantastic, Susan and Johnny Storm took the names of the Invisible Girl (later Invisible Woman) and the Human Torch, and Grimm, morose over his new grotesque appearance, named himself the Thing.[37] Under Richards' leadership the Fantastic Four has become Earth's most honored team of superhuman adventurers and has saved the world from conquest or destruction many times. Their incorporation heralded the modern age of superheroes.

The Fantastic Four were not just Ben's friends, they became his surrogate family, and he was like a beloved uncle to Reed and Sue's children, Franklin (whose middle name is Benjamin, after the Thing) and Valeria. He also often assisted his teammate Johnny during the young man's solo adventures.

Alicia Masters[]

Benjamin Grimm (Earth-616) from Marvel Feature Vol 1 12 0001

Ben's iconic, rock-like appearance

Over the years, the mutations to the Thing's body have continued to progress slowly. The composition of his epidermis changed from an abnormally dense, somewhat-lumpy-but-still-comparatively smooth hide to a flexible, interlocking network of rock-like lumps. His superhuman strength increased considerably over time. Early in Grimm's life as the Thing, he would sometimes revert to his original human form unexpectedly. But neither these changes nor those induced by Richards in his efforts to turn Grimm back to human form ever proved to be permanent. Eventually, Grimm always reverted to his monstrous, superhumanly powerful form. Appalled by his appearance, Grimm was at first filled with anger at his situation, but he eventually became resigned to his fate, although he continued to be disturbed by his appearance and to hope for a means of regaining his human form that would last. Instrumental in helping Grimm to adjust to his life as the Thing was the blind sculptress Alicia Masters, whom he met during the Fantastic Four's confrontation with her step-father, the Puppet Master,[40] and who became his girlfriend.[41]

After a battle with the Hulk, where he had been exposed to the Hulk's Gamma radiation, Ben was permanently transformed back into his human form[42] and was replaced in the Fantastic Four by Luke Cage.[43] He returned to the team using an exoskeleton constructed by Reed Richards that emulated his old powers,[44] however, he was soon changed back into the Thing as a punishment by Galactus.[45]

Reed Richards eventually discovered that Grimm had reached a state in which he could transform from his Thing form to human form and back at will. However, Grimm feared that Alicia Masters would only love him as the Thing, for she had not known him before his initial transformation. Hence, Grimm suffered from a subconscious mental block that prevented him from becoming human.

Secret Wars[]

The relationship between Grimm and Masters was suffering from strains when Grimm was transported to the distant "Battleworld" by the alien Beyonder for the first of the so-called "Secret Wars." On that planet, Grimm found himself able to change to human form and back. Concealing his discovery of Grimm's mental block for fear of hurting his feelings, Richards claimed that the nature of the planet itself was somehow responsible for Grimm's ability to transform back and forth. Once the "secret war" was over, Grimm remained on the planet for months. Eventually, however, he found himself trapped once again in his monstrous form, unable to change to human form, and he returned to Earth. There, Grimm learned that his teammate Johnny Storm and Alicia Masters had become lovers, and that Reed Richards had concealed the information about his mental block from him. Furious and distraught, Grimm quit the Fantastic Four. He worked for a time as a superhumanly strong wrestler for the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation, and also participated in missions with the West Coast Avengers.

Mole Man's Realm[]

Grimm was about to accept membership in the West Coast Avengers when he began to undergo further mutation, becoming, at least in his own mind, still more grotesque. Greatly disturbed, Grimm journeyed to Monster Isle, where he had first encountered his foe, the Mole Man. Now, however, the Mole Man befriended the Thing and welcomed him into the society he had organized in his underground realm, composed of physically ugly people like himself who had believed themselves to be outcasts in the surface world. Grimm agreed to help the Mole Man in his attempt to use an earth shifting machine to raise a small continent in the Pacific Ocean to serve as a homeland for the Mole Man's society. While Grimm lived in the Mole Man's realm, his most recent mutations went into remission, leaving him looking little different than before these recent mutations had begun.

The three other original members of the Fantastic Four found the Thing in the Mole Man's realm, where Reed Richards realized that by raising a continent in the Pacific, the Mole Man would trigger earthquakes that would destroy California. The Thing joined Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, and the Human Torch in destroying the Mole Man's earth-shifting machine, and rejoined the Fantastic Four.

Sharon Ventura[]

Fantastic Four Vol 1 309

Ben as the leader of the FF

When Reed and Sue retired from active Fantastic Four duty to focus on raising their son, they left Ben in charge. He recruited Crystal and Ms. Marvel (Sharon Ventura) to replace them and served capably as team leader, starting a romance with Sharon that deepened after new cosmic radiation exposure further mutated them both, turning Sharon into a sort of "She-Thing" and Ben into an even stronger, more hideous spiky-hided Thing. Their romance continued through several more changes of form (with Ben eventually settling back into his classic Thing form), even after Reed and Sue rejoined the group; but they were estranged after Sharon accepted Doctor Doom's aid in regaining human form. Ben has not yet had a serious relationship since his split with Sharon, though he has flirted with Reed's old friend Alyssa Moy and briefly dated Damage Control executive Kathleen O'Meara. When the Alicia who had eventually married Johnny was revealed to be the shape-shifting Skrulls spy Lyja, the Fantastic Four found and rescued the real Alicia, but she and Ben remained only good friends.

Back to Roots[]

Ben maintained a bizarre enmity with the Yancy Street Gang, his former peers having passed down their resentment of Grimm to the next generation of Yancy punks. Over the years, the gang perpetrated a seemingly endless series of practical jokes, verbal abuse and petty assaults on Grimm, though many of the practical jokes credited to the Yancy crowd were actually played by a sneaky Johnny Storm. At the same time, the Yancy Streeters took a perverse pride in their distinguished alumnus and were known to come to Ben's aid on occasion. They seemed to think only they had the right to abuse him. Though estranged from the gang, Ben remained friendly with some of his childhood chums from Yancy Street, including Cholly (now owner of the Yancy Street Bar and Grill), helicopter pilot Hopper Hertnecky and old high school buddy "Slugger" Sokolowski. Ben also kept in touch with his uncle Jake, who married a new wife - the much younger Petunia "Penny" Grimm - after Alyce died. Ben took a great liking to Petunia, whom he often jokingly described as a little old lady until the Fantastic Four actually got to meet the beautiful Mrs. Grimm in person. Alynn Chambers also renewed her friendship with Ben (though not their romance), seeking his guidance and support after a stroke left her disfigured and partially crippled.[46]

To Heaven and Back[]

Ben was once killed during a battle with Doctor Doom. However, Reed was certain that Ben could be resurrected. He convinced Sue and Johnny to join him in this quest, which ultimately led them to the gates of Heaven itself using a modified model of Doom's old afterlife machine. Persuaded it was not yet his time, Ben agreed to return to the land of the living with his friends - and the Creator allowed it.


Benjamin Grimm (Earth-616) from Heroic Age Advertisement

Ben in his Fantastic Four uniform

Things soon changed for Ben when he became aware the market value of stock that Reed gave him had skyrocketed This rise in value made Ben a multi-millionaire. In light of his newfound wealth, Ben began living the good life. He dated a movie star, made trips with his godson Franklin and even took Lockjaw as his pet for some time. It was also during this time that he went to work for a grumpy old grocery-clerk, whom he had known as a youth, on Yancy Street to make amends for destroying the clerk's property. After he had repaid his debt in work (for the damage he done), Ben and the clerk parted ways. Ben was exhausted and took a nap on the bus stop at Yancy Street waiting to go home. During this time, the Yancy Street Gang sprayed his whole body over with graffiti and other filthy things. When Ben woke up, he was reminded why he rarely visited Yancy Street anymore.

Some time later, the owner of the market where Ben worked talked to the rabbis of the synagogue and asked if Ben had an interest in having his bar mitzvah, because as he had completed 13 years of his second life as the Thing, they made him an exception. Ben accepted and began to study. He invited his friends, including several super heroes such as Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man, Impossible Man, Defenders, Champions, Great Lakes Avengers / X-Men / Defenders / Champions. for the ceremony and then to celebrate, a poker tournament in its luxury penthouse.

The Thing also 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, the Yancy Street Gang planned to graffiti the building exterior, but discovered the building was actually named after Daniel Grimm, Ben's deceased older brother and former leader of the gang.[citation needed]

Civil War[]

Initially in the Super Hero Civil War, Ben was a reluctant member of Iron Man's side, until the Thing witnessed a battle on Yancy Street where Captain America's forces tried to rescue captured allies held by Iron Man's forces. Old Fantastic Four foes the Mad Thinker and the Puppet Master tried to escalate the battle, using a mind-controlled Yancy Streeter to deliver a bomb. The young man died and the Thing verbally blasted both sides for not caring about the civilians caught in the conflict.[47] He announced that while he thought the registration was wrong, he was also not going to fight the government and was thus leaving the country for France. While in France he met Les Heroes de Paris (The Heroes of Paris), and perform a few missions with them. He was also proposed a romance by Anaïs but rejected the offer.[48]

Fantastic Four Vol 3 61 Textless

"Are you lookin' at me?"

Ben returned to New York as both sides of the SHRA battled in the city. Ben was oblivious to either side that got in his way, choosing to protect the civilians from harm.[49] At the conclusion of the war, Reed and Sue Richards decided to “take a break” from the Fantastic Four, leaving an opening on the team. With the Wakanda embassy in New York destroyed, the Black Panther and his wife Storm were invited to stay in the Baxter Building and along with the Thing and the Human Torch, they formed a new Fantastic Four.[50]

Secret Invasion[]

During the Skrull invasion, the Skrull Lyja, posing as Sue, sent the Baxter Building, with Ben, Johnny, Franklin, and Valeria inside, into the Negative Zone. With the aid of the Tinkerer, Ben broke out of the Negative Zone Prison,[51][52] and they were able to return home just after the invasion had ended.[53]

New Avengers[]

Following the Siege of Asgard, Ben was asked by Luke Cage to become a member of the New Avengers. Cage assured Ben that he could maintain joint membership with both teams just as Wolverine served as a member of the Avengers and the X-Men at the time.[54]

Around this time, Ben received a serum from the Future Foundation, which allowed him to turn back to his human form for one week, once a year.[55]

Fear Itself[]

Fear Itself FF Vol 1 1 Solicit

Angrir, Breaker of Souls

When Skadi released the Serpent, he called the Hammers of the Worthy to Earth. One of these hammers fell on Yancy Street and transformed the Thing into Angrir, Breaker of Souls. After destroying Yancy Street, the Future Foundation attempted to free Ben's mind, but he was too far gone and too powerful for them to stop. Later, he noticed Spider-Man swinging to a hospital to help a pregnant woman and followed him, hoping to make an example of him to all who opposed the Serpent. Spider-Man convinced Angrir to leave the hospital, even though Spider-Man could have taken him down, but instead, he outsmarted Angrir, though barely surviving the ordeal. Red Hulk then challenged him, but of the two goliaths, Angrir emerged victoriously and destroyed Avengers Tower.[2]

Eventually, he, alongside the hammer-possessed Hulk, now Nul, engaged Thor and was mortally wounded in the fight. The blow was enough to bring him back to his senses and was freed completely from the hammer's influence by Franklin Richards, who broke his promise to not use his powers to save Ben.[56]

The Kree Attack and the Celestial Invasion[]

During a Kree attack to New York, Ben fought along the Future Foundation and other heroes against the alien army and went to Soho to see if Alicia Master was well. After the return of Johnny Storm,[57] Ben reunited with the rest of the team. Spider-Man informed Johnny of the situation, and in way of marking his comeback he drew the famous "4" in fire on the sky. He reunited with the other members of the Future Foundation and used the Annihilation Wave's ships to fight Kree's ones until the Inhumans asked permission to finish the Kree army on their own.[58] Meanwhile the other heroes on Earth where dealing with the scraps of the battle which could damage the Earth, Reed and Sue summoned Galactus, who completely destroyed the Kree army. That moment, the Mad Celestials appeared to destroy this universe. Although the team tried to use the Hub (a weapon of mass destruction created by the Reeds), they couldn't defeat the Mad Celestials. Then, future versions of Franklin and Valeria appeared as part of Nathaniel Richards's plan.[59] The Future Franklin used his power to heal Galactus and destroy the Mad Celestials, saving the day.[60] Later, the Baxter Building was easily rebuilt, Mr. Fantastic showed a new secondary headquarters called Foundation and new costumes were given to the members of the Future Foundation, as part of the reformation of the Fantastic Four.[61]

Original Sin[]

After learning from the eye of the murdered Uatu that Johnny unintentionally sabotaged an experiment that could have allowed him to become human again,[62] Ben was found having apparently murdered the Puppet Master; the crime was committed in a sealed room that even Reed could barely penetrate with Alicia as the only witness.[63] Although Ben claimed innocence, his depression over recent events and the lack of alternative evidence led to him being incarcerated in the Raft.[64] Although power-dampeners in the Raft restricted his strength to a more manageable level, he was attacked by various other thick-skinned superhumans- including the Armadillo and Ironclad - on orders of the current 'boss' of the prison - Sharon Ventura, the She-Thing.[65] However, after confirming that he had been framed, Ben broke out of prison with the aid of Sandman, She-Hulk, and Ant-Man.[66]

It was later revealed the Puppet Master found dead was the corpse of the Puppet Master's counterpart from the Counter-Earth, and the real Masters was found alive, having being kidnapped by the person who had framed Ben, the Quiet Man. In the end, Ben was proved innocent.[67]

Benjamin Grimm (Earth-616) from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 4 7 001

Guardians' uniform

Secret Wars: The Shield[]

When the universe, and the entirety of the Multiverse, came to an end as a consequence of a phenomena known as incursions, Reed Richards was one of the few survivors.[68] Thing was recreated by God-Emperor Doom convinced to sacrifice himself to become one with The Shield, the defensive wall of Battleworld, to protect its citizens from the dangers of New Xandar, Perfection, and the Deadlands.[69]

Thing remained a part of the Shield for years until he had a talk with Thanos from Earth-616 who was being held in the Shield's detention level. Thanos revealed to Thing that Doom had lied to him all along and that Battleworld was simply an artificial creation of Doom's. Thanos claimed that Doom made him become a wall because Doom feared his power. Thing became enraged after learning the truth. He rose from the ground and marched toward Doomstadt to confront Doom while taking a massive portion of the Shield with him.[70][69]

Benjamin Grimm (Earth-15513) vs

Thing destroyed by Franklin von Doom's Galactus

When the war against Doom arrived on his doorstep of Doomstadt, Thing joined the brawl and easily destroyed anything in his way. Franklin von Doom opposed him using his Galactus, and Thing decided to surrender after learning the kid he was fighting was the son of Sue Storm. Galactus showed him no mercy; however, and blew away most of Thing's upper body with a blast of energy.[33]

Reed took omnipotent power from Battleworld's creator Doctor Doom and began to restore the Multiverse together with Sue and most of the Future Foundation.[71] Since he knew Doom would eternally resent him, Reed altered his memories to make him think he was dead, hoping Victor would become a better man if he didn't pursue ultimate power and also believed his greatest rival to be gone. Reed decided to also alter the memories of the Human Torch and The Thing, leaving them behind on Earth-616 with Victor so they could keep him in check.[72] Since Ben and Johnny believed the rest of their family to be dead, the Fantastic Four were disbanded.[73] In the aftermath of the Fantastic Four's end, The Thing joined the Guardians of the Galaxy.[34]

Civil War II[]

His membership, however, didn't last long. The Guardians were called in by Captain Marvel to help her forces fight Iron Man's during the second superhuman civil war.[74] In the middle of the ensuing fight between both factions, the Guardian's ship was accidentally destroyed.[75] Now stranded on Earth for the time being, the Guardians parted ways due to internal conflict in the team. The Thing was approached by S.H.I.E.L.D. director Maria Hill to ask him to investigate for her the new antics of Victor von Doom, who had now turned over a new leaf and began to commit heroic acts.[76]

The Fate of the Four[]

In order to help Johnny cope with the loss of their family, Ben convinced him to go on a multiversal journey using the Multisect, claiming that the device could help them find their family.[73] During their journey, Johnny found out that Ben didn't actually believe the rest of their family was alive.[77] The duo eventually returned to their native universe empty-handed.[78]

Shortly after Ben had decided to move on from the loss of his family by proposing to Alicia Masters, he and Johnny were reunited with Reed, Sue and the rest of the Future Foundation after Reed summoned them to help them fight a mysterious powerful being called the Griever at the End of All Things who repudiated the Future Foundation's mission of creating new universes, and confronted the team as soon as Franklin was depleted of his ability to create entirely new realities.[79] Together with other alumni of the Fantastic Four, the core team managed to drive away the Griever.[78] When the heroes returned to Earth, Ben and Alicia decided to move their wedding forward,[80] and married days later with a small ceremony.[81]

Ben and Alicia attempted to hold their honeymoon during the one yearly week that Ben reverted to his human form and start a family, but the Puppet Master interrupted it and attacked The Thing with a mind-controlled Hulk.[82] After an arduous battle, Ben managed gather enough strength to defeat the Hulk a few seconds before reverting to normal, breaking his arm in the process. Ben also lost consciousness for the following week, missing his window to spend time with Alicia in his human form.[83]

Not long afterward, Reed sought to resume the Fantastic Four's original flight whose failure granted them their powers.[84] When the Fantastic Four reached their original destination, the planet Spyre, they faced a group of superpowered protectors named the Unparalleled, who had been imbued with cosmic radiation to face the Fantastic Four. Spyricans had been aware of the team's initial failed attempt to reach their planet and had prepared for a second try.[85] The Fantastic Four initially became at odds with the patriarch of Spyre, the Overseer, after discovering that he had been responsible for the cosmic ray storm that gave them powers during their first flight due to an attempt to scuttle their mission.[86] When he was faced with this revelation, The Thing tried to kill the Overseer, but was stopped by Sue. After making peace with the Spyricans, the Fantastic Four returned to Earth. Ben made amends with Reed since he no longer blamed him for becoming The Thing.[87]

Fantastic Four No More[]

During an invasion of aliens from the Negative Zone on the Baxter Building, Reed decided to teleport the building one year into the future, causing the aliens to be stranded in space since by that Earth along with the solar system would have moved through space. However, Ben and Alicia's adopted children, Jo-Venn and N'Kalla remained inside the Baxter Building alongside Franklin and Valeria, meaning that the kids would be gone for an entire year. Heartbroken by this, Ben became infuriated over Reed's calmness, and coupled with the scorn the public had for the Fantastic Four, the team disbanded.[88]

Going on their separate lives, Ben and his wife Alicia decided to travel abroad in order to pass time until their children returned. They came across the town of Cedar in Pennsylvania where they decided to rest for a while. However, they discovered that the town was severely outdated in comparison to the outside, and soon discovered that near the end of the day time reset back to the day prior. The couple was able to find the source in Sanford who after being dumped by his girlfriend unknowingly turned back time in order to have another chance. Ben and Alicia attempted to talk with Sanford in order to stop the time loop, but failed everytime. That was until, they managed to convince him to move on with his life and find new love. This worked and the town of Cedar was freed from the time loop, returning to its proper time.[89]

Ben, eventually regrouped with his teammates when they were forced to fight a parasitic alien. During the battle, the Four relived the painful moment of the Baxter Building's disappearance, but despite this they were able to overcome the influence and defeat it. From this battle, Ben realized that Reed was also suffering the loss of his children and faked being calm in the first place since this was what it was expected of him. Reconciling with each other, the Fantastic Four was reformed.[88]


The Thing is often depicted with a gruff, tough exterior and can appear grim, but is actually very kind-hearted and often well liked among other heroes. Stubborn and sometimes hot tempered, although that often turns out to make him very determined, enthusiastic and brave, rarely, if ever, gives up a fight.

Despite his tough and gruff attitude and personality, he has at times, although seldom, shown to lightly tear up during extremely touching moments, proving he does have a sensitive side beneath his hard disposition. He is also often sarcastic, quick to throw a wise crack.


Power Grid[129]
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The Thing received his powers when cosmic rays bombarded his body. He is extremely strong and durable. Nick Fury's intel classified him as power level 8.[90] He is considered one of the strongest men on Earth,[91] and stronger than almost any living being on Earth.[92] Based on her knowledge back then, Thundra regarded the Thing as the strongest male on the planet,[93] while Kurrgo, before assimilating knowledge about the Hulk, reputed the Thing as the strongest creature on planet Earth.[94]

  • Rock-Like Skin: The Thing possesses a smooth, orange, rock-like hide as a result of exposure to cosmic rays. The mutagenic process caused his musculature, bone structure, internal organ composition, soft tissue structure, and skin to greatly increase in toughness and density. After being subjected to a serum, he now reverts to human form once a year, which is now the only time he ages.[95]
  • Superhuman Strength: The Thing's primary superhuman power is his great physical strength. Initially, he was only strong enough to rate as a class 5.[6] Over the years, through rigorous training and further mutation, his strength dramatically increased to the point where he is now rated as a class 85. His feats include successfully holding back a giant alien spacecraft from jettisoning from Earth,[96] lifting an oil rig and also stopping a multiple story building (weighing roughly 30,000 tons) from falling over and lifting it back into place.[97] Ben even displayed sufficient physical strength to break free from Quasar's constructs,[98] to break free from (presumably secondary) Adamantium chains,[99] and to cause moderate damage in a planet buster living black hole.[100] Moreover, the Thing could overpower a hydraulic press that was stated to be powerful enough to push through a planet.[101] Underwater, the Thing also proved a match for Namor's incredible raw strength, even gaining the upper hand.[102] The Silver Surfer recognized the Thing's vast strength, and needed to empower himself further, physically, to surpass him.[103] Thus, even being less powerful, the Thing proved strong enough to send a reasonably angry Savage Hulk flying with a mighty blow.[104] He could also draw blood from the Green Scar, who was suppressing his full physical powers, but was stronger than the Savage Hulk,[105] could replicate this feat while facing a relatively angry Hulk,[106] and could knock out the Immortal Hulk, who was not consenting with the Puppet Master's control, but was also one of the most powerful incarnations of the Green Goliath.[83] In fact, the Thing has consistently been portrayed as a rival to the Hulk, though officially being less powerful,[83][94][107] and normally confronting a restrained Hulk.[94][42][104][105][108]
  • Superhuman Stamina: The Thing's advanced musculature produces considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of a normal human. At his peak, he can exert himself for about 24 hours before the buildup of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to affect him.[109] Incidentally, The Thing's lungs are of greater volume and efficiency than a normal man's, enabling him to hold his breath underwater for up to 9 minutes, despite the fact that he used to smoke.[109]
  • Superhuman Durability: The rock-like composition of the Thing's body renders him highly resistant to physical injury. The Thing's body can resist extremely powerful impact forces, such as the force of the Hulk's punches (the Hulk is far above class 100, which makes his punches devastatingly strong).[108] Ben has withstood an incredibly powerful blast from Galactus that could split a planet in two.[110] He can also withstand exposure to high levels of explosives, such as being struck with bazooka shells or being shot point-blank with a high-caliber firearm without sustaining injury. His body can also withstand extreme temperatures. However, he couldn't withstand being slashed by Wolverine's Adamantium claws, and sustained facial injury, making adamantium one of the few things that can pierce the Thing's nearly impenetrable body.
  • Superhuman Sensory Adaptation: Though his senses aren't superhumanly acute, his five senses can withstand greater amounts of sensory stimuli than he could when he was a normal human being, with no reduced sensitivity. This was demonstrated during the Fantastic Four's first fight with the Hulk. While the sonic boom caused by Hulk's thunderclap knocked out the rest of the group, Ben was barely phased, only sent slightly back due to the accompanying shockwaves.[111]
  • Immortality: The Thing cannot age. The only way for him to age is by being in his human form. If he's not turned back to human or decides not to turn back to human one day a year as he's able to, The Thing would theoretically never die.[95]


  • Expert Pilot: Ben is an exceptionally skilled and experienced pilot, proficient with many varieties of both conventional and exotic aircraft.
  • Stunt Rider: Having spent two weeks in the Thunderiders Ben has become an accomplished motorcycle stunt rider.[113]
  • Experienced Astronaut: Ben has also trained as an astronaut and was piloting Reed Richard's spacecraft during the team's fateful bombardment with cosmic rays. Reed and the Inhumans entrusted the difficult navigation and safe flight of Attilan to the Blue Area of the Moon to him.[114]
  • Master Combatant: He is uniquely gifted in the art of hand-to-hand combat (a skill Ben honed long before he became the Thing), though his fighting style tends to be a rather loose brawling technique all his own. This style often incorporates collegiate wrestling techniques, Boxing (as he has been stated to have spent hours upon hours honing his boxing skills in the gym during college), and on at least one occasion even Jujutsu. In his youth, Ben was a talented football player.
  • Peak Human Speed and Agility: Despite his abnormal size and weight, Ben is able to move as fast and as freely as he did when he was human.[115]
  • Indomitable Will: One of Ben's remarkable qualities is his extreme willpower. Whatever obstacles may come, he would try until he overcomes them or dies. In fact, during his fight with the Champion of the universe, despite suffering severe injuries, he kept coming back, making the Champion remark that while he could break every bone in Ben's body, he could never defeat him, as he could never break Ben's spirit, and forfeited the fight so that he wouldn't be forced to hurt Ben anymore. This implacable determination was also demonstrated in the battle against the Immortal Hulk. During this battle, Ben had to overcome a superior foe, who was been controlled by the Puppet Master, in order to save himself and Alicia.
  • Subconscious Restraint: Ben is portrayed as someone who holds back; it has eventually been indicated that the Thing normally exercises subconscious control over his strength, not allowing it to exceed a certain limit and accidentally harm others.[116][117]
  • Musical Skill: The Thing can play the saxophone.[118]


Handicap: Ben is limited in his capacity to use normal, everyday appliances due to his sheer size, weight and strength or interact with normal objects. His powers are also implied to have robbed him of his sense of touch.

  • Fantastic Four Power Synergism: The original members of the Fantastic Four are tethered to each other, and act as their own conduits of power. They can be apart within their own universe and retain a connection, but prolonged periods cut off from each other in other universes result in a gradual decline in power levels. If they spend too much time separated this way, they would eventually become powerless.[119]



Fantastic Four uniform

The Thing's costume, and the rest of his wardrobe, is constructed of unstable molecules. The Thing's costume has a complete data processing and telemetry system woven into its fabric on a molecular level, making it like a wearable computer. The costume forms a network with the rest of the Fantastic Four, providing a constant, real time uplink of everyone’s physical condition as well as their location and current situation. The costume is capable of displaying data and has touch-pad controls on the gauntlets. Its sensors can track all of the team's uniforms and provide a picture of their immediate vicinity. The costume has an intricate scanner system which can detect things around the wearer, from how many people are in the next room to what dimension or planet they are on.


Main article: Fantasti-Flare

The Thing normally carries a miniature flare pistol capable of creating a fiery “4" signal in the sky. Used as a weapon, the incendiary charge will ignite flammable materials.

Universal translator

Main article: Universal Translator

Ben has a universal translator that can decipher and interpret languages, both alien and terrestrial, into the native language of the user.[120]




  • During early publications during the 1960s and 1970s, Ben Grimm has made references to fighting during World War II. As per Marvel's Sliding Timescale on Earth-616, these references should be considered topical for the era in which they were published. This is supported by the most current Official Handbooks which provides his history in more vague terms.
  • The Thing is officially listed as 6 feet tall and 500 pounds, however, he is often depicted as being much taller (and presumably heavier). Usually he is drawn taller than the 6'1" Mr. Fantastic and is often the same height as the 6'7" She-Hulk.


  • Benjamin Grimm is Jewish as is his creator Jack Kirby.[7][121] Jack Kirby also featured the Thing in his Hanukkah card.[122] Coincidentally, or not, the Thing resembles the Golem from Jewish Folklore, who acted as a protector to the Jews. Kirby named the Thing after his father Benjamin Kurtzberg.[123]
  • The Thing was able to defeat Wolverine with one punch before the latter's healing factor advanced over time to its current level.[124]
  • The Thing's favorite food is pizza, especially New York Pizza.[citation needed]
  • He dislikes mayonnaise, at least in his sandwiches.[125]
  • The powers of all of the Fantastic Four are based on one of the four classical elements, with Ben's element being earth.
  • Ben's address growing up was 7135 Yancy Street.[126]
  • His favourite meal when he was young was corned beef & cabbage.[126]
  • In an interview with Stan Lee it was discussed if the Thing's "dork" was also rocky orange like the rest of his body.[127]
  • Every Hanukkah, Ben sent a card to Moon Knight.[128]

See Also

Links and References


  1. 1.0 1.1 Marvel Team-Up #3
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fear Itself #3
  3. Fantastic Four #119
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fantastic Four #538
  5. Marvel Two-In-One #62
  6. 6.0 6.1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (Vol. 2) #13
  7. 7.0 7.1 Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #56
  8. Fantastic Four #5
  9. Fantastic Four #535
  10. 10.0 10.1 Fantastic Four #558
  11. Avengers: The Initiative #3
  12. Avataars: Covenant of the Shield #2
  13. Strange Tales #132
  14. Fantastic Four: ¡Isla de la Muerte! #1
  15. Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1
  16. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Fantastic Four 2005 #1
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Fantastic Four #11
  18. Empyre #5
  19. Black Panther (Vol. 4) #33
  20. Thing #11
  21. Fantastic Four #301
  22. Fantastic Four #94
  23. Sensational She-Hulk (Vol. 2) #1
  24. 24.0 24.1 1939 Daily Bugle #1
  25. 25.0 25.1 Empyre: Fallout Fantastic Four #1
  26. Jessica Jones (Vol. 2) #18
  27. Fantastic Four (Vol. 7) #11
  28. Carnage, U.S.A. #2
  29. Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11
  30. Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12
  31. Fantastic Four #508
  32. Fantastic Four #511
  33. 33.0 33.1 Secret Wars #8
  34. 34.0 34.1 Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 4) #1
  35. A.X.E.: Judgment Day #5
  36. A.X.E.: Judgment Day #6
  37. 37.0 37.1 Fantastic Four #1
  38. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #7
  39. Fantastic Four Annual #2
  40. Fantastic Four #8
  41. Fantastic Four #10
  42. 42.0 42.1 Fantastic Four #167
  43. Fantastic Four #168
  44. Fantastic Four #170
  45. Fantastic Four #175
  46. Thing #2
  47. Fantastic Four #539
  48. Fantastic Four #541542
  49. Civil War #7
  50. Fantastic Four #543
  51. Secret Invasion #1
  52. Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #13
  53. Secret Invasion #8
  54. New Avengers (Vol. 2) #1
  55. Fantastic Four #584
  56. Fear Itself #5
  57. Fantastic Four #600
  58. Fantastic Four #602
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  60. Fantastic Four #604
  61. FF #16
  62. Fantastic Four (Vol. 5) #5
  63. Fantastic Four (Vol. 5) #7
  64. Fantastic Four (Vol. 5) #8
  65. Fantastic Four (Vol. 5) #9
  66. Fantastic Four (Vol. 5) #13
  67. Fantastic Four #645
  68. Secret Wars #1
  69. 69.0 69.1 Secret Wars #6
  70. Siege (Vol. 2) #4
  71. Secret Wars #9
  72. Marvel 2-In-One Annual #1
  73. 73.0 73.1 Marvel 2-In-One #1
  74. Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 4) #11
  75. Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 4) #12
  76. Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 4) #15
  77. Marvel 2-In-One #8
  78. 78.0 78.1 Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #1
  79. Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #2
  80. Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #4
  81. Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #5
  82. Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #12
  83. 83.0 83.1 83.2 Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #13
  84. Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #14
  85. Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #15
  86. Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #17
  87. Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #19
  88. 88.0 88.1 Fantastic Four (Vol. 7) #4
  89. Fantastic Four (Vol. 7) #1
  90. Secret War: From the Files of Nick Fury #1
  91. West Coast Avengers (Vol. 2) #4
  92. Thing's raw strength
  93. Fantastic Four #129
  94. 94.0 94.1 94.2 Marvel Feature #11
  95. 95.0 95.1 Fantastic Four #605
  96. 4 #7
  97. Fantastic Four #95
  98. Marvel Team-Up Annual #5
  99. Fantastic Four #163
  100. Fantastic Four #229
  101. Fantastic Four #92
  102. Uncanny X-Men (Vol. 2) #12
  103. Fantastic Four #55
  104. 104.0 104.1 Fantastic Four #112
  105. 105.0 105.1 World War Hulk #2
  106. Fantastic Four #534
  107. Incredible Hulk #393
  108. 108.0 108.1 Fantastic Four #25
  109. 109.0 109.1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #11
  110. Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #7
  111. Fantastic Four #12
  112. Fantastic Four: Antithesis #3
  113. Thing #28
  114. Fantastic Four #240
  115. 4 #22
  116. Fantastic Four Annual #5
  117. Fantastic Four #250
  118. Dazzler #18
  119. Marvel 2-In-One #3
  120. Fantastic Four #237
  121. Thing (Vol. 2) #8
  122. Ahmed, Saladin (12 December 2017) Saladin Ahmed on Twitter: "Jack Kirby's family Hanukkah card (1978)." Twitter. Retrieved on 10 May 2020.
  123. MacDonald, Heidi (19 June 2023) Jack Kirby’s family sets the record straight after “informercial” Stan Lee documentary Comics Beat. Retrieved on 26 June 2023.
  124. Fantastic Four vs. the X-Men #4
  125. Fantastic Four #585
  126. 126.0 126.1 Ms. Marvel (Vol. 2) #22
  127. Spitznagel, Eric (10 March 2011) Spidey Bites: Stan Lee’s Secret for Saving Spider-Man the Musical? More Stan Lee! Vanity Fair. Retrieved on 10 May 2020.
  128. Moon Knight (Vol. 9) #7
  129. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol 1 12