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Marvel Character Affinity: The Thing

ITS CLOBBERING TIME!!  This is Thing’s battle cry before going into action. Ah yes, Thing, Marvel’s oldest and one of their most popular monsters. This character was created in 1961 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby along with the other three members of the Fantastic Four starring in their own comic of the same name. The Thing , whose real name is Ben Grimm,  is a native New Yorker from one of the toughest city blocks Yancy Street.

The Thing’s origin is very simple yet brilliant for its time. He and the other three Fantastics go out into to space for exploration. When the crew arrives to their destination, they are unexpectedly hit by a cosmic ray and exposed to cosmic radiation. Once the new heroes are hit by the cosmic ray radiation, they along with their ship crash back to earth.  All the members of the ship survive and gain some incredible powers. Reed Richards(Mr. Fantastic) inherit elasticity, Sue Richards (Invisible Woman) can turn invisible and Johnny Storm (Human Torch) can turn into fire and manipulate it.

The ThingFor the Thing however, it caused a horrible mutation that turned him into a rock monster; aside from being this rock monster, Thing is given super strength which makes him durable for battle. 
What makes the Thing different from many of Marvel’s other powerhouses like Thor and Hulk, is that the Thing has a never-back-down attitude along with his humor.  The best example of this would be his battles with the Hulk.  For some reason the Thing just relishes a good challenge and always thinks he can win. Even if he gets his butt handed to him by someone like the Hulk, the Thing will say something like “But did you see that I gave him a couple of good hits there”; which is why I really enjoy his character. 

The Thing also has a sensitive side. When he was first given his abilities as the powerhouse bruiser, he lost someone very special due to his abilities and because of his appearance. He felt disgusted because he was never going to be normal or live a normal life.   Reading this makes one feel for the guy because Thing has a special ability that is very essential to the Fantastic Four and by getting this gift he, out of all the Fantastic Four, had to sacrifice the most in his life. Of course now current Fantastic Four writer Jonathan Hickman has given Ben the ability to turn human for up to a week at a time thanks to the Future Foundation.

If you are interested in reading more about Thing, pick up some Fantastic Four issues. You may want to start with the current run by Jonathan Hickman or even the likes of Mark Waid or Mark Millar. If the Fantastic Four issues still aren't enough, try reading the 1980’s John Bryne run of "The Thing Comics" to get more clobbering action.  Most of these stories can be found either in collected trades in your comic book store, or local bookstores.


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