Who Is The Thing? The Rocky-Made Member of the Fantastic Four
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Who Is The Thing? The Rock-Made Member of the Fantastic Four

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BY March 13, 2023

Benjamin Grimm, who is also known as The Thing, is one of the founding members of the Fantastic Four. This Marvel Comics superhero has a peculiar rocky physical appearance. He has become known for his sense of humor and battle cry, “It’s clobberin’ time!”. The creators were Stan Lee as the writer and Jack Kirby as the artist. 

He first appeared in 1961 in The Fantastic Four #1. The character has been popular among fans, being rated in 2011 among the “100 best comic book heroes” in the 18th position. The Thing is in the 23rd position among “The Best 50 Avengers” list from 2012.

Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm Biography

The Thing's Secret Power Makes Him Basically Immortal

Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm’s biography focuses on:


Benjamin Grimm was born in New York, on Yancy Street, on the Lower East Side. His family was Jewish. He experienced hardship and poverty from childhood, making him a tough street brawler.

Ben lost his older brother in a street fight when he was eight. Then, his parents perished, being raised by his uncle Jake. Ben went on to lead the Yancy Street gang at one point.

In college, he stood out for his athleticism, excelling in football. Then, he became friends with Reed Richards, a friendship that would last forever.

The Thing’s Religion

At the time of the creation of The Thing, revealing the characters’ religion was almost a sin. But, it was only four decades after this character was created that it became known that he came from a Jewish womb.

Becoming “The Thing”

His friend Reed Richards had been working on a ship since college. He had promised Ben Grimm that he would be the pilot. When it was ready, Reed contacted Ben and reminded him of his promise to pilot the ship. With the project already prepared, the government denied permission to take off, so Reed planned a clandestine flight.

Ben piloted that flight accompanied by Sue Storm and her younger brother, Johnny Storm. When they managed to take off, Van Allen’s belts were bombarded by a storm of cosmic rays.

This event exposed the entire crew, each developing fantastic superhuman abilities. However, Ben was the crew member closest to the impact, so his skin changed, appearing orange-colored stone. After this event, Reed proposes forming a team to fight crime with the crew. Ben adapts the Thing’s name, and the Fantastic Four begin their adventures.

The Thing In the 21st century

Already in the 21st century, Ben discovers that Reed has left him a fortune as part of payment because they felt indebted to each team member. So Ben does a good deed and uses his share to build a community center on Yancy Street, his old neighborhood.

The gang members in the area had planned to attack the center by tagging graffiti. But, they desisted upon discovering it bore the name of Daniel Grimm, Ben’s older brother. He was a former gang leader, so the Thing and the gang members reconciled.

The Thing During Civil War/ The Initiative

Marvel The Initiative Reading Order — Marvel Guides

When Civil War began in 2006, Ben was a recent Iron Man Pro-Registration member. The controversy against the Superhuman Registration Act is in full swing then.

This generated several confrontations, not only with villains but with superheroes. However, he gives up on staying on that side because he will not fight against the other side.

Ben and other superheroes like Tony Stark were the pallbearers when Captain America’s funeral ceremony occurred. This was a moment of utmost sorrow.

The Thing in World War Hulk

Ben played a pivotal role in the next story, World War Hulk. Although he had nothing to do with the disappearance of the Hulk in space, the battle between these two was decisive, which resulted in his imprisonment being released later.

Secret Invasion

When the Secret Invasion takes place in Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four, how Skrull Lyja pretends to be Sue. Where she is she sent them to the Baxter Building, which was the Negative Zone.

Ben had to protect Franklin, Sue, Reed’s son, and Valeria from an imminent attack of giant insects. He received the help of Tinkerer, whom he had helped to free from the Negative Zone. Thus, they could return to the regular Marvel Universe after the invasion.

Heroic Age

The Thing (2021) #1 (Variant) | Comic Issues | Marvel

When the Siege of Asgard occurs, Luke Cage turns to Ben for support for the Avengers team. Ben declares that his allegiance is with the Fantastic Four, and he cannot be torn between two teams. As does Wolverine, who splits his time between the Avengers and X-Men.

Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm in Fear Itself

Already in 2011, in the story “Fear Itself,” Ben takes and raises one of the seven hammers of the Serpent, becoming Angrir: Destroyer of Souls. With this form, he destroys Yancy Street and Avengers Tower.

In the same way, he undertakes an arduous fight with the superheroes Spider-Man, Invisible Woman, and Mister Fantastic before confronting Thor. Who seriously injures him and defeats the Hulk. Franklin, with his powers, restores Ben to normal, being free from the possession of the Serpent.

Original Sin

The story told in 2014 shows Original Sin. It shows how Johnny Storm has accidentally sabotaged an experiment that could return Ben to normal, the human being he once was.

Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm is who murders the Puppet Master. Reed and Alicia Masters discovered him, which leads him to prison on the Raft. He manages to escape from this place and is allied with the Sandman. 

So he manages to meet Sue and Johnny, discovering that Reed was kidnapped and that the enemy, the Master of the Puppets, had come from the alternate Earth created by Franklin.

Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm After Secret Wars

In secret Wars of 2015, the Fantastic Four disintegrated as a team. Thus the Thing works for the Guardians of the Galaxy. In 2017’s Secret Empire, the Thing is a member of HYDRA, an underground resistance movement.

Return to the Fantastic Four

Between the Panels: Fantastic Four Is Marvel's Biggest Challenge in 2018 - IGN

The return of the Fantastic Four occurs when the Human Antochar takes the Thing through the Multiverse to find Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman. It is on Earth-616 that they reunite, helping to combat the end of All Things.

Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm’s Relationships

Generally speaking, The Thing is appreciated by the other superheroes of the Marvel universe. He maintains a close relationship with his team, although he often clashes with Johnny Storm because of his temperament.

Because of his physical appearance, his love life has not been very prolific. Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm’s first known love is with Alicia Masters, who is blind. But Johnny started a relationship with her, showing himself very jealous. 

However, Grimm understood that he could not be the man she expected, agreeing to be the best man at her wedding. But, this relationship ended when it became evident that the false Alicia was Lyja, a Skrull, an alien race. The Fantastic Four rescued the real Alice, and she was soon reunited with the Thing.

Sometime later, Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm began a relationship with Debbie Green, a teacher. They became engaged and were to be married. But Ben, realizing the danger of superhero wives, left her at the altar.

Ben’s closest relationship since college is with Reed Richards, his best friend, although he blames him for his appearance. Ben claims he did not dismiss the potential danger of cosmic rays when they made the first flight into space.

Ben is the best man at Reed and his wife Sue’s wedding. As well as he is the best man to their son, Franklin, who affectionately calls him “Unca Ben.” Ben simply calls him “Richards” when he is frustrated with Reed.

Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm Powers and Abilities

5 Iconic Catchphrases From Marvel Comics – The Comic Vault

Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm is one of the four members of the Fantastic Four team who changed his physical form. The contact with the cosmic ray storm increased the density and resistance of his body’s muscles, bones, skin, and internal organs.

It is this increase that gives Ben his stone-like physical form. In the early years of his career, his strength increased little by little. Today, his physical capacity is not defined but is on par with the Hulk.

Among Ben’s other powers are:

  • Withstand extreme temperatures, regardless of whether it’s hot or cold. Likewise, The Thing can withstand great pressure for more than an hour.
  • Withstand large explosive forces without taking any damage.
  • Perform intense physical activities for more or less one hour without fatigue.
  • It can hold its breath for more than 9 minutes, thanks to the capacity of its lungs above an average human’s.
  • Reflexes remain those of any average person, regardless of the increase in body mass.
  • Withstand many sensory stimuli, his five senses, without losing his sensitivity.
  • He can make tens of meters of jumps but does not go as far as the Hulk.

Ben’s abilities are:

  • Great experience in close combat.
  • Ability to handle any air transport.
  • Mastered arts such as wrestling, boxing, judo, and jiu-jitsu.
  • He has extensive military training.

Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm Alternative Versions

Ben Grimm - Ultimate Marvel Comics - Post-Thing - Character profile #2 - Writeups.org

Among the alternative versions of Benjamin Grimm Thing, we have:

Ultimate Universe

In this version, Ben has been Reed’s friend since childhood. Attending school together. Since they were little Ben always protected Reed from other kids who wanted to bother them.

Reed, as a good friend, helped Ben with his schoolwork. During his college years, Ben was invited to visualize one of Reed’s projects on teleportation.

But, this project went wrong, and Ben was affected. He acquired a rocky appearance, increased physical strength, and became almost invulnerable to physical harm. His endurance increased, and he could deal with extreme physiological situations.


In this reality, like the others, Ben is a member of the Fantastic Four. With the exception that they leave a ship, the crew manifested that a light bathed the ship, giving them powers. But, both the Fantastic Four and the rest of the crew were trapped for years by Count Death.

Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm in Other Media

In other media, Benjamin Grimm Thing appears in:


On the small screen, Ben appears in several televised programs, such as:

1967, appears in the cartoon Fantastic Four, voiced by Paul Frees.

1978, appears in the cartoon Fantastic Four, voiced by Ted Cassidy.

1979, stars in a cartoon series sponsored by Hanna Barbera.

Appears in the animated series, Spider-Man, voiced by Patrick Pinney.

1990, he is in the Incredible Hulk cartoon, voiced by Chuck McCann.

2010, he appears in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

2013, he is in the second season of Ultimate Spider-Man, in episode 14.


On the big screen, he appears in movies:

  • 1994, comes out a production directed by Roger Coman, and played by Michael Bailey. Which was not officially released, but can be found on the internet.
  • 2005, appears in The Fantastic 4, where Michael Chiklis plays Ben.
  • 2007, appears in the 2005 sequel, which was called The Fantastic 4 and Silver Surfer.
  • 2015, he appears in the reboot, being played by Jamie Bell.
  • An upcoming Fantastic Four film is expected, but who will play Ben is still unknown.

Video Games

In video games, Ben appears in several adventures, such as:

  • Questprobe was released in 1984 and was the first appearance of The Thing.
  • Spider-Man is a playable character after reaching certain levels.
  • Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems.
  • Fantastic Four.
  • Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects.
  • Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.
  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
  • Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.
  • Pinball FX 2.

Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm, The Strong and Rockin’ Strong Founding Member of the Fantastic Four

Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm is a superhero who stands out for his stony appearance and good humor. He is among the best and strongest fighters in the Marvel comics world. Although his physical transformation partly causes his bad temper, he has tried to assimilate this condition.

Several actors have brought Benjamin Grimm’s character, Thing, to life in live-action. Marvel Studios has already confirmed the reboot of the franchise for the year 2025. We have yet to determine who will play the superhero, but it will be an important step for the MCU.

Featured Image Via Marvel Comics


I am a circus aerialist influenced by Dick Grayson and Spider-Man. Fortunate to write about the characters that inspired me. I also have a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in International Trade.


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