Know your CBM Character - The THING. This feature answers the questions - Who he is? What are his abilities? What are the changes he underwent? Who has portrayed him in Comic Book Movies?
Who is the THING?
Benjamin Grimm grew up in a tough neighborhood, came from a hard luck family, exposed to street gangs but he surpassed these hurdles and went on to become a pilot. On an experimental mission with Reed Richards they were exposed to cosmic rays in which they, and two others, were gifted or cursed with super powers. Ben's exterior transformed into an orange-hued rocky appearance, and was considered a monster, a THING. But even these set-back didn't change the kind heart that Ben Grimm possesses.
The THING (Benjamin Jacob "Ben" Grimm) is a fictional character, a founding member of the superhero team known as the Fantastic Four in the Marvel Comics universe. He was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961). His trademark orange rocky appearance, sense of humor, blue eyes, and his famous battle cry, "It's clobberin' time!" makes him one of comics' most recognizable and popular characters.
What are his powers and abilities?
Note: Due to the nature of comicbooks being an on-going tale, the character's powers along with his appearance, is in a constant state of flux.
Rock-like Skin: The THING possesses a smooth, 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.
Superhuman Strength: The THING's primary superhuman power is his great physical strength. Initially, he was only strong enough to lift about 5 tons. Over the years, through rigerous training and further mutation, his strength dramatically increased to the point where he could lift roughly 85 tons. He has continued to exercise over the years using special equipment designed by Reed Richards. It is believed his strength has increased further, sufficient to lift at least 90 tons, and he will probably continue to grow stronger.
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 build up of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to affect him. 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.
Superhuman Durability: The rock-like composition of the THING's body renders him highly resistant to physical injury. He can also withstand exposure to high levels of explosives, without sustaining injury. His body can also withstand extreme temperatures ranging from -75 degrees to 800 degrees Fahrenheit for up to one hour before exposure or heat prostration occurs.
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.
Expert Pilot: Ben is an exceptionally skilled and experienced pilot, proficient with many varieties of both conventional and exotic aircraft
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.
Master Combatant: He is uniquely gifted in the art of hand-to-hand combat, though his fighting style tends to be a rather loose brawling technique all his own. This style often incorporates collegiate wrestling techniques, Boxing, and on at least one occasion even Jujutsu. In his youth, Ben was a talented football player.
What are the changes he underwent?
1. Early appearances
When Susan Storm (The Invisible Girl then), originally designed the blue costumes, she created one for the THING that was also a full body suit along with a helmet to hide his ugly mug. In a battle with the Miracle Man, he tossed the helmet and ripped the shirt of.
In the THING's first appearance, illustrator Jack Kirby had intended his skin to be someTHING like dinosaur hide. Over the years his skin has evolved growing into more rocky plate like structures.
By the next issue of his first appearance, the THING was running around in his trunks, and only his trunks. He worn this costume for a long time (he wanted to be comfortable whoc canb lame him.)
3. Negative belt
After story involving the defeat of Annihilus and being caught in a wave of Negative Zone energy the FF come out with slightly different costumes in that their collars, gloves, boots and belts turned from black to white. It wasn't a huge visual change for the THING especially since he is only wearing a trunk, but after years of sameness, the lighter color definitely stands out and even makes the blues look darker.
For some time the THING was not part of the Fantastic Four, he was in a planet called Battleworld. During this period Ben was wearing someTHING like a wrestler's costume.
After his adventure to Battleworld. He returned to earth but not formally rejoining immediately with the Fantastic Four. For a brief moment he wore a costume with a mask on.
6. Rejoining the Fantastic Four
When he finally was officially back in the team, he wore his Battleworld costume changing the red trims to white and adding the iconic number 4 logo on his chest.
The THING then underwent further mutation which gave him a more monstrous look. He went back on wearing trunks only, as other costumes will look ridiculous.
8. Helmet again
In a fight with the New Fantastic Four, Wolverine a member of this team, went berserk and scarred THING's face. Which prompted Ben to don a mask again.
Enter the 90s and cool is the name of the game. So most of the superheroes got redesigned suits, more for flair than practicality.
10. Shield Agents?
After the Onslaught event, and the Heroes reborn event, the Fantastic Four was asked by S.H.I.E.L.D. for help and was issued standard S.H.I.E.L.D. outfits. Unfortunately for Ben they don't have his size so he's back to wearing trunks but with Batman-like utility belt complete with capsules.
11. Regular Suits
From time to time we just see THING wearing a full body suit with the Fantstic 4 logo on the chest and other times just just pants with the logo on his waist band.
12. Future Foundation
In the apparent death of the Human Torch, many changes happened to the Fantastic Four, now known as the Future Foundation and one of the big changes are in their costumes. Gone is the blue and replaced with lab coat white and some black trimmings.
As always if I missed any of the costumes feel free to post it in the comment section below.
Who has portrayed the THING in Comic Book Movies?
1. Carl Ciarflio (1994)
Carl Ciarfalio portrayed the THING in the 1994 Roger Corman produced Fantastic Four movie. The character was a faithful reinterpretation of the comicbook character unfortunately the movie was not well developed.
2. Michael Chiklis (2005)
Michael Chiklis portrayed the THING in two movies the 2005 Fantastic Four movie and the 2008 Rise of the Silver Surfer Fantastic Four movie. It’s a pretty solid performance by the actor, and the character is well adapted from the comics. Unfortunately modern fans are more familiar with a bigger and more massive THING than the one the movie portrayed with a guy in a rubber suit.
sources : http://geek-news.mtv.com/2011/02/24/the-fantastic-fours-costume-changes-over-the-years/ : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thing_(comics) : http://marvel.wikia.com/Benjamin_Grimm_(Earth-616) : http://www.comicvine.com/thing/29-2114/ : http://blog.newsarama.com/2011/02/01/agent-of-s-t-y-l-e-fantastic-fashion-fantastic-four/ :
Well it's Clobbering Time!!!
This is the 8th article in my Know Your CBM Character series. Any requests and suggestions for an article for this series write it down in the comment section BELOW.
Note: Any error in the article above, if any, just blame it on my age, humanity and ignorance. Just be sure to check the comment section for the corrections, any error I made will surely be pointed out and corrected by much bigger geeks (because there will always be a bigger geek out there). -This has been PollMaster inviting you to the geekside.