The Thing, also known as Benjamin “Ben” Grimm, is a fictional superhero appearing in American comics books published by Marvel Comics. He’s the founding member of the Fantastic Four and was created by writer and editor Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. He first appeared in The Fantastic Four #1. Take a look below for 24 more fun and interesting facts about The Thing.
1. He’s best known for his trademark rocky appearance, sense of humor, and famous battle cry, “It’s clobberin’ time!”
2. The Thing joined his Fantastic Four partner and rival the Human Torch in Strange Tales #124, which previously featured just the Human Torch and backup Doctor Strange stories.
3. He was born on Yancy Street in New York City’s Lower East Side, to a Jewish family. He had an early life of poverty and hardship, which shaped him into a tough, streetwise scrapper.
4. Grimm’s older brother, Daniel, who he idolized, was killed in a street gang fight when Ben was just 8 years old.
5. He excelled in football as a high school student, which got him a full scholarship to Empire State University, where he first met his eventual lifelong friend in a teenage genius called Reed Richard, as well as their future enemy Victor von Doom.
6. While Gimm was in the military, Nick Fury sent him, Logan and Carol Danvers on a top secret surveillance mission into Vladivostok.
7. Before Wolverine’s healing factor level got so strong, The Thing was able to defeat him in one punch.
8. In 1979, Hanna and Barbera produced an animated series starring The Thing with little or nothing to do with Marvel’s Thing. In the series, Benjy Grim is a regular teenager who, by touching together his magic rings and saying, “Thing ring, do your thing!” transforms into The Thing.
9. In the comics, Ben Grimm is a former Air Force pilot, while in Fantastic Four he’s a former Navy SEAL.
10. In Fantastic Four, The Thing takes his signature line, “It’s Clobberin’ Time!” from an action figure sponsored by Johnny.
11. The Thing’s favorite food is pizza, especially New York Pizza.
12. He doesn’t like mayonnaise, at least in his sandwiches.
13. The powers of all of the Fantastic Four are based on one of the four classical elements, with Ben’s element being earth.
14. During early publications in the 1960s and 1970s, Ben Grimm had 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 provide his history in more vague terms.
15. The Thing is officially listed as 6 feet tall and 500 pounds, however, he’s often depicted as being much taller and presumably heavier. Usually he’s drawn taller than the 6’1” Mr. Fantastic and is often the same height as the 6’7” She-Hulk.
16. He has a universal translator that can decipher and interpret languages, both alien and terrestrial, into the native language of the user.
17. The Thing normally carries a miniature flare gun that’s capable of creating a fiery “4” signal in the sky. When he uses it as a weapon, the incendiary charge can ignite flammable materials.
18. His costume and the rest of his wardrobe is constructed from unstable molecules. It also has a complete data processing and telemetry system woven into its fabric on a molecular level, making it like a wearable computer.
19. The Thing’s 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. Its sensors can also track all of the team’s uniforms and provide a picture of their immediate vicinity.
20. The Thing received his powers when cosmic rays bombarded his body. Nick Fury’s intel classified him as power level 8.
21. He has a smooth, rock like hide as a result of exposure to the 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.
22. After being subjected to a serum, The Thing can now revert to human form once a year, which is now the only time that he ages.
23. He’s often depicted with a gruff, tough exterior and can appear grim, but is actually a very kind hearted and often well liked among other heroes.
24. Following Earth’s endangerment due to the multiversal phenomena known as incursions and its subsequent salvation by Mr. Fantastic at the cost of his presumed death, the Fantastic Four disbanded. In the months after, The Thing joined the Guardians of the Galaxy.