Favourite Hero No. 7 - The Thing

Benjamin Jacob “Ben” Grimm was born in poverty and hardship. Orphaned at an early age, he was brought up by his uncle Jake and Aunt Petunia. His life in the rough streets of New York, moulded him into a street-wise scrapper.

Excelling in football in high school, Ben received a full scholarship to Empire State University, where he first met his eventually life-long friend, Reed Richards. When Reed Richards told Ben of his dream to build a space rocket, Ben jokingly offered to fly it.

Following college, Grimm joined the Air Force as a test pilot. Some years later, Reed Richards contacted him again. He had built his space ship and reminded Ben of his promise to fly it. The government had refused to give permission for Reed himself to pilot the craft. So, under the cover of darkness, Reed, Ben, Susan Storm (Reed’s future wife) and her brother Johnny Storm, sneak into the space ship and take off into space. During their unauthorized flight, they were pelted by cosmic rays from a cosmic ray storm against which the space ship had no protection.

Crashing on earth, the quartet discover that they have developed fantastic superpowers. Ben was transformed into a orange, lumpy thing and later evolved into a massive orange humanoid of slightly jagged earthy rock. The four decide to band together and thus was born the Fantastic Four - one of Marvel’s recognizable superhero team.

While the others had retained their human appearance and considered their powers to be a gift, Ben was trapped in a monstrous form and was very unhappy with his state, though he continued being a reliable member of the team.

To his fans, he is the ever-loveable Thing. His catch-phrase, “It’s clobbering time!”, is one of Marvel’s most famous quotes. The Thing’s most endearing quality is his indomitable spirit. Coupled with his excellent hand-to-hand combat skills that he had learned on the streets, and his tough rocky hide, the Thing is one of Marvel’s best scrappers.

When the Champion of the Universe, had challenged the heroes of Earth to hand-to-hand combat, with the Earth as prize to the victor, it was Ben Grimm who faced the unbeaten Champion in the final round. Even the Thing’s tough hide was not able to save him from the Champion’s onslaught. Though the battle lasted a long time, in the end, Ben was defeated. Bruised and broken, the Thing was knocked down and the Champion turned to the referee, who prepares to declare him the winner. Despite having broken both his legs, and several ribs, Ben drags himself to the ring corner and pulls himself up and turns to face the Champion. Amazed the Champion turns to face him, at which Ben declares that his body may be broken, but his spirit refused to be and as long as there was a single breath in him, he would continue to fight him. Impressed by Ben’s indomitable resolve, the Champion forfeits the match and declares Ben the winner.