Didja Know... The Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing
Didja Know digs into downright delightful details from across the merry Marvel Multiverse!
Didja Know digs into the fun facts, strange stories, and divine details that helped build the hallowed halls of the House of Ideas!
Yeah, we hear ya…we know we just did an FF-related Didja Know just a few weeks ago, but when the subject’s the team’s monstrous man himself, we just can’t resist, capeesh? And besides, seeing the Thing in a size one-hundred trenchcoat is something to be celebrated, Charlie!
Speakin’ of celebration, let’s raise the roof a little on Benjy’s earliest days as the Thing. We guarantee its Grimm tidings all around…
Didja Know… the Thing talked real good in the beginning?
Say, can you imagine our beloved Ben saying stuff like, “Bah! Everywhere it is the same!” or “Bah! I cannot delay!” or the ever popular “Bah! How can you care for that weakling when I’m here?”? Well, say those little things the Thing did in the ultra-legendary FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #1, but it wasn’t too long before he grew into his Yancy Street roots and lost that deathless diction.
In fact, he began to embrace the bountiful bon mots we nowadays expect from the ever-lovin’ idol o’ millions in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #3, framing such phrases as “Power—shmower!”, “Shaddup!”, “Let’s pulverize him!”, and “I ain’t gonna wear this fool outfit!” Ah, what poetry! What marvelous music that monster made!
Hey, didja know where the Thing got his trademarked saying “What a revoltin’ development this is”? Well, look no further than the famous 1941 radio sitcom The Life of Riley, where in actor William Bendix used to use that one quite often and to great effect—just like beautiful Benjy!
Didja Know… the Thing almost became a pirate?
And not just any high-seas highwayman, but Blackbeard himself! The tale was told in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #5, Effendi, which just happens to be the little ol’ mag that introduced a baddie almost as bashful as our Big Ben…Doctor Doom!
See, Doomsie sent Reed, Johnny, and Ben back in time to recover the fabled treasure of the infamous buccaneer, but once tripped through the timestream and livin’ the life of Riley—how’s that for a callback, Chuckles?—the Thing made up his mind to stick around and become Blackbeard! Really! No foolin’!
Think about that one for a moment, True Believers. Ben Grimm not only began to believe he might’ve actually actuated the legend of Blackbeard in the past, but big brain Reed Richards did, too! And if Ben had stayed, well…imagine what a FANTASTIC THREE comic mag woulda been like! Suffice to say he wound up back in the present day and FF fans everywhere heaved a heavy huff of relief.
Didja Know… the Thing once wrestled with a wrestling career?
Long before THE THING (1983) #28 and the dynamite debut of the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation of which Ben Grimm stood in good standing alongside such luminaries as Justice, Demolition Man, several Super Villains, and the other Ms. Marvel, he waltzed around the ring with a fella named Fatal Finnegan, the idol of the Yancy Street Gang.
Wait! When did this occur, you ask? Why, no other place than FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #15! It began with the Mad Thinker figuring out clever nets in which to snare each member of the FF, and it just so happened that blue-eyed Benjy had a hankerin’ to be a wrestler. Then, one offer from a “shifty-eyed wrestling manager” at a local gym later, and the Thing took to the ring to knock the block offa Fatal Finnegan.
Alas, before there was fake news there was fake wrestling and our boy Ben fell right into its gaping maw. Frustrated and fed-up with its fakery and flummery, he back-stepped it back to the Baxter Building to rejoin his cosmic ray comrades and put the whole mess behind him…until 1985 and THE THING #28 and—didn’t we already say that? Anyway, that’s our story and we’re stickin’ to it, Smiley!
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