Name: Benjamin Jacob Grimm
Occupation: Professional adventurer; former test
pilot, adventurer and wrestler
Identity: Publicly known
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with
no criminal record
Other Aliases: None
Place of Birth: New York City
Marital Status: Single
Known Realatives: Daniel (father, deceased), Elsie
(mother, deceased), Daniel Jr. (brother, deceased), Jacob
("Jake," uncle), Alyce (aunt, deceased), Pentunia
("Penny," aunt, Jacob's second wife)
Group Affiliation: Fantastic Four, formerly Unlimited
Class Wrestling Federation
Base of Operations: Pier Four, New York City
First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR #1
History: Benjamin J. Grimm was born on Yancy Street
on Manhattan's Lower East Side, where he grew up in poverty.
His father, an alcoholic, was unable to hold a job. Much
of the family's income came from Grimm's older brother,
Daniel, who obtained funds illegally as leader of the
Yancy Street Gang. Grimm, who idolized his brother, became
embittered against the world when Daniel was killed in
a battle between rival gangs. Grimm was only 8 years old
at the time; within 10 years, he had succeeded his brother
as leader of the Yancy Street Gang. After his parents
died, Grimm was taken in by his Uncle Jake, who had risen
from poverty to become a successful physician. At first,
Grimm resisted his new guardians' kindness toward him.
But eventually, he came to return their love. He left
his life with the Yancy Street Gang behind, entered high
school, and became a football star there. While he was
a senior at Stuyvesant High School, Ben received a football
scholarship to Empire State University.
Grimm's freshman year roommate was the brilliant science student
Reed Richards, who became his closest friend. During their
first meeting Richards confided in Grimm his intention
someday to build a starship for interstellar travel. Grimm
jokingly promised that he would pilot the starship for
Richards if he ever built it.
Upon graduating Grimm went into the U.S. Air Force and became
a highly skilled test pilot and astronaut. In the meantime
Richards went ahead with his project to build a starship,
using both his own fortune and funding from the Federal
government. On the day that Grimm left the military, Richards
came to Grimm to remind him of his promise to pilot the
Richards' project was based in Central City, California. When
the federal government threatened to withdraw its funding from
Richards' project, Richards decided to take the starship on
a test flight himself as soon as possible. Grimm was opposed
to the idea, warning that the starship's shielding might prove
to be inadequate protection from intense radiation storms. Nevertheless,
Grimm was persuaded to serve as pilot, and Richards' future
wife Susan Storm and her adolescent brother Johnny insisted
on accompanying Richards' as passengers. The four friends stole
onto the launch facility, entered the starship, and launched
it. They intended to travel through hyperspace to another solar
system and back. However, unknown to Richards, a solar flare
caused Earth's Van Allen radiation belts to be filled temporarily
with unprecedented (as far as is known), ultra-high levels of
cosmic radiation. Since the ship was designed to shield against
ordinary levels of radiation, the cabin interior was subject
to intense cosmic ray bombardment which irradiated the four
passengers and wrought havoc on the ship's controls. Pilot Grimm
was forced to abort the flight and return to Earth.
Once back on Earth, the four passengers discovered that the
cosmic radiation had triggered mutagenic changes in this
bodies. Grimm was transformed into an orange colored,
thick-skinned, heavily muscled, and superhumanly strong
"thing." Richards convinced the three others
that the four of them should use their new powers for
the good of humanity as members of a team ha named the
Fantastic Four. Richards called himself Mister Fantastic,
Susan and Johnny Storm took the names of the Invisible
Girl (later Woman) and the Human Torch, and Grimm, morose
over his new grotesque appearance, named himself the Thing.
Under Richards' leadership the Fantastic Four has become
Earth's most honored team of superhuman adventurers, and
has saved the world from conquest or destruction many
Over the years the mutations to the Things body have continued
to progress slowly. The composition of his epidermis changed
from an abnormally dense, somewhat lumpy but still comparatively
smooth hide to a flexible, interlocking network of rock-like
lumps. His superhuman strength increased considerably
over time. Early in Grimm's life as the Thing, he would
sometimes revert to his original human form unexpectedly.
But neither these changes nor those induced by Richards
in his efforts to turn Grimm back to human form ever proved
to be permanent. Eventually Grimm always reverted to his
monstrous, superhumanly powerful form. Appalled by his
appearance, Grimm was at first filled with anger at his
situation, but he eventually became resigned to his fate,
although he continued to be disturbed by his appearance
and to hope for a means of regaining his human form that
would last. Instrumental in helping Grimm to adjust to
his life as the Thing was the blind sculptress Alicia
Masters, with whom Grimm fell in love. Reed Richards eventually
discovered that Grimm had reached a state in which he
could transform from his Thing form to human form and
back at will. However, Grimm feared that Alicia Masters
would only love him as the Thing, for she had not known
him before his initial transformation. Hence, Grimm suffered
from a subconscious mental block that prevented him from
The relationship between Grimm and Masters was suffering from
strains when Grimm was transported to the distant "Battleworld"
by the alien Beyonder for the first of the so-called "secret
wars." On that planet Grimm found himself able to
change to human form and back. Concealing his discovery
of Grimm's mental block for fear of hurting his feelings.
Richards claimed that the nature of the planet itself
was somehow responsible for Grimm's ability to transform
back and forth. Once the "secret war" was over,
Grimm remained on the planet for months. Eventually, however,
he found himself trapped once again in his monstrous form,
unable to change to human form, and he returned to Earth.
There Grimm learned that his teammate Johnny Storm and
Alicia Masters had become lovers, and that Reed Richards
had concealed the information about his mental block from
him. Furious and distraught, Grimm quit the Fanatic Four.
He worked for a time as a superhumanly strong wrestler
for the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation, and also
participated in missions with the West Coast Avengers.
Grimm was about to accept membership in the West Coast Avengers
when he began to undergo further mutation, becoming, at
least in his own mind, still more grotesque. Greatly disturbed,
Grimm journeyed to Monster Island, where he had first
encountered his foe, the Mole Man. Now, however, the Mole
Man befriended the Thing and welcomed him into the society
he had organized in his underground realm, composed of
physically ugly people like himself who had believed themselves
to be outcasts in the surface world. Grimm agreed to help
the Mole Man in his attempt to use an earth shifting machine
to raise a small continent in the Pacific Ocean to serve
as a homeland for the Mole Man's society. While Grimm
lived in the Mole Man's realm, his most recent mutations
went into remission, leaving him looking little different
than before these recent mutations had begun.
The three other original members of the Fantastic Four found
the Thing in the Mole Man's realm, where Reed Richards
realized that by raising a continent in the Pacific, the
Mole Man would trigger earthquakes that would destroy
California. The Thing joined Mister Fantastic, the Invisible
Woman, and the Human Torch in destroying the Mole Man's
earth-shifting machine, and rejoined the Fantastic Four
Height: 6 ft.
Weight: 500 lbs.
Hair: (in fluman form) Brown, (as the Thing) None
Unusual features: The Thing's body is covered with an
orange, flexible, rock-like hide. The Thing has no apparent
neck. He has only four fingers (including the thumb) on each
hand and four toes on each foot. The increase in the volume
of his fingers has not decreased his manual dexterity. His skin
is apparently susceptible to "drying "or what in a
normal human being would be called loss of skin oil, for his
skin can be "chipped" under certain circumstances.
The Thing has no outer ear structure.
Strength Level: The Thing possesses superhuman strength,
enabling him to lift (press) 85 tons. The Thing's strength
grew considerably over the initial years of his career.
At one early point in his life as the Thing, for example,
he could only lift (press) 5 tons.
Known Superhuman Powers: The Thing possesses superhuman
strength, endurance, and durability. The mutagenic, specific-frequency
cosmic ray bombardment caused his musculature, bone structure,
internal organ composition, soft tissue structure, and
skin to greatly increase in toughness and density. The
Thing can exert himself at high levels for about an hour
before the build-up of fatigue poisons in his blood impairs
his strength. His reflexes have remained at their above
average human levels despite his greater mass. 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 nine minutes, The Thing's five senses can withstand
greater amounts of sensory stimuli than he could when
he was a normal human being, with no reduced sensitivity.
The Thing's body is able to withstand extremes of temperature
from -75° to 800° Fahrenheit for up to an hour
before exposure or heat prostration occurs. He can withstand
the explosive effects of armor-piercing bazooka shells
(15 pounds of high explosives) against his skin with no
injury. He is still susceptible to colds, disease, and
Unlike in the case of the Hulk, the Thing has suffered no loss
of intelligence or change in personality in his transformation
into his monstrous form.
Abilities: The Thing is a brilliant pilot of aircraft.
He has had a great deal of experience at hand-to-hand
combat, and was a formidable opponent in physical combat
even before becoming the Thing.
NOTE: Carl Ciarfalio played him in Fantastic
Four the movie, and was voiced by Michael Bailey Smith.