|Appeared in|| Fantastic Four|
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
- "It's clobberin' time!"
- ―The Thing [src]
Ben Grimm, also known as the Thing, is a member of the Fantastic Four.
Benjamin Jacob Grimm, simply known as Ben, is a former SEAL, best friend and unofficial assistant of the scientist Reed Richards. When Reed faces bankrupt, he helps him to convince his former MIT colleague, the CEO of Von Doom Industries Victor Von Doom, to finantiate his experiment, which is made to proof that evolution has been caused by special space rays. Von Doom accepts, granting for himself the most of the experiment's profits. Being an astronaut, Ben is chosen as the pilot of the mission, which comprehends Reed, Victor, Reed's ex-girlfriend Sue Storm and her brother Johnny. Johnny was a subordinate of Ben's in NASA, but during the mission he's his superior, thus making Ben quite angry for the mission.
When in space, Von Doom's station gets too close to the space cloud that they should study and is hit by it, just when Ben is out with his suite: Reed, Sue and Johnny, inside the station, are briefly exposed to the cloud, but Ben gets a full exposure to it. Back to Earth, everyone of them finds out that the cloud gave them special powers, but Ben is transformed in a rock monster due to his total exposure. Angry and suffering for his situation, he leaves his friends and goes on a walk alone. On the Brooklyn Bridge, Ben prevents a man from committing suicide but, due to his monstrous appearance, he scares him and causes a massive car pile-up. Along with Reed, Sue and Johnny, who reached him, Ben uses his powers for saving the lives of the people on the bridge, stopping a truck with his own body. When the press arrives and claims the for of them as heroes, nicknaming them as the Fantastic Four, Ben is the only one suffering, since his wife-to-be, as she sees his in his rocky form, leaves her wedding ring on the street and flees. Reed, realizing his friend's pain, promises him that he'll do anything to make him come back to his human form.
The Fantastic Four move to the Baxter Building, in which Reed starts to study their powers and tries to find a way to revert the process. Meanwhile, cohabitation is not easy for the four of them, especially because of Johnny's temper: he acts as a rock star, using his powers to become famous. When, during an interview, Johnny nicknames Ben "The Thing", he gets angry and, after reducing Johnny's new car into a steel ball, violently confronts him. After the quarrel, while walking alone, Ben meets Victor, who, unknowingly to Ben and the others, is transforming into a living metal organism. Victor tries to convince Ben that Reed is doing nothing to cure him, but Ben decides to trust his friend and leaves. Once at the Baxter Building, he finds Reed with Susan, not working on his researches, and he starts to believe to Von Doom's words. Furious with his friend, Ben has a brief fight with him and leaves, searching for Victor, who's spying Reed's movements and acknowledges himself of the situation of the healing machine: it would work with more power, but it's unuseful in its actual state.
Tricking Ben, Victor makes him to enter the chamber and provides with his new powers the extra energy. Ben is "cured" and gains his human form again, but realizes too late that Von Doom just wanted to attack his friend and to eliminate the super-strong Thing from the battle. Without his powers, Ben is easily defeated by Victor, now calling himself Doom, and he's incapacitated. When he regains his senses, Ben finds out that his teammates have been utterly defeated by Doom, and decides to revert the healing chamber's process to become The Thing again.
Just a moment before Doom kills the Invisible Woman, The Thing, shouting "It's clobberin time!", bursts in the room, attacking Doom and moving the battle on the streets below the building. Despite his incredible strength, Ben is no match for Doom: just when the latter is about to give him the finishing blow, Reed, Johnny and Susan intervene and save him. When the four of them are reunited, the final showdown begins: following Reed's plan, The Thing destroys an hydrant and makes the water go on Doom, previously super heated by the Human Torch, thus solidifying him in a metal statue.
When all is finished, Ben, during a party, tells Reed that he's starting to accept his condition, mostly thanks to Alicia Masters, a blind artist who's his new girlfriend and who's teaching him to go behind appearances.
With Reed Richards' and Sue Storm's wedding approaching, Ben Grimm, who has been chosen as Reed's best man, is trying to convince his friend to drop all of his researches, at least until the wedding is done. As forseen, Reed doesn't listen to him, nor to his wife-to-be, and continues a research for the Government, studying strange radiations. During the wedding, the ceremony is interrupted by Reed's machines as the Silver Surfer, the origin of the radiations, appears. The wedding is suspended, and the team is called back in action. When the Human Torch is defeated by the alien and has his molecular structure compromised by him, Ben starts to mock him and tries to exchange their powers, but Johnny, after a first, succeeded try, refuses and takes his powers back.
The Fantastic Four are contacted by General Hager, who informs them that the alien is appearing all aroung the world, creating enormous holes in the ground for unknown purposes. The team follows the alien in London and tries to capture him, but the mission fails because of the Torch. Only Sue's and Ben's efforts to substain a giant panoramic wheel prevents a catastrophe. After the failure, Hager forces the team to join Victor Von Doom, revived by the Surfer's cosmic powers.
The five of them, along with the Army, reaches the Black Forest, which is believed to be the next stop of the Surfer. In there, Ben is attacked by a bear, which, scared by The Thing's appearance and roar, flees. Using Reed's pulse generator, the team manages to separate Silver Surfer from his board, which is the source of his powers, and the Army has him arrested and taken to Siberia. Once in there, Doom reveales his real intents and steals the Surfer's powers, killing Hager and breaking out of the base. Meanwhile, Sue informed the rest of the team of the informations gained by Surfer about Galactus, the real enemy. The FF are freed by Frankie Raye and leaves along with the Surfer.
The team follows Doom with Reed's new invention, the Fantasticar, and Ben himself drives one of the modules. The four of them are anyway overpowered by Cosmic Doom, and decides to give all their powers to the Human Torch, still unstable, to stop him. Having regained for a brief time his human form, Ben aids the Torch hitting Doom with a demolition metal ball. When Doom is defeated and the Surfer regains his powers, all the FF assist him while he fights his former master Galactus.
When the crisis is surpassed and the world is saved, Sue and Reed finally get married in Shanghai, with Ben as the best man as programmed. Just a moment after the ceremony, the team is called in action once again.
Despite his phisical appearance, Ben is an incredibly good-hearted man, who puts his friends' life before his own. He's a loyal friend, always ready to aid his teammates in any way possible. He's got a good sense of humor and a brilliant intelligence, even if not quite the same of his friend Reed. He usually has quarrels with Johnny, and the two enjoy themselves in provoking each other. Despite his always smiling attitude, he suffers greately for his monstrous form, and hopes to be a human again as soon as possible.
Powers and Abilities
All of Ben's superhuman powers come from cosmic radiation which turned his body into an "organic" stone-like substance.
- Superhuman Strength: Ben has shown sufficient strength to heft a firetruck (weighing about 100 tons), and when pushing himself, a large building structure (weighing about 1 000 tons) with Sue leveling it.
- Superhuman Durability: Ben has easily survived a transport smashing into him on a bridge, bullets with ease, Doctor Doom's punches.
- Fire Immunity: Ben is virtually immune to fire, being capable of taking multiple fireballs to the face from Johnny.
- Superhuman Stamina: Ben can physically exert himself for much longer than the average person.
- Skilled Pilot: Ben is a skilled pilot, being capable of piloting a space shuttle and the "Fantasti-Jet".
- Skilled Combatant: Though no martial artist, he is none the less a very skilled combatant who uses loose brawling and street fighting techniques.
- Reed Richards - Best friend and teammate
- Susan Richards - Friend and teammate
- Johnny Storm - Friend and teammate
- Alicia Masters - Girlfriend
- Victor Von Doom - Enemy
- Silver Surfer - Enemy turned ally
Behind the scenes
- During a premiere, Michael Chiklis introduced himself to Avi Arad saying "Hello, I'm Ben Grimm", thus implying that he wanted the role in the upcoming movie.
- In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Michael Chiklis' prosthetics as The Thing were redesigned to allow him to take it off in between takes and for better ventilation.
- Canon (2 films)
- While in the comics the Thing is bigger than Ben Grimm, in Fantastic Four (1994) Michael Bailey Smith is much taller and wider than Carl Ciarfalio.
- In the comics, Ben Grimm is a former Air Force pilot, while in Fantastic Four he's a former Navy SEAL.
- In Fantastic Four, the Thing takes his signature line "It's clobberin time!" from an action figure sponsored by Johnny.