fantastic four #23: the humanity of
benjamin j. grimm 9
Written by: Stan Lee
Illustrated by: Jack Kirby
Inked by: George Roussos
Lettered by: S. Rosen
Lured to Yancy Street, The Thing is attacked by one of Doctor Doom's powered henchmen. Not content with giving Ben a run for his money in the punching stakes, the minion also has a cosmic beam gun which triggers a transformation back into his human body. It's perhaps a sign of the relative regularity of this event - on average, once every three issues Ben returns to human form - that his first thought isn't 'Hurrah! My humanity has returned'. Instead, he's more concerned with who might have been able to invent such a beam gun.
Disappointingly, due to the small panel size (this is a 7 panel page), the transformation is very underwhelming in art terms. The dashed outline looks rushed and a little lazy, and what should be a big event for Ben comes across as just another beat in the fight.
Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #23 on our twenty-third episode: (Asbestos) Grease Is The Word