Hulk vs The Thing

Fantastic Four #26: Hulk vs The Thing Round 5

Fantastic Four #26, page 19, panel 2
Fantastic Four #26, page 19, panel 2

fantastic four #26: hulk vs the thing round 5

Unforgettably Written In The Grand Manner by: Stan Lee

Powerfully Drawn In The Heroic Manner by: Jack Kirby

Inked by: George Roussos

Lettered by: Art Simek

The final bout between the Hulk and the Thing begins here. Sure, there's five other Avengers, Rick Jones, and the rest of the Fantastic Four, but the issue is really about these two slugging it out. Unfortunately, the fight lasts for less than a page before the Avengers take over, and it ends with Ben covered in quick-setting cement and unable to continue the fight. Coupled with the fact that it's Rick Jones who forces the change back to Bruce (Robert) Banner, it would be very unfair to call this fight for anyone other than the Hulk.

The result: Another victory for Hulk, as he takes on Ben, the rest of the FF, and the Avengers and comes out on top. 4-1 to the Hulk.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #26 on our twenty-seventh episode: Hulk Goes Home And Plays With His Trains with special guest-host Michael Bailey

Fantastic Four #26: Hulk vs The Thing Round 4

Fantastic Four #26, page 1
Fantastic Four #26, page 1

fantastic four #26: hulk vs the thing round 4

Unforgettably Written In The Grand Manner by: Stan Lee

Powerfully Drawn In The Heroic Manner by: Jack Kirby

Inked by: George Roussos

Lettered by: Art Simek

Putting Strange Tales to one side (a wise thing to do with any issue of Strange Tales!), we're back to the Thing/Hulk fight. It's round 2 of this battle, round 4 in total, and it's a rather lovely splash page as well.

I'm hesitant to call this round for The Thing, as he really only wins when he's got the rest of the Fantastic Four, the entirety of the Avengers, and Rick Jones popping pills, helping him. But the Hulk ends this issue defeated, and the heroes survive, which makes it a victory, of sorts, for Ben Grimm.

As with the previous issue, I'll devote a few pages to the best Hulk/Thing moments from this battle.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #26 on our twenty-seventh episode: Hulk Goes Home And Plays With His Trains with special guest-host Michael Bailey

Fantastic Four #25: Hulk vs The Thing Round 3.6

Fantastic Four #25, page 21, panel 2
Fantastic Four #25, page 21, panel 2

fantasticast four #25:

hulk vs the thing round 3.6

Sensational Story by: Stan Lee

Astonishing Art by: Jack Kirby

Incredible Inking by: George Roussos

Lighthearted Lettering by: S. Rosen

This is it. The final blow in this near-issue-length fight between the two biggest brawlers in the Marvel Universe at this time. It's a slightly disappointing panel - Kirby saves the big moment for the Hulk storming away, looking for the Avengers, giving it a full 2/3-page panel.

However, there is no doubt about it in Fantastic Four #25 - the Thing is beaten thoroughly, and it's only the Hulk's true aim - to track down and destroy the Avengers - that keeps him from being killed. This then feeds the first true cliffhanger in the Fantastic Four, where a battered and beaten Ben hauls himself to his feet, vowing to stop the Hulk, even if it means his death. It's a phenomenal note to end the book on, and one of the greatest cliffhangers in Marvel's history.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #25 on our twenty-fifth episode: It'll Be Our Little Secret, with special guest-host Michael Bailey

Fantastic Four #25: Hulk vs The Thing Round 3.5 / Property Damage 25

Fantastic Four #25, page 19, panel 1
Fantastic Four #25, page 19, panel 1

Fantastic Four #25:

Hulk vs The Thing Round 3.5 / Property Damage 25

Sensational Story by: Stan Lee

Astonishing Art by: Jack Kirby

Incredible Inking by: George Roussos

Lighthearted Lettering by: S. Rosen

I'm currently in Nantes (hashtag holiday brag) but, thanks to the wonder of pre-scheduled posts, I'm also apparently blogging on a daily basis about mid-1960s Fantastic Four. We'll see how long I manage before I mess something up with the scheduling...

This lengthy Thing/Hulk brawl continues, moving from the speedboat onto the Washington Bridge itself. As if this tussle wasn't causing enough havoc and devastation to New York, here Ben decides to destroy the infrastructure of the bridge to keep the Hulk at bay. I'm assuming he managed to clear the bridge of civilians, rather than just destroying it in a Man Of Steel-esque rage of pique. This actually manages to hold the Hulk for an entire two pages, although if most of those pages hadn't been devoted to Reed and Sue, I'm sure it wouldn't have lasted that long.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #25 on our twenty-fifth episode: It'll Be Our Little Secret, with special guest-host Michael Bailey

Fantastic Four #25: Hulk vs The Thing Round 3.4

Fantastic Four #25, page 17, panel 3
Fantastic Four #25, page 17, panel 3

Fantastic Four #25: Hulk vs The Thing Round 3.4

Sensational Story by: Stan Lee

Astonishing Art by: Jack Kirby

Incredible Inking by: George Roussos

Lighthearted Lettering by: S. Rosen

How could I resist posting a panel featuring the Hulk bouncing across the water to chase the Thing, who is driving a speedboat?

I also get to talk about Stan and/or Jack's rather liberal and unorthodox interpretation of the concept of surface tension. I'm sure we're all aware of this concept, caused by the water molecules on the surface being pulled downwards by bonds with other molecules, causing some internal pressure and resulting in the water pushing against any force levied against it. Small insects are able to use this pressure to 'walk on water', their low body mass able to be counteracted by the surface tension.

The Hulk, however, is not a small insect, and certainly does not have low body mass. He is, therefore, very unlikely to be able to hop across the water as shown above.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #25 on our twenty-fifth episode: It'll Be Our Little Secret, with special guest-host Michael Bailey

Fantastic Four #25: Hulk vs The Thing Round 3.3/Yancy Street Pranks 5

Fantastic Four #25, page 16, panel 3
Fantastic Four #25, page 16, panel 3

Fantastic Four #25:

Hulk vs The Thing Round 3.3 / Yancy Street Pranks 5

Sensational Story by: Stan Lee

Astonishing Art by: Jack Kirby

Incredible Inking by: George Roussos

Lighthearted Lettering by: S. Rosen

This is a very important panel, and not just because it features The Thing and The Hulk brawling in the back of a speeding pickup truck, although that would surely place it in any list of top panels.

What makes this important is that it fundamentally changes the nature of the Yancy Street Gang. Prior to this, they had been unseen practical jokers, setting up a quick visual gag and helping redefine The Thing as a loveable curmudgeon rather than a raging monster. Here, we are introduced to the idea that as far as they're concerned, no-one but them gets to have a go at The Thing. We're twenty years away from John Byrne fleshing out Ben's relationship with the gang, but by positioning them somewhere between ally and antagonist, a whole world of depth and potential is opened up. I'd argue that it's this two-panel sequence that truly cements the Yancy Streeters in the hearts of fans.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #25 on our twenty-fifth episode: It'll Be Our Little Secret, with special guest-host Michael Bailey

Fantastic Four #25: Hulk vs Thing Round 3.2

Fantastic Four #25, page 15, panel 2
Fantastic Four #25, page 15, panel 2

Fantastic Four #25: Hulk vs The Thing Round 3.2

Sensational Story by: Stan Lee

Astonishing Art by: Jack Kirby

Incredible Inking by: George Roussos

Lighthearted Lettering by: S. Rosen

The battle continues, with Hulk being tricked into somehow mistaking a six-foot tall man made of rock for a bunch of electrical cables. Knowing how inconsistent the Hulk was in his early stories, maybe this was during his 'unable to correctly parse basic visual and tactile information' phase... HULK SMASH PUNY BLURRY OBJECT THAT IS FURTHER AWAY THAN IT APPEARS! HULK MOURN INABILITY TO TELL WHEN SHOWER IS CORRECT TEMPERATURE!

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #25 on our twenty-fifth episode: It'll Be Our Little Secret, with special guest-host Michael Bailey

Fantastic Four #25: Hulk vs The Thing Round 3.1

Fantastic Four #25, page 14, panel 6
Fantastic Four #25, page 14, panel 6

fantastic four #25: hulk vs the thing round 3.1

Sensational Story by: Stan Lee

Astonishing Art by: Jack Kirby

Incredible Inking by: George Roussos

Lighthearted Lettering by: S. Rosen

The fight continues throughout New York, leading to this wonderful panel where the Hulk picks the Thing up and forces him head-first into a manhole. It's always fun when characters get hammered into the street, but it's what's under the street that really makes this panel for me.

Most people would expect the road to be a thick layer of asphalt, on top of a prepared surface of gravel. But not Kirby's roads. Kirby's roads are built directly on top of wonderful, futuristic machinery. Who knows what function these machines perform, but it's clear that in New York, dark things are happening just below the surface...

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #25 on our twenty-fifth episode: It'll Be Our Little Secret, with special guest-host Michael Bailey


Fantastic Four #25: Hulk vs The Thing Round 3

Fantastic Four #25, page 11, panel 5
Fantastic Four #25, page 11, panel 5

fantastic four #25: hulk vs the thing round 3

Sensational Story by: Stan Lee

Astonishing Art by: Jack Kirby

Incredible Inking by: George Roussos

Lighthearted Lettering by: S. Rosen

And it's on. Their brief clashes in Fantastic Four #12 were merely a warm-up to this two-issue, two-part smack down. I'm going to go ahead and spoil the result of the fight - the Hulk wins, rather convincingly. However, I'll be grabbing panels from the fight showcasing some awesome moments, as the fight is the centrepiece of the second half of this issue.

The Hulk/Thing rivalry has become something rather iconic over the years - it played a part of Ben's grieving process when Johnny temporarily died, and Sam Kieth did a great miniseries under the Marvel Knights banner devoted to the two character knocking the crap out of each other - but this story is their last fight for seven years. Let's enjoy it over the next few days.

The result: Hulk wins, although it takes him ten pages to bring the Thing down. 2-1 to ol' jade jaws!

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #25 on our twenty-fifth episode: It'll Be Our Little Secret, with special guest-host Michael Bailey


Fantastic Four #12: Hulk vs The Thing Round 2

Fantastic Four #12, page 20, panel 7 Script: Stan Lee

Art: Jack Kirby

Inking: Dick Ayers

Lettering: Art Simek

Round two of the ongoing battle between the biggest and baddest (right now) of the Marvel universe is, thankfully, a more sustained affair than the first one-panel-long round. Lasting for most of page 20, the fight sees Ben smack the Hulk into a stone wall, and Hulk lob a wooden cart at Ben before the two finally get around to grappling with each other.

Unfortunately, the fight doesn't last very long, as some sort of beam emits from the ground, enveloping the Hulk, and rendering him unconscious. Ben's even complains about this abrupt end to the fight in the next panel - "I didn't even land my last punch! I must be better'n I thought!"

However, this is not the first time that a super-powered punch-up would be brought to a premature conclusion by a third party...

The result: Victory goes to Ben, even if it took the Wrecker to bring about his victory. A 1-all draw.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #12 in our tenth episode: Hulk? Smash!

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/Fantasticast_Episode_10_Final.mp3]

Fantastic Four #12: Hulk vs The Thing Round 1

Fantastic Four #12, page 18, panel 1 Script: Stan Lee

Art: Jack Kirby

Inking: Dick Ayers

Lettering: Art Simek

Here it is folks, the first punch thrown in one of comicdom's most enduring rivalries. At this stage in the Marvel Universe, the Thing and the Hulk are clearly the two strongest and toughest people around. Namor comes close, but Fantastic Four #9 showed that without the intervention of the storm, Ben would have triumphed over the Sub-Mariner.

So it's surprising that the first meet-up between the two should be so brief. This panel is the entirety of their fight. After teasing us with the cover and with Ben's imagining of the fight earlier in the book, this punch-up is a bit of a disappointment in its brevity and how quickly Ben goes down.

Thankfully, there would be more than a few rematches over the years...

The result: The Hulk wins by a country mile - Ben doesn't even have the chance to produce a corny quip, instead hitting the ground like a sack of bricks. 1-0 to the Hulk

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #12 in our tenth episode: Hulk? Smash!

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/Fantasticast_Episode_10_Final.mp3]

 

Fantastic Four #12: Hulk vs The Thing 0.5

Fantastic Four #12, page 7, panels 2-3 Script: Stan Lee

Art: Jack Kirby

Inking: Dick Ayers

Lettering: Art Simek

There are many classic rivalries in comics that transcend the mere hero/villain nemesis relationship. Green Arrow and Hawkman. Wolverine and Sabretooth. Guy Gardner and Lobo. But the greatest of these has to be the ongoing battles between Benjamin J. Grimm of Yancy Street, and the Jade Giant himself, The Hulk.

This category will cover every bout between the two, and provide a running score of who wins.

In this not-quite-a-first-meeting, Ben imagines just how the fight would go down should the two meet. I'm pretty sure no battle between the two has ever been resolved this quickly.

The result: A staggering win for Ben Grimm. Such a shame that it's all in his own head and counts for nothing.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #12 in our tenth episode: Hulk? Smash!

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/Fantasticast_Episode_10_Final.mp3]