Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Rodney Dangerfield of Superheroes

Try not to barf

The Thing has turned into the Rodney Dangerfield of the superhero set, he just doesn't get any respect.  I don't read the title because quite frankly I can't stand how it's written, but I saw scans from Avengers #11 where some of the team heavy hitters are engaged in a battle with the Hood, who is wielding an Infinity Gem or two.  Two of the Avengers, Thor and the oh-so-cleverly-named Red Hulk, also have a Gem each, but it appears Namor is a part of the battle without one.  The battle is pretty heated, and the non-powered members like Hawkeye and Mockingbird are staying out of the way.  When Ben decides to intervene, he's told to stay back, it's out of his league.

Ben Grimm used to give the Hulk a run for his money on a regular basis, and now he has to hang back with the completely non-powered heroes when the going gets tough?  Ben has always been a peer to Namor but he can't even think about joining in this battle?  This is a textbook example of how the Thing has seemingly slid down the power pole in the Marvel Universe, and it is a real shame.

The Thing has an important role in the Marvel Universe.  He is not the toughest buy around; he can't beat the guys like Thor and the Hulk, but he will give them everything they can handle.  A week or so ago I posted the Thing's fight with the Champion, which showcases the Thing's role perfectly; he is the underdog you can't help but believe in when the chips are down.  He should be the epitome of the "second tier" strongmen in the Marvel Universe.  Therefore, I feel I should remind people of some of the amazing things Benjamin Grimm has done over the years.

Fantastic Four #40 - The Thing absolutely humiliates Dr. Doom in this fight, crushing the monarch's hands through his armour, which is pretty much as strong as Iron Man's.

Fantastic Four v.3 #27 - The Thing takes on the Avengers and takes down several members and gets past a line-up that includes Thor and Wonder Man, who promised he could not do so.  It is stated the Avengers were holding back, but it also states that the Thing was as well.

Marvel 2-in-1 #92 - The Thing takes on Ultron.  Ultron has taken on entire teams of Avengers that include characters like Thor in the line-up, and here the Thing matches him strength for strength.

Fantastic Four #235 - His teammates can't take the heat and pressure of descending to the core of Ego, the Living Planet, but the Thing soldiers on to save the day.

There are a lot of other examples, but Ben Grimm is a hero that isn't afraid to mix it up with the most powerful opponents or dangerous situations.  Sticking him on the sidelines with Hawkeye (and why Hawkeye, who has taken on the entire Wrecking Crew by himself, won't get in there either is a whole other beef I have with Bendis' Avengers) and Mockingbird, human characters with no powers, annoys me to no end. 

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