THE THING'S EXOSKELETON

Classification: Terrestrial technology

Creator: Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards)

Users/Possessors: Thing (Ben Grimm)

First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#169 (April, 1976)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Thing exoskeleton was designed to simulate the powers and appearance of the Thing. It was roughly as strong as the Thing himself (who can lift 85 tons), and fairly durable, as well as waterproof.

History: (Fantastic Four I#169) - After Ben Grimm lost the powers of the Thing, Mr. Fantastic threw himself into "Project X," and finally unveiled it to Ben as an exoskeleton which could simulate the appearance and powers of the Thing.

(Fantastic Four I#170) - Ben wore the exoskeleton for the first time in a clash with the FF's temporary member Power Man, who had been controlled by the Puppet Master.

(Fantastic Four Annual#11, Marvel Two-In-One Annual#1, Marvel Two-In-One#20) - Ben wore the exoskeleton on two adventures in time travel, first encountering an alternate version of the Invaders in World War II, then aiding the Liberty Legion against Master Man, Skyshark and Brain Drain.

(Avengers I#151) - Ben wore the exoskeleton with the helmet off as he watched news of the Avengers' lineup change on television.

(Fantastic Four I#171-175) - Ben wore the exoskeleton on an adventure into outer space to help the High Evolutionary save Counter-Earth from Galactus by finding a different world to sacrifice. Reed and Ben visited the world Mekka, where they were captured by Torgo in elektro-clamps, but Ben was able to escape the devices because they only affected his exoskeleton, and he simply exited the suit through its emergency release. Ultimately, in battle with Galactus, Ben was turned back to the Thing, and tore through the exoskeleton, destroying it.

(Avengers Annual#18) - Having lost his powers again, Ben wore the exoskeleton to a meeting of the Avengers in New York to deal with an invasion from Atlantis, but had a headache because of the Serpent Crown, and bowed out of the action.

(Avengers West Coast Annual#4) - Ben conferred with Thor, and they decided to investigate the creator of the Serpent Crown, Set himself.

(Thor Annual#14) - Ben wore the exoskeleton into the realm of Set alongside Dr. Strange, Thor and Quasar, then returned to Earth to deal with Ghaur and Llyra, the masterminds of the attacks.

(Fantastic Four Annual#22) - Ben wore the exoskeleton as the Avengers and Fantastic Four invaded Lemuria and defeated Ghaur and Llyra.

(Fantastic Four I#336) - Ben wore the exoskeleton to battle the Super-Adaptoid, who was under the control of Dr. Doom.

(Avengers Spotlight#29/2) - Ben wore the exoskeleton as he helped bring in captured villains from the so-called "Acts of Vengeance" to the Vault.

(Fantastic Four I#345-346) - When the Fantastic Four wound up on an island which was experiencing odd temporal distortions, the others lost their powers, and Ben donned the exoskeleton to help defend them against the dinosaurs on the island, until they managed to escape.

(Amazing Spider-Man Annual#24/3) - Ben wore the exoskeleton as he met up with the Sandman to take in a game.

(Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. II#15) - Ben wore the exoskeleton as he aided Nick Fury in prepartion for a space launch to investigate the hijacking of a satellite by Peter Lohan.

(Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. II#19) - Ben wore the exoskeleton as he helped retrieve Fury's team when they returned to Earth.

(Namor Annual#1/3) - Ben wore the exoskeleton (here resembling his "pinecone" mutation) as the Fantastic Four helped stall the Sub-Mariner prior to his surprise birthday party.

(Power Pack I#62) - Ben wore the exoskeleton at Four Freedoms Plaza as he and Sharon welcomed Alex Power.

(Alpha Flight I#93-94) - Ben wore the exoskeleton on a mission alongside the Human Torch and members of Alpha Flight against their friends who had been controlled by Headlok. Sasquatch tore the exoskeleton apart during their battle, but seeing Ben's human face gave Grimm the chance to help Sasquatch regain his senses.

(Fantastic Four I#349) - Ben wore the exoskeleton as the Fantastic Four and "new Fantastic Four" battled the Mole Man on Monster Isle.

(Quasar#20) - Ben wore the exoskeleton as the Fantastic Four dealt with the Presence's invasion of Four Freedoms Plaza.

(Fantastic Four Annual#24) - Ben wore the exoskeleton as he and the Fantastic Four aided the Guardians of the Galaxy in a quest to find Korvac's ancestor, Jaboa Murphy.

(Fantastic Four I#351) - Ben wore the exoskeleton as he and the rest of the FF were tested by Kosmos and Kubik.

(Fantastic Four I#350) - Ben wore the exoskeleton around Four Freedoms Plaza in an attempt to make Sharon feel better about her condition as a "She-Thing," but it only served to annoy her. Ben finally had his Thing powers restored for Sharon's sake.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, Rich Buckler and Joe Sinnott.

The Marvel Chronology Project also lists these stories as occurring prior to FF I#350: Avengers I#332-333, Avengers West Coast#75, Damage Control III#4, Deathlok II#4-5, Iron Man I#275, Marvel Comics Presents#94, Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. II#24, Quasar#28, Web of Spider-Man#76, and X-Factor I#66. I've chosen to omit them because they were all published after Fantastic Four I#350, and so were probably meant to be of Thing in his original form.

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Thing's exoskeleton should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Fantastic Four I#169, page 31, panel 3
Avengers I#151, page 2, panel 4


Fantastic Four I#170 (May, 1976) - Roy Thomas & Carla Conway (writers), George Perez (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Fantastic Four I#171 (June, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), George Perez & Rich Buckler (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
Fantastic Four I#172 (July, 1976) - Roy Thomas & Bill Mantlo (writers), George Perez (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Fantastic Four I#173 (August, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), George Perez & John Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
Fantastic Four I#174 (September, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
Fantastic Four I#175 (October, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (artist)
Fantastic Four Annual#11 (1976) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Sam Grainger (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Marvel Two-In-One Annual#1 (1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Sal Buscema (pencils), Sam Grainger, John Tartaglione & George Roussos (inks)
Marvel Two-In-One#20 (October, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Sal Buscema (pencils), Sam Grainger (inks)
Avengers I#151 (September, 1976) - Gerry Conway, Steve Englehart & Jim Shooter (writers), George Perez (pencils), John Tartaglione (inks), Gerry Conway (editor)
Avengers Annual#18 (1989) - Michael Higgins (writer), Ron Wilson (pencils), Mike Gustovich (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Avengers West Coast Annual#4 (1989) - John Byrne (writer/pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Thor Annual#14 (1989) - Roy Thomas (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Don Heck (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four Annual#22 (1989) - Roy Thomas (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Tony DeZuniga (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#336 (January, 1990) - Walter Simonson (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Mike DeCarlo (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Avengers Spotlight#29 (February, 1990) - Dwayne McDuffie (writer), Dwayne Turner (pencils), Chris Ivy (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Fantastic Four I#345-346 (October-November, 1990) - Walter Simonson (writer/artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man Annual#24 (1990) - Tom DeFalco & J.M. DeMatteis (writers), Mike Zeck (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. II#15 (September, 1990) - D.G. Chichester (writer), Bill Jaaska (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), Greg Wright (editor)
Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. II#19 (January, 1991) - D.G. Chichester (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Fred Fredericks (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Namor Annual#1 (1991) - Chris Cooper (writer), Clarke Hawbaker & Dave Hoover (pencils), Ian Akin & Brian Garvey (inks)
Power Pack I#62 (February, 1991) - Michael Higgins (writer), Steve Buccellato (pencils), Don Hudson (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Alpha Flight I#93-94 (February-March, 1991) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mike Bair (pencils), Mike Manley (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Fantastic Four I#349 (February, 1991) - Walter Simonson (writer), Arthur Adams & Gracine Tanaka (pencils), Arthur Thibert & Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#350 (March, 1991) - Walter Simonson (writer/pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four I#351 (April, 1991) - Len Kaminski (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Dan Panosian (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Quasar#20 (March, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Greg Capullo (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Len Kaminski (editor)
Fantastic Four Annual#24 (1991) - Al Milgrom (writer/artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)

Last updated: 11/11/11

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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