Mr. Sheckerberg

HIRAM SHECKERBERG

Real Name: Hiram Sheckerberg

Identity/Class: Normal human

Occupation: Owner of Sheckerberg Pawn

Group Membership: None

AffiliationsDaniel Grimm Jr., Rabbi Lowenthal, Alicia Masters, Ms. Menkin, Mr. Potter, Roberta Potter, The Thing (Grimm)

Enemies: The Maggia, Powderkeg, Sandman, the Trapster

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Mr. Sheckerberger", "Shecky"

Base of Operations: Yancy Street, New York, USA

First Appearance: Fantastic Four III#56 (August, 2002)

Powers/Abilities:  Hiram Sheckerberg had no powers or abilities beyond those of a normal human. However, his stubbornness and ability to stand up to the Thing are worth noting.

History

(Fantastic Four III#56 (fb)) - Hiram Sheckerberg dragged a young Ben Grimm home by his left ear after Ben threw a rock through a window at Sheckerberg's pawn shop. Running into Ben's older brother Daniel, Sheckerberg turned down his offer to pay for the broken window, telling him he wouldn't accept his "hoodlum money." Ben offered to work weekends at the pawn shop to pay for the damage.

(Fantastic Four III#56 (fb)) - Sheckerberg chased Ben from the pawn shop after Ben stole his Star of David necklace as part of his initiation into the Yancy Street Gang.

(Fantastic Four III#56 (fb)) - Much later, Sheckerberg began getting letters and phone calls threatening him for protection money.

(Fantastic Four III#56) - The night the first payment was due, Sheckerberg, armed with a baseball bat, waited for the collectors to come to his pawn shop. Mistaking Ben Grimm, now the Thing, for them, Sheckerberg believed that he and the Yancy Street Gang were the racketeers. He waited in the pawn shop while the Thing left to see if the Yancy Street gang were really behind the threats. The real racketeer, Powderkeg, arrived during the Thing's brief absence, breaking Sheckerberg's baseball bat while he tried to defend himself. Pushed aside by Powderkeg in his pursuit of the Thing, Sheckerberg called the police and left the shop to inform Powderkeg of this, distracting the Thing long enough to get knocked down. Powderkeg went after Sheckerberg next, flicking a piece of his "explosive aura" at him. Rising, the Thing defeated Powderkeg with assistance from the Yancy Street gang, and unsure of what to do for the injured Sheckerberg, began saying the Kaddish for him.

    Regaining consciousness and offended the Thing would start reading the Kaddish for him while he was still alive, Sheckerberg told the Thing he was pleased he'd remembered what he'd learned at temple, but said he was curious why the news never mentioned that he was Jewish. Telling Sheckerberg that his monstrous appearance was one of the reasons why he kept that private, Sheckerberg assured him otherwise, reminding him of the golem, a being made of clay that wasn't a monster, but a protector. The Thing gave Sheckerberg back his Star of David, figuring that it might be the Day of Atonement. Scolding him that it wasn't even close to the Day of Atonement, Sheckerberg gave the Thing the Star back, telling him to hold onto it for him until he needed it. Offering to pay for the damage to his pawn shop, Sheckerberg turned down the monetary offer, but accepted when the Thing's offer to come in on weekends and work off the cost.

(Marvel Holiday Special 2004/3 (fb) - BTS) - Sheckerberg and the Thing started a tradition of celebrating the Hanukkah festival of lights together along with the orphaned children living on Yancy Street. Sheckerberg and the others offered to come to the Baxter Building to make it more convenient for the Thing, but he refused, wanting to come down to Yancy Street to celebrate with them.

Sheckerberg with the Thing (The Thing II#5 (fb)) - Following his financial windfall, the Thing sent Sheckerberg a check for a $100,000 to cover the damages to his store in lieu of working weekends. Furious that the Thing would go back on his word, Sheckerberg showed up at the New York premiere of "Diary of an Angel" and confronted the Thing, tearing the check in two.

(The Thing II#5) - Two months after the "Diary of an Angel" incident, the Thing, having come to a number of personal realizations, showed up at Sheckerberg's pawn shop and was promptly put to work. While Sheckerberg went about his usual business, the Thing helped move things around the shop, deal with customers, and sweep the front stoop. A few days later, Sheckerberg attended the Thing's unveiling of the Yancy Street Grimm Youth Center. Leaving angrily under the belief that the Thing was showing off what a big shot he'd become to the old neighborhood, Sheckerberg encountered the Thing at the construction site the following Sunday. As the Thing told him he hadn't forgotten it was Sunday and he'd be by the shop soon, Sheckerberg walked away, tell him not to do him any favors.

(The Thing II#6) - The Trapster and Sandman, hired by the Maggia to stop the construction, fought the Thing in the construction site. Sheckerberg's neighbor, Ms. Menkin, wanted to see what the commotion was, and Sheckerberg followed her to get her off the site when one of the Trapster's bombs was set to go off.

    A week later -- after a speedy construction job by Damage Control -- the Grimm Youth Center opened. Attending the grand opening, Sheckerberg gave the Thing a hard time for not telling him he was naming it for his brother, Daniel. Ben introduced Sheckerberg to Alicia Masters, whose boyfriend, Arlo North, had designed the Youth Center. After the opening, Sheckerberg put a surprised Thing to work, having him clean out the back room of the pawn shop and take out the trash.

(The Thing II#8 (fb)) - The Thing finished repaying his debt to Sheckerberg, telling him he'd missed spending time in Yancy Street and felt that he now belonged again. Taking the Thing to his old temple, Sheckerberg introduced him to Rabbi Lowenthal. Lowenthal explained that Sheckerberg had told him that Ben Grimm transformed into the Thing roughly 13 years earlier and, after consulting with some Rabbinical scholars, they were allowed to go ahead with a Bar Mitzvah, which the Thing agreed to. After a month of tutoring the Thing in his store, Sheckerberg attended the Thing's Bar Mitzvah with Alicia.

Comments: Created by Karl Kesel (writer), Stuart Immonen (pencils) and Scott Koblish (inks).

Fantastic Four III#56 was the first story to delve into the Thing's Jewish background. It was reprinted in Fantastic Four: Imaginauts Vol. 1 and is a really great story. Kudos to Dan Slott for continuing the story and bringing back Sheckerberg in his short-lived Thing series.

It's implied in the Marvel Holiday Special story that the Thing's tradition of spending Hanukkah with Sheckerberg on Yancy Street has been going on for years, but that seems unlikely if Fantastic Four III#56 was set in current continuity (something confirmed in the 2006 Thing series).

Profile by G Morrow.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Hiram Sheckerberg has no known connections to


images: (without ads)
The Thing II#6, p20, pan3 (main image)
Fantastic Four III#56, p6, pan3 (Sheckerberg in flashback)
The Thing II#5, p7, pan2 (Sheckerberg and the Thing)


Appearances:
Fantastic Four III#56 (August, 2002) - Karl Kesel (writer), Stuart Immonen (pencils), Scott Koblish (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)

Marvel Holiday Special 2004 (January, 2005) - Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (writer), Duncan Rouleau (pencils), Aaron Sowd (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
The Thing II#5 (May, 2006) - Dan Slott (writer), Andrea DiVito (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
The Thing II#6 (June, 2006) - Dan Slott (writer), Kieron Dwyer (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
The Thing II#8 (August, 2006) - Dan Slott (writer), Kieron Dwyer (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 12/05/13

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