Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (1950s era)
Group Membership: None
Enemies: John Tavers, Dr. Burris Wilkes
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile on Earth; (originally) "that other dimension in time and space" (see comments)
First Appearance: Uncanny Tales I#20/1 (May, 1954)
Powers/Abilities: Covered with shaggy brown hair, the "Thing" had a vaguely humanoid form. It had three-fingered clawed hands and fang-like teeth--it also appeared to have insect-like compound eyes.
The "Thing" could dissolve its form into a vaporous state and possess a human body; the host-body would slowly take on the physical appearance of the "Thing".
While on the earthly plane, the "Thing" required human blood to sustain itself, although it apparently was not a true vampire.
Height: 6' (by approximation)
Weight: 200 lbs. (by approximation)
(Uncanny Tales I#20/1 (fb) - BTS) - The past of the "Thing" is largely unrevealed, but on two consecutive nights, it came from another dimension and appeared by the bed of the sleeping John Tavers. Since it could not return to its home and had to find a place on Earth, the "Thing" wanted to take possession of Tavers' body; but on both occasions, Tavers awoke screaming before the "Thing" could do so. The "Thing" vanished (see comments), and Tavers thought the unearthly visitor to be merely an awful dream.
(Uncanny Tales I#20/1) - On the third night, the "Thing" returned and attempted to possess the sleeping Tavers, but Tavers once again awoke before the creature could do so. As he sat on the edge of his bed in the middle of the night, Tavers decided he'd better see a doctor so he could get the bad dreams to stop.
That morning, Tavers went to the office of psychiatrist Dr. Wilkes. After he told Wilkes about his dream, the doctor advised Tavers to just go home and forget about it, and if the nightmares returned, they'd delve deeper to find what was troubling him.
That evening, Tavers prepared for bed earlier than usual, and he was determined not to dream. But the "Thing" once more returned, and it hungered for human blood--the "Thing's" form melted and flowed as it took possession of Tavers' body. Awakening with a scream, Tavers found he was very thirsty--despite drinking several glasses of water, his thirst could not be satiated. Feeling bloated, Tavers knew the creature was within him--as he looked at his own reflection in the mirror, he saw that his normally thinning hair was much thicker now, just like the hair of the "Thing". Not wanting to give in to the terrible hunger and thirst of the creature, Tavers rushed out of his apartment to see Wilkes.
The emotionally overwrought Tavers arrived at Wilkes' office and told the psychiatrist that the "Thing" was real, and he was possessed by it. Trying to calm the hysterical Tavers, Wilkes had him lay on the couch so they could talk and get to the root of his problem; Wilkes reassuringly held Tavers' trembling hand and told him that he would take the "Thing" from him (It was at this point that the "Thing" secretly left Tavers' body and transferred to the unsuspecting psychiatrist).
Moments later, the trembling in Tavers' hands subsided and the fright left his eyes. Tavers put his hand to his head and felt his normally thinning hair--he was relieved, and felt as though he'd never have his bad dream again. Tavers thanked the doctor for curing him and returned home.
After Tavers left his office, Wilkes felt extremely thirsty and hungry; the psychiatrist put on his hat and overcoat to go for a walk--he didn't notice the newly-grown shaggy brown hair on his formerly bald head.
Wilkes walked down the sidewalk of the city, and he felt an overwhelming craving to feed as his body fully took on the appearance of the "Thing"...
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Dick Briefer (artist).
The creature in this 5-page story--Somewhere
Lurks a...Thing!--was never identified by any specific name, and
was only referred to as a "Thing" throughout.
My guess is that Tavers was able to temporarily resist being fully possessed by the "Thing" because he knew it was real, but since Dr. Wilkes thought it to be merely a figment of Tavers' imagination, he was overcome by it.
Since the "Thing" said it couldn't return to its home, it's unrevealed where it disappeared to in between its attempts to possess Tavers.
The specific dimension where the "Thing" came from was never identified, but since it appeared when Tavers was sleeping, perhaps the "Thing" came from the Dream Dimension and it was an agent or "pet" of Nightmare (much like the Spinybeast).
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
The "Thing" has no known connections to:
John Tavers has no known connections to:
Dr. Burris Wilkes has no known connections to:
Tavers was plagued by dreams of a horrible "Thing" that tried to take possession of him--he would later learn that the "dreams" were real.
After the third visitation of the "Thing," Tavers decided to consult a doctor about his bad dreams, so he went to see psychiatrist Dr. Wilkes. Wilkes diagnosed that something was bothering Tavers and manifesting in his dreams. But Tavers insisted his biggest worry was that his hair was thinning and that he was going bald (for which he had bought a bottle of hair-restorer tonic); the sympathetic Wilkes admitted he had the same problem.
Wilkes advised him to just forget about the dream, and if the nightmares persisted, Tavers could return and they would delve deeper to find what was troubling him.
That night, Tavers went to bed earlier than usual, and he was determined not to dream. But the "Thing" returned and took possession of his body, and Tavers saw that his normally thinning hair had gotten much thicker--just like the hair of the "Thing"; worse yet, he was beginning to feel the "Thing's" unearthly hunger!
The hysterical Tavers immediately went back to Wilkes' office and told the psychiatrist that he was possessed by the creature. The doubting Wilkes had Tavers lay on the couch so they could talk and get to the root of his problem; the doctor reassuringly held Tavers' trembling hand and told him he would take the "Thing" from him--at that point, the "Thing" secretly transferred itself from Tavers and into Wilkes' body.
Relieved of the extradimensional possessor, Tavers felt as though he'd never be troubled by bad dreams again, and he happily left Dr. Wilkes' office.
--Uncanny Tales I#20/1
A psychiatrist, he employed Miss Carrol as his nurse/receptionist.
One day, a new patient came to his office: John Tavers, who was troubled by dreams of a horrible "Thing". Wilkes diagnosed that something was bothering Tavers and it was manifesting in his dreams, but Tavers insisted that the only worry he had was that he was going bald; pointing out his own bald head, the sympathetic Wilkes said he had the same problem.
Wilkes advised Tavers to go home and just forget about the dream, and if he had any further trouble, he could return and they'd delve deeper into the problem.
That evening, the hysterical Tavers returned to Wilkes' office, claiming that he'd been possessed by the "Thing". The doubting Wilkes had Tavers lay on his couch so they could get to the root of his problem; as he held Tavers' trembling hand and tried to calm him, Wilkes assured Tavers that he'd take the "Thing" from him (It was at this point that the "Thing" secretly left Tavers' body and began to take possession of Wilkes).
Moments later, the trembling in Tavers' hands stopped, the fright left his eyes, and he felt normal again. Tavers thanked the psychiatrist for curing him, and he happily left Wilkes' office.
Miss Carrol asked Wilkes what he had done to cure Tavers so quickly; Wilkes chuckled and explained to her that people were so like children--frightened of the dark--and he had merely held his hand and told him he was taking the "Thing" from him.
Shortly thereafter, Wilkes was feeling restless, so he told Miss Carrol he was going out to take a walk. As he put on his overcoat, Wilkes felt heavy and bloated, so he figured a walk in the fresh air would help; as he put his hat upon his head, Wilkes was unaware that shaggy brown hair was progressively growing on his bald pate.
While he walked down the city sidewalk, Wilkes fully transformed into the likeness of the "Thing," and he was hungry...
--Uncanny Tales I#20/1
images: (without ads)
Uncanny Tales I#20/1, p1, pan1 (Main Image - "Thing" standing over John Tavers' bed)
Uncanny Tales I#20/1, p1, pan2 (Rear View - "Thing" looks upon sleeping John Tavers)
Uncanny Tales I#20/1, p3, pan4 (Profile View - "Thing" approaches sleeping John Tavers)
Uncanny Tales I#20/1, p3, pan5 ("Thing" begins to "melt" and take possession of Tavers' body)
Uncanny Tales I#20/1, p2, pan7 (John Tavers mentions his thinning hair to Dr. Wilkes)
Uncanny Tales I#20/1, p3, pan6 (screaming John Tavers awakes and jumps out of bed after "Thing" possesses him)
Uncanny Tales I#20/1, p4, pan1 (after possession by "Thing," John Tavers looks in mirror and sees his hair getting thicker)
Uncanny Tales I#20/1, p3, pan1 (Dr. Wilkes points out his own baldness to John Tavers)
Uncanny Tales I#20/1, p4, pan5 (Dr. Wilkes sits with reclining John Tavers and holds his hand, "Thing" takes possession of unwary Wilkes)
Uncanny Tales I#20/1, p5, pan4 (Dr. Wilkes prepares to leave his office, unaware that he has a full head of hair because of possession by "Thing")
Uncanny Tales I#20/1, p5, pan7 (Dr. Wilkes transforms into likeness of the "Thing")
Uncanny Tales I#20/1 (May, 1954) - unidentified writer, Dick Briefer (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)
First Posted: 04/24/2018
Last Updated: 04/24/2018
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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