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Top Five Thing/Hulk Fights

The Thing and the Hulk have had some notable tussles over the years. Here are my nods for the Top Five!


5. Fantastic Four #320


I was not a huge fan of this one or the rematch in Incredible Hulk#350, mainly for the whole “Make everything work out perfectly for the character in his book” routine that was going on in each issue, but between the two, Fantastic Four #320 was slightly better, because, at the time, it WAS the more likely outcome (while Incredible Hulk #350 needed some leaps of logic).

But yeah, not exactly a classic, as the enhanced strength Thing beats the heck out of the powered down Hulk.

But seeing as how Ben Grimm had never been able to beat the Hulk before, this was still a nice moment.

4. Marvel Fanfare #20-21


This was a really fun Jim Starlin story, where the Thing is enlisted by Doctor Strange to stop the evil Xandu.

The conceit is that Xandu had hypnotized all of New York, but can only control one person at a time. It turns out he’s controlling a Defender. The Thing goes to the battle rattling off the names of the possible Defenders he could be facing, and when he finds out it is the Hulk, he makes a good joke like, “Why couldn’t it be Hellcat?”

The ensuing battle was beautifully drawn by Starlin, depicting a crosstown epic battle.

Good stuff.

3. Fantastic Four #112


This was a neat story that involved one of Reed’s attempts at curing Ben. He cured Ben so that Ben could change back and forth into the Thing, the only problem is that when he BECAME the Thing, he became more and more irrational. Reed calls in Bruce Banner to help him find a cure, but when the Thing goes nuts, Banner turns into the Hulk to stop him, only the Thing is SO nuts that he’s actually WINNING!

However, Alicia shows up and distracts Ben, leading to the Hulk knocking him out with a cheap shot.

Neat story with great John Buscema artwork.

2. Fantastic Four #12


This was a great matchup, and it perfectly high lit the difference the two (the Hulk is all power while the Thing is crafty), but the drawback is that it is a VERY short fight, as they barely get a chance to really go blow to blow..

So I will give the next fight the nod…

1. Fantastic Four #25-26



TWO issues of Jack Kirby greatness! With Dr. Doom AND the Avengers mixed in!

This battle had it all!

The Thing is truly humbled by the Hulk’s strength (which he managed to avoid last tussle), and it takes the combined Avengers and Fantastic Four just to give the Hulk a fight! The fight ends with a stalemate (Rick Jones turns Hulk back to Banner, and he escapes), but wow, what a fight!

Reed remarks that the fight wasn’t ALL bad, as it gave the Avengers and Fantastic Four a chance to meet!

That Reed, always looking on the bright side of life!

Well, that’s the list!

Agree? Disagree? Let me know!


Man, you gotta love those cover blurbs on FF#25. As if seeing the Thing fight The Hulk with the city in flames wasn’t enough.

I miss Marvel Fanfare. Lot’s of good stuff in there.

No, no, no! The Thing/ Hulk graphic novel by Starlin and Bernie Writghtson, the Big Change, is an absolute classic and far and away the best pairing of the two, and one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. It’s much better than the Starlin piece in Marvel Fanfair. It’s a shame that those early graphic novels Marvel did have been almost completely forgotten, because some of them are amazing. This one is particularly good; if you ever come across it, snap it up.

I have to say that one fight that belongs on this list somewhere is Thing #3 by Dan Slott. Yeah, it’s a little recent, but come on, the robot Thing army vs. a robot Hulk army was priceless. Gotta love robot pirate Thing.

I submit Bruce Jones’s “Hard knocks” miniseries, which was equal parts a barroom (well, diner) brawl and a two-guys-sorting-it-out therapy session. Lots of talk, sure, but lots of rock.

I submit Giant–Size Superstars/Fantastic Four #1 from 1974, in which an accident during an attempt by Reed Richards to cure both Ben and Bruce simultaneously results in their minds being swapped, i.e., they are in each other’s bodies. Sounds like an obvious gimmick, I admit, but they did it well. (By the way, Brian, is this because the new FF show on The Cartoon Network just had one?)

That recent miniseries was pretty good. I especially liked the way the Thing kept punching Banner whenever he reverted back to his human form, because it was the Hulk he wanted to talk to. And great art by Jae Lee!

By the way, I love that cover for FF #26. Kirby was the man. There was a great Tom Strong cover that homaged it.

If you were to do a Hulk’s best against the Avengers, where would you rank Hulk 321 (when he fought the regular and West Coast Avengers combined)? It was probably his best show of force but incredibly poorly written.

Then came Peter David.

(By the way, Brian, is this because the new FF show on The Cartoon Network just had one?)

Did they?

I should give that show a try.

I agree that The Big Change GN was pretty cool. I might’ve included it over the dino-Thing/gray Hulk fight. You definitely chose the right #1, though. Those might be my favorite FF issues of all time.

As for Hulk vs. Avengers, the John Byrne drawn issue where he takes out Hercules, Namor, Iron Man, and Wonder Man is pretty cool.

Big Change is amazing. Bernie Wrightson does some wonderful work–crayons, ink, paints. It’s almost an EC comic starring Hulk and Thing, really, especially with the O Henry ending. And it’s a pretty damn enormous book, too.

“I have to say that one fight that belongs on this list somewhere is Thing #3 by Dan Slott. Yeah, it’s a little recent, but come on, the robot Thing army vs. a robot Hulk army was priceless. Gotta love robot pirate Thing.”

While not technically a fight between the Hulk and the Thing, this at least deserves an honorable mention.

“I should give that show a try.”

No, you really shouldn’t. It’s not that it’s bad, just that it’s… not good. It’s nothing. It’s just there.

I like their match-up in… Infinity War, I believe. It was in the actual miniseries, not a tie-in issue. The two see each other, leave the meeting to go “settle things,” and they turn up later playing foosball or something completely mundane. It was cute.

““I should give that show a try.”

No, you really shouldn’t. It’s not that it’s bad, just that it’s… not good. It’s nothing. It’s just there.”

I’ll second that, except that I’ll say it is definitely BAD.

Fair enough!

I don’t watch superhero cartoons normally.

"O" - the Humanatee!

November 1, 2006 at 8:00 am

What, no love for Marvel Feature #11, by Len Wein, Jim Starlin, and Joe Sinnott? (Starlin was really all over the Hulk-Thing battles, wasn’t he?)

I feel like there’s also a Gil Kane Hulk-Thing fight, but I may be getting it mixed up with Marvel Two-in-One #1, in which Ben fought the Man-Thing.

Is FF112 where they battle at the Gateway Arch or is my memory just shot?

The Big Change doesn’t really count, does it? They teamed up in that one, and didn’t really fight until (presumably) some time after the last panel of the comic.

I always liked Incredible Hulk #365, myself, with the Grey Hulk encountering a human Grimm and a Thing-ified Ms. Marvel. The scene where Ben and the Hulk have a drink together is priceless.

I really loved both Marvel Feature #11 and Giant-Size Superstars #1. This article inspired me to write my own little tribute to these 2 issues:


Only one of the always fun to read Jim Starlin Hulk/Thing
tussles? You are kidding, right?

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)


I haven’t been watching that new FF show regularly myself, it’s just that one of the few I did catch happened to guest the Hulk. What really puts me off it is the characterization of Reed as a wimp, being bossed around by Sue a lot.

i think ff 112 is the best fight between the two. You see the Thing really taking it to the hulk throughout the comic book, becuase when they first start fighting they are very close in strength. (just about even) with ben (the thing) having superior combat skills. But as the fight drones on the Thing begins to wear down a little while the Hulk’s freakish strengh contiues to grow with his rage.Even with this fact the Thing still is dishing out more than he is taking at the end of the battle, only to be knocked out with a classic sucker punch delivered by the Hulk. Clearly their best battle. As for the battle at the gateway arch that is in ff 166 and 167 really takes place in 167

hulk iz da man

I just like to see the bricks fly….

Anyone who knows the Histories of both Ben Grimm, the Hulk,knows that Ben Grimm Beat the Hulk fairly in FF-320.

It took a while for the fight to come to an even point of the original-1st version of the Hulk (grey) vs Benn Grimm-the mighty Thing…(tho mutating)….Grimm is foremost the underdog here B’cause his form is not in flux of burn-off
Gamma ray discharge( bye-bye Hulk )as it happened to Hulk.

Second,other heroes, villains of lesser-equal strength to Ben Grimm have also beaten the Hulk in various issues-in fair fights-Hulk style-all carnage/wreckage included…. (Leader,Thor,Rhino,Wendingo,Abomination,Wolverine,etc)

3rd,betweenthe Jack Kirby,John Byrne era-(great stuff )-
Has the Hulk EVER faced Galactus? -NO! his heralds ?-No! or the Cosmic Cube?-No! Wundarr,the Aquarian? no…!

Hulk ever face a doppleganger of himself ? NO…!
Ben Grimm HAS & won! using both wits & Strength in too many issues & crossover issues to count….

Now I know there are those who’ll argue I’m wrong…But,I have been collecting c-books since 1966 – Marvel & it’s competitors(dont’ get me started on Supes vs Capt.Marvel)
So I know what I am talikng about here “true believers”- as Stan would say….ME & M’bros, have been fans of Marvel since Thor wuz a Godling & needed help lifting Mjolinor!

So if ya wanna brawl,I’m on Yancy street& WAITING… I’ll bring the shield,hammer,claws,armor,cube and a lil cosmic ray generator…you can just bring your trusty gamma bomb.
(tho you’d get a 1 shot deal,bub!)
yeh…ya can bring S.H.I.E.L.D too….along with poker cards for the game…Col Fury loves ta play & have cigars!

I agree…tho the Hulk has greater strengths, he is / has been beaten Fairly! by Ben Grimm-excluding any/all outside interference like Doc Doom, Gen. Ross & crew, other villains,heroes…


the Impossible man, the Absorbing man could both beat the Hulk…as would Terrax or Blasstarr.

The Absorbing man-(who hassles Thor by the way)- has beaten the Hulk Fairly only to have a mountain collape on him.

I was on the gateway arch in 2003 and it was great. It is just impressiv what was build there. And the museum is worth a look.

The Hulk once held an entire planet up….BY HIMSELF..Think the Thing could do that? I HIGHLY doubt it…Also, read World War Hulk sometime and see how many people it took to finally subdue him…I once again highly doubt it would take anywhere near as much to take down The Thing in a similar situation. HULK SMASH!

I hate to rub it in y’all but ater doing my Indiana Jones bit on my C-Book collex ( crap it’s huge ) Taking the re-worked hulk,wwh,etc out of the equation….Sorry folks, Ben Grimm is the top dog.

the Hulk CAN get tired quickly & has lost his gamma emnergy in a few issues of his own mag hence his reverting to Doc Banner…Tho Ben Grimm is not a cheap shot artist like Hulk & so many other super types….
Ben Grimm STAYS as the Thing….( ceept for Reed Richards several bad smoothie concoctions he tried on Ben J. Grimm as a cure all )

Tho I stll collect c-books..not nearly as much as I used too cuz they’ve gotten bland…I think it’s time to level the playing fields again & Bring Hulk & Juggy,Abom,doomsday,Collossus & several other over radiated types back down to earth….( um, where’s My Hammer? )because they’ve really gone off track with all the off world stuff….red hulk,purple,grey,green,wwhulk,savage hulk….what’s next-BLUE HULK-? that’s right down with Doc Doom becoming an Avenger & owning all the tech from Ironman forever & marrying a few female heroes too & still being evil on the side…..or jjj running S.H.I.E.L.D. & Gwen Stacy really being Mary jane Watson-Parker!
or even-dare I say- Dark Phoenix,Black Queen,Phoenix are all clones of Marvel Girl….!

Don’t forget the great shift back in the day when the art style changed along with the storylines of parallel universes of all Marveldom….after the John Byrne era ( along wth Stan, Jack Krby -Par excellance! )….aside from the Skrulls,the Kree,Galactus & his group,the Shiar empire,the Celestials & the nag of General Ross or Yancy Street punks….Any lil brawl b’tween the Thing & Hulk stands up…tho there are issues,circumstances where B.G wupped Hulks arse….! without help or hinderance… B’sides if the Hulk faced the Big G….And all Galactus has to do is eliminate the gamma radiation aspect of Hulk & i’ts bye-bye…

Meanwhile back at Freedom Plaza,Baxter Bldg park….Ben Grimm finds his strength has quadrupled yet again( due to NATURAL flowing cosmic tides of radiation thru-out the universe ) and he later gives Reed.R and a few S.H.I.E.LD Reps a hard time about it at the annual poker game in the Avengers Mansion ( and he’s winning)…

I like your list a lot. I would agree with it completely, but maybe put FF #320 lower, because the Thing (my fav) finally beats the Hulk. That comic had action galore in it.
Definitely FF#25 & 26 is tops on the list. That comic set the bar!

Cosmic ray endowed Bill

June 8, 2011 at 9:54 am

Hey, I wanna go on record about 3 major & diverse points.

1. Ben Grim (as the Thing ) is 6.5 feet tall…the Hulk is only 7ft…Sasquatch is almost 10,Juggy is 8.1…Storm-of the X-men ( original art rendition) stood at 6.3 ( in those sexy thigh-heeled boots) in comparision to Collossus who is about 7 ft. in armored form. & Ben Grim got bigger as time progressed… & forget ALL the dreadful hulk movies….proportion size to things in any room showed major wrongs/ flaws.

2. the Hulk got owned by many folk including the Thing in many a skirmish – NO HELP ADDED…

3. Grey Hulk is/ was a strong as jade jaws era ( 68-88 ) unleshed temper included….yet there have been issues when Ben Grim lost his temper or came dangerously close !

a true believer/ real comic book fan will back me up on this…hell, I too have the issues to back what I say up!
b’side , if a god could’nt crush Caps shield…neither can a gammaray spawned brute….yeh, I know ….new inkers, new storylines- relaunch- yaddah-yaddah-yaddah….it don’t wash with a true Marvel Fan!

Now, Storm …babe, about the weather….

I’m looking forward but also dreading Avengers vs X Men solely because if the Thing loses his fight(s) i’ll be devestated. For too long Ben Grimm has been some what disrespected by writers and fans alike. It’s about time The Thing got a power increase and his Bios specs increased. 6ft tall and 500 IIbs is ridiculous. I remember all the comics above when Grimm was respected. Hes seems to get no respect these days and that upsets me. If Grimm were to fight Namor he should win after a hard battle, the same outcome should be if he battles Colossus. Come on Thing do it for me!!

For the complete info on Hulk vs Thing, check this out!!!


@ Devynn…

Brilliant stuff!!

The thing can’t beat hulk alone, I can think of two people that can…..maybe silver surfer, maybe Dr strange, that’s it, that’s all, anyone else loses, or dies, yes st
uperman too, that’s it, that’s all.

But I will say I don’t think there are many other tanks that beat the thing, even colousses, metal prob won’t beat stone in that match, but seriously, one on one….green hulk beats anyone.now if it was grey hulk, then yes thing, and 5 other people would win, ……. Stuperman still loses though.

the Hulk has the brains of a 3 yr old…and should be treated as such. Ben Grimm could theoretically kick ass on most- cept THOR,HERC,the SURFER,GALACTUS,GLADIATOR,IRONMAN IN HULKER ARMOR….Doc Doom paralyzed the Hulk yet even when he put a planet weight gravity inducer on the THing…the THING STILL GOT UP…BARELY AFFECTED….! hulk in full rage could not move under paralysis …..

that is why the hulk is muck stronger and durable the dc comics super man and doomsday. i will give the mighty thor second and the thing three place

How can you omit their fight when the Hulk was grey and sneaky in the early or mid 90’s? Thing was stronger and mutated so Hulk relied on tunneling and guerilla warfare.

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