The Thing and the Incredible Hulk have clashed many times over the years.
Here are 5 fun Battles that Rocked between the Jade Giant and the The Yancy Street Brawler.
#5 Incredible Hulk and The Thing in "The Big Change" 1987 Graphic Novel by Bernie Wrightson and Jim Starlin
One of my favourite Hulk / Thing battles cheekily happens after the last page of the Hulk / Thing 1987 Marvel Graphic Novel (number #27 in the Marvel Graphic Novel series). The Hulk and Thing are stolen away to an alien planet where they must fight a bizarre creature that is a mix of both of them.
Hulk and Thing team up and we actually get to see their friendship for a change instead of just beating each other up, they beat up all kinds of bizarre alien creatures.
Earlier in the story Hulk and Thing are harassed by various bizarre alien creatures, including tentacled aliens and war of the worlds style spindly tripod walkers.
One of the best scenes has Hulk and Thing beat up a small army of alien bruisers that cheekily happens in between one page and the next, it simply cuts to end with all the bad guys unconscious. Normally you would feel cheated, but the art by horror master Bernie Wrightson is to die for in this story, and the alien creatures are twisted and beautiful. It would be a shame to have just seen thirty pages of punches.
The story ends back on earth with a Hungry Hulk who is happy to be eating burgers. Thing however is till pissed at Hulk for getting him mixed up with the weirdo alien (an enemy of Hulks) who kidnapped them in the first place and decides to pay back his friend back in that first image up top where the Thing is holding the giant boulder.
At the end of their comedic strange adventure (which is narrated by The Watcher Thing and Hulk are offered two wishes by the alien who kidnapped them.
Hulk wishes for food and to go home. Deposited back in the Nevada desert where their tale began, Hulk sits atop a pile of hamburgers as happy as can be. Until Thing drops a giant boulder him, which means they fight after the story ends, after going the entire story without throwing a punch as each other.
Jim Starlin really messes with the reader's head, as surely they must be expecting Hulk and Thing to fight at any moment. but they never do, well until after the book ends. This story is my favourite Hulk / Thing tale as it is genuinely funny with some stunning art, and great change of pace to see the terrible two as good friends despite their differences. It is like seeing two old pro-wrestling rivals forced to co-operate against a mutual threat.
#4 Tales of the Thing #2, 2005 by Alan Kupperberg and Brandon Thomas
Tales of Thing was a three issue mini-series where not a lot happened. But there was one cool fight with Hulk, and this is how it went.
Thing is surprised to be attacked by the Hulk, turns out Hulk is angry at some guys who called him names, and the Thing was nearby. Yeah, sounds like the most non-plot ever. But the Hulk doesn't really need a reason to fight.
Hulk insists he is not a monster, despite being an eight feet tall Gamma Giant who tends to destroy everything around him in fits of infantile rage.
Hulk punches Thing throw a saloon door and the Thing is determined to find out why Hulk started punching on with him.
Oh, it was all misunderstanding, you know like 99% of every hero on hero fight in any Marvel comic, now let's team up to save the day.
After slugging it out for a few pages, Thing apologizes to Hulk, who was upset for being called names. The fight that could have keep going is suddenly defused by by as the two titans sit down at a table and........talk?
A very unusual way for the Hulk to end a fight, Hulk is not known for his humanitarian lectures.
This story was another comedic one that is a real contrast to some of Hulk and Things early epic battles that often raged for an entire twenty plus pages, and in some cases ran through multiple issue of Fantastic Four or whatever Marvel title the two giants got mixed up in.
The fight is basically a joke as it is over before it began and will likely score me points of derision in the inevitable reader comments. Well, if you don't like it, you can write you own list and quit yer belly aching!
#3 Fantastic Four #112, 1971 by Stan Lee and John Buscema
Fantastic Four #112 has an amazing cover. One of my favourite pieces of Hulk vs Thing art by far.
Things start off when the Thing rather rudely punches the Hulk through a tree.
That's no way to treat a gamma-irradiated friend Ben Grimm, shame on you!
But I guess Hulk has done his fair share of sucker punching Ben Grimm over the years.
No friend of mother nature, Thing destroys some more trees by smashing them into Hulk's face. Hulk doesn't seem to mind, and apparently wants to keep fighting and getting stronger.
Hulk throws some weird monolithic tower thing reminds me of the Washington Monument at Thing who is all too happy to play catch, slamming hulk - who rather stupidly held on to the object - to the ground.
Later in the story Hulk and Thing are atop a high rise building, they take a tumble in a cool rather unique sequence with interesting angles used to frame the action. Hulk insists that "NOTHING CAN STOP HULK....NOTHING!"
#2 Marvel Feature Presents #11, 1973 - The Thing and Incredible Hulk by Len Wein and Jim Starlin
Another great cover that hints at an epic battle inside. But will the battle live up to the hype?
Let's find out.....
Hulk surprises thing with a punch to the head that knocks him off his feet and sends him reeling. Thing don't look too happy about being punched for no good reason (I am noticing a pattern here).
Hulk and Thing seem to love Western shanty towns (or at least the artists do) and smash each other around, indulging their fetish for smashing wooden objects once again. Fortunately their are no civilians around, so the two powerhouses can knock each other silly.
Still more innocent planks of wood are smashed as the two warring Titans continue to pummel each other mercilessly. Hulk sounds stupider than ever in his dialogue, and he doesn't like "clobberin' time" - old bashful blue-eyed Benjamin's favourite war cry.
Hulk smashes Thing into the ground with a savage hammer strike while seemingly doing a Cossack dance.
Who knew the Hulk could fight and dance at the same time? It seems Hulk has gotten the better of Thing, who punched Hulk through a wall and runs away, determined to save the world. But not before punching Hulk in the head again.
Thing was determined to stop a bomb from going off, but it turns out to be a fake. Thing stumbles across the leader, and Hulk gets distracted, then it sort of trails off and the story ends. Bit anti-climactic really.
Boy this list better get more exciting before it ends or I want a refund on those comics already!
#1 Marvel Fanfare #21, 1985 by Al Milgrom
Okay, this is more like it. You can practically feel the impact of old blue-eyed Ben Grimm smashing the Hulk in the jaw, notice how it lifts Hulk right off his feet!
This epic punch by Grimm happens later in the story, but man you have to love that art!
This fight has more action in one page than most of the others combined. Hulk and Thing reign down one savage blow after another, showing no regard for life or priceless antique drywall the city seems to be made of.
Finally a fight where Thing gets to knock the crap out of Hulk for a change. Thing is stronger here than some of his earlier stories and for once manages to actually dominate a fight with the Hulk.
The tables have turned as the two titans square off, and Hulk starts to get in some good shots of his own, and one that smashes Thing clear through the pavement, local construction workers don't care however as it means more work for them.
Thing reaches into the smashed pavement and pulls out an electrical cable, giving the Hulk one hell of a shock, making his hair stand on end. Hulk smashes thing in retaliation clear through the exposed pavement and into the sewer, how much punishment can these monsters take?
Bad news for Hulk as Thing starts smashing out the supporting structure under the streets in the sewers. It seems like he wants to put the Hulk down for good.
An entire city block comes cascading down like a house of cards right on to of the Hulk's head. Can even the Hulk survive this? Ben Grimm was mad, but is now concerned for the well being of his friend / nemesis.
Thing gets smashed into the air by am emerging and enraged Hulk.
The battle rages on through downtown, to the docks and back into the city.
After smashing up the docks, Hulk swims back to shore. Thing tries to get some distance by driving a Taxi, but Hulk won't stand for it.
Still fighting each other in one of the longest and most epic Hulk / Thing battles in history they smash through buildings, collide with each other, before coming to a stalemate with no clear winner. They finally confront the villain and forget their fight, leaving us with an amazing battle, (that is twice as long as the pictures here) but no clear winner.
Well, I hope you enjoyed these fun Hulk vs Thing battles.
Let me know in the comments which post you want to see next.
Classic Hulk vs Superman, John vs The Dictionary or Batman vs Superman battles?
Help me decide which sensational battle to post next dear readers!