Letters from The Thing #35, May 1986

Grimm Tidings

Dear Thingies,
THING #29 was fantastic! I don't if it's "Ripper" Ryan's inks or what, but the Thing has never looked better. (By the way, regarding the Question of the Month - tell Paul not to worry, his inking style is distinctly different from Bob Layton's.) The entire "look" of page 10 reminded me of an old EC comics and the effect was a huge success. The close-up of Ben on page 19 portrayed more emotion than I thought was possible with his rocky face.
As for the writing - as usual, it was superb! "Killer" Carlin scripts Ben's dialogue perfectly. The phone-in T.V. show was extremely funny (in a tragic sort of way). I'm certainly glad to see Ben finally getting the public recognition he deserves. But from the last panel on page 6 on, we know there's going to be trouble.
Well, as you can probably tell, I loved the nicknames in the credits and, for that matter, I like the idea of the logo on the cover being smashed by Ben's hurtling body. It just goes to show - with a little imagination, you can spice up anything!

Eric Maltin
San Francisco, CA

We certainly try, Eric! Although this is the second-to-last issue of Ben's own magazine, we're determined to see that the Thing's last fling is as spicy as possible. If you thought the debut of the new Ms. Marvel was hot, wait till you see what we do next issue for an encore.

Dear Mark and Howard,
Great cover! Even without the cover blurb, everyone would've known exactly who Ben was going up against in THING #30. It was good for Ben to finally get this "Beyonder thing" out of his system. (It also gave you a great opportunity to do an extensive re-cap of SECRET WARS I and its after-effects in THING #12 through #23.) I never realized it before, The One From Beyond is responsible for a lot of Ben's problems. I still can't believe the Thing actually tried to kill the Beyonder, but I guess in the heat of the battle it was - even heroes can get carried away by their emotions.
The art, as usual, was masterful. Dennis Janke did a fine job on the inks, and Paul Ryan already. I didn't particularly like the "flexo" printing on this issue but there doesn't seem to be anything we can do about that.
Mike Carlin wrote the comic exchange between the Beyonder and the Bartender early in the book excellently. (But, we already knew comedy was Mike's forte.)
I leave you with one question, folks - Why didn't The One From Beyond create his own beer when he wanted it?

Amanda Goldbeck
Fresh Meadows, NY

"Beyonder Beer," Amanda? Hmmm, we guess The One From Beyond just happened to like Helneken, when he couldn't get Iron City Beer, that is. Everyone knows that someone else's cooking alwayds tastes better than you own, so it follows with "brewing" beer. Doesn't it?

THING #31 gave me the clue - Ben is made out of dinosaur scales (or whatever it is they're made of). The cosmic rays just regressed him a few millennia on the evolutionary scale...sort of.

Larry Oliver
Yakima, WA

Now, that's an interesting idea, Larry. And here's another about that very same subject.

Respected Friends and Comrades,
Here I sit, as I sat some eight years ago, still pondering the ultimate question. Yes, I refer to the problem of what that "stuff" is which the Thing is truly made of (or covered with, if you prefer). It seems that this question arises time and time again...
Well, as was suggested in my letter to FANTASTIC FOUR #182, I still believe that he has undergone a transformation which had mutated his organic structure into an organic silicon or polymer compound. (And not floor wax.) I back this claim with the following evidence:
Data - Cellulosics (a type of polymers) has a tendible strength of 8000 psi. This would explain Ben's great strength and stamina. It also has a high specific gravity explaining his great density.
Uses - This class of polymers is used in the manufacture of coatings, high-strength fibers, and explosives, i.e, Ben's seeming imperviousness to puncture, and his knock-out punch.
Formation - As we all know, a Reaction is a formidable force. An organic compound (Cellulose) is Polymerized into a Cellulosic-type plactic in a reaction. Isn't this what really happened in 1961? (Maybe Ben had a sliver in his finger on that eventful voyage.)
I realize that these things take time, but it seems your fans are starting to demand an explanation "en masse." Maybe the second panel, page 15 of THING #32 is the start of a long awaited disclosure?

Michael Johnson
Mason, MI

Maybe, Michael, and maybe not. Among the many eye-opening events that occur in the last few issues of this book, the revelation of Thing's skin composition unfortunately isn't among them. But check out next issue for a development in that department. And thanks for sharing your ideas with us!

Note: Mark Gruenwald was the editor of this issue.

Copyright Avi Green. All rights reserved.

Homepage Fantastic Forward Profilings Photos Et Cetera External Links