You think comic book rivalries, and you think of feuds between similarly matched heroes or characters who are diametrically opposed in every single way possible. Can Batman beat Superman? Could the Punisher take on Daredevil in a fair fight? Will Wolverine ever settle his beef with Sabretooth? The best feud that has been running for decades now, has always been the one between the Incredible Hulk and the Fantastic Four’s ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing.
One is bigger, one is smarter and together they’ve made for some thrilling rumbles in the Bronx as the two have never ever needed a good enough reason to throw bones at each other’s faces. There’s no shortage of fights between the pair of Marvel’s most powerful sluggers, but there has never ever been a definitive answer as to which of them is stronger than the other.
Whether it was in the early pages of Fantastic Four or decades later when a far stronger Thing took on a far weaker Hulk I mean completely respectable Las Vegas enforcer Joe Fixit, every fight between the two has always ended in either a stalemate, shenanigans or outside interference. The common thought between the two in the tale of the tape is that while The Hulk may be physically stronger, The Thing has more cunning and heart that helps him survive any encounter with the Gamma Goliath.
This week’s issue of Fantastic Four finally answered the question in as definitive a conclusion as fans could hope for in comic books. His honeymoon with Alicia Masters interrupted, The Thing had to fight off an enraged Hulk who was being mind-controlled by Alicia’s stepfather Phillip Master. The green gloves were off, the Hulk was at his most savage level possible and the fight was brutal to say the least as the Thing’s rocky hide soaked up a mountain of abuse:
Grimm is pretty much demolished throughout this fight. His body blows can barely phase the not so jolly green giant, he’s being treated like a Loki ragdoll and it looks like the Yancy Street powerhouse is about to be turned into a pile of orange rubble. That’s when the love of his life reminds him that he’s always had one thing that the Hulk has never possessed: A heart that allows him to always pick himself up no mater how much the odds are stacked against him, and keep fighting on.
What follows is the mother of KO punches. One almighty strike, aimed square at jade jaws and unleashed with enough power to make the Thing’s own rocky hide explode outward with pain. It’s enough to finally put the Hulk down, leaving Grimm standing tall for a brief moment as the age-old question of who’s stronger is finally answered.
Is this fight cheesy and something that’ll maybe be overwritten one day in a rematch? Probably! But for now, it’s a damn fine moment in comic books. A chance for Grimm to finally put an old feud behind him and prove that strength is more than just how big your muscles are or how much you can lift. After all these years, the Thing has finally proven that when it comes to a scrap where the gloves are off and all gimmicks are off the table, nobody is stronger than the Fantastic Four’s monster with a heart.
Last Updated: August 15, 2019