Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
The John Byrne Forum
Byrne Robotics > The John Byrne Forum Page of 3 Next >>
Topic: Question about the Thing for JB (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Michael Hogan
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1837
Posted: 26 June 2010 at 6:11pm | IP Logged | 1  

First off, I want to add my voice to the chorus of folks who loved your FF (it's where I "discovered" you).  I have a question about Ben Grimm -- in your opinion, has he lost his "edge"?  Maybe I've been reading too long, but it seems like he's come a long way from "This Man, This Monster" to comfy old Unca Benjy.  I will say that you did add to his monstrous aspect when you "devolved" his look during your tenure on the book.

Just wondered your opinion.  Thanks.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 116512
Posted: 26 June 2010 at 8:09pm | IP Logged | 2  

A while before I took over the FF, Marv Wolfman did a story in which the team battled monstrous versions of themselves. A monster Reed, a monster Sue, a monster Johnny..... and a monster Ben. A monstrous version of the Thing!! What the $&@%#?? I thought. For years I had been referring to "Fozzie Thing", but that story really brought home how far the character had strayed from his roots.

In many ways, this was Jack Kirby's fault (i say as I dodge lightning bolts). He got into the habit of doing funny drawings of the Thing -- Ben in a Beatles wig, or dressed as little Lord Fauntleroy -- and as so often happens, this slopped over into the books.

When I got the FANTSTIC FOUR assignment, one of the challenges I set for myself was to at least REMIND people that Ben was a monster, and not happy to be one!

Back to Top profile | search
 
Mike Farley
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2701
Posted: 26 June 2010 at 9:07pm | IP Logged | 3  

It's something I think a lot of writers tend to miss. Ben isn't okay with the fact that he's The Thing, he's just usually really good at masking it.
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 116512
Posted: 27 June 2010 at 3:59am | IP Logged | 4  

As I did what I could to bring back the "monster" aspect, some of the mail surprised me. One reader wrote to say he did not like what I was doing. "Ben must be used to it by now!"

People out here in the real world never really "get used to" disfigurements. For Ben, it was to equivalent of waking up one morning as the Elephant Man. Who could ever really "get used to" that?

Anyway -- here again is a doodle I did a few months back, still on my quest to find a monstrous Thing that does not lose all trace of the traditional version.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Stephen Churay
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 25 March 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 8343
Posted: 27 June 2010 at 4:23am | IP Logged | 5  

JB, this just makes me a little bit sadder that Fantastic 4Ever didn't happen. Great drawing.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Michael Hogan
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1837
Posted: 27 June 2010 at 7:05am | IP Logged | 6  

Thanks, JB.  I remember that doodle and thought that it displayed a greater "edge" to the character.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Tim O Neill
Byrne Robotics Security


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9810
Posted: 27 June 2010 at 9:11am | IP Logged | 7  



He's looks so HEAVY



Back to Top profile | search
 
Flavio Sapha
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: Brazil
Posts: 13009
Posted: 27 June 2010 at 10:48am | IP Logged | 8  

One of my favorite THINGs was when Roger Stern wrote a few issues of the
FF and depicted Ben Grimm in a serious psychological state of funk --
even the FF got alienated.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Steven Myers
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 10 June 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5262
Posted: 27 June 2010 at 10:50am | IP Logged | 9  

As for Ben being used to his disfigurment.  Yes, and no.  I don't want to see him constantly complain, but sometimes, underneath it all....there's a real tragic sadness there.  It can be blunted by the love of a woman or the adoration of fans.  But it's still in there.
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 116512
Posted: 27 June 2010 at 11:00am | IP Logged | 10  

The DEGREE of Ben's disfigurement stands against him having much chance of ever really getting used to it. Aside from what greets him every time he passes a reflective surface, there is the problem of trying to walk thru an ordinary door (as illustrated nicely in his first scene, in FF1), wear clothes, sleep in a normal bed, or walk across an unreinforced floor. Then, too, there is the problem Spider-Man observed after one of their encounters -- to Ben it is as if the whole world is made of papier maché,

He has no real chance to "get used to it", as the reminders are constant.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15621
Posted: 27 June 2010 at 11:06am | IP Logged | 11  

...and yet, despite the sadness and bitterness, he still has the heart of a hero! Certainly, the Thing is one of the all-time great characters of the genre.

Of course, having him become "used to it" or looking cute and cuddly diminishes his unique form of heroism and makes him just another superhero.

A normal person might become a shut-in and/or suicidal if so hideously transformed. But Ben Grimm constantly takes lemons and makes them into lemonade.

Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Stephen Robinson
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5835
Posted: 27 June 2010 at 11:24am | IP Logged | 12  

"Too stupid to collapse... too ugly to die." -- Ben Grimm, fighter to the end, be it against his disfigurement or Doctor Doom himself.
Back to Top profile | search | www
 

Page of 3 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You can vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login