Thursday, April 12, 2012





Dedicated to the masters, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

The Slugfest. This is a term used in the comic book world where two popular characters engage in a fight so grandiose that it captures the imagination of the reader. The bigger the scope, the stakes and the destruction, the bigger the intrigue and excitement. The slugfest was first brought to life by the "King" of comic book artists, Jack Kirby (1917-1994). Before him comic fights were merely two ordinary-looking characters in costumes drawn throwing a few punches at each other for the sake of the story. When Kirby arrived on the scene and started to make waves drawing characters that looked and acted more "super" than ever before, comic fights now became the story. The action would stretch beyond the panels and punched the readers straight into the imagination. This was such a huge leap from what the previous artists were doing because now comics were becoming much more dynamic than ever before.

Jack Kirby, as great as he was in the 1930s throughout the 1950s, continued to hone his skills to become even better. When he starting co-creating the Marvel Universe with Stan Lee (1922-2018) in 1961, things didn't just expand on a worldwide scale, it expanded on a cosmic scale! The characters and slugfests got more bigger, more dramatic, and more action packed. And everything between the creations of Kirby and Stan Lee all came together in a huge climax when they paired off the two, misunderstood, man-monsters of the Marvel Universe due to overwhelming reader demand. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the definitive write up on the greatest and most prolific slugfest in the history of comics... The Incredible Hulk versus the Ever-Lovin'-Blue-Eyed Thing!

A preview of "things" to come as seen here in Fantastic Four #5 (1962). Stan Lee and Jack Kirby knew how to generate more  interest in the match up of "Hulk vs Thing" as they show a little prelude to the inevitable meeting between the two man-monsters.

"Hulk vs Thing" goes by many names; "The Battle of the Century," "The Battle of the Behemoths," "The Thrilla in the Manila," "The Clash of the Titans" and so on, but whatever you want to call it, it has to be considered "The Brawl that Started it All!" Because before the Hulk clashed with the Thing, comic fights had come a long way under Kirby's guidance. But despite his innovations, nothing really special happened yet. After the two brutes fought and showed a dynamic between them that captured the imagination of the fans, they set the standard of what a true comic slugfest was suppose to be while taking the meaning of "city-leveling action" to a whole new stratosphere. Now the Earth itself shook, buildings came crashing down and the crowds ran for cover! Needless to say, once "Hulk vs Thing" entered into the Marvel-mythos, the comic-world was never the same. 

And the comic readers couldn't get enough, they kept flooding the Marvel offices with fan mail wanting more of this titanic match up. Stan Lee kept feeding into the frenzy by letting "King" Kirby cut loose and do his creative thing. Bigger was better and when Stan added his flawless dialogue to Kirby's magic, the results could never be duplicated. "Hulk vs Thing" was truly a work of comic book genius and there could be no doubt that it played a big part in bringing the Marvel Age of Comics to the mainstream in the 60s. Its legacy can never be diminished and would continue to inspire artists and writers even to this day.

So now, from the foundation of the Lee and Kirby influence, you have one of the most often used superhero match ups in comic book history. Yes, the Hulk and the Thing squaring off has been done so many times because it's so much fun to write and draw by creators. Having the Hulk fighting with the Thing is also an iconic image that signifies everything that is "classic" about Marvel Comics (and all comics in general). And the reason why it has been used many times on Marvel products all over the world. Here are just a few examples over the years:

Los 4 Fantasticos #13 Marvel Spanish reprints (1970)

Los 4 Fantasticos #56 Marvel Spanish reprints (1973)

The Mighty World of Marvel #24 Marvel UK reprints (1973)

The Mighty World of Marvel #138 Marvel UK reprints (1975)

The Super-Heroes #46 Marvel UK reprints (1976)

Los 4 Fantasticos #13 Marvel Spanish reprints (1978)
"Hulk vs Thing" postcard (1978)

Marvel's Greatest Superhero Battles (1978)

"Hulk vs Thing" from The Incredible Hulk Calendar (1979)

"Hulk vs Thing" portfolio print dubbed "Rematch with the Thing" from Fastner and Larsen (1980)

"Thing vs Hulk" poster (1991)

"Hulk vs Thing" from Marvel Masterpieces card series (1992)

 "Hulk vs Thing" porcelain bookends from Bowen Designs (1994)

Marvel Superheroes: War of the Gems video game for the Super Nintendo System. A "Doppleganger" version of the Thing is the final boss in the Mt. Vesuvius level of the game. While this game stands as the first time the Hulk and the Thing clash in a video game, this "Evil Thing" is not the real character. But it's still fun to have a nice "Hulk vs Thing" brawl if you choose the Hulk as a playable character, by Capcom (1996)

Fantastic Four video game for the Playstation1. After you defeat a boss, without the loss of any player life,  there is one of three bonus rounds. The fights here are set against the Hulk, Dragon man and Iceman. Depending on which member of the Fantastic Four you choose, you can have a "Hulk vs Thing" brawl! This game stands as the very first time the "actual" versions of the Hulk and Thing meet as adversaries in a video game, by Acclaim (1997)

THE THING VERSUS THE HULK Print by Dynamic Forces (2002)

Masterworks: Marvel Legends: "Hulk vs Thing" from Marvel Feature #11 Toybiz (2006)

Marvel Super Hero Squad UK Magazine #12 (2012)

"Hulk vs Thing" shirt (2020)

Why does the Hulk and Thing chemistry work so well together? It's due to their big personalities and how they react to the world around them looking the way that they do. They are both big, powerful, man-monsters that people can't help but be frightened of. Despite their great invulnerability to pain, this hurts them deep down. And whether they want to admit it or not, both brutes can't help but relate and be envious of each other because they are two different sides of the same coin. While the Thing is idolized by millions, the Hulk is a tortured loner. Thing has the friendship and respect of his peers, the Hulk is feared throughout the world. Thing has self-esteem problems looking the way he does, the Hulk revels in his size and power. Thing wants to be normal but cannot change back into his human form of Ben Grimm, the Hulk has to reluctantly change back into Bruce Banner against his will. 

The Hulk and the Thing have such great chemistry together that regardless if they are fighting or talking, it's always fun.

Their characteristics mesh together so well that it's pure comic gold, readers couldn't help but be intrigued by the magic of it. And both brutes share a common bond in their love for a good old fashion scrap, so it's action, action, action that laid the foundation of what made the Silver Age of Comics great. They were the first "super-powered" combatants to use the entire city as their playground. Other comics had big fights, but never in the way the Hulk and Thing did it. When these two clashed, it was always something special. Plus, it showed the heart and will of a champion in the Thing. He had to use his speed, fighting and wit advantage to contend with the ever-powerful Hulk. Sure, it was a losing battle, but regardless of their differences in power-levels, Thing always gave the Hulk a run for his money despite taking his lumps in the end. To him, it was all about showing up and giving everything he's got. For this reason alone, Thing is considered one of the most beloved and respected heroes in the Marvel Universe.

The standard of a true Super-Heavyweight slugfest begins and ends with "Hulk vs Thing"!

Today, this titanic tussle is not as in-demand as it once was. All the questions have been answered and the results will usually be the same; the Thing takes another beating at the hands of the Hulk (unless some writer comes up with a crafty way to help him out). But whenever the Hulk and the Thing get together and fight, team-up or just talk it out, the intrigue is still relevant, fun and fresh. With "Hulk vs Thing" known as the Marvel tradition, you can bet your Yancy Street Gang membership, that another punch up will be coming despite how many years pass before they meet again.

Enough with the background, let's get to the combatants...


Name: Hulk

Height: 5’9 ½” (Banner), 7’ (Hulk)

Weight: 128lbs (Banner), 1,040lbs (Hulk)

Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner

Origins: Gamma bomb explosion at Desert Base New Mexico

Home Base: Earth

Nicknames: Green Goliath, Green-Skinned Goliath, Jade Jaws, Annihilator, Captain Universe, Joe Fixit, Mr. Fixit, Mechano, Green Scar, Jade Giant, The Jolly Green Giant, Green King, Holku, Green One, Eye of Rage, Eye of Anger, Harkanon, Haarg, Once-Savage, Two Minds, Professor, War, Maestro, Two-Hands, Greenskin, Gray Goliath, Mighty Bob, Anti-Hulk, Friday, Green Golem, Golem, Man-Monster, World-Breaker, Sakaarson, Nul: Breaker of Worlds, Doc Green, The Most Powerful Being on Earth, The Strongest One There Is 

Powers: Possesses the potential for near-limitless levels of vast superhuman strength ranging beyond the limits of virtually any other known humanoid being, depending directly on his emotional state, particularly his anger. He is extremely resistant to physical damage, psychic assaults, temperature extremes, and is completely immune to disease and poisons. He has an adapt gland that enables him to breathe underwater, survive unprotected in space, and when injured, possesses superhuman healing, enabling him to regenerate body tissue (including internal organs) within minutes to seconds. His aging is also slowed, or may have ceased altogether, due to these regenerative properties of his gamma ray irradiated cells. His powerful legs allow him to cover 3 miles in a single bound, but he has been known to leap into lower Earth orbit or even across continents when angry. Besides great strength, his durability, healing, endurance, and possibly speed, likewise also increase in relation to his anger levels. He can maintain this peak output for hours on end and still continue to grow even more powerful as his adrenaline levels continue to increase with no apparent limit. Unrelated to his physical abilities, he can see astral (spirit) forms normally invisible to the naked eye and can locate his place of birth; Desert Base New Mexico no matter where he is in the world via psychic bond. As Bruce Banner, he is considered one of the greatest minds on Earth. He is the foremost expert on Gamma Radiation and has developed expertise in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physiology, and has a PhD in Nuclear Physics.

Favorite Expressions: “Hulk Smash!”, “Hulk is the Strongest One There is!”, "BAH!", “Nothing Can Stop Hulk!”, "The Madder Hulk gets, the Stronger Hulk gets!", “Don’t make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I’m angry.”

Incarnations: I listed the “Savage” Hulk’s classic stats up above because it is generally considered that this Hulk persona is the most popular and most powerful of all the incarnations. But his height, weight and powers varies to a degree depending on his current incarnation. Within each “Hulk vs Thing” comic description listed in the sections below, I included which incarnation of the Hulk was present for that fight. 

*Please note that all incarnations listed are only "real" Hulk incarnations with Bruce Banner. No alternate future or pseudo-Hulk incarnations are included. 

Name: Thing

Height: 6'

Weight: 500lbs

Real Name: Benjamin Jacob Grimm

Origins: Space, exposed to cosmic rays

Home Base: Baxter Building, Manhattan, New York

Nicknames: Ever-Lovin'-Blue-Eyed-Thing, Bashful Benjy, Uncle Benjy, Idol of Millions (self-proclaimed), Grim Ben, Dr. Josiah Verpoorteen, Blackbeard the Pirate, El Morrito, Aunt Petunia's Favorite Nephew, Angrir: Breaker of Souls

Powers: Superhuman strength, durability and stamina. Possesses sensory adaptation; though his senses aren't super-humanly acute, his five senses can withstand greater amounts of sensory stimuli than he could when he was a normal human being, with no reduced sensitivity. While in his rock form he does not age and is virtually immortal, he only ages in his human form. He is a well-trained astronaut that is an exceptionally skilled and expert pilot, proficient with many varieties of both conventional and exotic aircraft. He is uniquely gifted in hand-to-hand combat with a rather loose fighting style incorporated with elements of boxing, wrestling, judo, jujitsu, street-fighting and military combat training. He is also an exceptional athlete and football player.

Favorite Expressions: "It's Clobberin' Time!", "Whatta Revoltin' Development This Is!"


The comics listed in this section are each time the "REAL" Hulk and Thing have squared off, had words and fought each other in actual official Marvel continuity. I will also explain each encounter in detail. Unfortunately, all fights and situations are not always so clear cut and I've tried my very best to be fair, objective and unbiased about the outcome of each battle. A "MATCH UP" is considered a round within a fight or face off confrontation. Since situations can be erratic in the story, there can be multiple outcomes between opponents in a fight. I will continually list each "MATCH UP" with a result and tally it. A "MATCH UP" will only result in a "WIN" if the losing character is rendered unconscious, teleported away against their will or immobilized in such a fashion that they are only freed by the other combatant or an ally. There may even be cases when a character gets a victory due to interference of their teammates, partners, etc. This may not be a definitive "WIN" but it will still be tallied against the losing opponent and explained so. When a character gets an "EDGE" result, they had the advantage at the end of the fight but the opponent may still be conscious or fighting on, so it will not be tallied against him. A "DRAW" result means no one was victorious during that encounter. A "NONE" result means there was no way a logical result could be given in that confrontation or situation from the two characters facing off and this can occur for a number of reasons and will be explained in the text. And finally, an "UNKNOWN" result means the ending of the fight was never shown so a definitive result cannot be given. At the end, I tallied up the totals so you can come to your own conclusions and be the judge to see who holds the overall edge in this legendary battle. 

Although readers went into a frenzy requesting that the Hulk and Thing slug it out, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby came up short in their first response to reader demand. This issue remains an absolute classic because it represents the very first time both man-monsters meet up and begins their historic rivalry. But it's a little disappointing that the fight itself didn't live up to the hype as it was short-lived and uneventful.

When the "Gravage" Hulk meets up with the Thing and the rest of the Fantastic Four in the underground catacombs beneath the desert testing area, the Hulk will surprise Thing and punch him down. While the Hulk makes his way out of the caverns, he separates the team. But the Fantastic Four will make it to the surface and regroup. While the Hulk engages them again, he takes out Sue, Johnny and Reed with a thunderclap. Now the Thing comes in and attacks with a haymaker that floors the Green Goliath. The Hulk instantly recovers and they lock up until the Hulk is knocked unconscious by Karl Korts ray that blasts him in the back of the head. RESULT: DRAW


How did Stan Lee and Jack Kirby make up for the uneventful previous fight between the Hulk and the Thing that was in such high demand? By creating a fight so majestic that it simply exploded into the consciousness of American culture. Jack Kirby can now officially be crowned "THE KING OF COMICS" because this is the issue that set the standard of what a superhero slugfest is in comics, cartoons, animated features, movies, everything!!! He took his dynamic storytelling to a whole new realm of artistic glory as no fight was ever so grand, so epic, and so influential. It was a total game-changer from a storytelling perspective. The sense of wonderment that a reader felt taking this all in is something that can never be replicated again. With Stan Lee's brilliant script and dialogue, it represents heroic drama on a level very few comics have ever achieved. Fantastic Four #25 still stands as one of the most classic and iconic issues during Marvel's Silver Age. There can be no doubt, when someone thinks of "Hulk vs Thing", this is usually the issue and fight they are thinking of. This was billed by Lee as "The Battle of the Century!" and he was right.

With the "Gravage" Hulk coming to New York to find and smash the Avengers, he is confronted by the Human Torch and the Invisible Girl. After making short work of them, the Thing steps up and takes on the Jade Giant in a battle royal that raged all over the city and shook it to its very core. But in the end, the Hulk's ever-increasing power was too much for the exhausted Thing as he is pounded into submission. After the Hulk runs off to continue his search for the Avengers, Thing crawls back to his feet and will continue his pursuit of the Green Goliath. RESULT: WIN HULK


So how did Stan Lee and Jack Kirby follow up the biggest fight in comics history? They threw in the Avengers and let the battle become even bigger! Fantastic Four #26 concludes the epic two-part saga of the Hulk fighting the Thing (as well as everyone else). This issue will solidify the Hulk as the first and definitive "team-buster" of the Marvel Universe. This is more absolute greatness that made the Marvel Silver Age the greatest era ever in comics!

The Thing returns to fight the "Gravage" Hulk again and manages to rest up a little while punching it out with the brute. A hospitalized Johnny Storm will now show up and help out his Fantastic Four teammate. But the Hulk will slam two concrete chunks together causing and shock wave that sends the two heroes flying. This stuns them long enough for the Hulk to escape them and continue his search for the Avengers. RESULT: EDGE HULK (While Thing was momentarily stunned by this attack, he was quickly back on his feet looking for the Hulk.)


While the Hulk arrives at Tony Stark's mansion, the Avengers are waiting for the brute. As the Hulk grabs Rick Jones (who the Hulk think abandoned him for Captain America) a wild fight breaks out. Soon the Thing and the rest of the Fantastic Four join the fight to stop the Hulk. But all the heroes get in each others way as the Hulk manages to escape them with Rick. RESULT: DRAW


The Hulk leaps on top of an unfinished building with Rick Jones as all the other heroes are in pursuit of the brute. As the Hulk battles the swarms of heroes, the Thing finally is able to go one-on-one again with him (and he's excited because he knows the television cameras are filming this battle). Both behemoths brawl off the girders with the Thing unfortunately landing in a vat of quick-drying cement. Just before the Hulk was about to pounce on the cement covered Thing, more heroes step in and help him out. RESULT: EDGE HULK (Thing got lucky in this one because he was at a bad disadvantage being covered in the wet cement. In the end, Rick Jones was rescued, the Hulk escaped and the Avengers and Fantastic Four became eternal allies.)


This Hulk and Thing match up is a little tough to call because the Army is watching file footage on a "Hulk vs Thing" fight. The "Savage" Hulk is shown and said to be getting the better of the Thing in the punch up they are viewing. It could well just be film from their previous encounter in Fantastic Four #25 and 26, but it is never stated in the panel. I had to list it as a match up because it could well be a fight they had after that encounter but was never recorded. RESULT: UNKNOWN (If this is a new fight, there is no way I could give a definitive result because even though the Hulk was beating up the Thing in the footage, there is no telling of how the end of it played out.)


While walking, Bruce Banner finds a newspaper page where the Fantastic Four announce that they have discovered a cure for the Hulk. Excited, Bruce is able to sneak in a train to New York and heads towards the Baxter Building. During the trip, he writes some formulas that would aid Reed Richards into obtaining a definitive cure. He places the notes inside a bag that ties to his waist. But when Bruce reaches the Fantastic Four's headquarters, the policeman guarding the elevator doors treats him rudely. Banner's excitement turns him into the "Savage" Hulk. The green giant recognizes the building and climbs up the elevator hole towards the last floor. Informed about the Hulk's presence, the Thing takes the elevator down to meet his sparring partner. But the Hulk hits the elevator hard, throwing it (with Ben Grimm too) through the terrace and out to the sky. RESULT: NONE


When the Hulk reaches the FF's floor, the Human Torch and Reed Richards try to stop the green goliath from reaching the labs, where a cure for Banner may be waiting. During the fight, Sue Richards notices a bag dropping from the Hulk, grabs it and finds inside of it the formula notes that Bruce wrote while on the train. She lends Banner's notes to her husband, who reads them and enters the lab. The Thing makes his come back in time to face the Hulk. Though the Hulk proves to be stronger than the Thing, Grimm proves to be the smarter one by avoiding a charging Hulk and lets the green brute crush through the building wall. The Hulk falls to the street below, but the impact only slows him down, giving Mr.Fantastic enough time to nourish his sonic weapon with Banner's formulas. The shot is effective and the Hulk is knocked out. RESULT: WIN THING (This is by no means a legit "win" for the Thing as he had the help of the Fantastic Four in this fight and it was Reed's attack with the sonic ray that actually knocked the Hulk out.)


With the unconscious "Savage" Hulk hooked up to some of Reed Richard's machines and with the help of Bruce Banner's notes, Reed breaks down the Hulk's molecules to their atoms. Now Bruce Banner emerges  and can suddenly control his transformations. When Bruce changes into the Hulk, Thing stands ready to fight him. But with Banner's mind now in control of the "Savage" Hulk's body, there is no more need for fighting. RESULT: NONE


 FANTASTIC FOUR #112 (1971)
Another absolute classic "Hulk vs Thing" fight that only strengthened its legend into the imagination of readers and into the Marvel-mythos. If Fantastic Four #25 is the definitive "Hulk vs Thing" brawl, this fight is definitely considered a close second. It's simply another masterpiece that is always in the conversation when talking about one of the greatest slugfests ever. Thanks to Stan Lee's masterful script and dialogue (once again) and the immaculate art of John Buscema with Joe Sinnott inks. Not many comics can touch the sheer brilliance of this issue.

With the Thing running amok in New York, the "Savage" Hulk sees him and attacks! They brawl all over the city until the NYPD starts opening fire on them. The Hulk will leap away on a rooftop where he can wait for the Thing to follow him. RESULT: DRAW


The Thing meets up with the Hulk on the rooftop once he takes care of the police. And once again the two behemoths engage in another slugfest all over the city causing some major property damage. It finally ends when Grimm's girlfriend, Alicia Masters tries to come to his aide but gets hit on the head by some flying debris and calls out to him. This will make Ben unexpectedly turn around and drop his guard. But with the Hulk still attacking, he knocks out the distracted Thing! RESULT: WIN HULK


As the "Savage" Hulk breaks free from the court house (where he must stand trail for all his crimes against humanity), he is confronted by the Fantastic Four. The Hulk and Thing begin to scrap and then Daredevil arrives (Matt Murdock is the Hulk's lawyer in this) to help stop the Jade Giant's rampage. Eventually, the Hulk will easily take Daredevil out of the fight and lock up with the Thing again. Reed Richards will now fire his Nega-Gamma Ray Gun at the Hulk's back and knock the brute out. RESULT: WIN THING (While Thing fought the Hulk with the help of his teammates and Daredevil to a standstill, it was the Nega-Gamma Ray Gun that put the brute down. This is not a legit "win" for the Thing, but he was part of the overall plan that succeeded in momentarily stopping the Hulk so he could stand trial.)


Another absolute classic Hulk and Thing punch up for the ages! This battle ranks as another favorite among the all time great Marvel slugfests in its history and just adds more intrigue and magic into the already immortalized rivalry of "Hulk vs Thing"!

Thing is chosen by the Leader to fight Kurrgo's champion, the "Savage" Hulk to stop the Ultrex Bomb from exploding and destroying the world. Thing just wants to find the bomb and get out of there before he has to confront the Hulk. But the Green Goliath appears and attacks. In this brawl, Thing feels stronger than ever and manages to hold his own with the green brute better than his previous encounters. When Thing finally finds the bomb, it turns out to be a fake. But before both brutes can tangle again they are teleported to Kurrgo's ship by a tractor beam. Thing finds out that Kurrgo and the Leader where using him and the Hulk as pawns in a game and Kurrgo was cheating by secretly enhancing his strength so he could defeat the Hulk. Finally both brutes defeat Kurrgo's robot and destroy his ship in the process. RESULT: DRAW


The "Savage" Hulk is bounding through New York, wondering why he came there when he didn't really want to go. Falling asleep in an alley, the Hulk changes back into Bruce Banner. When Banner awakens, he finds that he's near the Baxter Building and decides to pay a visit to Reed Richards to see if he can cure him of being the Hulk. When Banner is admitted into the Baxter Building, the only FF member he finds there is the Thing. While talking with Ben, he learns that Reed has been developing a psi-amplifier device, and Bruce suddenly has an inspiration of how to cure not only himself of ever turning into the Hulk again, but also cure Ben of being the Thing as well. While rigging Ben up to the machine, Bruce begins it's cycle when he suddenly begins to change into the Hulk. The Hulk tries to smash the machine which causes a large explosion. 

Although the two power-houses survive the blast, it did have one unforeseen side-effect: The Thing and Hulk's minds have swapped bodies. This however, doesn't stop the Hulk from picking a fight with the Thing. As the other members of the FF rush to the Baxter Building, the brutes battle rages on where the Hulk dominates as Thing finds it hard to get used to the Hulk's bigger body. As their battle takes to the streets, they also run into Thundra, who also joins the fight. Unaware that the Thing and the Hulk have switched bodies, Thundra tries to help the "Thing" only to get clobbered for her trouble. The Thing and Hulk's fight takes them to a wrestling arena, where they duke it out in the ring. As the fight rages on, Reed deduces what has happened and finds a solution: Getting a large amount of tranquilizer, Reed injects it into the Hulk's body. This causes the Hulk to pass out and revert back into Bruce Banner, and it also reverses the mind swap. Ben's happy to be back in his body, however Thundra revives and returns the blow that the "Thing" delivered to her earlier before walking off. RESULT: DRAW  


FANTASTIC FOUR #166 (1976)
The Fantastic Four have been called in by the military once more to provide their scientific expertise in finding the means to cure the Hulk. As the group are flying on a plane and discussing the ethics of hunting the brute once more, the "Savage" Hulk jumps passed their plane, accidentally smashing through one of it's wings and sending the plane into a crash. The team will save the plane and all the passengers from certain death. Soon they are picked up at the landing site by the Air Force and taken to the military base where they are introduced to the youthful and over eager Colonel Sellers. 

The Thing doesn't take a liking to Sellers' attitude but before they can discuss anything further the FF are deployed when the military devices detect the gamma radiation emanating from the Hulk's body. The Fantastic Four are now rushed out in a military craft, but it is soon destroyed by the Hulk. The Human Torch will attack and blind the brute while the Reed uses his stretching powers to hold the him, Sue then places an invisible force field around the Hulk's head to cut him off from oxygen. Mr. Fantastic orders the Thing to knock the Hulk out, but Ben finds little pleasure in knocking out his long time rival in such a low down way. But he reluctantly does it. RESULT: WIN THING (Even though Thing knocked the Hulk out with a haymaker, it didn't happen without the aid of his teammates. Credit also goes to Ben for not enjoying this victory.)


FANTASTIC FOUR #167 (1976)
The Fantastic Four and the military are shocked when in attempting to change the "Savage" Hulk back into Bruce Banner, the Thing would free him and then team up with him due to the inhuman treatment the Green Goliath has received from the military. When the FF and the military try to stop the two man-monsters from escaping, they easily smash through them. Breaking into the hanger, they smash all the planes except for the one -- which they escape in. As they fly by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis Missouri, the Hulk confuses it for his favorite sitting spot and demands that the Thing bring him there. Ben experiences a momentary dizziness and agrees to take them down.  

Tracking the Hulk's gamma radiation emissions, with Colonel Sellers, Mr. Fantastic manages to convince him into letting the Fantastic Four go out and try to capture the Hulk and their errant teammate first and leave in another ship. When they are in the air, Reed tells the others that Thing's constant proximity to the Hulk for an extended period of time may have an effect on him due to the Hulk's gamma radiation and stresses that they need to get to Ben before it's too late.  

They end up in St. Louis and they spot the Hulk and Ben on a rooftop. The Hulk is furious that they didn't land directly on the Gateway Arch (being unable to safely land on it escapes the Hulk's understanding) When the Hulk is about to toss a chunk of concrete on the military soldiers that have gathered below, the Thing realizes the folly of allying with the Hulk and smashes the chunk of concrete before the Hulk can throw it. Not understanding what happened, the Hulk jumps down to attack the soldiers directly. Ben decides to try to go down and stop the Hulk when he is struck by yet another dizzy spell. Before anything can happen the Hulk is distracted by Reed Richards who orders the Hulk to stand down and allow them to take him into custody and explains the danger Ben has being in prolonged proximity to the Hulk. This angers the Hulk into attacking them for trying to separate him from his new friend. This leads to a battle, the Thing and Hulk against the remaining members of the Fantastic Four. While the Human Torch tackles the Thing, he easily knocks out his young comrade sending him flying into Reed. With Reed stunned on the Gateway Arch, he becomes an easy target for the Hulk, but is saved from a thrashing by Sue's invisible force field. 

Finally realizing the mistake he has made, Ben begins fighting the Hulk and in their battle realizes he's suddenly changing back into Ben Grimm. The Hulk will take Ben's moment of hesitation and punch him off the Arch that sends him falling to the ground. Now completely in human form he is in for a fatal fall until he is saved by the Human Torch. Witnessing his former friend changed back into human form, the Hulk realizes that the "puny humans" have made him alone again and bounds off to find solitude elsewhere. RESULT: WIN HULK (Thing handled himself quite well in this fight but gave the Hulk an opening when he began changing back into Ben Grimm. This may not be a definitive "win" for the Hulk but he still gets a victory nonetheless due to the circumstances.)


 MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #46 (1978)
Furious that the Hulk has been given his own television series, the Thing decides to go to Hollywood and try to talk the studio into making a show based on him. Meanwhile elsewhere, Bruce Banner sees a television show based on his alter ego and it causes him to change into the "Savage" Hulk. Furious that there is a television show about him, the Hulk also heads towards Hollywood as well. While the Thing tries to talk to a studio executive about getting his own show, the Hulk arrives and goes on a rampage attacking the Thing. After a back and forth battle, the studio executive agrees to not make the Hulk look stupid on television (satisfying the Hulk to leave) and agrees to give the Thing his own show. However, Ben gets more than he bargains for when he realizes that the program is called "Thing in the Family" and turns out to be a poorly conceived sit-com. RESULT: DRAW


The Stranger transports the "Savage" Hulk and the Thing to Hades, the Olympian underworld where it's ruler, Pluto, has devised a device that fires hellish energy into the heart of a black hole in the hopes of destroying the universe so that he might rule over a universe of eternal darkness. When the Hulk attempts to attack straight on, both the Thing and Stranger try to get the green man-monster to exercise restraint and form a strategy, which leads to the Hulk to get angry and attack Thing, and forcing the Stranger to attack Pluto head on. During the fight Pluto manages to overpower the Stranger, and unleashes a horde of demons on both fighting brutes. Pluto then threatens to throw the Stranger's body into the device (thereby speeding up it's process of destroying the universe) however the Hulk becomes furious and uses his strength to destroy the device itself, leaving the Thing to save the Stranger while Pluto falls into the device of his own making. Pluto's spirit is fired up into the black hole where it is seemingly destroyed, ending his threat. RESULT: DRAW


The Hulk with the mind of Bruce Banner goes to Baxter Building to ask the Fantastic Four help for a public acceptation. When Thing sees the Hulk enter he attacks him but stops once Reed Richards realizes that Banner now has control over the Hulk. The U.S. President (Ronald Reagan) agrees to sign an Amnesty redacted by Matt Murdock against the opinion of General Thaddeus Ross. Right then, Krylorian ship fakes, created by The Leader, attack the White House. Hulk and the rest of the heroes who were there supporting him, fight the ships and win. The Hulk is then taken over Ben Grimm and Thor shoulders and honored as a hero. RESULT: NONE 


 MARVEL FANFARE #21 (1985)
Another classic "Hulk vs Thing" brawl! This issue is another reason why this rivalry is considered the greatest in Marvel history. Also, a nice touch of class comes from the writer Jim Starlin when he dedicates this story to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for beginning the original "Clash of the Titans" back in the 60's.

Dr. Strange, who is the prisoner of Xandu summons the Thing to help him. Reluctantly the Thing does and is able to free him after a battle with a bunch of demons. But Xandu has already escaped back to Earth with the Ruby of Domination. As Strange and Ben return to the Sanctum Sanctorum they go to the study where Thing must face Xandu's champion, who happens to be the "Savage" Hulk! Under Xandu's spell, the Hulk attacks the Thing and begins another slugfest! At first the spell that was influencing the Hulk made him unable to rage and get stronger so Thing dominated the fight. But when Xandu sees this he adjusted his spell and the Hulk was able to fight back in full fury. Now the Hulk will pound on the Thing who after a while quits the fight and runs off. But the Hulk will still chase him all over the city until finally Thing manages to returns to where Dr. Strange is and smashes the Ruby. With Xandru's power gone, Dr. Strange easily defeats him and then he will save Thing from the Hulk's continuous savage onslaught. Even though Dr. Strange is very tired, he sends the Hulk back to the Utah desert and Thing back to the Baxter Building (he also wants a hot bath and a brew waiting for him). But when we next see Thing we realize just how weakened Strange was because he is sitting on a rock in the Utah desert ticked off. RESULT: WIN HULK (Although the Hulk didn't knock the Thing out in this fight, he not only dominated it, he actually made the Thing quit. For that I had to tally it in the Hulk's favor. But credit still has to go out to the Thing who still managed to save Dr. Strange despite running from the Hulk and by using his head.)


This story represents just how fun both brutes can be when working together for a common goal. It is another great story in the "Hulk vs Thing" mythos that continually compels readers from all generations. Writer Jim Starlin has to be given props for being able to write the dynamic of Hulk and the Thing almost as good as Stan Lee himself. 

The Watcher assumes the role of narrator, and we learn that the Thing and the "Savage" Hulk have been pulled to the planet of Matriculon by Stamben Malelet, a local bureaucrat. He needs some people to deliver a document to an important scientist from the clutches of a local criminal, and those people need to be large, rugged, and not too smart. So, he's chosen the two man-monsters. The Thing and the Hulk materialize on Matriculon, and we're told the Hulk is being bombarded with "positive cerebral ions" and will remain relatively calm for the next day. The two are then offered, in effect, two wishes if they'll retrieve the scientist. These wishes include the possibility of both Ben and the Hulk being permanently restored to their human forms. Ben eventually agrees, but the Hulk doesn't care. Ben tells the Hulk he can promise him something if he helps a "good time," and the Hulk agrees. The Thing and the Hulk managed to team up through this entire story without a punch thrown. But after they complete their quest they are granted the two wishes. The Thing thinks of all the myriad possibilities as the Hulk blurts out, “We want food and want to go home!”. Thing is in utter shock as they are teleported back to Earth. Now the Hulk is enjoying his prize when the Thing gets furious that Hulk blew their golden opportunity. It ends with the Thing holding a huge boulder over a happy (eating) Hulk and he's ready for another scrap between them. RESULT: UNKNOWN (We never see what happens in this fight as the story concludes.)


 FANTASTIC FOUR #320 (1988)
Doctor Doom instigates a fight between the "Grey" Hulk and the new "Spiky" Thing! The Hulk doesn't care about Doom's warnings on how Thing is stronger than ever in this new form. He boasts about Ben never being able to beat him in a fight one-on-one and confidently attacks. Throughout the fight Ben does not realize that he is actually battling the Hulk. At one point in the battle, the Hulk locked his arms around Ben, but unlike previous meetings, Ben had sufficient strength to break the Hulk's hold. Ben ultimately was way too much for this weaker version of the Hulk and as he was holding the Grey Brute for the final blow, Dr. Doom's green-skinned Hulk robot arrives and saves him. RESULT: WIN THING (Although Thing had enhanced power in this fight, he never landed the final blow on the Hulk to knock him out. But to his credit, he totally pummeled the weaker Grey Goliath and the Hulk even states in the story that he was defeated by the Thing for the very first time one-on-one. Some Hulk fans might discredit this, but for me, it was total domination by the "Spiky" Thing and he gets a definitive "win" result.)


The Thing and the "Grey" Hulk have been duking it out all over New York City. And for the first time, Thing has humbled the Hulk one-on-one. But Thing is also unaware that this grey-skinned brute he beat up was the real Hulk. When he now comes face-to-face with the green-skinned "Savage" Hulk (who is really Dr. Dooms robot). The Thing eagerly faces off with him because now that his strength has increased, he has been wanting to brawl with the Hulk for quite some time. The diversion allows the real Hulk to collect himself. Dr. Doom explains to the him that the Hulk he sees is actually a robot of unknown origins which he salvaged after the Eternals defeated it. Dr. Doom apologizes for having miscalculated that, in his current incarnation, the "Grey" Hulk would never be able to increase his strength to the level needed to fight this new "Spiky" Thing before he got defeated. This only angers the Hulk who wants to try again. By this time, the Thing has discovered the green Hulk's true nature and has ripped it apart. The real Hulk changes his strategy on his second go-round with the Thing. He uses guerrilla style tactics, hiding and attacking then escaping to hide again. The Thing, while stronger doesn't have the endurance or the speed to keep up. The Hulk uses this pattern to eventually wear him down. The Thing only discovers who his enemy really is just before the Hulk delivers the knock-out punch. Dr. Doom, impressed with the Hulk's performance, bids farewell with the promise to call on the Hulk for assistance when he retakes Latveria. RESULT: WIN HULK


Another great issue within the "Hulk vs Thing" mythos due to a conversation between the Hulk and Ben Grimm. After reading this, you get to understand the relationship between these two brutes better and how they relate to each other.

At the Phoenix Science Convocation, Reed Richards is being introduced. Reed gets up and says that he would like to address how they can maintain an active interest in space beyond that of floating weaponry. Ms. Marvel, in her Thing-like form, tells Ben Grimm, now in human form, to stop griping. Suddenly there is a crash and the "Grey" Hulk lands in the middle of the hall. He says that he is looking for someone. Ms. Marvel says that it is the Hulk and that she has been dying for a piece of him. The Hulk goes flying through the wall from a Ms. Marvel punch and the fight starts! Ben Grimm watches on ashamed that he has to have Ms. Marvel defending his honor. The Hulk really doesn't want to fight Mrs. Marvel but she keeps attacking. Ben Grimm eventually leaps onto Hulk’s back. Then Ms. Marvel lifts the Hulk over her head and Hulk says, “I wouldn’t if I were you. Ben Grimm’s on my back.” Ms. Marvel doesn't believe him and tosses the Hulk and Grimm away. Reed manages to stretch out and cushion Ben and Hulk’s impact, but knocks himself out in the process. As the Hulk holds Reed’s rubbery neck up and he's now upset because Reed is the one he wants to see. He gets mad and really takes it to Mrs. Marvel pounding on her, but then he is stricken with a heart attack and cramps over. Ms. Marvel will take this opportunity to hit the Hulk in the back of the head and knock him out. She says that she did it and that she never thought that she could. Reed says that he doesn't think she did. He says that he thinks that something was wrong with the Hulk and that he needs their help. RESULT: NONE (Although Grimm made an attack in his human form, he really was never involved in the fight between the Hulk and Mrs. Marvel.)


The "Professor" Hulk tells Thing that this is his last chance to back out. Thing says that he wouldn’t miss this for the world. A targeting site spots the “Last Chance Bar." The villains say that this is their one chance to get rid of them, and that they will never be able to stand up to all of them. Hulk and Thing start an arm wrestling match. Suddenly, Tyrannus, Absorbing Man, Quasimodo, Blastaar, Mole Man, and Rhino charge into the place. They all attack the two brutes full force but they don't even notice the villains are there. Fixer and Mentallo watch from an aircraft above. Fixer says that he has seen their kind defeated and frustrated, but never ignored. He says that this is embarrassing as  Mentallo agrees and orders the forces to pull out. Mentallo activates phase two and drops a bomb. The Last Chance Bar explodes. Thing and Hulk still sit at the table arm wrestling. The table collapses and they fall down. Hulk asks Thing if he wants to try again next week at the usual time. Thing says, “You betcha!” They walk away. RESULT: NONE 


 FANTASTIC FOUR #368 (1992)
The Thing and the "Professor" Hulk start getting on each others nerves and predictably they want to fight it out. But Speedball comes up with another idea to settle their feud -- table hockey! Although the Thing was up by two goals on the Hulk, we never see what the final score is. RESULT: NONE


FANTASTIC FOUR #369 (1992)
Tight quarters with the Thing and the "Professor" Hulk in it is like walking on a land mind, something is bound to blow. Both brutes start having words with each other but now it's Sue Richards who attacks the Hulk and knocks him down with an invisible force bubble. As the Hulk rises, he's impressed by her. RESULT: NONE


FANTASTIC FOUR #374 (1993)
The Human Torch lost control and went nova at Empire University. The replacement Fantastic Four of Wolverine, Ghost Rider, Spider-man and the "Professor" Hulk (billed as the Secret Defenders) teams up to oppose the regular Fantastic Four. Hulk says that he knows what it’s like to mindlessly destroy and wants to stop Torch from following in his footsteps. The two brutes have a short scrap with the Hulk smacking Thing a good shot, but Thing actually is hurt more when Wolverine claws his face disfiguring him. All the fighting stops when Thing and his teammates get teleported away. RESULT: DRAW


The "Professor" Hulk and the Thing have a virtual fight for charity. But Thing doesn't know when to quit and the Hulk just basically manhandles him to show Ben who's really at the top of the food chain. Sue Richards gets angry about how the Hulk humiliates Thing in front of the crowd but Thing tells her to let him be. RESULT: EDGE HULK (While this wasn't really a slugfest, the Hulk does show Thing who is truly the stronger man-monster.)


Hulk and Thing are forced to fight by the Mole Man (who had Atalanta, Sue and Torch captive). Mole Man needs Hulk or Thing to kill the other so that he can siphon the energy to restore his Kala to her normal beautiful self. Thing and Hulk both get the idea to try and overload the field they fight in. They succeed. RESULT: NONE (This has to be a listed as such because the Hulk and Thing had a mock fight here and never really went at it.)


SILVER SURFER #96 (1994)
When the Silver Surfer and the Fantastic Four run into the "Professor" Hulk,  it takes all the team has to hold the Thing back from fighting with him. After they calm Thing down, they learn that the Hulk has come here for the same reasons they did. So they all continue together towards a disturbance. They eventually find the source of the disturbance, which has seemingly drawn them to it and disappeared. In the center of a lake of fire, the Surfer finds out that Nova has returned to life. RESULT: NONE


Dr. Strange in his astral form goes into the Heroes Reborn Universe and meets the "Heroes Reborn" Hulk who can see him. The Hulk raises his fists to smash Strange, but a long rubbery arm pulls him out of the way, it's the Fantastic Four! Reed tells Thing to wait and that they must act as a team before they engage the brute. But Thing wants to fight and attacks the Hulk. RESULT: UNKNOWN (The ending of this fight is never seen)


Tony Stark and the Fantastic Four are at the Baxter Building trying to comprehend the transformations of Leonard Samson and Jennifer Walters into gamma irradiated mutates thanks to blood transfusions from the "Heroes Reborn" Hulk. Thing's flirtations with She-Hulk leads to a brief scuffle between him and the green brute. It gets broken up by the Invisible Woman who puts the two brutes in separate force-fields. RESULT: DRAW


(This issue has two variant covers)
The “Heroes Reborn” Hulk is seen locked in combat with Thing and the Thor! The fight seems to be brutal as Thor and Thing talk about how hard it is to be slugging it out with the Green Goliath. This is a tough scrap to judge because only a panel is shown of the fight. Later we learn that the Hulk got away when Thing is talking about the incident to the Fantastic Four, but the reader never actually sees it. RESULT: UNKNOWN (This fight could well be listed as a “draw” but since the ending of the fight is never seen it is impossible to judge.)


An untold tale from the past. Thunderbolt Ross asks the Fantastic Four to find and capture the "Savage" Hulk. Reed adds a gamma tracker to the Fantasticar and the quartet departs to find the brute. When they confront the Hulk, the fight is on! The Hulk will make short work of Reed, Sue and Johnny but then he is faced by the Thing. They brawl it out, but Thing stops fighting when he realized that the Hulk thought he hated him. Then the Hulk gets angry and thrashes Thing. As the brute leaps off, Grimm feels guilty. RESULT: WIN HULK


 HULK #9 (1999)
Requested by SHIELD, the Thing is sent to capture the "Savage" Hulk for all the deaths he's accused of causing. Ben manages to find the brute and is quickly attacked. They brawl it out until the Hulk knocks Ben miles away after hitting him with a tree and then decides to take off with his newly found friend Archie Leopold. RESULT: DRAW


But as the Hulk's arch-enemy Tyrannus is currently controlling him, the Hulk returns to fight the Thing. After another exchange between the two man-monsters, the Hulk recovers his own control and leaves the battle. When the surprised Thing tries to grab him from behind, Leopold uses Ben's teleportation device and sends him back to SHIELD. RESULT: DRAW


Another untold tale from the past. As the Fantastic Four come to grips with the fact that they're being manipulated by Dr. Doom, the "Savage" Hulk goes on a riotous rampage, setting the stage for another clash between ol' Jade Jaws and the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing! This fight will get interrupted when Doom's device shoots a beam that makes the Hulk change back into Bruce Banner. But before the change was even complete, the Thing lands his "Sunday Punch!" that drops the brute. In the end, even Ben knew something had to stagger the Hulk before his punch landed. RESULT: WIN THING (This is not a definitive "win" for the Thing as Dr. Doom's device stunned the Hulk during their exchange and changed him back to Banner thus leaving him wide open for Ben's haymaker.)


The "Professor" Hulk sits inside the Baxter Building while Thing is trying to read the newspaper. Ben has to stop and ask the Hulk what he is gawking at. The Hulk says that it has been a while and asks Thing how he has been. Thing then asks if they couldn’t just beat the tar out of each other. Hulk says that it would be more like me beating the tar out of you. Thing asks if that is a fact and the Hulk says that it is. She-Hulk tells them both to shut up as she and Angela Lipscome are trying to hold an actual conversation. She-Hulk also says that if they don’t quiet down she is gonna beat the tar out of both of them. RESULT: NONE


 THE ORDER #6 (2002)
The Order (consisting of the "Professor" Hulk, Namor, Dr. Strange and the Silver Surfer) are all under the influence of Yandroth, where they want to make the world a better place -- because they have the power to do it! Obviously, Thing and other heroes of the world would never allow this to happen as they engage the Order  in a battle for the ages. Eventually, the fighting stops once the Order are all free from Yandroth's power. RESULT: DRAW


 HULK / THING: HARD KNOCKS #1 and 2 (2004)
Thing comes into a cafe in the middle of the desert looking for the "Zen Banner" Hulk. When he sees Bruce Banner he'll smack him so Bruce changes into the Hulk. As the Hulk rises, he sits down next to Thing at the bar and they have a conversation. RESULT: NONE


After a meaningless conversation that angers the Hulk, he grabs Thing by the face and then smacks him in the back of the head. But both brutes will sit back down at the bar and continue their conversation. RESULT: NONE


After more talk, the Hulk relaxes and changes back into Bruce Banner. But the Thing still wants to talk with only the Hulk so he will smack Bruce again and sends him flying. The change occurs and the Hulk rises and punches Thing through the wall where he lands in front of a little girl. When her parents (especially her mother) sees the two brutes they become terrified and beg for them to let them go. RESULT: NONE


The Hulk changes back into Banner and the Thing leaves. Bruce will then go looking for Grimm and when he finds him, Thing will smack Bruce to the ground once again. Now the Hulk rises and is really angry (continuing the fight into issue #2). The Hulk and Thing slug it out with the Hulk getting the better of the fight. The Hulk stops and tells Thing despite his claims that he beat the Hulk back in their first encounter (Fantastic Four #12), he is delusional. The Hulk will now fix the wall and air conditioner that they just destroyed. RESULT: EDGE HULK (This was their first real fight they had in this series. But as the Hulk had Thing hurt in this exchange, he just turns and walks away and fixes the damage they just made.)


As the two brutes continue on with their conversation, Thing tells the Hulk that he must be getting soft due to the fact that Banner has been merging with his Hulk personality. This makes the Hulk angry as he smashes the bar that they are sitting at. Surprisingly, they don't fight and continue talking. RESULT: NONE


After Thing shows a picture to prove his point that he defeated the Hulk back from their first encounter (in Fantastic Four #12) to the "Zen Banner" Hulk, he will start walking away. The Hulk will rage and rams Thing's head through the ceiling of the cafe. They don't fight and end up talking more about their first match up. RESULT: NONE


As they continue to talk about their first battle, the Hulk once again grabs Thing's neck and slams his head through a wall. Then he will try twisting Thing's neck but Grimm gets out of it and throws the Hulk through another wall. But they stop fighting to talk once again. RESULT: DRAW


After Thing tells the "Zen Banner" Hulk the story of how he defeated the Green Goliath in an unrecorded encounter after they met in Fantastic Four #12. This fight doesn't seem legit in "Hulk vs Thing" history because Ben was just trying to stall the Hulk until the Army came in to capture him. When the Army does attack and shoots at the Hulk, the brute will rage and throw Thing into the incoming tanks. Thing returns and they go back and forth destroying a bunch of Army equipment in the process. Soon Thing is hit in the back by a rocket that was intended for the Hulk and this gives the Green Goliath an advantage as he unmercifully stomps on the hurt Thing and wants him to call him the strongest and best! Of course, Thing refuses and taunts the Hulk by telling him that it was the missile that hurt him and the Hulk could never beat him in a fair fight. So the Hulk stops his assault and will let Thing heal up before they fight again. The story ends with both brutes talking again among the wreckage. RESULT: WIN HULK (This was not a definitive "win" for the Hulk by any means because it was the rocket that hit Thing in the back that hurt him and gave the Hulk the advantage.)


An untold tale from the Thing and the Hulk's past. Thing will hit Bruce Banner a few times to get him to change into the "Savage" Hulk so they can fight a bunch of giant monsters that are attacking the city. When the Hulk finally emerges, he eats and then teams up with Grimm to fight them. RESULT: NONE


 FANTASTIC FOUR #533, 534 and 535 (2006)
S.H.I.E.L.D. has hired the "Gravage" Hulk (with gray skin) to deal their enemies, HYDRA. But what the Hulk finds a ready-to-detonate gamma bomb. The bomb goes boom, the Hulk disappears, and somehow, the Thing and the Human Torch find themselves on the missing monster's trail, wondering whether the bomb has forced an added metamorphosis upon Banner. They dodge boulders and seismic activity that the Hulk sets off and are soon confronted by the beast (match up continued into issue #534). The Hulk basically pounds on both Thing and Torch while hallucinating about events in his past but stops once he begins seeing Jarella's death. He then leaps off towards Las Vegas. RESULT: DRAW


The Hulk will now go to a hospital while hallucinating about his former partner Jim Wilson. Thing and Torch attack the Hulk again trying to stop his bizarre behavior. As they get the brute out of the hospital they fight with him in the streets. Now the Hulk sees the Thing as the Abomination who kills Betty from his poisoning of her blood and tries to kill him (continuing the fight into issue #535). As Ben tries to get the possessed Hulk to calm down, he gets clobbered. Johnny has to go nova in his attempt to finally end the Hulk's rampage, the flame doesn't do any damage to the Hulk but the burst does manage to make the Hulk come back to his senses. RESULT: DRAW


 SHE-HULK #3 (2006)
With She-Hulk on trial for a crime, heroes are pulled out of time from her past to be witnesses and speak on her behalf. When the "Professor" Hulk steps up to speak, the Thing tries to stop him. Luckily, Mr. Fantastic stops Ben and lets the Hulk speak. RESULT: NONE


variant cover
I should point out that World War Hulk: Front Line #2 shows this fight from a different perspective.

As the "World War" Hulk makes his way through the city and is decimating every hero that gets in his way, Thing knows it's up to him to take it to the Green Brute once again and stop him. As Grimm leaps into action, he engages the Hulk in a one-on-one punch up while everyone stands back to let them go at it. However, despite his courage and will, Thing gets clobbered and is saved by Reed Richards. RESULT: WIN HULK


FANTASTIC FOUR #588 (2011)
With Ben morning the death of Johnny Storm, he will take his frustrations out by the only way he knows how, clobbering. Thing will meet up with the "Savage" Hulk and Thor and begin throwing a bunch of punches at the Hulk while he just stands there and takes them. As Thing falls to the ground crying, the Hulk will console him showing that no matter how many times they have fought, there is a mutual respect and kinship between them (it is touching to also see Thor crying as he watches on and sympathizes with the pain Grimm is feeling from the loss of his best friend, Johnny). RESULT: NONE


With an insane Bruce Banner in the "Gravage" Hulk's head wanting the brute to calm down and change back into him, the Hulk must stay angry. The Hulk awakens to find himself trapped in a forgotten prison buried deep in the Antarctic. With Thing and Wolverine making their way to the prison, they go over and tease each other about their past history with the Hulk and all the beatings each of them took from him. During this time, the Hulk is injected by a serum from a device stuck on his back made by Banner to weaken him. This causes the Hulk pain and makes him rampage through the prison destroying everything in his path. When the Thing and Wolverine show up -- the brawl begins! The two heroes put up a valiant effort, but the constant injections that weaken the Hulk also make him go crazy as he pounds on the both of them brutally (sticking Wolverine's own claws through his skull and crushing some of Grimm's rock-skin to dust). Eventually, the Hulk punches Thing through the prison ceiling and out into the snow above walking off and then changing back into Banner. When Thing and Wolverine come back to their senses, Banner is long gone. Once again they tease each other about their constant defeats at the hands of the Hulk. RESULT: WIN HULK


(This issue has two variant covers and one digital variant cover)
DEADPOOL #27 (2014)
It gets pretty crazy at Deadpool's wedding (which is no surprise to anyone). But when things don't go the "Doc Green" Hulk's way during a card game, he gets angry and smashes the table knocking the Thing and others down. Predictably, the Thing starts throwing punches at the brute and they slug it out within the chaos. RESULT: UNKNOWN (The ending of this fight is never shown.)


(This issue has two variant covers)
FANTASTIC FOUR #14 and 642 (2014/2015)
Sue Richards walks in on a battle royal between the Thing, Johnny Storm, Jim Hammond and others against the "Doc Green" Hulk, Namor, Sam Wilson and other heroes (fight continues into Fantastic Four #642). While the battle is fierce, both the Hulk and the Thing never encounter each other. The fighting stops when Sue grabs Valeria and can't believe she has returned. RESULT: NONE


(This issue has two variant covers)
FANTASTIC FOUR #644 (2015) 
The Thing, the "Doc Green" Hulk and other heroes battle it out with the Avengers of the "Hero Reborn" Universe. Thing slugs it out with the "Heroes Reborn" Hulk and eventually so does the "Doc Green" Hulk in this free-for-all battle royal. This fight is a little confusing because although the Thing is teaming up with the "Doc Green" Hulk, the "Heroes Reborn" Hulk that they are both slugging it out with is a legitimate Hulk incarnation as well. Did you get all that? Good. RESULT: UNKNOWN (This fight had to be ruled thusly because we never see the end of it. It could be arguably listed as a "draw" because a few panels later we see the "Heroes Reborn" Hulk fighting against the "Doc Green" Hulk.) 


(This issue has five variant covers)
 SECRET EMPIRE #6 (2017) 
With Bruce Banner resurrected, Hydra Agent: Captain America tries to convince Banner to side with him. Banner says that he would never side with Hydra, but Cap tells him he wasn't talking to Banner. Soon Banner transforms into the Hulk (not sure which incarnation this is) and goes on a rampage attacking all the heroes. The Thing will tackle the brute but is quickly knocked unconscious after two punches. RESULT: WIN HULK  


(This issue has one variant cover)

(This issue has two variant covers)
FANTASTIC FOUR #12 and 13 (2019) 
Under the control of the Puppet Master, the "Immortal" Hulk attacks the Thing on a remote island where he and his wife Alicia are enjoying their honeymoon. The Thing notices that the Hulk is talking weird and is out to kill him. After being pummeled all over the island, the Thing is thrown into a mountain side near Alicia and falling rocks bury her. Thing begins to dig her out but the Hulk attacks again and smashes him from behind. Thing slowly rises and tells the Hulk he's got all day to fight him, but in reality Thing only has 52 minutes left before he turns back into Ben Grimm due to his annual transmutation (fight continues into issue #13). As they go back and fourth, Thing tries to convince the Puppet Master to release the green brute. But Puppet Master confirms that the Hulk is a willing participant and renews the brawl. Eventually, the Thing is punched away and begins to black out with 29 seconds left. Alicia comes up to the downed Thing and tells him although he's not as powerful as the Hulk, he always had more heart. Hurt and broken, Thing rises once again for her. As the Hulk charges in, Thing catches him with his greatest "Sunday Punch" ever and shatters his arm in the process as well as destroying the Puppet Master's clay puppet of the Hulk. When the dust clears, the Hulk falls unconscious and Thing changes back into Ben Grimm and passes out for a week. RESULT: WIN THING (At the end of the story Alicia tells Thing that he finally beat the Hulk "fair and square." But that might not be entirely true because even though the Hulk participated in the Puppet Master's mind-control, it's still a "question mark" on how it affected him. And when the Thing lands his final punch, we don't know how much of it was the actual punch or the psychic backlash of the control. Semantics aside, I still had to give the "win" to the Thing because he deserved it.)

MATCH UPS: 60  HULK: 10 - THING: 6

(This issue has three variant covers)
(This issue has one variant cover)
THE IMMORTAL HULK #40 and 41 (2020) 
When the "Immortal" Hulk falls from space and lands in the Coney Island Channel, he's met by the Thing who still has a grudge with the Hulk because he ruined the Thing's honeymoon from their last fight in Fantastic Four #12 and 13. This is unfortunate for the Hulk because he's currently in a weakened state, but the Thing doesn't care as he stands ready to duke it out (fight continues in issue #41). The fight is basically the Thing pounding this weaker child-like Hulk until the Hulk starts crying and reverts into Bruce Banner (in his Joe fixit personality) and Thing accidently hits him. After Banner/Fixit recovers, he tells the Thing that he was basically beating up a small child when he was hitting the Hulk. Thing feels bad and goes to a diner to with Banner/Fixit and they talk it out. RESULT: EDGE THING



The Hulk and Thing have fought each other so many times as alternate versions of themselves (robots, clones, zombies, etc.) that it's hard to keep track. They have also fought more times in non-cannon, parallel-earth and alternate future stories than just about any other two heroes in the history of comics. Their fights have also been parodied by other comic companies over and over. And if I had to list all the times their legendary battles have been used as flashbacks or referenced to in a story, I could be writing for years and never get to them all. So what I listed here is just the best of the best "Hulk vs Thing" battles that occurred outside of actual Marvel continuity or emphasized their great dynamic together. While there are many comics that have them fighting each other on the covers and not in the actual story, those are not included and are irrelevant to this list.

In this issue (which introduces the dreaded Dr. Doom), Stan Lee and Jack Kirby show a glimpse into what the fans have been clamoring for -- a "Hulk vs Thing" match up! While Johnny Storm is reading a Hulk comic, he begins to tease Ben about them looking like each other. Thing, of course takes offense to it.  

In a back feature in this annual we learn about all the members of the Fantastic Four. In the section about the Thing we learn how strong and powerful he is. An image is shown of the "Gravage" Hulk being able to leap further the Thing with his superior leg muscles. Also there is an amazing pin up of the Hulk that talks about the fight both brutes had in Fantastic Four #12 and how comic fans are waiting for their next match up.

 NOT BRAND ECHH #5 (1967)
"The Ever-lovin' Thung Vs. The Inedible Bulk!" The Thung battles the Bulk when he suspects the Bulk of "tryin' to beat my time" with his girlfriend, Anemia. This is a loose parody of Fantastic Four #25 and 26, though it also employs elements of the Thing's bout with the Silver Surfer from Fantastic Four #55 

The Avengers (including the "Gravage" Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Giant Man and Wasp) from another dimension go on a tear through their Earth defeating and pummeling all the heroes and villains on it. When the team breaks into the Baxter Building, Thing gets knocked out by a haymaker from the Hulk and a blow from Mjolnir at the same time!

 NOT BRAND ECHH #11 (1968)
A  parody story called "Superhero Daydreams!" which has heroes fighting each other. Of course the Bulk will take a few swings at the Thung.

 WHAT IF #2 (1977)
"IF" tale of the "Savage" Hulk with Bruce Banner's brain becoming a hero in the world. It would be the Thing who would soon become a rampaging beast who the U.S. Army considers public enemy number one and goes in hot pursuit of the brute.

 WHAT IF #29 (1981)
"IF" tale of the Avengers defeating everybody on Earth. The "Savage" Hulk and the Avengers attack the Fantastic Four as the Hulk will pound on the Thing.

In this Bruce Banner nightmare, a raging "Savage" Hulk will hit the Thing so hard that he literally explodes into a million pieces.

 WHAT IF #45 (1984)
Bruce Banner is unable to throw Rick Jones into the trench, but was able to protect him with his own body from the gamma rays. This resulted in a psyche link between the two. Banner will become the Hulk and Rick will be treated for radiation poisoning. Thunderbolt Ross eventually discovered the existence of the link between Jones and the Green Goliath so he decided to give non-fatal electric shocks to the boy to inflict pain and defeat the Hulk. The Hulk felt the unbearable pain and went to destroy the army base. Soon Rick's condition got worse and he eventually died causing the Hulk to go homicidal. Desperately, Ross summons the Fantastic Four for help. But Jade Jaws kills the Thing and the Human Torch. It will be Thor in the end that finally stops this crazed Hulk by snapping his neck. To grant Bruce Banner a peaceful afterlife, Thor takes Banner to Valhalla by summoning a thunderbolt shower to disintegrate Banner's body. Ross and Talbot decide to turn themselves into the authorities. This is easily one of the most hardcore “Hulk vs Thing” stories ever.

The Impossible Man and Warlock transform into many characters during their mega-brawl! But when the Impossible Man becomes the Hulk, Warlock will try and match him with the Thing. Now as both man-monsters, they slug it out!

Glorian will summon illusions to attack the "Grey" Hulk. There is a Thing illusion among the other Hulk villains and rivals and they overwhelm and pound on the brute.

 WHAT IF #27 (1991)
An alternate world tale that shows Namor as a member of the Fantastic Four (called the Fantastic Five). With Namor and the Thing as the resident powerhouses and being a formidable pair, a panel shows them teaming up and defeating the "Savage" Hulk handily.

 WHAT THE ?! #24 (1992)
In the tradition of Not Brand Echh #5 almost 30 years later we see another parody of the legendary "Bulk vs Thang" slugfest. This hilarious fight causes some major damage and ends in a standstill.

A robot Hulk (among other robots of villains) fight with Thing and some of his allies, She-Hulk, Ant-Man and Nova.

The "Professor" Hulk will engage with Ulysses (who is simulated to look like the Thing) in a practice sword fight.

 WHAT IF #80 (1995)
"IF" tale of the "Professor" Hulk becoming the Maestro! The Hulk will battle with the Fantastic Four, but it is Bruce Banner that gets killed by a mistake made by the Thing.

X-UNIVERSE #1 (1995)
In this alternate future saga, Charles Xavier was murdered, so the X-Men were never created, and without their struggle for peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants everything went terribly wrong. So wrong that there was no one to stop Apocalypse from seizing control of America and create an eugenics-based empire. And now it's up to Magneto and a ragtag assembly of mutants and heroes to fight back against their own species in order to stop this madness once and for all. The "Grey" Hulk who is on the side of Apocalypse battles it out with Ben Grimm and Sue Richards.

Stories that include some of the Hulk's greatest rouges. In this tale with the "Professor" Hulk standing trial, he gets attacked by just about every enemy he's fought in the past. The Thing is among the characters that attack and brawls with the Hulk.

In this alternate timeline story where Dr. Doom, Magneto, two Ultrons, Namor, the "Grey" Hulk and the Red Skull infiltrate the network of the city so that one of the Ultrons can link into the system, ultimately giving them control of the cities' network. While Ultron continues to adapt himself deeper into the network, the Fantastic Four and the Avengers are called in to help fight them. The Hulk and Namor will take on the Thing and the other heroes before they are captured. 

In this Franklin Richard's dream, The "Professor" Hulk battles the Thing and the Fantastic Four to a standstill. But later he will return to battle the team again with a team of his own called the Law Enforcement Squad!

Another retelling of the "Savage" Hulk fighting with the Fantastic Four that turns into another slugfest with the Thing told to a new generation of readers.

Another fun story of the "Savage" Hulk and the Thing going at it. This issue is particularly better than most "Hulk vs Thing" out-of-continuity stories (that are geared for new younger readers) because the relationship and dialogue between the two brutes is done exceptionally well. An entertaining slugfest with some good Hulk and Thing humor thrown into the mix is always a good read.

The Hulk meets up with the Thing in Hollywood, California and attacks him because he wants to smash the "puny" humans who are making movies of him. After a back and forth fight, Thing begins to understand what's making the Hulk so angry. He then has a sit down with the green brute and explains to him how they are different from everybody but they have feelings too. This calms the Hulk down and he changes back to Bruce Banner.

THE THING #3 (2006)
With Thing trapped on an island by Arcade, he leads a group of kidnapped millionaires in an attempt to free themselves. Tony Stark (minus his Iron Man armor) is making a play for the villain’s headquarters, while Nighthawk and the Constrictor help Ben out as they fight off robots of different incarnations of the Hulk.

 HULK / POWER PACK #4 (2007)
The "Savage" Hulk and Power Pack have teamed-up to take down some of the Hulk's greatest foes, but now they face their greatest opponents yet -- the mightiest heroes in the Marvel Universe! The Hulk begins to slug it out with everybody including Thing in a battle royal! The only ones who can hope to stop the destruction are Marvel's youngest heroes, Power Pack! Soon Energizer is dropped on the Hulk by Lightspeed and she absorbs his gamma-rays turning the Hulk back into Bruce Banner which ends the fight. But now she turns into the Hulk and wants to smash Banner! Energizer will then shoot a blast to the sky releasing the gamma energy within her and turns back to normal.

Bruce Banner goes to the Baxter Building looking for Reed Richards to help him find a cure. He finds the Thing who leads him into Reed's lab. Eventually a bunch of Doombots crash through the walls and attack. Due to the stress, Banner will transform into the "Savage" Hulk and slug it out with Thing (destroying a bunch of Doombots in the process). The Hulk stops when he finds out Thing is his friend and they team up and destroy the remaining Doombots. Dr. Doom will make an appearance, but the two brutes will soon send the Lord of Latveria running off.

The "Savage" Hulk is banished to an arena to fight the Champion of the Universe. Jade Jaws is soon disqualified because he has no skill and is kicked out of the arena. Then we see some of his next opponents who are caged; Thing, Juggernaut and Doc Samson. They all are soon humbled by the massive skill of the Cosmic Elder (Thing puts up a tremendous fight but is eventually knocked out). Bruce Banner now wants to have a chance against Champion because he fought the Hulk and not him. Champion laughs but gives him a chance. As the square off, Rick Jones's pet monkey removes Champion's Power Gem and gives it to Bruce who places it on his forehead. When the Hulk rises he now has the ability to fight with Kung Fu and uses it to make short work of Champion. Eventually Thing and the others are freed and everyone goes back to Earth.

The "Savage" Hulk and Rick Jones are confronted by heroes possessed by the Living Pharaoh. A mummy Thing will attack Rick Jones with other mummified heroes. Eventually, the Living Pharaoh is defeated and all the heroes return to normal.

An accidental exposure to cosmic rays turns Reed Richards, Johnny and Sue Storm, into the Terrific Three, the World’s Greatest Fighting Team! Unfortunately, tragedy strikes when their close friend, Ben Grimm, is bathed in gamma radiation due to a horrible mishap during a Gamma Bomb test transforming Ben into the Incredible Hulk, the greatest threat the world has ever known! With a mysterious villain messing with their past, thing get crazy.

With the "Savage" Hulk rampaging across the American Southwest, it will take the combined might of just about every Marvel hero including Thing and the U.S. Military to stop him. While the battle is intense with the Thing and all of the heroes piling up on the Hulk, it's the Military sharpshooters that finally take the Hulk out with Admantium tipped darts that  make him change back into Bruce Banner and sedate him.

Back up story with the Hulk having nightmares. When he wakes up he punches out the Thing who doesn't understand why. Hey, it's always that way between these two.

Back up story with the Hulk and the Thing have an eating contest in which the Hulk wins because he has the bigger burp at the end.

Another out of continuity "Hulk vs Thing" brawl geared for the new younger readers. The "Savage" Hulk will attack Thing and have a short scrap on a rooftop. It stops when both man-monsters decide to talk it out.

While the "Savage" Hulk, Thing, Thor and others are prisoner of the Cosmic Elders, the Grandmaster and the Champion, the Hulk just wants to fight the Thing. As the Hulk eventually escapes his prison, he attacks the Thing and they brawl it out. When Champion sees this he tosses aside Thor (who he is currently fighting) and tries to attack the Hulk. Thing will now grab Champion and hold the Elder in front of him as the Hulk charges and pounds on him to get to the Thing. Champion yields in defeat and then the Hulk attacks the Thing once again.

FANTASTIC FOUR #609 (2012)
The Fantastic Four meet up with the Defenders of the future! And of course, when the Thing meets up with the future-Hulk sparks start to fly and the Thing takes a beating. Whether in the past, present or future, the Hulk and Thing love to slug it out with each other.

The Hulk and the Thing battle it out once again in this playful tale geared for readers 8 to 10. No matter what the age range, when these two brutes square off, it's always fun and interesting.

HULK #9 (2014)
After Kitty Pryde scrambled the "Doc Green" Hulk's brain and helps him think more clearly, he will have dreams of himself becoming the Maestro and killing all of Earth's heroes including the Thing. When the Hulk wakes up, he hopes that this dream won't become a reality.

Variant Cover
In the land of Dystopia the Maestro dukes it out with the Thing. But this incarnation of the Thing is not Ben Grimm, it's General Ross! It's just another fine day at the office for these two characters.

(This issue has forty variant covers)

MARVEL 1000 (2019)
A one-shot that celebrates 80 years of Marvel Comics! Each page has a different story with a different creative team. One story is based off of Not Brand Echh and pits the Bulk vs the Thung in a brawl for an ice cream bar.


Listed here are all the times the Hulk and Thing fought or teamed up in a cartoon or animated feature. As always, these two brutes put on a great show when the bell rings and with such a great dynamic between them, it's always fun to see on the screen.

Alicia Masters and Thing are sitting in the park discussing about Reed creating a cure for him and having a Dr. Banner coming in to help. Some punks steal Alicia’s purse and as Thing catches up to them and the crooks begin to squeal, it catches the attention of a sleeping the Hulk nearby. The Thing and the Hulk will start to fight with Ben taking a pounding and the media loves it. It ends after Alicia comes and asks the Hulk to stop. After some manipulating by Dr. Doom the two brutes will fight again. The Hulk will pound on Ben again, but this time almost killing him. The Hulk will stop once Alicia calms the brute down again. Soon Dr. Doom will feel the Hulk's wrath for deceiving him.

In the "Hopelessly Impossible" episode there are flashbacks of the Thing and the Hulk fighting from the "Nightmare in Green" episode. 

Bruce Banner and She-Hulk go to New York hoping to find Reed Richards, so he can help cure Banner of the Hulk. However, the Fantastic Four is on vacation, except for the Thing, who She-Hulk immediately takes a liking to. Then the Hulk, Thing and She-Hulk team up to fight and defeat some of the Leaders minions lead by the Ogress. While the Hulk and Thing never come to blows in this cartoon, they still have great chemistry together that is always fun too see.

Bruce Banner goes to New York to find Reed Richards in effort to help him find a cure for his transformations into the Hulk. This soon brings the entire team into conflict with the mammoth Green Goliath. Thing and the Hulk go one-on-one and have a great battle in New York with some great dialogue and chemistry between them. Eventually, all the heroes team up and fight off the U.S. Army, who wants to capture the Hulk.  

In the episode of "The Cure" there are flashbacks of the Thing fighting with the Hulk from the "Hard Knocks" episode.

Nothing represents a fight in the comic-world better than "Hulk vs Thing." Here on this episode of The Simpsons, we see a glimpse of the Hulk slugging it out with the Thing during a riot in the streets. Creator Matt Groening is a huge "old-school" comic fan and understands the nostalgia and fun behind a Hulk and Thing dust up.

The Superhero Squad gets frustrated when the Silver Surfer cannot get the hang of Earth customs. Doctor Doom sends Abomination and M.O.D.O.K. to capture the Silver Surfer in order to siphon his cosmic power. The Super Hero Squad and the Thing set out to save him while Doom uses the siphoned Power Cosmic to meld his various fractals together into a Fractal Dagger. While the Hulk and the Thing never come to blows in this cartoon, they did have great chemistry together (as usual).

A bratty 3-year-old named Brynnie Bratton decides to hire the Heroes for Hire (consisting of Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Misty Knight) to help her find her father, but is also wearing a tiara with a fractal making her invincible. The heroes and villains must put up with her superpower temper-tantrums while Falcon helps Heroes for Hire track down Brynnie's father and bring her under control. There is a small clash between the heroes and villains in football-like fashion here (with the Hulk and Thing on the same team). 

Thanos uses the Mind Gem to control Hulk who goes on a sleepwalking rampage. When the Hulk meets up with the Thing, they have a major brawl. Sure, like always, Thing takes a beating but he never quits causing some major destruction to Superhero City. The Super Hero Squad must enter the dream realm to fight back, even if they have to get help from Nightmare.

When the Fantastic Four visits the Avengers mansion, the Hulk sees Thing and attacks him. Later they are all playing cards and when Thing wins the hand, the Hulk attacks him again. Now Hawkeye tries to keep them apart and asks why they have a grudge, The Hulk says it's because Grimm has never beaten him in a fight. Soon Doombots attack and as they prove very tough to defeat, Thing will tell the Hulk to get mad and tries to punch him. The Hulk will catch Thing's fist and say that he is mad and throws Thing at the robots. When the Doombots finally shut down, the Hulk is still dragging Thing by his leg and smashes him on top of a Doombot destroying it. Now they all team up and attack Dr. Doom in Latveria as he is holding Wasp and Invisible Woman captive. When the hatch of the Quinjet opens, Thing asks if the Hulk is ready for the fight as the Hulk pushes him off and he falls down to the castle below, Hulk smiles and as he leaps off. Finally, they all fight Doom to a standstill until he tells them all to leave with Sue Richards and Wasp.

A brief scene shows Aunt May beating Peter Parker at a video game showing the Hulk fighting it out with the Thing. May, who is using the Hulk character totally destroys Peter's Thing character and wins the game. Nothing like seeing "Hulk vs Thing" in a cartoon as a video game... classic.

As Spider-man and the Hulk swap minds, the Thing is called in by Nick Fury to stop the Hulk's rampage. At first, Ben doesn't know that the Hulk is Peter Parker and they brawl it out. Eventually, they team up to defeat the villain Mesmero and everything gets returned back to normal.

While this episode is more of a Hulk and Thing team up rather than a slugfest. I did list it here due to the dynamic between the two man-monsters when they fight side by side. It's a fun tale where the Hulk needs Ben's help to find a cure for his Agents of  S.M.A.S.H. and they both travel into the Negative Zone to get it.

The Hulk is seen rocketed back to Earth with amnesia. The Avengers have to retrace his steps to find out what happened to him and what is this strange storm beginning to tear the Earth apart. Soon they discover one of the events of the Hulk's day was having a bowling match on Yancy Street with his pal the Thing, which of course resulted in fisticuffs.


As heralded as "The Battle of the Century" is in comic book history, the results of such a big-deal fight is a little lopsided. In 61 official match ups the Hulk takes the edge and wins the overall tally 10 to 6. And truth be told, many of the Thing's victories come by outside help or with teammates assisting him. The Hulk of course, usually has his way with Aunt Petunia's favorite nephew and most of his wins are legitimate poundings. The Hulk just has too much raw power going for him that he overwhelms the Thing. But as I said before, it's all about Ben using his strengths and his unmatched heart to keep him in the fight (check out their brawl in Fantastic Four #12 and 13 (2019) to see it in full-force). And that's what this match up is all about, Grimm showing up despite the odds and doing his best!

As for the official 61 match ups of "Hulk vs Thing," you would think that no one comes close to that number with meetings against the Hulk in-continuity. Well, that's not true. Did any of you readers know that the Invincible Iron Man has matched up with ol' Jade Jaws more often? That's right, Iron Man has fought the Hulk (alone or with back up) more times than even the Sub-Mariner, the Abomination, the Leader, the Rhino, Doc Samson, Wolverine and even the Mighty Thor ever has. And those names are synonymous with fighting the Hulk in Marvel History. I find this very interesting because many comic fans don't really even consider Hulk and Iron Man common rivals. While "Hulk vs Thing" has somewhat tapered off in popularity in recent years, Iron Man's fame has risen and he seems to be appearing everywhere in the Marvel Universe especially opposing the Hulk (or teaming up with him) as a huge battle between the two is showcased in the movie; Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). I'll send a Hero Envy "No-Prize" to anyone who can give me the total number of match ups in "Hulk vs Iron Man." And just to let you know, I will NOT be doing a Definitive Write Up on that fight because I was never a big fan of Iron man, so please don't ask. Happy hunting fanboys.

Did you know "Hulk vs Iron Man" actually surpasses "Hulk vs Thing" in total number of official match ups? This should be a shock to most considering Iron Man is not typically known for being a Hulk rival.

Let's face it; the Hulk likes to fight more than just about any other character in the Marvel Universe. He has fought anyone who could flex a muscle and it didn't matter if they were the good guys or bad guys. He is widely considered the measuring stick on how high up the Marvel-Powerhouse-Hierarchy a character or team is in how well they deal with him in a slugfest. And almost nobody has had to deal with ol' Jade Jaws more than the Thing. So if anyone ever tries to discredit the toughness of Benjamin Jacob Grimm, let this write up give them proof on just how awesome he is. So this one's for you Thing and those bouncin'-baby-blues.

Agree? Disagree? Let's hear it fanboys because "IT'S CLOBBERIN' TIME!!"

Check out other "DEFINITIVE WRITE UPS" here:

Jack Kirby vs Alex Toth

Superman vs Captain Marvel
Thor vs Ulik

Hulk vs Thor
Hulk vs Juggernaut

John Cimino
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that runs a business called "Saturday Morning Collectibles." He buys, sells, appraises and gives seminars on everything pop culture, so if you got something special, let him know about it. He contributes articles to ALTER EGO, RETROFAN, BACK ISSUE and THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR from TwoMorrows Publishing, runs the Roy Thomas Appreciation Board on Facebook and has appeared on the AMC reality show Comic Book Men. He also represents some of comicdoms biggest stars and brings them to a Comic Con near you. John likes to think he's the real Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that loves to play superheroes with his daughter Bryn. Contact him at or follow him on Instagram at megostretchhulk.


  1. "This game stands as the very first time the Hulk and Thing meet as adversaries in a video game, by Acclaim (1997)"

    Actually, they can face each other a year earlier in this SNES game:

    You fight an 'Evil Thing' boss in the Mount Vesuvius level, and Hulk is one of the playable characters.

    I actually managed to find a video of a character using Hulk to beat this level on YouTube. I added a time sig (2 minutes 20 seconds) so it skips to that part (you have to fight off Dark Surfer while crossing lava and a bunch of evil Hawkeyes)

    That game was out October 1996 compared to

    I just remembered this because I used to own this game, it was loads of fun to play. I do not know if this is the earliest though, if anyone else knows any earlier possible crossovers I would love to hear of them.

    1. Hey, thanks for the information but I already knew about this. I originally didn't list the "War of the Gems" video game because it was a "fake" Thing doppleganger that the Hulk fights(as you can also see I never listed any of those fights from the comics as well). The Hulk and the "REAL" Thing fight for the first time in the Fantastic Four Acclaim game from 1997. So in truth, that was the first actual game. But to avoid any more confusion I now list both video games and explained it so. So thanks for the help.

  2. nice breakdown, I suspect Hulk (only) fans won't like it though. As a fan of both, I don't mind, though it surely seems more one sided in most comics. I honestly think FF25 set a terrible precident for the fights going forward...Thing uses the absolutely WORST tactics to fight the hulk in there, tring to tire him out, slow him down, ect, which of course backfire as hulk doesn't get tired & only becomes stronger & stronger. I always felt Thing could & should win almost half their fights, once he realised it was ALL OUT ASSAULT FROM THE OUTSET that gives him the best (probably only) chance to win. It never happened or else Thing is completely punked by various writers.

    It's strange, really. Being stronger doesn't guarentee wins in fights, and I really don't buy the hulk IS stronger than thing before he gets mad anyway.

    FF 320 & Hulk 350 were interesting cases. As the reader of both mags at the time, I KNEW hulk stood no chance vs the Thing, mano et mano, and was pleasantly surprised simple common sense prevailed...Thing simply was too much for hulk. Hulk, to his credit, now as underdog (& thus getting me to root for him, for once, vs thing) turns around & beats thing with some wits/tactics. Why Thing doesn't do that to hulk more often is beyond me (same idea, needs different tactic obviously).

    1. I think there is some truth to what is said here. FF #25 did set a precedence on how creators view a Hulk vs Thing brawl, but it also showcased the Thing's "never say die attitude" that has become synonymous with the character.

  3. Very well written entry. It's good that a complete Hulk vs Thing listing is here for historical reference.

    1. Thanks, I'm dedicated to the classics, and it doesn't get anymore classic than "Hulk vs Thing"!

  4. I don't care what anyone says, the Thing is better than the Hulk will ever be!!! Better than anyone!!!!

  5. 53 big ones and Thing is only down by 4??? Not bad at all by Bashful Benji. Yeah, I know he get's a little help here and there but come on, give it the man!!!


    1. This!!!!! Give em' hell Ben!!

  6. I agree with this write up on all accounts. Although this fight is not as in demand as it used to be, it's still a classic.

  7. I think the problem with the Thing has been that he never got a power-up. While most Marvel heroes (especially the Hulk and Wolverine) have increased in power dramatically, Thing has always stayed the same. This is a shame because Thing has become a running joke within the Marvel halls that he will tough out a fight but ultimately lose. I'm sure Jack Kirby would be happy with this.

    1. Well, there is truth in that but I think, unlike other characters who keep power-ups very quickly, the Thing's power-ups are slower and more gradual. I mean, he was 5-10 tonner when he started but now in modern comics, he now more or less a 100-tonner character. And I think he will continue to grow from that as well. I was reading an issue of the Fantastic Four, where they fought their counterparts from the future but they are getting trounced, cos the Fanstastic 4 from the future are just so stronger.
      Example: Future Johnny's flames burns blue and Future Ben outclasses present Ben in terms out strength and skill.

  8. Hey, Thing has gotten power-up, but at a slower rate. Did you know he stopped a pile-driver mechanism which could drill through the whole planet? All hail The Ever-Lovin'-Blue-Eyed-Thing
    -Hulking smash

  9. And recently, our dear Benjy has defeated that jerkass Namor underwater. Yipeeee!!!!
    -Hulking smash

  10. But If you ask me, Thing cannot defeat the Hulk in a fight, 'cause Hulk's the strongest one there is. All out assaults from the beginning work with those whose strengths are way above Hulk's base, like Hercules, Thor, Juggernaut, and maybe guys like Namor and Iron Man. Thing's strength is too close to the Hulk's strength to do that before the Green Goliath's temper flares up. And that's the case for only some incarnations. Everyone else has base above the Thing already. And the base strength of every incarnation increases when Hulk is exposed to gamma rays. The increase varies, but it always does increase. Does anybody know that the Hulk was at 30 tons when these two first fought? And with the recent colossal exposure to gamma rays, I don't think Ben can match him anymore, and I believe his base has increased enough stay even longer in all out assaults from beginning with these guys. If you ask me, the only two reasons he hangs with hulk nowadays are 'cause
    1) Ben too has got stronger, and as a future version of him says, will continue too, due to workouts and more mutation and exposure to cosmic rays
    2) Fans do not want a one sided slaughter
    3) As he said to the Champion, he's just too stupid to give up. I just loved him from that moment, I just don't keep with his issues 'cause I hate his team members, especially Susan Storm Richards? Who the hell does she think she is?
    And I like this article too. I have no problem admitting Hulk has lost, and should lose at some time to poor old Benjy. And he's getting to throw around Rulk. But that's more because the large hatebase for Rulk.
    -Hulking smash

  11. Well, and for the Iron Man fights, here is the link to the site, excluding few of his fights with Hulk in the Indestructible Hulk. Well this site hasn't covered anything after World War Hulk and is slightly biased, bt mostly good:

    1. For your information, that list on Leader Lair of the "Hulk vs Iron Man" fights are very incomplete. So many issues missing from that...but it is a nice try.

  12. And Iron Man knocked out Hulk with all the power in his armor after Hulk had been stunned by Tony's plane exploding in his face. Are Tony's aircrafts kryptonites for very powerful heroes? Then it helped him take out Hulk. Now recently in Siege, the Helicarrier he rode helped him take out the Sentry, while many others had not made a scratch.

  13. All those who want to know more about the rivalry between the two should see this gem:
    The description of a conversation between a poisoned and dying Grey Hulk and and a depowered
    Ben Grimm, from Incredible Hulk #365:
    Hulk says that it is Saturday and that he usually has Michelob, but that he will have a milk

    instead. Grimm says to put it in a dirty glass though and Hulk agrees. Hulk says that Grimm

    is paying. Ben says that Hulk must really be getting off on this, and that there isn’t a

    thing he can do about it. Hulk says, “Literally”. Hulk asks Grimm if he feels helpless, and

    says that now he know he felt cooped up inside Banner all those years. Grimm tells him not

    to hand him his problems. He says that Hulk has a lot of nerve coming to people that he has

    had a grudge against for years. Hulk says that Grimm is the one who has the grudge. Grimm

    says that he is the one that always started wrecking everything every time he showed up.

    Hulk says that is a good example. Hulk says that the first time they met there was a guy

    named the Wrecker that was destroying rocket sites. Hulk says that they just assumed that he

    was the Wrecker with no evidence at all. He says that based on what they saw they attacked

    him. Grimm asks so what. Hulk says that they could have apologized. Grimm asks if he is

    crazy. He says that Hulk tried to kill him in New York. He asks Hulk why he cares anyway.

    Hulk says that if he has been trying to kill him that he would be dead. He says that as for

    why he cares that he has a bad feeling about what is happening to him and that he feels like

    he should be settling accounts. He wonders why they have been beating on each other all

    those years. Grimm says that Hulk attacked him because he was a monster like him, but that

    he had friends and had made something of himself. He says that even when he was brainless

    that it made him sick. Hulk says, “Yeah, Grimm? And you always attacked me… because you

    spent all your time wishing you weren’t a monster, and envying me because I never once, not

    once, wished I was something else. You envied that I was happy being the Hulk. And you

    envied that I was stronger, and that I could cut loose without conscience, or concern, or

    care. Maybe I never penetrated your rock, but I got under your skin. Remember that, if we

    ever meet again.” Hulk starts leaving. Grimm calls to the Hulk and apologizes for thinking

    that he was the Wrecker. Hulk says, “Remember all those times I beat you up?” Grimm says,

    “Yeah?” Hulk says, “I was going easy on you.” Hulk walks out and leaves Grimm there.
    -Hulk lover

  14. And I am sure, the Thing and the Fantastic Four fanboys, the Hulk haters, and the guys who love Ben or the team, or any of the members of the team and hate Hulk for consistently beating them up, biased towards the F4 and Thing and against the Hulk, they should love this:
    How Strong is The Thing?
    - Hulk lover

  15. Funny how Hulk vs Iron Man is Marvel's most frequent superhero battle. Tech vs science, pure brute force vs futuristic logic and mind vs mind when you compare Stark and Banner. Iron Man and the Hulk are two of the most popular heroes today while the Thing has fallen by the wayside (and more so once the horrible FF bombs).

    Too bad because the Hulk vs Thing battle royal was always a classic that defined Marvel. Not so much anymore.

  16. Dude, you missed the one at Deadpool's wedding
    And this new captcha make sit difficult for mobile users

    1. Thanks for the info, I added it.

    2. And thanks for appreciating my Cap vs Wolvie review. Are you going to do any matchups with Spider Man? Like Spidey vs Luke Cage, Iron fist, Cap or Daredevil?

    3. Don't worry, I got some good things coming up. So stay tuned.

  17. Totally should have been working but spent some time with the classics instead. Great stuff - a staple of my childhood and always the supreme match up to me. Thanks very much - a great read. A classic battle rivalry deserving some additional chapters.


  18. This was a fun read that took me back to my youth. When I was a child reading comics my favorite fights were always Hulk versus Thing and Spider-man versus the Green Goblin.

  19. Will we ever see the Hulk and the Thing fight again in the comics? Will we ever see the Hulk and the Thing fight on the big screen?

    Hoping some dreams come true.

  20. WOW! Ben won, fair and square in Fantastic Four #13!

    1. He won but fair and square isn't true unless you want to count all the times the narrator/writer has said stuff. You can have it both ways.. either the narrator is always true or not.

      I don't care for battle board stuff.. For every Hulk showing there's a defeat by the snake in Circus of Crime. Thor fans were upset that the Hulk one shotted him and cracked his skull per narration.

      No one is saying Ben lost but let's be honest Dan Slott plays favorites and he editorializes. Remember when he had Squirrel Girl beat Thanos and had the Watcher "prove" it was the genuine article?

      Same sloppy writer tool, same result.

  21. It is a fictional book. They are going to tell a story that they want to tell. Hulk is getting alot of love at the moment but nothing is to stop him from getting humiliated either other than a push by the current writers.

    They want to play up Hulk vs Thing. They do not need to care about Hulk vs thor or Hulk vs Wolverine and how the other two would be shown in such a fight.

    Thing acknowledging that Hulk is stronger does not really matter. It is not the point of Ben's character. His grit is. Many writers along the way ignored that. Ben does not give up in the fights and that is what is happening here.

    It does not make the thing with Thor look better but it is a separate issue. And yes, I know that is not how we should have to look at comics, but given how little comic writers tend to care about classical cannon or even recent cannon once they are off a book, why should we? Keeps the blood pressure lower.

    They did exploit Hulk vs Thor in the set up you are describing. For sure, it was a set up though. Just like WWH cake walking through everybody. It sucks and it should not happen to a guy like Thor. But after such things, it is hardly shocking to see other characters do better as the lust wears off.

    Thing had his time to shine in one fight out of how many?

    Who cares, it's fun.

    Just the way it goes.

  22. In their fight in Fantastic Four #12 and 13, it was the psychic backlash that knocked the Hulk out, not the Thing's punch. When the Hulk regained consciousness, he went straight after Puppet Master and took care of business.

  23. Hey, thanks for keeping this updated! you should also add Ultimate Thing's battles with Ultimate and Zombie Hulk. Also Ben recently beat spiderman with Hulk's powers.

    1. You're welcome! I never can stop because I like keeping all the battle articles as a reference tool for new readers. Comics have such a rich history, so I like keeping it up to date. If you ever find something I may be missing, please let me know.

      As for the Ultimates and Spider-Hulk stuff, if you've read the entire blog I specifically say that I keep it to just the Hulk and Thing's TRUE incarnations. I'm not really a fan of all the other stuff. All those alternate incarnations are nothing compared to the originals.

      Thanks again.