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What Fantastic Four's Thing Looks Like Under The Stone (Warning: It's Gross)

Upon being exposed to cosmic radiation during a mission to space, Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm are changed forever. The members of Marvel's First Family develop powers that turn them from everyday folk to full-on superheroes, known collectively as the Fantastic Four. Unfortunately, while Reed, Sue, and Johnny are all able to deactivate their powers at will to take on an inconspicuous appearance, Ben, dubbed the Thing, isn't so lucky. The radiation gives his skin a rocky texture that he can't simply turn off. While this does make him incredibly durable, he's not invincible, considering there's a point where the rock layer ends.

Marvel Comics has revealed what lies beneath Ben's rocky exterior. The first time comes during a clash with Wolverine in the pages of 1993's "Fantastic Four" #347, with the X-Men staple taking a hard swipe at Thing's face with his adamantium claws. The blow gives way to Thing's rocky-looking pink flesh underneath, which is tweaked a bit during his next rock-breaking battle. In 2018's "Fantastic Four" #13, Thing locks up with the Hulk and again loses a sizable chunk of rock from his face. Again, pinkish flesh is underneath, though this time around, it takes on a much smoother and inflamed appearance.

The Thing's skin beneath the rock may be a bit hard to look at, but at least his overall mutation comes with some positives.

Thing's mutation still comes with loads of positives

There's no denying that the Thing's mutation comes with some pretty major downsides. Not only is his skin now permanently pink and puffy, but as mentioned previously, he's stuck in his rock form — something that takes quite a bit of getting used to in Ben's early post-radiation days. While he has reverted to his human form on occasion, thanks to the Hulk's Gamma radiation, a serum created by the Future Foundation, and even his own mental capabilities, among other means, he has mostly remained stuck in his rocky form since his initial cosmic radiation exposure.

At the same time, while Ben has struggled with his Thing persona and the aesthetic changes that come with it, it's worth noting that his mutation has plenty to offer by way of positives. In addition to his enhanced durability allowing him to take a beating from even the most formidable of foes, his altered physiology has made him exceptionally strong. Also, his increased lung capacity gives him greater stamina, his senses are heightened, and he doesn't age unless in his human form. Thus, theoretically, he can live forever.

Is the Thing the most visually appealing superhero, with or without his rock layer? No, but at the end of the day, there's so much more to the Fantastic Four staple than his looks. He's committed to doing good, protecting his loved ones and the innocent, and sending the forces of evil packing by any means necessary. Suffice it to say, his mutation has left him with the means to do it all.