Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Bashful, Blustery Thing

It seems that comics readers from 1969 to 2017 have joined forces to raise a question on a subject brought to light by the PPC's recent look at Fantastic Four #87, regarding the following scene:

Namely: Just how powerful are the Thing's lungs??

Reader Mike Burton from the FF's 1969 letters page (an issue that also contained a letter written by one Don McGregor) seems to think (as did some of you) that artist Jack Kirby stepped way over the line in his portrayal of the force of the Thing's gust being powerful enough to destroy a heavy, solid castle door--an assessment that Marvel's unnamed staff responder agreed with and who subsequently categorized the scene as a goof (as alert PPC reader Kid had commented).

While an isolated incident to the extent shown in the scene, the Thing nevertheless appears capable of inflicting considerable damage and/or injury with his powerful bursts of breath--or, in the case of Reed Richards, at least extreme embarrassment, as the scientist discovered when he engaged in a bit of horseplay with his wife in an effort to lift his friend's spirits and found himself to be the one who was lifted.

Also, when the Thing is under the weather, those caring for him have found it wise to have a plan that involves ducking for cover.

In battle, it's no small feat to have the kind of lung capacity that allows the Thing to battle no less than the Sub-Mariner, underwater, for apparently whatever length of time he's prepared to stay submerged.

(No, I don't know how the Thing is still able to control his breathing when he's unconscious.)

Over time, there seems to be no question that Ben's lungs have their use offensively, either against friends who insist on getting on his bad side:

...Or against enemies, whether in close quarters:

...or surrounding him--in this case, a wind-based foe who attempts to suffocate him by depriving him of his air supply.

The fact that the Thing's lungs are knocking over automobiles may or may not indicate the extent of the force he can generate. Knocking Doctor Doom off his pins at close range would probably be easy enough to accomplish, though. (With the added bonus of being the kind of attack from a despised foe that would chafe at Doom's pride for many years to come.)


Kid said...

Personally, I never considered Ben blowing Doom's doors off (ooh, that sounds rude) particularly outrageous, but Marvel seemed to want to backtrack on it at the time. Then they backtracked on their backtrack - not by saying so, but in the way they had Ben act in the examples you've shown. It's a funny old business.

Comicsfan said...

Kid, ain't it the truth!

Iain said...

Like I mentioned in the other thread I have no problem with Ben having massive lung power, after all we see the Hulk doing similar feats and I'd say the Thing and Hulk are pretty close in lung power. ^^

Very well researched btw I think you couls add some Hulk feats of breathing to support Ben's position too.