Ben Grimm grew up in the neighborhood of Queens, in New York City. At a young age, he attended Midtown Middle School where he became the star linebacker for the school football team, earning himself the nickname The Grimm Reaper. During this time, he befriended a child prodigy named Reed Richards. Possessing a unique intellect, Reed was often the target of school bullies, and Ben took it upon himself to protect Reed from those who would seek to persecute him. As reward for this valuable service, Reed agreed to help Ben with his trigonometry homework.
Ben and Reed parted ways when Reed was only ten-years-old. A government sponsored think-tank recruited Reed into working for them at the Baxter Building. Ben continued with his education and eventually entered into college.
Years later on Spring Break, Grimm was backpacking across the desert of Nevada when he learned that his old school pal was in the area. He visited the testing sight of a teleportation project, which sought to pierce the dimensional barrier into an antimatter realm called the N-Zone. Ben knew that Reed had always experimented with quantum physics, and wanted to see how his old friend was getting along. During the visit, Reed introduced him to his colleagues, Victor van Damme, Sue Storm and her younger brother, Johnny. He invited him to witness the first field test of the N-Zone Initiator.
The experiment proved to be a tragic disaster however. Moments before the initial testing phase was to commence, Victor Van Damme adjusted the coordinates on the machine causing it to malfunction. It tore open a dimensional breach, releasing a blinding wave of energy, which shunted all five witnesses to different geological locations.
Ben awakened in a small village in New Mexico. As he rose to his feet, he discovered that he was no longer entirely human. The N-Zone effect increased his body mass, transforming him into a gargantuan thing with flesh composed of living rock. Members of the Baxter Building research team tracked him down and brought him back to New York for testing. Athletically and intellectually gifted, young Benn Grimm, regarded as a future football star as early as forth grade, was nicknamed "Grimm Reaper" for his line backing skills. At the age of seven, Grimm had befriended fellow student Reed Richards, protecting Reed from bullying students. In turn, Reed helped Ben with his studies, tutoring him ni math and science; he also shared his research with Ben, showing him his devices built for accessing other dimensions. In fifth grade, Reed was moved uptown to a government research facility. Ben seldom saw his friend thereafter.
Ben finished high school and soon began college in the New York area. He remained in occasional contact with Reed over the years, and when the time came for Reed to demonstrate his teleportation device, Ben was invited to observe. As the test was during Ben's spring break, he rode cross country to the Nevada test site, where he watch the test beside Reed, Susan and Johnny Storm, and Victor Van Damme. The device malfunctioned and Ben woke up in Mexico City, transformed into a rocky, brutish Thing. He was taken to the Baxter Building by the U.S. government. There, Ben learns from Reed that he made a miscalculation in the experiment that caused them to possess their powers, which Ben angrily attacked Reed for his condition before being subdue by Reed's powers. When the Baxter Building was attack by Arthur Molekevic's monster, Ben leapt from the skyscraper and battled the beast. Ben, Reed and Johnny pursued the monster into Molekevic's hidden headquarters beneath Manhattan, where they retrieved Susan Storm, though Ben's massive strength inadvertently collapsed Molekevic's chambers.
As the U.S. government wanted to keep the foursome a secret, Ben was confined to the Baxter Building for months after his change and limited to weekly phone calls to his family. He accompanied his teammates to Denmark to confront Victor Van Damme, and again into the N-Zone on a voyage of exploration. While Reed and Sue had each other, and Johnny was allowed out in public, Ben was the most isolated of the four, unable to pursue his interests or see his friends, his pro football dreams dead. His first real joy since being change came when the quartet entered the N-Zone and Ben space-walked for the first time; he found similar moments venturing into the Jurassic Era. After the team went public as the Fantastic Four while battling the alien Nihil in Las Vegas, Ben slowly began to accept what he'd become, even adopting an old football coach's slogan as his battle cry: "It's Clobberin' Time!"
Ben, now a member of the USAF, returned to New York to visit Sue. He professed his love for her, to which he received silence in return. Hurt that she didn't return the sentiment he left, as a piece of his rocky skin fell off of his arm. Moments later, while Sue was examining the piece of Ben's skin, a gelatinous creature attacked her. Ben tried to save her only to be swatted many blocks away, through multiple buildings.
Superhuman Strength: The Thing can lift at least 100 tons, the upper limit is unknown. Reed measured Ben's strength at seven tons per square inch .
Class 100. The Thing possesses vast superhuman strength, at least enought to lift 100 tons ; the upper limits however are as yet unknown.