The Fantastic Four’s strongman the Thing is known for his mighty strength, but did you know he had a hand in one history’s great works of art?
Benjamin Jacob Grimm, aka the Thing, is known for being a lot of things to his super team the Fantastic Four. Grimm is a superb fighter, ace pilot, and a self-described “idol o’ millions.” When it comes to making great art, however, Ben usually leaves that up to his girlfriend (and now wife), blind sculptress Alicia Masters.
That said, on one of their dates, Ben accidentally found himself in the company of a great historical artist – and accidentally provided the finishing touches on a sculpture that would make it a world-renowned favorite! While the circumstances behind the event are more embarrassing than inspiring, in the Marvel Universe, the Thing helped create the Venus de Milo!
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Ben’s unexpected foray into the world of art came in The Thing #7 when he decided to take Alicia back in time to the Isle of Melos, 130 BC when the sculptor Alexandros of Antioch was finishing the Venus de Milo. Feeling this would be a great way for Alicia to be able to touch the Venus as it was being finished, the Thing was surprised when Alicia responded with anger, telling Ben they could accidentally alter the course of history by being there.
Unfortunately for Ben, it turned out that Alexandros was in the process of creating a sculpture of Hercules – and that the Greek God was there in person to pose for the artist. When Hercules – who in this time period did not yet know the Thing – saw Ben and Alicia arguing, he was thrilled at the prospect of saving a fair maiden from an ugly “rock troll.” The Prince of Power immediately began pounding away at the Thing, smashing him through trees and Alexandros’ sculptures.
More exasperated than angry at this point, Alicia simply gave the onlookers a few warnings, letting them know when to duck (as she could basically predict all of Ben’s fight moves at this point). The citizens were astounded by the blind woman’s instincts and concluded she must be “The Blind Oracle of Melos!” When Alicia learned Alexandros was in the area, she informed him that he would be very famous and sculpt the Venus de Milo. Alexandros told Alicia he was not familiar with that work, leading Alicia to realize that before the statue went to France, it was called “The Aphrodite of Melos” – which Alexandros stated was one of the statues Ben had just accidentally smashed.
Horrified, Alicia rushes to Ben only to find that the Thing – accidentally snapped the arms off of “The Aphrodite of Melos,” giving it its famous limbless look. Ben is horribly embarrassed and offers to go back to the future for some super glue – but fortunately, Alexandros takes the damage to his sculptures in stride, claiming to Hercules that the “oracle” just told him, “I’m gonna be huge in France!” Hercules and the Thing make up and Ben even repositions the now-broken Venus de Milo, letting Alicia feel the famous sculpture… which she now knows the Thing played a part in sculpting!
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