And by Thing, we of course mean the ever lovin' Benjamin Grimm, the long-serving muscle of Marvel's first family, the Fantastic Four.
When he made his debut appearance in 1961, there really wasn't anyone else like the Thing. A superhero who looked more like something a superhero should fight, with the bad attitude and short temper of, well, a regular adult man. Despite resembling a pile of cracked orange rocks crudely assembled into an angry golem, the Thing was one of the most realistic depictions of a human being that superhero comics had seen at that time. He didn't have the uninfected virtuous spirit of Superman, or the unbreakable cool edge of Batman. He was just a regular, somewhat hot-headed man who reacted to his transformation the way any normal person would.
The idea of giving ordinary people extraordinary powers, and having them react realistically, proved extremely successful for the Fantastic Four. We've seen countless other superheroes follow this formula since, and that's not all: we have also seen a huge number of variations on the Thing himself.
Whether it's a being from an alternate reality, an in-universe copycat, or just a straight-up rip-off from another publisher, there are so many alternate versions of the Thing that we couldn't even fit them all on this list (apologies in advance to any Captain Thingbeard fans).
Call us Maria von Trapp, because these are a few of our favourite Things!
Jimmy Kavanagh is an Irish comics enthusiast and co-founder of Club Valentine Comedy, a Dublin-based comedy collective. You can hear him talk to his favourite comedians about their favourite comics on his podcast, Comics Swapping Comics (available on all good podcast platforms).