Monday, April 20, 2009

365 Days with Ben Grimm: Day 110

Capt. Savage #7
Splash page from Captain Savage and His Leatherneck Raiders #22 (October 1968)
(Click picture to WWII-size)


Erin Palette said...

I have a question.

Setting aside for a moment the fact that, chronologically, the Marvel U has needed a reboot for a while now...

This means that when Ben Grimm became the Thing in -- 1963? '64? Let's say '64 because that's a nice round number -- he was, what, over forty at the time?

That's really strange to me for two reasons. One, aside from being curmudgeonly, Ben has never *acted* like a 40+ man-- the Yancy Street antics, the continuing "feud" with the Torch, etc.

Two, Reed has always been presented as the "old man" of the group. The "wise father figure." If Ben is 40+, how old is Reed? Fifty? Sixty?

Regardless, it then becomes *really creepy* that Reed was macking on Sue Storm, who at the time was at least 20 years his junior (and still a teenager IIRC?)

For some reason, I always thought Ben was a Korean War vet. That seems to jibe much better with his presented age.

Reed's still a creep lech, though.

keith-martin said...

Nah, I know lots of 40+ people who act like big kids at times.

Johnny was 16 when the FF got their powers (in 1961), Sue was only a few yers older (per the scene of them as kids in FF#32) - so no more than 21.

Reed and Ben were rommates in college and graduated together. If anything, Reed might have been younger than Ben.

In FF#11, Reed says, "We hardly had time to pack away our diplomas before you [Ben] became a marine fighter ace over Okinawa and Guadalcanal." So they graduated in 1942.

Ben was 41 when he flew Reed's rocket, 20 years older than Sue. Reed might have been a couple of years younger (but already had grey hair at the temples).

So yes, that never did make much sense.

Bully said...

Yeah, the only time Reed and Ben as WWII vets made sense was immediately in 1961, when the FF debuted. As soon as "Marvel Time" started to stretch out behind the characters, dragging the FF's rocket launch forward in time with it so that it's perpetually ten or so years behind us, that got bolluxed up.

And pity poor Franklin Richards, a baby (without a name) for several years, and then suddenly six years old, and then six for about the next twenty years or so. (Valeria's debut seems to have pushed Franklin up to 8 or 9, but that's just a guess.)

One of the smarter things John Byrne once said was "The only way to deal with Marvel Time is to ignore it." Then again, he's the one who had Reed Richards celebrating his 40th birthday in FF #271 (October 1984).

chiasaur11 said...

Well, the grey was originally said to be from the stress of saving lives in the OSS.

So, a tad younger than Ben is possible enough. And yes, the age thing is one of the many, many things one quietly ignores.