Marvel's characters were all about angst in the 1960s, and few more so than Ben Grimm, the Thing, a gruff hero in a monster's body (Gee, can't imagine why that would appeal to an adolescent reader).

Grimm's internal conflict was best dramatized (or at least, melo-dramatized) in Fantastic Four #51, at left. That's not Ben on the cover; it's an imposter, who used comic-book science to steal the Thing's form and power in order to get revenge on the FF. After walking a mile in the Thing's form, however, he experiences a change of heart. The doppelganger things served as a convenient vehicle to illustrate conflicts within the character, and the device would be used again.

In Marvel Two-in-One #50, a time-travelling Ben Grimm literally meets himself, as he appeared in the first few issues of Fantastic Four. The change in drawing (from dinosaur-hide to rocky armour) was retconned into the Thing's history; it seems he continued to mutate after his initial transformation. The conflict was not merely between two different artistic interpretations, but between a man still reeling from his transformation and highly suspicious of others, and one who had grown a little more accepting of his orange skin.

On a handful of occasions (as in Fantastic Four #161 and 163, shown here), Ben Grimm travelled to an alternate universe where he remained his old self and even married Sue Storm, while Reed Richards became the Thing.