Ben Grimm is the rock hard (no pun intended) member of the Fantastic Four. As the Thing, he has immeasurable strength and durability, which has come in handy more than a couple of times for the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. The Fantastic Four rely on the Thing when they are in dire need of some brute force. The guy can lift more than 5,000 tons!! That is enough to give the Hulk a run for his money. The Thing has gone toe to toe with some of the greatest heavyweights and powerhouses like Juggernaut and Colossus and lived to tell the tale, sometimes even defeating them in the process. But there was this one time when the Thing battled a Cosmic God one on one and he absolutely clobbered that guy into submission. Presenting – That Time when a Cosmic God realized he will never be strong enough to defeat the Thing!!
The Cosmic God in question is called Tryco Slatterus, otherwise known as the Champion of the Universe. He is an Elder of the Universe who absorbed the primordial energy of the Big Bang and gained access to the Power Cosmic. Like every other Elder, the champion lives for a hobby. All his eternal life has been devoted to perfecting his physical attributes and become the ultimate fighter. He travels from one world to another, challenging the best of what every alien civilization has to offer. He fights them and whoever is not able to live up to his near impossible standards, becomes the reason for their world to be destroyed.
The Champion once came to Earth in pursuit of his quest to find the perfect opponent. And that is when the Thing came forward to challenge Tryco Slatterus to a death match. The prize was if the Thing won, Tryco would leave Earth in peace. The Thing was literally fighting for the fate of the planet!!
Marvel Two in One Annual #7 introduces the cosmic being called the Champion. His visit to Earth puts the blue planet in cosmic peril. Many Superheroes answer his call for a match to see if anybody can defeat him, on account of which he will judge the planet. There are several rules to the matches set up by the Champion. Thor could not participate because weapons are not allowed while the Hulk is too uncontrollable and volatile to understand the rules of Boxing. Slowly and steadily, many powerful superheroes are weeded out until four remain – Colossus, the Thing, Sasquatch, and Wonder Man.
The rest of the three heroes are easily eliminated. Only the Thing stands between the Champion and the total destruction of Earth. He is heavily outmatched against the Cosmic Fighter. Taking several blows to the head and ribs from the Champion, the Thing keeps standing back up because he knows he is his world’s last resort. The Champion and the Referee are both astonished at his sheer determination to keep standing back up. They ask him how is he able to do that. And that is when he utters the famous line:
“I am just too stupid and ugly to know when to quit.”
The Thing keeps on getting clobbered and stands back up each time, ready for another punishing barrage of stone cracking punches. After barely surviving three rounds with the Champion, the Referee is forced to call it quits and make the Champion the Victor because even he knew that the Thing will not survive a fourth round. As the Champion brandishes his prize and is about to judge the Earth as unworthy, the Thing does something that moves the Elder of the Universe.
For a world to have the capacity to give birth to a warrior who will never give up is no something to be taken lightly. The Champion leaves Earth be and gives the Thing a gift he has never given to any other challenger – He would like to have a rematch.
The Thing watches as the Champion vanishes into the Cosmos, looking for other worlds to spread his gift. He falls on the ground, knowing that he was won this round after all as the rest of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cheer in excitement.