Today, one one side we have Dr. Bruce Banner's super alter-ego (or, more correctly, super alter-Id --- Har! a little Freudian humor there), the Jade Giant, the Strongest One There Is, You Wouldn't Wanna Make Him Angry 'Cause You Wouldn't Like Him When He's Angry, The Incredible Hulk. On the other side, everyone's favorite member of the Fantastic Four, the bashful Ben Grimm, the terror of Yancy Street, the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing.
Today's battle is thought by many to be iconic, a veritable Battle of the Century, a comic fan's favorite. Just look at the recent miniseries. But it's not iconic. Actually, it's ironic. Do you know why? No, not because it's like a fly in your Chardonnay. It's because (a) in order to give a rat's ass about the "outcome" of this battle of fictional comic characters, you must be a comic reader; but (b) if you are a comic reader, you should know that fight would actually be no drawn-out, edge-of-your-seat battle royale, but a no-brainer.
(Hey! Who call Hulk a no-brainer?) Not you, Hulk; sit down, please.
Consider: the Hulk regenerates almost instantly. The Hulk's strength grows as he gets angrier. There is no known limit to the Hulk's strength; it seems to simply increase as he needs it. His leg muscles are so strong, the guy can leap three miles. For Pete's sake, he can knock a crowd of people on their collective asses just by clapping his hands! On the other hand, the Thing, while certainly no creampuff, is simply a very strong guy.
There is just no contest here. Even considering that sometimes the Hulk isn't exactly a Mensa candidate (Hey! Who call Hulk...), Ben's street smarts aren't going to save him from the strongest mortal in the Marvel Universe. Even savage, the Hulk has always demonstrated enough animal cunning to best foes much smarter than he. Face it: in a real battle with the Hulk as he's meant to be depicted, the Thing will soon be orange powder.
And remember, the Champ usually gets the girl, but when he has severe personality problems like the Hulk, he also drives 'em away.
Next: Goin' at it tooth and claw