For some reason, one of my earliest experiences in reading superhero comics was the Official Marvel Index to the Fantastic Four, which was actually not comics, it was prose summaries of the Fantastic Four’s comics. I remember many nights laying in bed reading dry descriptions of these high concept character driven adventures. Maybe it wasn’t the ideal way to experience them, but it was how I did, so I cherished it.
Life went on and I grew up, but one thing I remembered was that there was an image in one of those Index issues of Ben Grimm, the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing, relaxing on a beach and his erect penis was visible, but because of his craggy, rocky skin, it was hidden. Eventually I didn’t own those Indexes anymore, so I couldn’t prove it, but I was sure I had seen it.
Much later in my adult life (April 2021, according to when I posted about it on Twitter), I found the answer to my childhood memory:
It was his foot. He was indeed relaxing on a beach, but he had one leg crossed over the other and his toes were positioned such that a child could see them as being a dong. I don’t know what I expected, but I was sure that if an artist (I had actually assumed it might have been done by the inker as a form of rebellion) had snuck Ben’s boner into a comic it would have been noticed long ago and it would be known to the Internet. So why wasn’t it? Maybe I imagined it, or misread some coincidental pattern on his skin? But the memory had been so certain. Anyway, I never entertained the idea that it was just his foot.
Anyway, since that time I’ve definitely read at least one Fantastic Four comic that calls into question whether Ben even has genitalia post-transformation. At least I’m pretty sure I have. I guess I can’t really trust my memory about these things.