Why Taking the Thing’s Pants Off Was Such a Dumb Idea

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Greetings, my friends! In today’s “Postal Apocalypse” we discuss whether zombies need to eat, a fascinating Star Wars theory about Obi-Wan the prequels ruined, and why the Thing’s lack of underpants is emblematic of the new Fantastic Four movie. I mean, look at that picture and just try not to stare at his crotch. You can’t!

Here’s the Thing

Ryan M.:

Had to get this off my chest. Why is the Thing not wearing any pants in the Fantastic 4 trailers? I mean I guess I kind of get why he wouldn’t wear clothes since he is a giant rock person, but who the fu*k at Fox thought this was a good idea? And said nahhh let’s have one of the main characters run around in such a way that people will constantly be thinking “Hey this guy is naked”? Dumbasses


This is the problem with making “realistic” adaptations of characters that were never intended to be realistic. There’s a lot to be said for giving fantastic characters authentic emotional journeys and showing reasonable consequences to their actions, but once you start getting into minutia like “But if a dude turned into living orange rock, would he really wear pants?” then you’ve gone way too far.

Because all these changes do is look weird to the fans. Mass audiences don’t give a crap about whether the Thing has pants on or not. But for fans, these absences look super-weird. The Thing has been wearing pants for so many decades he actually looks nude without them. It might not make sense, but it’s what we’re used to. It’s like how Donald Duck has never worn pants and we never care, but Mickey Mouse has worn shorts, and if he was drawn without—despite the fact he’s no more anatomically correct that Donald—he’d look like he was naked.


The FF movie has dropped the Thing’s pants (tee hee) in a bid for a level of realism, and for what? I guarantee there is not a single soul in America that has seen the new Thing and said, “What? He’s not wearing pants? Finally, the realistic take on a superpowered family I’ve been waiting for!”


Good Eats

Lindsay M.:

Hello Mr. Postman!

Two of the questions you answered a few weeks ago (Walking Dead and vampire poops) reminded me of a question that has been bothering me for years. In the world of the Walking Dead, why do the zombies never starve to death?

I understand the characters have no way of figuring out the details of zombie-biology considering they haven’t really had any resources to figure that out since season one, but every once in a while we’ll come across a zombie that has either been trapped (or more often people who hung themselves and turned into zombies) for what seems like it must be years now.

How have they not died?? Ok, so they’re dead to begin with, but even if they don’t need that much energy for basic things like cell and tissue repair, they’re still moving around, so they need some kind of energy source. In comes the gouging on human flesh at every opportunity—but then even when they can’t get that food source, it doesn’t actually seem to have any impact on them. They never starve to death.

Would love to hear your take on it!

Zombies don’t eat to survive. They don’t eat living beings as a food source, they eat them because… well, they want to. It’s just what they do. So whether they eat the entirety of One Direction over the course of a Wednesday afternoon or spend years trapped in a bathroom stall somewhere, they all keep on good.


If you’re thinking this makes no scientific sense, well… you’re right. It doesn’t. Anything that moves should need some source of energy in order to continue functioning even on the tiniest level, but zombies demonstrably don’t. They keep on walking and eating until they are destroyed. I’m sorry the answer is basically “magic” but the minute you try to apply science to the dietary habits of the dead, it falls apart.

But speaking of falling apart, my question is if zombies will eventually decompose into oblivion on The Walking Dead. Normally most zombie-tainment doesn’t have to worry about this, but since TWD takes place over years, it’s a valid concern. Plus, it appears to be one the creator and showrunners are thinking about, because the zombies have clearly been decomposing more and more over the course of the series.


Eventually, they should be so decomposed that they can’t move at all, at which point they are effectively destroyed (unless a living person trips and cuts themselves on a pile of zombies corpses, of course). Can The Walking Dead exist without zombies? Does anyone want it to? I’m assuming they’ll fudge the actual rate of decomposition so that there’s plenty of walkers to harass the protagonists, at least as long as the ratings stay up.


A Few Good Women


Hello Mr. Postman,

If the new Ghostbuster movie bombs do you think this will delay or outright cancel Marvel’s plans for a Captain Marvel movie?

Or, more specifically, a female-lead Captain Marvel movie? I suppose they can always say they intended to go with the original male Captain Marvel Mar-Vell, but everyone will know it’s a cop-out.


I was going to say that it was exceedingly unlikely, then I saw the new, Black Widow-less Avengers: Age of Ultron Blu-ray and DVD covers, and I was forcibly reminded how little Marvel even tries to entice female audiences. Obviously they’re happy to attempt a movie with a superheroine as lead, but I think the idea is still dicey enough to them that some kind of big-budget bomb on the scale of the new Ghostbusters could very well get Marvel to put the Carol Danvers movie quietly on the backburner.

The good news is that even if Ghostbusters does bomb, there’s a decent chance Marvel has enough confidence in their brand to outweigh their seeming belief that no woman could ever be interested in a superhero movie. The better news is that I sincerely doubt Ghostbusters will bomb. It’s directed by Paul Feig, who turned the female-led movies Bridesmaids and The Heat into box-office successes and genuinely funny movies, too. I see no reason why Ghostbusters won’t be yet another.


Let It Kenobi

O.R. Two (Original Reader):

Help me fake post-apocalypse postman, you’re my only hope!

I was having a talk with friends about Star Wars when the topic came on the old “O.B. One” hypothesis, that was pitched in a ‘80 fanzine. IIRC, “Obi-Wan” was the corruption of O. B. One, or Original Ben One, a clone. And there was a lot of scientific backstory to Star Wars and the Force. We argued about the fact that Midichlorian were maybe inspired by this age-old article.

The problem is, we only have sketchy details, at best, of that article, we weren’t able to find it online, and since io9 reproduced it a while ago, I thought you could pinpoint us to the said article (and give us your thoughts on that).


Alas, I have yet to find any Star Wars-centric fanzines from the ‘80s in my post-apocalyptic wanderings, so I can’t give you any details on the specific article that originated the theory. I present this letter to my faithful readers, who may know something (many things) I don’t.

I did, however, find someone else discussing the theory, who raised the point that if Obi-Wan of A New Hope was in fact a clone of an original Ben Kenobi, that would explain why he doesn’t recognize R2-D2 or C-3PO or any of the other continuity crap the prequels messed up. Also, cloning a Jedi, one of the galaxy’s most powerful warriors to fight into the Clone Wars makes a bit more sense than cloning some random bounty hunter; additionally, an army of cloned Jedi sounds super-awesome. There’s more here, if you’re interested.


But back to O.B.-One: Anyone remember hearing about this particular theory back in ye olden days? Can anyone shed some light on its origins?


Bow Tied

William C.:

Hello Postman!

After binge-watching Arrow, I began to pick up on something around the middle of the second season. There’s a scene that plays out pretty much every episode, and it goes something like this:

Team Arrow is in the Arrow Cave discussing the threat of the week. After talking out a plan of action (which Oliver will likely ignore), Oliver picks up his bow, the scene changes, and the next time we see him he’s suited up and doing his best impression of Christian Bale.

Why would Oliver pick up his bow BEFORE he gets suited up? This has baffled me ever since I started noticing it. He’s just going to have to put it down again! I get that him lifting his bow off the rack dramatically is director language for ITS ARROW TIME, but it strikes me as silly every time I imagine what occurs between scene changes. Does he put it back on the rack while he pulls on his pants? Does he make Diggle hold his bow while he laces his boots? Does he have a special Arrow Changing Room with a built-in bow rack? Is the salmon ladder involves somehow? SO MANY QUESTIONS!


Goddammit. Now that you’ve pointed it out I will never not notice it. I can’t even count how many times this bit of shorthand has been used, and I doubt it’ll stop.

Let’s see if I can use my Postal powers to think of some reason why Olli would do this. Hmm… he… uh, no… wait… oh! The first thing he has to do before going out is check his bow, make sure its all in working order, and that the string is taut enough. When he gets the call to action, he grabs his bow, gives it a quick test pull, makes sure it’s good to go, and then puts on his uniform… by slowly unhooking it off the mannequin he leaves it on… instead of putting it on a goddamned clothes-hanger... which would be so much quicker… hmm.


Okay, that didn’t work out.


Wrath of Con

Mr. Trent:

Comic-con has become, without a doubt, in the last five years, a lumbering uncontrollable beast. Every year attendance goes up and San Diego is already well past Max-capacity for it. It is a chore to get a ticket and then a greater chore to get a room.

I feel it is long past time for Comic-con to offer some type of a pay for view service. Sign up, pay a fee, and be able to watch from your home the panels of your choice.

Imagine paying $50 and getting the stream from Saturdays hall H in your living room where you have access to your own bathroom and un-overpriced snacks. For those who can’t travel, it’s a no brainer.

It would cut down some of the actual attendance, but not much, making going to the Con less of a horror, and the lines semi-tolerable.

It is a hell of a cash cow for the con and is something they should at least be trying. People would attend anyway to get the Con exclusives, and cause, hell, its Comic con.

So what do you think?

I think it’s a great idea and I think it would work, but I imagine Comic-Con is too terrified to try it. I’m sure they assume allowing some kind of pay-per-view coverage of the panels would cut into attendance, but as you said, there are still countless reasons to attend the physical show, including the exclusive toys, meeting the celebrities, the sheer spectacle of it. I guess there would be a few people who traditionally attend who would be thrilled to stay at home instead, but Comic-Con passes sell out so quickly anyways I’m incredibly confident their numbers wouldn’t take a hit.


Meanwhile, I think a ton of people who can’t afford the money or time to make the SDCC pilgrimage would love to live vicariously through TV coverage. I certainly would. I think Comic-Con is leaving money on the table here, although I have to admit they’re making plenty running the show as-is. There’s something to be said for not fixing something that isn’t broke.


X Misses the Spot

James G.:

Dear Mr. Postman,

Do you think we’ll ever see an X-Men/Fantastic Four team-up film from Fox with this current generation of castmembers?


Nope! Partially because by all accounts X-Men Apocalypse and the third solo Wolverine movie will end the current X-Men movie universe, which will inevitably be rebooted with new castmembers in a few years.

But mainly because I expect the new Fantastic Four movie to be a total bomb that will send Fox scurrying back to the drawing board for take #3. All the reviews so far have ranged from “it could be worse” to “it could not possibly be worse.” There’s no chance of us getting a sequel, let alone the X-Men/FF team-up.


On the plus side, if the Marvel-Sony Spider-Man partnership works out, maybe Fox will decide to cut their losses with the Fantastic Four license and let Marvel make FF movies in exchange for a cut of the profits (I think this is more likely than Fox selling them back the license outright).

However, I have a weird feeling in my gut that Deadpool is going to be a big, big hit for Fox—mainly because as an R-rated superhero comedy, it’s going to be unique enough that people who are burned out on comic movies will give it a try—and the executives will decide that Fantastic Four needs the exact same treatment. And thus FF reboot #3 will be an R-rated, gory, profanity-laden nightmare that also bombs. And I’m pretty sure the Thing won’t wear pants in that one, either.


Do you have questions about anything scifi, fantasy, superhero, or nerd-related? Email the postman@io9.com! No question too difficult, no question too dumb! Obviously!