There's very little you can do about the first point, save indulge in plenty of sales-boosting guest-appearances in the best tradition of the bygone Nineties. But for the second it's a simple case of ignoring the elephant in the room. Angst is out. Fun is in.
Now, this isn't to say that you can't occasionally touch on the fact that the Thing drew the short straw in the cosmic radiation sweepstakes, but, frankly, it's best to go with the idea that he's made peace with his skin condition.
That well is dry, time to find a new one, in other words.
But the character has had his shot before, right? Several times, in fact. So what will be different about this time?
Two words...Marvel. Universe. The Thing is the perfect character to explore the MU to its fullest. Every wild and whacky corner, from the Microverse to Michigan. From the Negative Zone to Nue Earth. He fits in everywhere, into every type of story. Want him to fight aliens? Take him to the Skrull homeworld. Beat up a supervillain? He's fought most of them. A hard-edged noir-style mystery? Yancy Street, 'nuff said. Comedy? You have read comics with the Thing in them before, yes? Drama? He's a man apart, even among family. Horror? Look at him.
Simply put, the Thing is a 'plug-n-play' character. He can literally be dropped anywhere in the MU and have a story result. There are no borders to his fictional territory. There are no stories that will not work with this character.
Now, true...all of this can apply to other characters. Wolverine, for instance. But that simply proves the point. A fluid character is a marketable character. A character who can hang anywhere is a character who should never run out of stories. Oh and what stories they could be...but that's for next time.