Many of today's most influential storytellers were themselves inspired by the fictional worlds that they were exposed to at a young age. Author George R. R. Martin, whose "A Song of Ice and Fire" series is the basis for HBO's Game of Thrones, had clearly read J.R.R. Tolkien — but Martin just revealed that he's a serious Marvel Comics fan too. At least, he was 50 years ago.
Martin made an appearance on the History Channel's Superheroes Decoded: The Thing because of his love for the blue-eyed, rocky character. In the documentary, the author made a surprising revelation: around the 1960s, he sent a letter to Marvel Comics, which was published in the letter column of Fantastic Four.
In it, Martin praised Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for an incredible issue, calling it one of the best ones ever:
“Dear Stan and Jack, F.F. #17 was greater than great. It will live forever as one of the greatest F.F. comics ever printed, ergo as one of the greatest of all comics. In what other comic mag can you see things like a hero falling down a man-hole and a President of the U.S.A. leaving a conference that may determine the fate of the world to put his daughter to bed."
The young Martin also gave Marvel a bit of a backhanded compliment; he told Lee and Kirby that, while their comic began as the "World's worst mag," they stepped up their game and honored their "World's Greatest" marketing:
"Then there’s your cover boast ‘The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine’! Brilliant! You were just about the worst the World's worst mag when you started, but you set yourself an ideal, and by gumbo, you achieved it! More than achieved it, in fact — why, if you were only half as good as you are now, you’d still be the world’s best mag."
Martin told the History Channel that this was the very first instance of his writing being published. But hold up, because this story gets even better...
In the letters section, Stan "The Man" Lee responded to his readers' many requests, compliments and complaints. And Lee answered Martin's letter in his signature manner:
"We might as well quit while we’re ahead. Thanks for your kind words, George.”
Little did Lee know at the time that he was inspiring one of the most influential authors of the future.
- Burn In The Seven Hells: Will 'Game Of Thrones' Season 8 Be Affected By Writers' Strike?
- Everything You Need To Know About The New And Upcoming 'Game Of Thrones' Books
- Emilia Clarke Admits Talking About 'Star Wars' Is Much Scarier Than 'Game Of Thrones'
This reveal got me thinking something: Could you imagine George R. R. Martin writing a Marvel comic book? After all his years spent as a superhero fan, it would be interesting to know what he'd bring to the table. Could it ever happen? Who knows? But it would certainly be cool to see.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO on July 16, 2017.
What did you think about George R. R. Martin's letter to Marvel? Let me know in the comments!