George R. R. Martin might have his own legion fanboys waiting for Winter to come thanks to the popularity of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, but he was also a fanboy himself at one point. In a newly released video, Martin reads his first work to appear in print: A letter to the editor he sent to Marvel back in 1963.

The letter has been around for years, but this new video is part of an upcoming History channel documentary about superheroes. In it, he discusses Fantastic Four #17, which featured Doctor Doom instigating World War III by disabling America’s missile systems and subsequently disguising himself as a janitor.

Although Martin has been outspoken about drawing most of his inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, you can see a few loose parallels in the story of the Mad King and Cersei’s war-instigating turn as the Mad Queen who blew up half of King’s Landing. As for the janitor disguise? Kinda similar to Arya Stark’s faceless man training, her time performing thankless custodial tasks in the House of Black and White, and her ability to change faces once she becomes “no one.”

It doesn’t mean that Martin directly based his plot points on Fantastic Four, of course, but given how much he liked the comic as a kid, it’s certainly a possible inspiration.


Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres on July 16 on HBO. The documentary featuring Martin, Superheroes Decoded, airs on Sunday, April 30 on the History channel.

Photos via History channel