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George R.R. Martin Shares His Adorable Childhood Marvel Geek Past In New Documentary

There’s something special about watching geek heroes geeking out about the nerdy things they love. A Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin is a huge fan of Marvel comics, and he talks about his love, as well as shares a letter he had published in an issue of Fantastic Four back in the day in an upcoming History Channel documentary about comic book superheroes.

Superheroes Decoded is set to air tomorrow at 9:00 PM ET. Here’s the official description from The History Channel:

“With rare access to top creators at both DC and Marvel, “Superheroes Decoded” uncovers how the rise of the superhero parallels America’s rise as a superpower in the 20th century, evolving through the decades into a uniquely American mythology that has captured audiences across the globe. Using modern film clips, vintage comic artwork, historical archival material, and interviews with dozens of experts, fans and creators such as Captain America: Civil War star, Anthony Mackie; Captain America: Civil War directors, Anthony Russo and Joe Russo; A Game of Thrones author, George R. R. Martin; Iron Man Director, Jon Favreau; former President of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee; and best-selling author and DC comic writer Brad Meltzer; Superheroes Decoded tells the story of the modern era through the lens of America’s greatest fictional heroes.”

In the above clip from the doc, Martin reads a letter he wrote to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in response to Fantastic Four #17 (1963) when he was 15 that ended up being the first thing he ever got into print. What’s especially touching about hearing Martin read the letter is that afterward, he reads Stan Lee’s response“We might as well quit while we’re ahead. Thanks for your kind words, George” and it’s clear how much the response meant to Martin as a budding young writer.

It’s also really cool how great young Martin was at identifying story elements that work and/or important larger themes that are being discussed. His point about his hero, The Thing, falling down a manhole character was spot on, in that it speaks to a more nuanced hero than most. And his point about the comic-book version of JFK stopping a meeting early to tuck his children into bed speaks to that era’s conflict between putting family first and the world being socially and politically tumultuous.

So, what superheroes, creators, or titles are meaningful to you? Which comics inspire you? Tell us in the comments below!

(via Nerdist, image: screencap)

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