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When George R.R. Martin was 16 years old, he called out comic great Stan Lee for plot holes in Lee’s comics. In the letter, which was published in Fantastic Four volume one issue 32 in 1964, Martin praised Lee and artist Jack Kirby for their consistency (“another month, another bunch of classics”), but found “one flaw in this otherwise perfect masterpiece.”

Young Martin pointed out villains had a tendency to reappear without “explanation.” He cited the return of the Red Ghost in the Fantastic Four series as an example, critiquing, “Now you suddenly bring him back… without one single word of explanation.”

Lee responded to Martin’s request to not “pull any more returning villains out of your hat.” The comic icon said, “Wow! Aren’t our faces red! You want the truth, Georgie? We just plain FORGOT where we left the Red Ghost, and didn’t have time to look the issue up because the printer was breathing down our necks with our deadline!”

Despite his criticisms, Martin hailed Marvel’s comic series as “sparkling” and the artwork “sublime.” The best-selling author credited the comics as among his greatest influences on Game of Thrones.

Fans anxiously await the next installment in the Song of Fire and Ice saga Winds of Winter, which Martin released an excerpt of in May.

A Game of Thrones
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