George R.R. Martin reveals the Avengers story that taught him how to kill

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Jul 25, 2014, 5:25 PM EDT (Updated)

If you've ever had your heart broken by the bloodthirsty fiction of George R.R. Martin, you can apparently blame Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Martin has been attending conventions for five decades now (he apparently bought the first ticket to the first-ever comics convention in 1964), so it's no surprise to see him again this year at San Diego Comic-Con, signing books, sitting on panels, promoting Game of Thrones and enjoying the parties. Since he's a longtime Marvel Comics fan who had letters published in some of the company's earliest Silver Age superhero adventures, Marvel Entertainment caught up with Martin yesterday to ask him about some of his favorite Avengers characters and moments. 

After naming Hawkeye and Ant-Man as two of his favorite characters (and lamenting that Ant-Man will not be Ultron's creator in the Marvel Studios films), Martin was asked how many characters he'd have killed off by now if he were writing the Avengers films. Martin chuckled, then offered up a thoughtful response reflecting on one of his favorite Avengers stories, and explaining how he learned some of his storytelling tricks from it. The story was The Avengers #9, published in 1964, which both introduced and killed off the character of Wonder Man.

"Sometimes I think The Avengers are the ones who are responsible for me killing all of these people, because I mentioned I had letters in The Avengers way back when, and one of my first letters was in response to the issue that introduced Wonder Man. And, you know, Wonder Man comes in, and he joins The Avengers, and he's secretly a double agent, but then when it comes to the crunch he discovers his inner goodness and he can't kill The Avengers like he's supposed to, and he dies heroically in the same issue that introduced him. So, I read that at a very formative age, and you could see it set me on the path to gray characters who have both good and evil in them, and it established that you could introduce a really cool character and kill him right away, and get a huge emotional reaction. So, you know, I would probably, if I was doing The Avengers movies, I'd probably do a movie with Wonder Man in it, built all around Wonder Man, and just do that story."

So, now we know the Red Wedding has it roots way back in a Silver Age adventure starring Earth's Mightiest Heroes. It would be interesting to see Martin take on a massive Avengers/Wonder Man film, but we're betting he'd be prepared to go a little darker than just killing Wonder Man.

Check out the full interview with Martin, including talk of his Silver Age comics collection and his stance against "slabbing" comics, in the video below.

(Via Marvel)

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