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Tolkienian references in comics, 1965-1969

Extollager

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Aug 21, 2010
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6,076
I write a column for Mensa's Tolkien newsletter Beyond Bree on the Days of the Craze -- the 1965-1969 period of the "Hobbit Craze." It begins with the publication, in 1965, of the Ace paperbacks of the three Lord of the Rings volumes, and ends, a bit arbitrarily on my part, with the launching of Ballantine's Adult Fantasy Series. My view is that in the intervening period, "fantasy" was becoming recognizable to paperback publishers as a marketing niche. References and allusions to Tolkien, hobbits, Middle-earth, etc. appeared in popular culture and journalism. This was the period of Leonard Nimoy singing "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins," a villain in X-Men being called Sauron (cross between man and pterodactyl), Tolkien discussion groups popping up on campuses, psychedelic Gandalf posters, and so on.
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To come to the point -- I welcome identification of Tolkienian references and allusions in comic books from around this time. (Eventually, Tolkien came to permeate culture so much that it's not interesting to try to keep track of it all, especially after the Bakshi movie, etc.)

Marvel's Sauron dates to 1969. The earliest reference in DC comics that I know of is House of Secrets #87 (Sept.-Oct. 1970), wherein a letter from "Frodo," withthe address of "Titus Minor, Gondor," appears on the fan letter page. I suspect it was written by someone at DC to help fill the page.

Does anyone know if DC managed to allude to Tolkien earlier than that?
 

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
6,076
I've just gone through my file of Marvel's Not Brand Echh parody comic, and found Tolkienian allusions in issue nos. 4, 7, and 9 -- all in features scripted by Roy Thomas. That 4th issue takes us all the way back to a comic that went on sale in early August 1967, according to the delightful Mike's Amazing World of Comics site! These three issues have now been moved out of my NBE set and into my Tolkien-related magazines.
 
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