Tolkien's works in popular media/Comics

From Tolkien Gateway
"...there is much else that may be told." — Glóin
This article or section is a stub. Please help Tolkien Gateway by expanding it.

Tolkien's works in popular media include a multitide of illustrations in the style of comics or cartoons. This article lists notable comics based on, or including references to, Middle-earth and/or J.R.R. Tolkien.

Early comics/cartoons

Single frame cartoon in Newsweek from 1954

The first known published illustration in the comical vein is a single frame cartoon appearing in the 29 November 1954 edition of Newsweek (which contains a review of the newly published The Fellowship of the Ring). The cartoon, drawn by "M. Simont" (apparently being Marc Simont), portrays the Orcs of Moria as hairy creatures with large heads featuring beaks.[note 1] Gandalf wears a robe adorned with what appears to be magical symbols.[1]

Licensed comics

A page from Luis Bermejo's El Señor de los Anillos

Comics licensed by the Middle-earth Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate

References in popular comics

DC Comics



Captain America reading Tolkien in Avengers #46 (1967)
  • Marvel's got characters named Sauron, Numenor and Aragorn (a winged horse). Sauron actually named himself after the character.
  • Spidey calls his pals the Fellowship in White Tiger #6
  • Billy Kaplan's bedroom door has "Speak Friend and Enter", in Young Avengers Presents #1
  • A boxing match between Slammer Sauron and Freddy Frodo in Avengers #43
  • Captain America is reading a "chapter of Tolkien" in Avengers #46 (1967)[7]


  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #16 (2014) featured numerous reference to Tolkien's work. The first involved Gandalf appearing in Ponyville, after it had been overran by literary characters. The second being in a brief story called "One Worm to Fool Them All", which parodied The Lord of The Rings. Each character dressed as a different Lord of the Rings character, with Twilight Sparkle as Boromir, Rainbow Dash as Bilbo Baggins and Pinkie Pie as Gandalf. The story began to end after the characters grew tired of walking for "25 pages" and transitioned into a Star Trek parody.
  • My Little Pony: Friends Forever #2 (2017) featured a brief sequence where Discord used his magic to transport the Cutie Mark Crusaders across historical and fictional locations. One of which included them appearing in the Shire where they told Starswirl the Bearded that they lost "that ring" and wondered if it was important.
  • My Little Pony: Holiday Special (2017) had Night Light read a book titled the "Lord of the Reigns".



  1. The Newsweek review article speaks about "the terrible feathered orcs", referring to Simon's cartoon. Fans have speculated that this portrayal of orcs might have inspired Zimmerman's script of a proposed film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, of which Tolkien wrote in letter 210: "Why does Z put beaks and feathers on Orcs!?".
  2. Although not technically a traditional comic book, speech balloons have been added to film frames from Ralph Bakshi's 1978 film The Lord of the Rings, giving the work an impression of being a comics.


  1. "Newsweek, 1954 - Fellowship cartoon", Tolkien Collector's Guide (accessed 26 February 2017)
  2. Pieter Collier, "The Lord of the Ring Comics by Luis Bermejo" dated 28 January 2011, Tolkien Library (accessed 19 February 2017)
  3. Jesse Schedeen, "Brian Wood heads to Middle Earth" dated 8 July 2011, (accessed 19 February 2017)
  4. Andy Khouri, "Brian Wood to Write ‘Lord of the Rings’ Video Game Tie-In Comic" dated 7 July 2011, (accessed 19 February 2017)
  5. Nisse Lindberg, "Frodo Lever:Tolkien och serierna" [Swedish-language: "Frodo is Alive: Tolkien and the Comics"], in Bild & Bubbla 204 (2015)
  6. Sherilyn Connelly, "There and Blecch Again: Mad Magazine's Lord of the Rings Parodies" dated 13 December 2012, (accessed 24 April 2018)
  7. "Post in the private group 'Tolkien's Middle-Earth'" dated 19 November 2016, Facebook (accessed 19 February 2017)