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Astrology Looks at Jack Kirby vs. Stan LeeTrueBelieverCover

Fans of Marvel Comics and the ever expanding Marvel cinematic universe are likely familiar with the debate over who originated all those famous Marvel characters like Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men and Black Panther. Most of these superheroes were introduced during a brief period in the 1960s when writer/editor Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby were both working at Marvel Comics. Ever since those days a controversy has raged over which one of these men should get credit for creating the Marvel pantheon.


This controversy is discussed in detail in Abraham Riesman’s book, “True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee.” Riesman explains that the origin of this argument comes out to the way comics were created at Marvel at that time. Lee would meet with an artist (most often Kirby) and they would hash out ideas for new characters and new stories. Once a general idea was agreed upon, the artist would then draw the panels that made up the comic. Then Lee would put in the dialog. The big question is what was said by whom during the initial meeting?


Riesman doesn’t answer this question because, essentially, no one can. In 1961 no one, not even Lee or Kirby, thought comic book characters were important enough to record these meetings or take extensive notes. However, I thought it might be interesting to see what light astrology could throw on this controversy.


We don’t have a time of birth for either Stan Lee or Jack Kirby so I’ve done a speculative chart on each. (Click on Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to see these speculative horoscopes.) One major difference between the two men is the Sun sign. Lee was a Capricorn while Kirby was a Virgo. These are both Earth signs and typically they work well together. The fact is that, despite Kirby’s animosity toward Lee (which began long before their collaboration at Marvel) the two men were always appeared to be friends when they were together.


What make Virgo different from Capricorn is that Virgo tends to focus on the task at hand and no further while Capricorn is always planning two or three moves ahead of what’s currently going on. Even before he came to Marvel, Kirby had established a reputation as an amazingly productive comic artist. He loved his work. So, no matter how disgruntled he might have been over the fact that Lee was taking all the credit (along with the pay) for developing the characters and writing the stories, Kirby was too focused on getting back to his drawing table and starting the next job to do anything about it.


Lee, on the other hand, was already thinking in terms of television and movies even when he was laboring in the pop culture skid row that was comics books at the time. He was quick to capitalize on the success of Marvel comics during 1960s, negotiating a deal for an animated TV show and making himself available for interviews. In these interviews Lee’s charm and boisterous energy always shined. Kirby, on the other hand, came across as a dour worker bee.


Then there’s the horoscopes. In the speculative chart for Kirby, the dominant aspect is a hard T-square involving the Moon, Pluto and Mercury conjunct Venus. With this kind of aspect nothing comes easy. It describes toughness and strength of character but also struggle. Kirby grew up poor and maintained a streetwise, tough guy persona throughout his life. His success came solely from his incredible work ethic.


The speculative chart for Lee, on the other hand, is dominated by a Grand Trine involving Jupiter, Pluto and Mars conjunct Uranus. Things came easier for Stan. He got his job at the company that would eventually become Marvel at the age of 17 because the company was owned by a relative. He kept it through the ups and downs of the comic book business for the same reason. Throughout his life, Lee’s easy-going attitude made it seem that he never had to work hard. The chart also features a strong opposition between the Sun and Pluto. Stan Lee had his problems, but most of them were of his own making and involved his choice of associates later in life.,


I’m not sure if this answers the question of who created the Avengers but it does demonstrate that each of the men had something the other needed. Lee needed an artist who was both gifted and had a nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic. He needed a Virgo. Kirby needed someone whose ambitions went beyond the drawing table and next month’s issue. He needed a Capricorn. The one thing about which there is no argument is that Marvel fans are lucky they found each other.

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