This article will match the archetype of the supervillain with the shadow expression of the signs of the Zodiac. The comic book superheroes that have dominated the worldwide box office recently have a rich array of villains who oppose them. These villains represent the shadow side of the energy that makes up the superheroes. So, while each sign has a superhero archetype; it also has its villain.
Source Material – Marvel and DC Comics
I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, passing from childhood into adulthood (born in 1968 and off to college in 1986). Like many young boys at that time and in the United States, I discovered comic books and became an avid collector. For most of my collecting time, and really until the 1990s, only two companies dominated the market, Marvel and DC, each with readily recognizable characters, which will be used in this article.
Superhero comic books are a uniquely American genre, emerging just before and into the World War II era. Superman first appeared in 1938, Batman in 1939, and Wonder Woman and Captain America in 1941. Spider-man first appeared in 1962. All the great superheroes have their great supervillain; some even have multiple villains they face in their stories. Over the years, these characters have expanded far beyond the printed page of individual comics, thriving in movies and on television. They are a perfect mythology to look at through the lens of astrology.
Aries – Venom
Aries is an impulsive sign; often leaping before looking. Its shadow energy is selfishness. Venom is the anti-Spider-man, an alien symbiote who functioned as Spider-man’s black costume until his possessiveness and thirst for violence forced Peter Parker/Spider-man to reject the symbiote. The symbiote found a new host, Eddie Brock, the first host after Peter Parker. Brock blamed Spider-man for his failure at his job, which made him the ideal host for the symbiote.
Taurus – Ra’s Al Ghul
Taurus is a sign concerned with tradition and values and is a natural protector. Ra’s Al Ghul is a Batman villain bent on protecting the earth by reducing the human population. He is the head of the League of Assassins and values the life of the planet and the lives of animals over those of humans. Seeing himself as the protector of the planet, he uses ruthless means to try to bring about some form of Armageddon that will reduce the human population significantly without harming the planet.
Gemini – Loki
Gemini is active air energy, dynamically engaging and moving at the “speed of thought”. Loki is the perfect villain to represent Gemini because he often has many different schemes going on at the same time. He is also a trickster God and uses words, deception, manipulation, and lying to achieve his goals. He is simply smarter than everyone else and uses his intelligence to bring chaos to the world.
Cancer – Doctor Doom
Cancer energy protects and Doctor Doom’s primary concern is his own country, Latveria, which he rules with iron-fisted control. He sees himself as the guardian of his country and ruling the world is just a logical step to keeping his country and people “safe”. He is the main villain of the Fantastic Four and his primary adversary is Mr. Fantastic, the de facto leader of the group and its “father” figure. Doom is the overbearing Cancer father his children are supposed to love and fear.
Leo – Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor is the embodiment of the Leo shadow, which is the most narcissistic of the signs when expressing its dark side. Luthor has unbridled jealousy and hatred of Superman, who gets all of the world’s attention. Only Luthor can see that it is a ploy by Superman who is clearly here to rule the world, so it is important for Luthor that he be seen as more important and valuable to the world than Superman.
Virgo – The Red Skull
Virgo energy is often seen as supportive, behind-the-scenes, but remarkably powerful. The Red Skull is the creator and leader of Hydra, a criminal organization dedicated to controlling the world through shadow means that touches every detail of government and private power. The anti-Captain America, the Red Skull is a patient and cunning foe who puts other figures in positions of power while amassing the most power for himself.
Libra – Thanos
The shadow side of Libra is extreme judgment. Thanos styles himself as the judge of life’s imbalance in the universe. He works tirelessly to tip the scales back to where he thinks they should belong. Ultimately, he realizes that individual efforts, planet-by-planet, are insufficient, so he obtains all the infinity stones and puts them into a gauntlet that will allow him to wipe out half of the conscious existence to balance the scales of life.
Scorpio – The Joker
Scorpio is the archetype for transformation, sexuality, and elimination, a rather fitting combination for the “clown prince of crime”, who finds humor in the pain and suffering of others. Only Scorpio shadow energy could find humor in the darkest attributes of human nature so gleefully and manically expressed by the Joker, Batman’s arch-nemesis.
Sagittarius – Darkseid
Sagittarius rules authority, which comes from power and knowledge, both of which Darkseid has at a god-level, along with the “god complex” ego that ideally represents the shadow energy of Sagittarius. He sees himself as the final authority, a truth unto himself, wise about the nature of the universe and singled-minded in his philosophy, which he wants to deliver as the missionary of the anti-life equation.
Capricorn – General Zod
Capricorn achieves goals and strives to be the best. General Zod is bread for warfare so he really has no place in times of peace. With that frustration driving him, he strives to conquer and find new ways to lead with steely determination, bread from combat and genetics as the most ruthless Kryptonian. He is the embodiment of the Capricorn shadow – the end justifies the means.
Aquarius – Galactus
Aquarius shadow is amoral detachment, best represented by the world-destroying and devouring Galactus. His diet is the life of an entire planet. He feels no passion to conquer or remorse for destroying; he simply needs to eat. The shadow energy of Aquarius does not attach moral conviction to action, so destructive actions are just another form of action, equal, and no more right or wrong, than creative action.
Pisces – Dormammu
Like Galactus, Dormammu is a devourer of worlds, not to destroy them, but to enslave all the souls on a magical and spiritual level. He is despair, addiction, delusion, promising those who open the doors for his arrival all the glories of paradise and immortality when he only delivers immortal suffering. The arch-enemy of Dr. Strange, the Master of the Mystic Arts, he is the shadowy villain of Pisces energy.