Iron Man, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr., left, and Captain...

Iron Man, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr., left, and Captain America, portrayed by Chris Evans, are shown in a scene from in "Marvel's The Avengers," opening in theaters on May 4, 2012. Credit: Marvel Studio/

The Avengers" comic book was created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Marvel visionaries who were responsible for the majority of the company's characters over the next decade.

They were also, by the time of "The Avengers" debut, long-standing Long Islanders.

By coincidence, Lee and Kirby both moved to Nassau County in 1949. (They didn't begin working together until later in the 1950s.) Lee and his bride bought a home in Woodmere. Three years later, now with a daughter, they shifted a few miles to Hewlett Harbor. Kirby and his family relocated from Brooklyn to East Williston. Two more daughters would be born on the Island, in 1952 and 1960. (Joe Simon, another comics legend -- he was Kirby's first partner who co-created Captain America with him in 1941 -- bought the house across the street.)

In Hewlett Harbor, Lee liked to take a day or two off each week from Marvel's Manhattan office to devote solely to his writing. His favorite pastime in the warmer months was to stand typing at a specially arranged, stacked bridge table on his terrace.

Kirby often would draw late into the night of 18-hour workdays in the downstairs art studio his son Neal says the family called "The Dungeon."

At the height of Marvelmania, Lee and Kirby's Long Island residences managed to remain unknown, although Kirby would occasionally invite fans to visit his studio.

Lee exited Nassau County for a condo on the Upper East Side in 1969. He moved to Los Angeles in 1980, hoping to solidify Marvel's and his own status in Hollywood.

Kirby had left for the West Coast 11 years earlier, having moved to Thousand Oaks, Calif., for the benefit of one of his kids who, under a doctor's suggestion, needed a more temperate climate.

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