At first glance this looks like random dots of color arranged in pretty circles, but what you’re actually looking at is an incredibly detailed visual representation of the history of the Avengers. Jer Thorp is a data visualization expert and he took it upon himself to comb through every issue and not only include even the most obscure Avengers but to compile some interesting facts along the way. His charts show each character’s first appearance, who comprised the team in each issue, and even which era featured the most female Avengers.
In addition to charting the Avengers themselves, he also took a look at which writers and editors were behind each issue. He was able to determine that the 80’s saw more female Avengers than any other time and that regardless of the era, writer and editor Jim Shooter was usually involved in those issues. Thorp has written up the details on his charts (Part One and Part Two) on his own blog, and explains in an interview with Comic Book Resources:
“Character-wise, I was surprised by just how many Avengers there were — I’d forgotten about most of them — and some of them I had to re-read issues to confirm they actually existed. Triathalon? The Whizzer? Really?
I think, though, the biggest thing I got out of this exercise was a better understanding of the system of people behind the art and stories. Of course names like Mark Greunwald and Jim Shooter were familiar to me, having seen them in the masthead, but now I have a better idea of how they all fit together. Likewise, it was really interesting to learn something about some of the early creators, who I didn’t know much or anything about before.”
See more amazing visualizations after the jump (click to enlarge)…