The Avengers is one of the most important superhero team-up comics of all time, with over 570 issues of cameraderie and world-saving. Now, data visualization expert Jer Thorp has come up with a brilliant set of infographics showing some key facts about that mass of issues.
Among other things, there are charts showing which member of the team appeared in which issues, and which issue was each member's first appearance on the team. Also, you can see which eras featured the most female members of the team — plus similar charts for the numbers of robots or gods/eternals on the team at any given time. Thorp also looked at different writers and editors who worked on the Avengers comic — and it turns out that not only was the early 1980s the high water mark for female Avengers, but the common factor in most of the eras with a lot of female members was writer/editor Jim Shooter. Thorp also charted the issues with the most members of the team — and the clear winner was "Pomp and Pageantry," which featured a whopping 119 Avengers.
Thorp's articles (Part 1 and Part 2) came out a few weeks ago, but we didn't see them until today, when Comic Book Resources interviewed Thorp about them.
Thorp tells CBR:
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.
Each Avenger's Appearances in Each Issue
First Appearances by Each Avenger
Female Avengers by Issue
Gods and Eternals, by Issue
Issues with the Most Avengers
Check out more of Thorp's interview at CBR, and more of his charts at his blog.