Jon Keegan at the Wall Street Journal has created a fascinating interactive data visualization of the last 50 Years of ‘Avengers’ Comic Book Covers Through Color.
When Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” opens in theaters next month, a familiar set of iconic colors will be splashed across movie screens world-wide: The gamma ray-induced green of the Hulk, Iron Man’s red and gold armor, and Captain America’s red, white and blue uniform.
How the Avengers look today differs significantly from their appearance in classic comic-book versions, thanks to advancements in technology and a shift to a more cinematic aesthetic. As Marvel’s characters started to appear in big-budget superhero films such as “X-Men” in 2000, the darker, muted colors of the movies began to creep into the look of the comics. Explore this shift in color palettes and browse more than 50 years of “Avengers” cover artwork below. Read more about this shift in color.
Each cover illustration is broken down into its own color band that displays the amount of each color used.
The data visualization is a fantastic display of how the color use has changed over the last 50 years. The left column has the full waterfall of colors, and the center column displays the color breakdown of each specific color. You can see each cover illustration by hovering over any specific color band.
Here’s the whole 50+ years in the full color waterfall. I can see the overall trend has moved to darker colors and more black in the cover illustrations.