Marvel Comics turns character relationships in their shared universe into a collection of ephemeral data clouds, swirling constellations representing decades of comic book fiction.
The first image, actually a graph, represents the company’s four biggest properties: Wolverine, the X-Men, the Avengers, and Spider-Man. Characters with whom they’ve shared issues during their publication history are represented by little orbiting points.
According to Marvel, here’s what they found (Marvel zombies, take note):
“There are four big clusters of characters (you can see them in the different colored graphs above) which correspond to the X-Men, the Avengers, Spider-Man and Wolverine.
Wolvie seems to have his own entourage independent of his teammates in the Avengers and the X-Men.
There are about 10 other smaller clusters—in the high-res images linked below you’ll see groups corresponding to X-Factor Investigations, our cosmic heroes, teen heroes like the Runaways and Avengers Academy students and even Alpha Flight.
The Ultimate Universe orbits the main Marvel Universe like a satellite (you can see it as a small spur on the right or left on most of the graphs above). The graph diameter (the furthest distance between any two characters) is 9 hops.
The graph is relatively sparse (meaning many characters are not directly linked) with a density rating of .032.
The average character has links to 41 other characters.”
Personally, I would love to be able to see these in 3D with the ability to rotate the clouds around and search for individual data points (but that’s just me).