With Marvel celebrating its 75th anniversary, five students from Hétic, a school near Paris focused on the teaching of internet technologies, decided to take on a unique challenge.
Ultimate75th.com brings together facts, figures and artwork from three-quarters of a century of Marvel comics. The site provides an interactive compendium of series and heroes since the publisher's inception in 1939 in a way that's both stylish and easy to use.
It's remarkable how much the students accomplished in just four days, using a potent mix of complementary skills and Marvel's own API to create a comprehensive and engaging resource.
How they built it
Due to time constraints and the limitations of the Marvel's API, the team created their own database, manually gathering information for 2556 heroes across almost 500 comic series.
Joanna Denis, Elise Vanstaevel and Meghan Regior worked on UX design and content, Tristan Farneau took care of backend and frontend development and Centis Menant looked at UI Design and integration.
The site was then built using PHP and MySQL to provide the underlying, dynamic technology with HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery for the rich interactions.
"Our first aim was to please Marvel fans," says developer Tristan Farneau. "In taking advantage of the 75th birthday of Marvel, we wanted to give an overview of each year, from Marvel Comics' creation until now – series, comics, heroes. Above all we looked to feed visitors' curiosity."
Words: Cole Henley
A technical director at Mud, Cole Henley specialises in frontend development and content management. He also teaches on the MA in Web Design at the University of Greenwich. This article originally appeared in net magazine issue 256.