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Series / Marvel's 616

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Eight remarkable stories. Eight unique filmmakers. One Marvel Universe.

Marvel's 616 (also called Marvel 616) is a documentary series about the Marvel Universe. The first season of eight episodes, each one directed by a different filmmaker, aired on November 20, 2020 on Disney+. It consisted of:

  • Japanese Spider-Man (directed by David Gelb): The true story of how Marvel and Toei Company came together in 1978 to create a Spider-Man television show in Japan that was completely different from the American Spider-Man.
  • Higher, Further, Faster (directed by Gillian Jacobs): The history of female comic book creators at Marvel is interwoven alongside the story of Marvel editor Sana Amanat and the creation of Kamala Khan.
  • Amazing Artisans (directed by Clay Jeter): The story of several writers and artists for Marvel that work around the world and how their world inspires their work, including Saladin Ahmed, Natacha Bustos, Javier Garron, John Jennings, Brandon Montclare, and Amy Reeder.
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  • Lost and Found (directed by Paul Scheer): A mockumentary about actor and comedian Paul Scheer looking for the forgotten and obscure heroes of Marvel Comics in order to make a show for Disney+.
  • Suit Up! (directed by Andrew Rossi): The story of the cosplay community and several cosplayers within it and how they use their creativity to make their costumes and embody the characters whose costumes they wear.
  • Unboxed (directed by Sarah Ramos): The story of the "symbiotic relationship" between comics and toys, as well as those who collect them and those who create them.
  • The Marvel Method (directed by Brian Oakes): The "Marvel Method," a way of writing Marvel comics, was used a lot in the past, but is rarely used by modern day comic writers. How and why does Dan Slott use this method?
  • Spotlight (directed by Alison Brie): The Marvel Spotlight program was a series of one-act plays about various characters like Thor and Loki, Squirrel Girl, and Ms. Marvel, meant to be acted out by high school teenagers across the country.

Tropes about the show:

  • Animal Superheroes: In Paul Scheer's "Lost and Found," Scheer is looking for characters to turn into a Disney+ show and finds Brute Force.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Dan Slott in "The Marvel Method." He goes from trying in earnest to write the first issue of Iron Man 2020 (Event) to saying, "Ooh, a tweet!"
  • Artistic License – Art: In "The Marvel Method," Dan Slott is said to be writing using the Marvel method, but is shown repeatedly to be writing things like "Page 1, Panel 1," which would be completely inaccurate for the Marvel method (which is basically just writing a plot summary and handing it off to the artist). This is an especially weird example since the show accurately describes what the Marvel method is prior to this.
  • The Cameo: In "Lost and Found," Paul Scheer interviews Jon Hamm, Nicole Byer, Ron Funches, Rachel Bloom, and Jack McBrayer to see what they think of his Brute Force show and if they will voice the characters. (It turns out that he can only use non-union actors.)
  • Framing Device: "Higher, Further, Faster" uses Sana Amanat's story as a framing device while exploring the history of women in Marvel Comics, eventually building to the creation of Kamala Khan.
  • Hurricane of Puns: In Paul Scheer's Brute Force cartoon pitch, one of the SHIELD agents keeps making puns about Brute Force. It turns out that this is why he was chosen for the mission of capturing them — because he annoyed everybody with his puns.
  • The Ken Burns Effect: Mostly averted, except for the toys episode, in which the toys are all shot in various dynamic ways.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In Paul Scheer's "Lost and Found," Scheer's internal narration is often interrupted by the camera crew. Also, just the fact that he has a camera crew following him around, even though he's supposed to be developing a show for Disney+ and not making a documentary. Finally, the end of the documentary has the Disney+ executives simply saying "Why don't you just end it here" and Paul going, "End it here? And just roll credits?" And then the credits roll.
  • Merchandise-Driven: The entire point of Brute Force was, instead of getting a license for a toy and creating a comic out of it (like G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel) and The Transformers), Marvel would create a comic first and then create the toy, with characters specifically designed to appeal as toys. The comic, however, wasn't that popular and Paul Scheer's updated cartoon reboot never happened.
  • Mockumentary: Paul Scheer's "Lost and Found."
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: When Paul Scheer shows off the Brute Force character of Dr. Eko to Rachel Bloom, she wonders how a dolphin got a doctorate. Scheer speculates that it was from an online university.
  • Motion Comic: A lot of the comic panels shown are slightly in motion to make them seem more dynamic. The word balloons and text boxes will also have the text appear as it's said, rather than all at once.
  • Talking Heads: Since it's a series of documentaries, parts of each episode is dedicated to various people talking straight into to the camera.
  • Visual Pun: When Paul Scheer is showing the Brute Force character of Bear to Rachel Bloom, she points out that he's wearing grills on his teeth. Hence making them bear grills.


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