Marvel's 616 filmmakers preview Disney Plus episodes at SDCC

Each episode will tackle a different part of Marvel's history, from the role of women to the wackiest villains and heroes.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read

A Comic-Con@Home panel Thursday introduced fans to the world of Marvel's 616, the upcoming Disney Plus anthology series that explores the Marvel universe. 

Each episode will be directed by a different filmmaker, and two previewed their episodes on the panel. Director Gillian Jacobs discussed her episode, Higher, Further, Faster: Trailblazing Women of Marvel Comics , which spotlights women in Marvel's history. And director Paul Scheer talked about Lost and Found, which will focus on characters who were ahead of their time, such as Black Panther , as well as eclectic, sometimes laughable characters such as Doctor Druid and The Whizzer.

Jacobs said her episode will focus not just on female heroes, but on real women who contributed to Marvel's history. The episode includes interviews with Sana Amanat, a Marvel Entertainment vice president, who talks about how her own life growing up Muslim helped inspire the creation of Kamala Khan, a Muslim teenager who assumes the mantle of Ms. Marvel from Carol Danvers.

Amanat said her boss was inspired to create a Muslim superhero by stories Amanat told of her own childhood, but she was surprised the concept could be turned into a comic.

"I was like, 'Are we allowed to do this?'" Amanat said in an interview for the episode. "I didn't think anyone would be interested."

Novelist and comic book writer G. Willow Wilson, herself a Muslim, was asked to write the comic, and says she was unsure at first.

"I didn't say yes right away," Wilson admits in an interview for the episode. "I was like, you're going to have to hire an intern just to open all this hate mail."

Scheer's Lost and Found episode mixes the serious with the silly. In one interview, the episode discusses the importance of Black Panther. But it delves into the backstories of all-but-forgotten characters such as The Whizzer, whose origin story involves an injection of mongoose blood, and a villain named Typeface, who literally has letters all over his skin.

The title's use of "616" refers to Earth-616, the universe in which most of the Marvel Comics stories take place. Marvel's 616 will stream on Disney Plus in the fall.

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