Gillian Jacobs and Paul Scheer celebrate 80 years of comics with Marvel's 616 on Disney+
You've never seen Marvel like this before. Disney+'s upcoming anthology docuseries Marvel's 616 explore a whole new side to the comic book company through eight episodes exploring different topics, characters, creators, and stories from throughout the past eight decades of content.
Each documentary episode is directed by a different filmmaker, and two directors, Gillian Jacobs (Community) and Paul Scheer (The League), joined the virtual Comic-Con panel with executive producers Sarah Amos and Jason Sterman on Thursday to discuss the project and their unique installments.
"It’s a great way to celebrate this 80-year history of Marvel because it is more than the Spider-Mans and the Iron Mans and all these characters we love," Scheer says.
"It makes me sad that I didn’t read comics as a kid," Jacobs says. "I came to this series knowing nothing about comics. I don’t think I’d ever actually read a comic all the way through so this was a really exciting process for me of getting to learn a lot about Marvel and falling in love with comics."
While Jacobs may not have known anything about comics before tackling her episode, "Higher, Further, Faster: Trailblazing Women of Marvel Comics," she ended up becoming an expert through her research and interviews.
"I inadvertently made a piece about the history of comics, not just Marvel which I did not think I was doing going in!" she says with a laugh. "For a more casual fan of Marvel who doesn’t know a lot about the history of it and for me who didn’t know anything about the history of it, it was really exciting to discover not just the names that Marvel fans know of like Marie Severin who is a really important artist there but a whole host of other women who worked at Marvel over the decades and then also talking about the really exciting women who are currently working there."
Through the process of directing her episode, Jacobs says she "got to fall in love with Marvel comics, the characters they’ve created, the books they’ve worked on it and it was really fun."
"I’ve never read so many comics in my life," she adds. "I got to film in the Marvel offices which I didn’t know put me in a really small group of people who have been allowed to film in the Marvel offices. I got so into it, I was starstruck."
Meanwhile, Scheer's background in comics couldn't be more opposite than Jacobs, highlighting just how different each episode of the anthology series will be. "I am a writer for Marvel," he says. "I’ve written a handful of Marvel comic books in the past. I love that world and being there and interacting with the characters, writing them has been one of the best experiences of my life. This was an amazing opportunity to dive deeper into this 80-year world that I never really had a chance to do before."
Scheer's episode, "Lost and Found," features his mission to uncover the most bizarre, wackiest, forgotten characters of the Marvel universe.
"You’re getting to see the passion that each of the creators that I talk to in that moment have for characters that exist in the world of Marvel," he says. "I think of Marvel like a family reunion. We all know the major players but then there’s that weird uncle that you only see once every four years. What is up with him? ... Asbestos Woman. A woman who worked in an asbestos plant who now has the power of asbestos, let’s get into that. What’s been going on with her?"
But Scheer then jokes that he might be the most obscure Marvel character of them all. "I am in the Marvel universe!" he says. "I am flirting with Scott Lang’s daughter in Astonishing Ant-Man #4 written by Nick Spencer, yes I memorized it. I show up to a basketball game and I get Scott Lang upset. So honestly that character must come back."
Check out the full panel below:
Marvel's 616 streams this fall on Disney+.