By Christian Holub
September 29, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT
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Stan Lee used to say that the Marvel Comics universe was ″the world outside your window." Another legendary comic writer, Alan Moore, coined the designation ″616″ to refer to the Marvel universe's place in a larger multiverse. Both those concepts come together in the title of the upcoming Disney+ documentary series Marvel's 616, which explores how Marvel comics and characters have influenced our own real-life world. You can exclusively watch the first trailer for Marvel's 616 above.

Marvel's 616 consists of eight episodes, directed by different accomplished filmmakers and tackling various facets of Marvel. The first episode, ″The Japanese Spider-Man,″ is directed by David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi) and tells the story of the most interesting Marvel adaptation you've probably never heard of before. In 1978, Marvel struck a deal with Japanese TV giant Toei to adapt the company's most popular superhero for Japanese audiences. The result involved a giant robot and a cool car, and became an important influence on Japanese pop culture. Japanese Spider-Man (a.k.a Supaidāman) has rarely been seen outside of Japan, so the footage will knock your socks off.

The second episode is titled ″Higher, Further, Faster," after the tagline of writer Kelly Sue DeConnick's popular Captain Marvel comics that were a big influence on the 2019 film starring Brie Larson. Directed by Gillian Jacobs (Community), the episode introduces viewers to the women who have played important roles in Marvel's history. The third episode, ″Amazing Artisans,″ is directed by Clay Jeter and focuses on two international Marvel artists, Javier Garrón and Natacha Bustos, who live in Barcelona and use their life experiences to influence their work on popular young superheroes Miles Morales and Moon Girl.

Episode four, ″Lost and Found,″ is directed by Paul Scheer (Black Monday, The League) and features him exploring the most obscure, wild, and forgotten Marvel characters (rest assured: there are plenty of them). The fifth episode, ″Suit Up!," is directed by Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times) and focuses on cosplay culture. There are interviews with several cosplayers as they prepare for last year's New York Comic Con, so if you are missing the in-person NYCC experience this year, this episode should work as a substitute. Virtual NYCC will have plenty of panels, but they won't have the irreplaceable experience of walking around so many unique cosplayers.

Credit: Disney Plus

The sixth episode, ″Unboxed,″ is directed by Sarah Ramos (Parenthood) and explores the ″symbiotic relationship″ between comics and toys. Which came first, which influenced the other? The answer is not always the same, as indicated by interviews with Marvel toy experts, designers at Hasbro and Funko, and passionate collectors. Episode seven, ″The Marvel Method," is directed by Brian Oakes and takes a close look at the creation of the new Iron Man 2020 comic. There are interviews with writer Dan Slott, artist Pete Woods, and editor Tom Brevoort as they work to get the comic completed by deadline. In addition, the interviews provide historical background on the development of the titular Marvel Method as it was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, for better and worse.

Last but certainly not least is the eight episode, "Marvel Spotlight." Directed by Alison Brie (Community, GLOW), this episode follows a group of students at Florida's Brandon High School as they put on performances of the new Marvel Spotlight plays and realize how much characters like Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl speak to their own high school experiences.

All episodes of Marvel's 616 begin streaming on Disney+ on Nov. 20. Check out the trailer and preview clips above.

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