In a better timeline, Black Widow would have hit theaters two months ago. But we don’t live in that timeline. We live in the one where an ever-surging pandemic has put almost everything on pause with no end in sight, including the MCU. But that doesn’t mean the end of Marvel content. Disney+ is rearing to release Marvel 616, a documentary series about how the comics and their characters have shaped the culture over the last seven decades. And now they’ve released sneak peaks at two of the episodes.
Let’s start with the second, which is from the fourth episode, called “Lost and Found,” and which follows comic performer and creator Paul Scheer as he digs into more obscure Marvel characters. That includes, apparently, Black Panther, and in the clip we see him chatting with Reginald Hudlin, the film director (of House Party and Boomerang) who wound up writing Panther comics in the mid-aughts. And to revitalize a character born in the ’60s during the Civil Rights Era, he drew inspiration from a certain musical act.
“I knew what the opportunity was with Black Panther if I did it right,” Hudlin tells Scheer. “I said, ‘I’m going to write the comic book equivalent of a Public Enemy record — a completely uncompromised, politically provocative book. And that was the key to its success.”
The clip also shows Scheer talking to other writers about far less known Marvel characters, such as Doctor Druid, The Whizzer, and one villain with the colorful name of Typeface.
The other clip is from the second episode, “Higher, Further, Faster,” which examines the female talent of Marvel. Among those is Sana Amanat, Marvel Entertainment’s Vice President of Character & Content, who says she was asked to draw on her own experiences as the daughter of immigrants, who was forbidden by her parents to date, even going to prom solo, when bringing back Captain Marvel. She was told by highers-up that, “It would be great if we had a character based on you, based on the young Sunas of the world.” That surprised her. “I was like are we allowed to do this? This is a concept I didn’t anyone was interested in,” Amanat says.
You can watch that clip below and the one with Scheer and Hudlin above.