The new Disney + documentary series Marvel's 616 is intended to "explore Marvel's rich legacy of pioneering characters, creators and storytelling to reflect the world outside your window. Each documentary, helmed by a unique filmmaker, showcases the intersections of storytelling, pop culture, and fandom within the Marvel Universe.
Episodes in this anthology series will cover topics including Marvel's world-spanning artists, the trailblazing women of Marvel Comics, discovering the "forgotten" characters of Marvel, and much more."
But this weekend as the series dropped, the episode most people had eyes for was the Dan Slott feature which, though presumably intending to be a piece of self-deprecatory whimsy, has instead been interpreted as a baffling form of self-assassination.
As we have pointed out repeatedly, Dan Slott has in the past been a rather tardy comic book creator, with repeated delays on the likes of Iron Man, with Christos Gage repeatedly brought in to co-write Slott's comic books and get them back on schedule. Which is what happens here.
They even make a point that Dan Slott still works Marvel Method, which was invented by Stan Lee as a timesaving method, But somehow doesn't seem to save time when it comes to Dan Slott.
Marvel editors have told me a number of times that once Dan Slott takes on more than one project without a co-writer then schedules go out of the window. Not that they would say such in public. Not unless they are, it seems, Tom Brevoort.
But with Marvel 616, Marvel executive editor SVP Tom Brevoort and Dan Slott have seemed to decide on ninja PR by hiding the situation in plain sight. Making a joke out of it. Lampshading the whole situation. But some people don't seem to appreciate the joke.
And they feel pretty sorry for his co-writer, Christos Gage, artist Pete Woods…
And as a couple of days before the comic is meant to go to the printers, the script still isn't ready for Joe Caramagna, the letterer.
So just as Dan Slott jokes about the online reaction he got from killing off Peter Parker in Amazing Spider-Man #700…
(By the way, those are all fake-ish tweets. Some tweets are real, the names are not. And one, rather than being from 2012, and in response to his Spider-Man death, is from 2019 in response to Dan calling Joker a bad movie.) Here are some of those responses from other comics creators and critics.
Ramon Villalobos: editors never seem so pleasantly bemused when i whimsically fall behind on deadlines. jealous of this dan slott thing.
Veronica James: Dan Slott is committing workplace abuse and shouldn't be allowed to write comics anymore
Aleš Kot: there's 5 queer & bipoc writers with fresh ideas & stellar work ethic marvel could hire instead of empowering dan slott to consistently blow his deadlines & mistreat his creative teams but it's almost as if the editor in chief who faked being a Japanese man for clout doesn't care
Matt Sibley: *I THINK YOU SHOULD LEAVE voice* does nobody see how absolutely f-cked this is
J. A. Micheline: I think we can all agree to never discuss Dan Slott again, as his employers are apparently just amused by his mediocrity
Though not everyone feels this way of course.
Kwanza Osajyefo: It came to my attention that some haters are trying to drag Dan Slott regarding his 616 episode on Disney+ and the main thing I have to say to y'all is – you have NO IDEA how the sausage is made. Absolutely none! Way too many of you project fantasies from the sidelines of how comics are produced. I worked in comics for a decade – that documentary is how the industry operates. Creators are either burning the midnight oil to make a deadline or late AF because of a myriad of things. We back each other up, collaborate, and work hard rather thanklessly in a medium we love all for some dark fanboys and jealous posers to come for any perceived blunder while most would choke trying to pull off monthlies – it shows you have no idea what it takes. Mostly, it shows why a lot of clowns will never be in Dan's echelon. He's is he a great writer who Marvel taps for lots of projects besides comics; like games, TV, and oh… documentaries – which make writing difficult BECAUSE YOU'RE SHOOTING A DOCUMENTARY! Y'all are just feeling a way knowing you'll die mad without a body of work notable enough for people to even bother dragging. Kick rocks and excelsior, bitches.
And the Iron Man 2020 artist also backed this up.
Pete Woods: Dan took a bullet to add some narrative drama to the episode. Honestly, working on this issue was similar every other job I've done. In fact I've had much, much more stressful situations in my past…. Bottom line- Dan sells a boatload of comics and he's never so late that it's a problem. If you think he is, look at Iron Man 2020 and ask yourself how many fill in artists and letterers there were. THAT'S your metric for how much a writer f-cks over his co-creators.
Any last comments, Dan?