Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur feels like a series that is very representative of the current state of Marvel Comics. It’s high energy, personal, and focused on fun. It has a unique look and style — the kind of comic that seems like it is in its own little corner of the sandbox. It is also, without a doubt, fantastic. Here’s hoping Marvel keeps this one around for a good, solid run.
The story follows Lunella, a young, nerdy girl who doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere. She loves science and is clearly brilliant. So brilliant, in fact, that she manages to discover something called a Nightstone which leads to a portal opening which leads to – you guessed it – Devil Dinosaur rampaging into the Marvel Universe proper. Writers Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder make Lunella a compelling and fun character. The majority of the book is spent with her and it’s engaging and interesting despite the lack of action and bombastic superhero mayhem. Of course, once Devil Dinosaur shows up all that changes, but the heart of the book is Lunella.
Much of the aforementioned fun can and should be largely attributed to artist Natacha Bustos. She brings so much energy and excitement to the book, it’s hard to oversell how vital her work his to the comic’s success. Her storytelling is clear and smooth, even when the pace becomes frantic and explosive. Visually, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur continues Marvel’s trend of adding the right artist to the right book and letting them cut loose. Bustos is bursting with talent, and this comic is a showcase for that.
Colorist Tamra Bonvillain also brings a great deal to this issue. The bright glow of the pages matches the unrelenting drive of the of the comic’s main character. The whole thing shines. Travis Lanham’s lettering is smooth as well, dancing around the page and adding to the excitement when the big red guy stomps onto the scene. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is just a damn fine looking comic book, anyway you cut it.
Jack Kirby co-created and designed most of Marvel’s great characters, but Devil Dinosaur is one of his best and most underused. I mean, the character’s name is Devil Dinosaur, guys. It doesn’t get much better than that. It’s nice to see the red guy gracing the comic page in a monthly series again, and it’s even better to she him starring in one with such a compelling new character. We’ll miss you Moon Boy, but Moon Girl better be here to stay. Devil Dinosaur and her make one hell of a team.