Review: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1
Title: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writers: Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare
Artist: Natacha Bustos
In today’s comic landscape, it’s still pretty easy to find the high-flying, bombastic super hero adventures where larger-than-life beings duke it out with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. But lately, we’ve also seen a rising trend of some more homespun super hero stories to along with the more high-octane offerings. One shining example of this is G. Willow Wilson’s excellent Ms. Marvel series, in which our heroine fights against gentrification just as much as she does super villains. And after the first issue to Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, and Natacha Bustos, it seems as though this title is going to be continuing on in this same vein, telling an intimate story in an outrageous setting, while exhibiting a lot of charm.
For our initial outing, the story introduces us to Lunella, a bright young girl who chafes under the restraints of the limitations placed on her; she is too bright for the school she’s in, and too detached to make any friends among her classmates. The other half of the story gives a crash course on Devil Dinosaur, designed to give readers unfamiliar with the character (like myself) up to speed on one of Jack Kirby’s less famous creations. When Lunella uncovers some bizarre alien tech (using a detector of her own design), Devil Dinosaur is brought into the present, where hijinks are sure to ensue.
Admittedly, there isn’t a lot going on in this first issue aside from this exposition, but that’s excusable when the exposition is pretty good. Reeder and Montclare do a great job fleshing out Lunella’s character and how hard it is for her to be cramped into a role she’s too bright for. Though not all of us can relate directly to a character too smart for school, the character still comes off as sympathetic as we see her frustration and her inability to relate to those around her. The art is also of a strong quality, with the characters given a fluid, cartoony energy and big, expressive faces. Even Devil Dinosaur manages to find a range from fierce to morose, with many others in between.
Overall, the book has a good homespun feel to it, and exudes plenty of warmth and charm. It does have a noticeable case of First Issue Syndrome where not much happens beyond introductions, but it’ll have me coming back for more next month. The comic scene continues to branch out with more diverse characters and more small scale stories, and I think this odd couple book will make a fine addition to that landscape.
VERDICT: 4 out of 5. Give it a shot