Marvel has many characters that are by design a bit wacky and two of the most outlandish, Rocket Raccoon and Groot the living tree are now among the biggest stars in their roster, thanks to featured roles in last summer’s mega hit ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ Another, Squirrel Girl is headlining her own comic and… technically, Deadpool, one of their most heavily marketed characters falls into this category. Will the House of Ideas score again with their new series, ‘Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’? Her creators certainly hope so!
Co-writer Brandon Montclare expressed:
“There’s definitely a cool factor with some of the obscure characters, just because it’s so fun to work on. It’s great to work on ‘Wolverine’ or ‘Spider-Man’ or stuff like that. But like [co-writer] Amy [Reeder] said, when someone’s not watching too closely what you do, it’s also just creative freedom for cool stuff. You can do stuff that really motivates you, rather than giving another great ‘Spider-Man’ story that feels like all the other Spider-Man stories.”
“Brandon and I were talking about co-writing books with Marvel, and we were really interested in doing something that would be a lot of fun, and that gravitated towards something that wasn’t made yet or wasn’t a main character or popular character for awhile. I like that idea because you get to do a lot with those types of situations. You get to put a lot of creativity into it, and have your voice heard. You’re not quite tied in to all the events. So that’s something that attracted us.”
And the target for the new series is… everybody. Reeder pointed out that a lot of Marvel’s output is clearly aimed at mature readers and sought through this new project to appeal to younger fans who may be drawn by the popularity of Marvel’s stable in other media.
“[Editor] Mark [Paniccia] and I were talking about how whenever people come in with young kids, or even just for Mark’s own kids, we don’t have that many publications that we can give to people that have that broad reach. Generally, we’re skewing a little bit older with a lot of our titles and we wanted to create something that adults and kids could really love, like a Pixar feel. That’s where the tone jumped off for us.”
Based on a Jack Kirby creation, ‘Devil Dinosaur’ was first published in 1978 and like a lot of Kirby’s later work, was pretty batsh** crazy, featuring a mutated red Tyrannosaurus who was stronger and smarter than average dinos, and was accompanied by an ape-like humanoid named Moon Boy, embarking on adventures in a prehistoric world where they encountered aliens and time traveled to the present. The pair even spent time as part of the X-Men spinoff ‘Fallen Angels’.
Joining Reeder and Montclare on ‘Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’ is artist Natacha Bustos.
Neanderthal-like Moon Boy has been given the boot (or barefoot, rather) in favor of Moon Girl, a modern teenager named Lunella Lafayette, who is described as a “super genius.” Her powers, it has been revealed, are a result of her being an Inhuman, a rapidly spreading condition among Marvel’s population now that mutants are, ahem off-limits.
Shaw described the new hero saying:
“The character lives in this world where people don’t really get her… [the fact] that her brain just works a little differently than all of the other kids her age really resonated with us, and that idea of feeling sort of isolated and on your own during that very early time of life we thought was really compelling, and could really resonate with a lot of readers. That’s what really gave the story its heart at the beginning.”
Reeder compared Moon Girl to a “female Inspector Gadget — only this time, she also knows what she’s doing.” She added, “We all feel isolated or left out at times. So it’s been a joy to try to create something like this.”
Moon Girl, who is obviously African American, has already gained comparisons to Miles Morales, the half-African American, half-Hispanic ‘Ultimate’ Spider-Man, who proved so popular that he was salvaged from the destruction of the ‘Ultimate Comics’ imprint and ushered into the mainstream 616 Marvel U, as well as Pakistani American Kamala Khan, the current holder of the title of Ms. Marvel, who also happens to be Muslim.
Says Reeder, “It’s really important that the mainstream throws up new references like these and it’s an honor to be a part of that change that Marvel is bringing to the comic book creative landscape. A greater number of readers are looking for characters they can identify with… whatever their background or lifestyle, is capable of transcending their own identities to see themselves in a mirror of entertainment for 20 or 30 minutes without any difference.”
She concluded, “It’s not all about the Marvel continuity. It’s about people, and that’s something that I’m really excited about it. It’s something that I actually didn’t expect working for Marvel, but I’m super excited about it, and I think people are just going to love it. It’s going to have a lot of heart because it’s all coming from a good place.”
‘Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’ stomp into comic shops this fall (date TBA). Will you be adding this all-ages title to your pull list?
Source: Entertainment Weekly