Reeder, Montclare and Bustos Unveil ‘Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur’ at Marvel
When Marvel unveiled its post-Secret Wars line-up, it was a strangely lacking in surprises. The announcements were front-loaded with a couple of awesome and important reveals, including Miles Morales as Spider-Man, and Miles and Kamala as Avengers, but given the scale of the opportunity of a line-wide relaunch, it felt surprisingly familiar and unambitious, even compared to past Marvel line-up launches that brought readers Ms Marvel and the new Thor. Where were the new ideas? Where were the new voices?
Today we learned of the upcoming launch of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur from the creative team of writers Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos. There we go; that's the stuff we want to see.
Devil Dinosaur is a red tyrannosaur created by Jack Kirby in Devil Dinosaur #1 in 1978, and a version of the character recently had the co-starring role in the Secret Wars title Planet Hulk. Traditionally he's been paired with an ape-like cave-dweller named Moon Boy, but for this new series he's picked up a different partner, Lunella Lafayette, aka Moon Girl.
Moon Girl is described as a child genius who lives inside her own head, with what seems to be still-dormant Inhuman DNA that could end up radically changing her life. The series is set in modern day New York, and while Moon Boy will appear, one suspects he may end up trapped in the past when his big red buddy makes the journey to the present day.
Talking to Entertainment Weekly, which made the official announcement, assistant editor Emily Shaw noted that Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur emerged as an answer to a need for more all-ages heroes at Marvel.
“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.”
'All ages' is a big market that Marvel has rarely tried to tap into; a girl with her own dinosaur feels like a pretty decent swing.
Spanish artist Natacha Bustos now becomes that rarest of things, a woman of color working on a Big Two book starring a woman of color, a distinction she shares at Marvel with Stacey Lee on Silk. Bustos clearly understands how much this matters, telling EW, "For decades now, we have seen more independent publishers taking a gamble on diversification, but always within the underground scene. ... It’s really important that the mainstream throws up new [cultural] 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."
This is Bustos's first major North American comics work; her previous credits include the graphic novels Lolita HR/T4, with Delphine Rieu, and Chernobil: La Zona, with Francisco Sánchez. Reeder and Montclare may be best known for their collaboration on Rocket Girl at Image, written by Montclare and illustrated by Reeder.
Marvel has been promising more diversity both on the page and behind the scenes in its post-Secret Wars line-up, but the publisher hasn't had a lot of announcements to point to. Hopefully Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur is just the first in a wave of titles that will help Marvel keep that promise.
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