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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Reader's Diary #1340- Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder (writers), Natacha Bustos (artist): Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 1 BFF

As I've pointed out before Marvel has been oddly fascinated with dinosaur superhero sidekicks for some time. But it seems to be Lunella Lafayette (aka Moon Girl) and her new T. Rex companion that has finally started making people pay attention.

The reviews on this series have been great. It has been praised for its accessibility for all ages, it's fun, and falling in line with Marvel's recent (and much needed and much welcome) emphasis on diversity. Not only is Lunella black and female, she's also one of the youngest superheroes to come along in a while, clocking in at just 10 years of age.

Not that she's quite a superhero yet. In this volume all Lunella knows is that she has Inhuman DNA and subjected to the right (or wrong, if you ask her) catalyst, she'll change. As most Marvel Inhuman fans know, the change is unpredictable. Usually it comes with some sort of superhuman ability, but often deformities as well. Already a very different child (she's quite precocious), Lunella spends most of the book trying to avoid the change. (Hmm, now that I say that out loud, I wonder if there's a puberty analogy?)

Older readers like me will likely relate to the parents of Lunella more than the child herself and to some extent the story works in this regard, making one feel protective. That said, sometimes the precociousness is overdone and she becomes unbelievable. She says once or twice that she's afraid of the Devil Dinosaur but all of her actions suggest otherwise.

Another complaint I have is that while the book has a big emphasis on science (which is a good thing), beginning each comic with a quote from a famous scientist (Curie, Einstein, Degrasse Tyson), the science itself is weak. Apparently the original Devil Dinosaur series explained the co-existence of dinosaurs and cavemen as the reality in an alternate universe. Fine, except here, set in modern day New York, there's barely a breath of this despite cavemen supposedly from the T.Rex's time as the main villains. I feel with a girl as smart as Lunella, this could have been addressed better.

Still, it's entertaining and ends with a great cliff-hanger that'll definitely make me want to read more. Plus, there's a cameo from Amadeus Cho's version of the Hulk that I've been wanting to see, so that was pretty cool.

Bustos' art is just a tad more cartoony than most superhero comics, but that plays well with the light humour.


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