MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #10
Written By: Brandon Montclare & Amy Reeder
Penciller: Natacha Bustos
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: 8/24/16
Price Tag: $3.99
Lunella Layfayette has been on the run from her Inhuman destiny since she discovered it was part of her DNA. Now that the Terrigen Cloud has caught up with her, she can switch bodies with her pet dinosaur. Unfortunately her power has attracted the attention of Kid Kree, who masquerades as a classmate named Marvin but is really on Earth to drag Lunella back to his home planet. Unfortunately a Q Train got in the way, and now Ms. Marvel has shown up to help both Moon Girl and her would-be kidnapper clean up the damage.
Plot: Kamala tries to teach the two troublemakers about superhero etiquette, but Mel-Varr (Kid Kree) rushes off without heeding her warnings. Meanwhile, Mel-Varr’s parents worry over his absence and his mother convinces his father to look into it.
In an attempt to protect his son’s reputation, General Pad-Varr lies that Lunella has Mel-Varr in her clutches. So now not only is Moon Girl dealing with one misguided kid who thinks she’s a threat, but with a host of misguided Kree soldiers too. How is she supposed to get out of this one?
Ms. Marvel gives some good advice – like don’t worry so much about a young kid who can’t really hurt you – but she doesn’t stick around long enough to find out what Lunella’s power is. She does hand out an Avengers communicator, though, which may be the coolest thing that’s ever happened in Lunella’s eyes. Less cool in her eyes, though, is that Kid Kree – and her classmate Marvin – seems to have taken a liking to her. And that’s something she never asked for.
Story: Lunella’s fascination with Kamala is one of my favorite aspects of this week’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. Just as Ms. Marvel is serving as an inspiration to a younger heroine, Moon Girl herself is inspiring countless young girls to pursue their interest in math and science. It’s a wonderful moment that reflects the importance of representation in the stories we read and well as in our daily lives.
There’s also a thread running through every issue about how it feels to be misunderstood and different. Lunella’s concerns are easy to sympathize with, because everyone has felt out of place at one point or another. However, it can be frustrating as a reader when she can’t communicate her pain to others in the story. Or when circumstances don’t allow her parents or characters like The Hulk and Ms. Marvel to understand. That’s a frustration mirrored in real life, though, so it’s brave of Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder to tackle it with a person as vulnerable as Lunella.
Art: Natacha Bustos artwork is fun mixture of wacky and realistic, depending on the moment in question. Tamra Bonvillain’s colors, meanwhile, are unfailingly rich and inviting. The art is a huge asset to Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, as it helps connect the reader to Lunella and her world. A bright red T. Rex storming the middle of Manhattan, for example, could end up looking rather scary if not for the whimsical touch of both artists.
One of the greatest segments in the issue is the silent battle of wills between Mel-Varr’s parents. They may be Kree, but their expressions are as human as can be and Natacha Bustos captures them perfectly. No matter how alien a situation is, good art grounds it in humanity.
Verdict: Lunella may be a young girl, but Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is a comic that speaks to all ages. Whether you want to be special or wish your life was more normal, everyone can relate to Lunella’s struggles one way or another.