Looking back at the Super Heroes who have advocated for public health awareness!

Do you like healthy life practices, low-key dinosaur hot dog heists, and Super Villains composed entirely out of bees? Then you, dear reader, have come to the right place!

This Wednesday, June 6, Lunella Lafayette and her best pal Devil Dinosaur go on a special mission to fight the real-world threat of smoking and addiction in Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, and Ray-Anthony Height‘s delightful MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #31!

Now, Lunella isn’t the only hero to have tackled the difficult subjects of smoking and addiction; on the contrary, Marvel heroes have a long history of awareness campaigns and health advocacy—and some of them have been downright revolutionary. So, in celebration of Moon Girl’s fresh take on the issue, we decided to look back at some of Marvel’s most memorable stories about addiction, public health, and wellness.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #96#98

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #98

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #98

  • Published: July 10, 1971
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Gil Kane
  • Cover Artist: Gil Kane
What is Marvel Unlimited?

This early ’70s Spidey story, the wallcrawler tackled the concept of drug use and addiction. At this period in time, the Comics Code Authority was a highly influential regulatory body in the industry. If a comic’s content broke any of the CCA’s exacting rules and regulations, the Authority would withdraw their valuable seal of approval.

That’s why it was such a big deal when Marvel decided to run three issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN against the wishes of the CCA, who had banned all depictions of drug use, but the creative team decided to do this arc after working with the U.S. Department of Health to promote awareness about the problem. The story saw Spider-Man taking on a group of drug lords in what would turn out to be a landmark moment for the medium.

DAREDEVIL #179

Daredevil (1964) #179

Daredevil (1964) #179

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Matt Murdock was the next hero to take a stand on the subject. In this 1982 issue, journalist Ben Ulrich was warned to stop smoking cigarettes because they were dangerous to his health. At one point Ulrich even ominously exclaimed, “Lousy cigarettes. They’ll be the death of me,” before his smoker’s cough alerted a villain to his hiding place, resulting in his death.

While this was more of a subtle anti-smoking PSA, this issue marked another step in taking on the real-world villain of substance abuse.

SPIDER-MAN, STORM AND POWER MAN

Spurred on by the success of the DAREDEVIL issue released earlier that year, there was a desire to go further with an anti-smoking message…and who better to showcase that message than the one who started it all a decade earlier: Spider-Man! With the support of the American Cancer Society, SPIDER-MAN, STORM AND POWER MAN–BATTLE SMOKESCREEN was released.

The story followed track star Bret Jackson, who started skipping training in favor of getting hooked on cigarettes and hanging out at a seedy club. This fall from grace was orchestrated by a villain named Smokescreen, who wanted to sabotage the runner in an attempt to win a bet on Bret’s race. Luckily, his plan was foiled by Spidey, Storm, and Power Man, who confronted Bret on the dangers of smoking (including its connections to cancer).

CAPTAIN AMERICA GOES TO WAR AGAINST DRUGS

The next big moment in Marvel’s awareness activity was led by Captain America himself. This 1990 two-part story started out as a pretty standard deal: a kid named Keith told Cap about his friend Mitch, who recently used drugs before accidentally hitting someone with a baseball while incapacitated.

This incident proved to be just the wake-up call Mitch needed. He stopped using drugs before finding out that the dealer he got them from was an alien attempting to see just how conquerable Earthlings might be. Steve Rogers aided in the fight, but ultimately Mitch redeemed himself to take down the alien threat and overcome the dangers of drugs.

SPIDER-MAN, STORM AND POWER MAN…Again!

Spider-Man fought Smokescreen several more times in various reprints of the original issue, but 16 years after their first foray, the story received updated interiors. Using the same plot as the first, the story was refreshed with new art for a new era in this vital retelling of a classic awareness issue; David Tata, Norman Lee, and Chris Dickey teamed up to present the heroes with their updated costumes in iconic ’90s style.

This version, like the previous one, would go on to be reprinted several more times throughout the years as the heroes of their Marvel Universe brought their power and influence to the fight against smoking and addiction. 

Join Lunella Lafayette and the best dino in the Universe for MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #31, available on June 6!

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Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder tell TWIM about a big issue being tackled by Lunella Lafayette!

This Week in Marvel has something for everyone! Ryan and Jamie not only bring you their picks of the week, but because it’s a very special release week, we have LOTS of Spidey talk! If you haven’t already read AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800, you can get an in-depth run-down on this week’s podcast. Plus, TWIM celebrates the 40th anniversary of Japan’s “Spider-Man” series — we may have included its amazing theme song, too! (You’ll have to listen to find out!)

That’s not all! This Week in Marvel also welcomed the creators of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR, Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder, who wrote a special issue to recognize World No Tobacco Day. In MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #31, Lunella is faced with her whole neighborhood suddenly becoming addicted to cigarettes. But the enemy is a lot more insidious than peer pressure! Tune in to TWIM to hear more about the story — and the mission behind the story!

You can listen to the whole episode here:

Subscribe to This Week in Marvel on Apple Podcasts or download the episode from Marvel.com/podcasts!

With new episodes every Friday, This Week in Marvel delivers all the latest Marvel discussion and news about comics, TV, movies, games, toys, and beyond! Tweet your questions and comments about the show to @AgentM@jamiefrevele, or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!

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The making of the mixed media cover by Natacha Bustos!

Few things grab your attention like a comic book cover that looks different from the rest. That was just part of the thinking behind the upcoming cover of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #32, the beginning of a new arc by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder. Lunella Lafayette and her community are going to be facing a problem that’s very familiar to the real world: the closing of her public school by Mayor Fisk. And a story that has roots in the real world deserves a cover that includes the real world too!

Series editor Chris Robinson let us in on how the Marvel team came up with covers that go beyond just art and put characters in real-life New York City. With the intention of putting out a series that looked “fresh” and different, Robinson worked with the MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR creative team plus cover artist Natacha Bustos and photographers Rachel Orlow and Judy Stephens to combine photography with comic illustration. He noted that the “Save Our School” storyline hits so close to home in New York City — so why not feature the real New York City on the covers? The process included a bit more logistics than a typical cover would, but it resulted in a series of standout covers that join the ranks of other innovative Marvel Comics covers that featured photography.

We gave you a sneak peek at a preview gallery of the mixed media covers — one featuring This Week in Marvel host Ryan Penagos! MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #32 will feature Mayor Fisk and his daughter, new character Princess Fisk, on the cover, looking like they’re ready to cause a hefty amount of trouble for Lunella, DD, and New York City.

Watch the video for a closer look at the process behind the cover!

MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #32 will be available on June 27! Be sure to pre-order your copy with your your local comic book store!

 

 

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'Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur' is currently in development.

If this past weekend’s release of Marvel Studios “Black Panther” has taught us anything, it’s that brilliant young girls run the world. Lunella Lafayette, it’s time for you to take center stage!

Marvel TV today revealed that “Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” (working title) is in development. Based on the hit comic book series, the animated project follows the adventures of nine-year-old super-genius Lunella Lafayette, an African-America girl who teams up with her crimson-colored dinosaur and uses her smarts to save the day. Lunella, A.K.A. Moon Girl, was created by Brandon MontclareAmy Reeder, and Natacha Bustos (and colored by Tamra Bonvillain) in 2015—and the world’s smartest person hasn’t looked back since!

“Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” is being produced by Marvel Animation and Cinema Gypsy Productions (Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland, producers of “black-ish” and “grown-ish”) with visual and animation development services by Titmouse, Inc. The animated project is in consideration for a Disney Channels Worldwide series.

Want to know more about the smartest there is in the Marvel Universe, head over to Marvel Unlimited or stop by your local comic shop and read the source material!  

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2015) #1

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2015) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

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What do The Smartest There Is, the Thing, and the Human Torch have in common?

With Devil Dinosaur returned to his own time, Lunella has had to carry on saving the day on her own. And with Reed and Sue Richards still M.I.A., The Human Torch and the Thing have also suddenly found themselves as half of a super hero team. So what has Lunella learned from Ben and Johnny? How have they influenced her as her? And what’s in store for these three moving forward? We caught up with writer Brandon Montclare for more insight on MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #27, which is now on sale!

Marvel.com: The Thing has always shown up as a counterpoint for Lunella. He’s not the brainiest hero, but he has heart and determination. Would you say he has shown Lunella that there’s more to being a hero than just book smarts?

Brandon Montclare: The Thing is one of my favorite characters as well as a great character to write. He’s got a worldview! As far as his  relationship with Moon Girl, he’d be the first one to admit he’s the brawn to her brains. But she very much recognizes a kind of smarts in Ben Grimm: Yancy Street smarts. They grew up on the same Lower East Side block, albeit a generation apart. So she respects him in a lot of ways, and a lot more than some of the Marvel Universe brains she’s encountered. That being said: she doesn’t show it too often. She likes keeping The Thing on his (four) toes.

Marvel.com: Similarly, Human Torch’s approach to heroism differs quite a bit from Lunella’s. He has a brashness, and he’s a little more action-oriented, whereas Lunella takes a more scientific and analytical approach. Do you think she has gained any insight from him?

Brandon Montclare: Moon Girl doesn’t can’t take Human Torch seriously. The guy saves the world countless times, and still she thinks he’s a bit of a dope! It’s definitely not fair, but Lunella always had trouble properly relating to people. So in “Fantastic Three” Natacha Bustos and I show Johnny being a hothead. We also show him being a hero; sometimes the most thoughtful of the bunch. The readers, I’m sure, tell the difference between his heroic strengths and shortcomings. Part of the fun about Lunella, however, is that she’s stubborn and misses a lot of things. She’s learning, though!

Both Human Torch and The Thing are interesting visually. There are few super heroes more dynamic than Human Torch. It’s a new kind of visual for Natacha [Bustos]. And Tamra Bonvillain gets to “Flame On” with colors. Also, The Thing is one of the best character designs in the medium. And while he’s not a 30-foot dinosaur, Ben’s a big guy — so that’s given Natacha opportunities to juxtapose him with Lunella. In fact, the – literally — elemental designs and visuals of the Fantastic Four are something I definitely would never let go to waste. Even though “the Fantastic Four are no more,” readers have already seen hints of all four of their power sets. And more is coming! Tamra’s color choice is very idiosyncratic. And always very smart. When it comes time to reveal the Fantastic Four blues, it’s like you’ve never seen that shade of blue in this world before. That’s a special talent.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2015) #27

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2015) #27

Travis Lanham always has a lot of letters styles in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. In addition to people talking, there’s a lot of narration. There’s also a lot of characters we need to “sound” different. Travis gave Devil Dinosaur his voice –and that was very important. You need every trick in the comics tool box to make “Mroo?” mean something to readers. In Fantastic Three, we have robots, cosmic beings, and more surprises. The letters have been on point.

Adding Galactus and Silver Surfer is probably too much, to be honest. Given the opportunity, however, I couldn’t possibly resist. Marvel artists have been making Galactus and Silver Surfer look cool for half a century. Whenever I’m plotting a new arc, fundamental are opportunities to be visually interesting for the artists. With Natacha doing the line work–ideas are often first. “Wouldn’t it be cool to see Nat draw the Fantastic Four?’” Then hopefully I can also come up with a good FF story!

Marvel.com: Also, with everything that has happened with the FF, has it changed how they relate to Lunella? I think maybe they understand her feelings of being an outsider a little more. And they gave her a bunch of Reed’s old things — it seems like they’re hoping she can maybe carry on his legacy.

Brandon Montclare: That Human Torch and Thing look to Moon Girl to continue the Fantastic Four legacy is a big part of the story. It launches the action, and informs everything. What all three have in common is a recently broken family. Moon Girl has returned Devil Dinosaur to his prehistoric home; Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman are lost, leaving only half of a Fantastic Four. So they all get what the others are feeling — there’s no shortage of empathy. But families take time.

Another part of Legacy, of course, is Moon Girl becoming integral to the Marvel Universe. She’s the smartest person in the world. That has consequences, and expectations to live up to.

Marvel.com: Could you tease a little about what kind of threat we can expect to see from the Omnipotentis and what inspired your creation of it? 

Brandon Montclare: Omnipotentis! There’s a story behind that character’s creation. Focusing on the remaining members of Fantastic Four, I had pencilled in Galactus as the threat for the story. But as Ultimates readers know, Galactus has had some changes — and now he tries to bring life instead of death. I thought that was a cool angle. And it inspired a twist: what if Galactus was coming to Earth to warn humans of a pending catastrophe? Galactus used heralds like the Silver Surfer to portend his coming. So what if Galactus was himself a herald for something bigger? A Galactus for Galactus.

And from there we came up with Omnipotentis. My only note was it should look related to Galactus. Natacha came up with the rest — including making it a female cosmic entity.

Here’s some of her designs I think we can share. Natacha working through the visuals. You’ll have to wait for issue #28 to see the final Omnipotentis!

Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos’ MOON GIRL #27 is available now!

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Brandon Montclare introduces Galactus to the newly-minted Fantastic Three!

The arrival of The Silver Surfer and Galactus signals dark fortunes for any planet. And now that the cosmic duo have showed up on the Lower East Side, Lunella Lafayette and her new pals Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm must respond.

On December 27, writer Brandon Montclare and artist Alitha Martinez’s MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #26 will put the combined might of Moon Girl, The Human Torch, and The Thing to the test. Especially when they learn that Galactus and Norrin Radd have come to warn them that something even more dangerous might be on its way.

How will the trio answer the call? We spoke with Brandon to find out.

Marvel.com: Tell us a little bit about what the reunion between Galactus and The Silver Surfer might look like!

Brandon Montclare: What’s old will be new again—because the Eater of Worlds and the Sentinel of the Spaceways are working together on a joint-mission. And just like their first appearance in FANTASTIC FOUR #48, it’ll be bad news for Earth. But, that being said, Galactus isn’t the bad news himself. Instead, he carries a warning.

It’s fun to simultaneously flip, as well as expand, Galactus’ traditional role. He’s on Yancy Street to tell Moon Girl that a more powerful, mysterious entity is approaching. So that makes Galactus the herald for…someone big you’ll see in upcoming issues!

Marvel.com: How does the Surfer feel about Galactus at the moment?

Brandon Montclare: Silver Surfer is cool. He maintains that California (by way of Zenn La) mellow vibe. So he and Galactus aren’t at odds. The gravity of their news seems big enough to put aside their differences.

But then there’s Moon Girl. Lunella can get under anyone’s skin—even Silver Surfer’s. And Human Torch and Thing don’t feel too cool about the Silver Surfer either. The pair have an ongoing grudge. So, some sparks will fly. But the “Fantastic Three” storyline is about more than just Moon Girl, The Thing, and The Human Torch. It’s about coming together to save the world. They’ll need Galactus and Silver Surfer to be a part of that. And others too!

Marvel.com: How does Moon Girl respond to the situation? 

Brandon Montclare: The Thing and The Human Torch are trying to get over their shattered family—they recently lost Invisible Woman and Mister Fantastic. And Devil Dinosaur got sent home to the prehistoric Valley of Flame in MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #23—so Moon Girl doesn’t have a partner. The three hope they can combine their broken pieces. And as soon as this new super team forms, Galactus appears. He knows Mr. Fantastic has disappeared, so he has to find the new Smartest Person in the World. That’s Lunella Lafayette, of course, and she’s not at all what Galactus expects!

Marvel.com: How do Ben and Johnny feel about the appearance of one of their most iconic nemeses?

Brandon Montclare: We see very soon that they still don’t trust Galactus—even though he’s now a golden titan with the power to bring life. And even though they’ve teamed with Silver Surfer many times—including the issue after he saw his introduction as a villain—they don’t trust him too much either. But for them it’s not rational, it’s heart and ego. Mr. Fantastic acted as the rational member of the team. And Invisible Woman held it all together. The Thing and The Human Torch are both hotheads and find themselves in a lot of misunderstandings. Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm weren’t the brains of the Fantastic Four. So Moon Girl comes in—but she’s not Mr. Fantastic. A new dynamic hashes itself out. And with super powered folk, that means there will be some throwdowns!

And like so many of these comic book contests: Moon Girl, The Thing, The Human Torch, and The Silver Surfer soon realize they need to stop fighting and instead team up to combat a bigger threat.

MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #26, by Brandon Montclare and artist Alitha Martinez, goes galactic on December 27!

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Writer Brandon Montclare on the bond between Lunella and Devil!

Lunella Lafayette’s relationship with her omnipresent sidekick, Devil Dinosaur, has—slowly—evolved since her earliest excursions across the Marvel Universe. After first being forced into a pairing without a choice in the matter, the two have recently matured into…friends?

On September 27, writer Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos tell the next chapter of this strange duo’s story with MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #23!

We spoke with Brandon to get a greater perspective on these to unlikely buddies.

Marvel.com: When the Terrigen Mist first gave Lunella the ability to switch bodies with Devil Dinosaur, she often got annoyed—and essentially described him as a stupid beast. But that’s all changed. How does she see him now?

Brandon Montclare: Simply put, Devil Dinosaur has caused Moon Girl to change her perspective on a whole lot of things. Their adventures have caused her to re-evaluate him. Devil Dinosaur has certainly proven himself to be an able partner; his strength complements her smarts when they need to save the world.

All of this opened Lunella’s eyes, but there’s a more important thing she discovered: Devil Dinosaur became her first real friend. He’s not only someone who helps her on missions—he’s actually inseparable from her in every aspect of her life. And Lunella still has a lot to learn about the world and herself. I think Devil Dinosaur taught her that things change—and that her first reactions and deductions might not always reveal the whole picture.

Marvel.com: What, in particular, has caused their relationship to grow? They’ve been through a lot together!

Brandon Montclare: Probably just proximity! Moon Girl can’t get rid of Devil Dinosaur. This is, of course, amplified when they switch minds every full moon. They were forced to get along and make a working relationship. And that blossomed into a super team! And, at this point, it might destroy them both if they ever had to split.

Marvel.com: How does Devil Dinosaur feel about Lunella?

Brandon Montclare: What’s great about Devil Dinosaur is that he doesn’t change; he’s a constant source of loyalty for Lunella. Even though she’s smart—The Smartest There Is, in fact—she has a hard time understanding people. There are others in her life who would support her unconditionally, but she’s pushed them all away. But you literally can’t push away ten tons of Tyrannosaur. Devil Dinosaur embodies loyalty. And reliability.

So as much as Devil Dinosaur changed Lunella, Lunella doesn’t really change Devil Dinosaur. He’s a constant. I guess an advantage of being a dinosaur is not having to bother with complexities and anxieties and (pun intended) evolution. Although teleported a few million years to our present, I don’t think any amount of time changes Devil Dinosaur’s pure nature.

Marvel.com: In some ways, these two are opposites—Lunella relies on her intelligence and Devil Dinosaur on his strength. In other ways, they’re pretty similar—they both have an endearing stubborn streak. How do these dynamics impact their friendship?

Brandon Montclare: It’s great to work with opposites in storytelling. You can source a lot of dramatic tension from those natural conflicts. And when these things get smashed together, you’re left with a shade of grey that reveals maybe the two opposites were never that different. It’s a push and pull that the creative team gets to play with every month.

Both characters started with very opposite views on friendship. For Devil Dinosaur, it’s a default—if you’re reasonably deserving. For Lunella, friendship is suspect and she avoids any semblance of making friends—probably because, deep down, rejection really does hurt her. But as much as she doesn’t think she needs it (she has “more important” things to do), like any other little girl, she wants accepting friends more than anything. So this isn’t a place where the two meet—but Devil Dinosaur pulls her more to the middle where she can at least have one friend. He isn’t perfect. He isn’t even human. But he’s a start!

Marvel.com: What else can you tell us about the upcoming issue?

Brandon Montclare: Natacha Bustos hammers it every issue—this Girl-Moon arc, especially. These issues showcase her unique sensibilities—they make you laugh, they pull your heartstrings, and they wow your eyes.

For each issue, the fountain of ideas can make it difficult for everyone to pick one concept and go with it. And when the finished covers start piling up, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Every book is unique, but MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR might be a little more different than the average monthly comic. And having Natacha demonstrate that feel continues to be something special.

MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #23, by Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos, drops September 27!

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Writer Brandon Montclare dives into Marvel Legacy with Lunella Lafayette!

Lunella Lafayette, A.K.A. Moon Girl, holds a special place in the Marvel Universe. Having joined classic character Devil Dinosaur back in the action, she consistently conspires to challenge tradition—specifically in her unlikely role as the smartest person on the planet.

As Marvel Legacy gears up, we find Lunella poised to make some big moves in writer Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos’s MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #25 on November 22!

In preparation for the Legacy initiative, we sat down with Brandon to hear a little more about what to expect from Moon Girl and her prehistoric pal.

Marvel.com: The cover for issue #25 references the classic cover of FANTASTIC FOUR #49—and the story arc is called The Fantastic Three. What can you tell us about the link between Moon Girl and the Fantastic Four?

Brandon Montclare: There’s a whole lot of background connecting Moon Girl to the Fantastic Four. It was always important to have her fit right into the Marvel Universe…and whenever you do that, you’re going to touch upon the Fantastic Four. Lunella Lafayette lives on Yancy Street—the neighborhood has changed, but it’s still the home turf of The Thing. Lunella is also the smartest person in the world, having surpassed even Mr. Fantastic.

For Legacy, we didn’t really have an older book to connect to. DEVIL DINOSAUR from the 1970s only lasted nine issues, so we can’t go back and re-do issue #10!

And as for the story: Moon Girl, The Thing, and Human Torch are not used to being alone. They’re missing “family” members, so they are going to try to fill the gaps.

Marvel.com: We’ve seen Lunella working with the SECRET WARRIORS, and now MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR jumps into Marvel Legacy. Lunella’s world continues to grow as she becomes a more significant part of the Marvel Universe—what’s that like to write?

Brandon Montclare: When Marvel approached me to do some writing, getting to be a part of the Marvel Universe appealed to me more than anything. So even though Moon Girl was only recently created, the whole point is to have her make an impact on that broader picture. Very few things make me happier than seeing her appear outside of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR. It’s fun to see [writer] Matthew Rosenberg and [artist] Javier Garron play with her in SECRET WARRIORS because she’ll do things there that Natacha Bustos and I never dreamed of.

As for Legacy: yeah, it’s going to be fun. It’s about all the characters I loved as I grew up—and now it includes a character I created. The story will be awesome—but just seeing her on the promo poster is a blast.

Marvel.com: By positioning Lunella—a young girl—as the smartest person in the Universe, the book both honors Marvel’s traditions and moves them forward. Naturally, the book has a really interesting part to play in Marvel Legacy—what can you tell us about that?

Brandon Montclare: Marvel Comics have always been Marvel Legacy. The characters reflect the changing world around them—but they also maintain core concepts that never change. Thousands of characters and thousands of creators over decades of stories. It’s modern myth-making; it’s as much about new ideas as it’s about keeping up tradition.

So it makes sense to have a classic character give a boost to something new. But I’m very proud our book shows how the opposite can also be true; I think Moon Girl gave a big boost to Devil Dinosaur. It re-introduced him to new readers and gave him a role to play in the current continuity.

I think a character like Moon Girl brings some needed balance to the mix; when you have the opportunity to create a new character, you’re likely to think about what’s underrepresented.

Marvel.com: What else can you mention ahead of issue #25?

Brandon Montclare: In addition to being a part of Marvel Legacy, The Fantastic Three is the fifth arc of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR. I’m lucky to work with Natacha Bustos, [colorist] Tamra Bonvillain, [letterer] Travis Lanham, [Editors] Mark Paniccia and Chris Robinson, and many others—all of us give our best to the book.

The Legacy story arc, beginning with an anniversary of sorts in issue #25, evidences that our attention to awesome storytelling has found an audience. The support and enthusiasm for readers is, in my view, the most impressive part of contributing to this comic.

Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos light up Marvel Legacy with MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #25 on November 22!

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Writer Brandon Montclare discusses introducing a Kirby Classic to a new generation.

Join us this month to celebrate Jack ”King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created to change comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

There’s just no denying the appeal of a giant Jack Kirby-created monster!

Cullen Bunn recently took time to discuss what made Jack Kirby’s 1978 DEVIL DINOSAUR series such an important run to him as a kid. He and Brandon Montclare clearly agree on the finer points of Moon Boy’s former pall as the latter currently writes MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR.

Montclare and Amy Reeder launched the book as co-writers with artist Natacha Bustos last year. Like Kirby’s original, this series took a new approach to the odd couple idea by uniting the crimson carnivore with a young woman who not only happened to be a genius, but also of Inhuman decent who wanted nothing to do with the Mist-producing change.

Now, the series continues with Montclare and Bustos as Lunella Lafayette continues to learn more about herself, her unique partner and the wild world around him. We talk with Monctlare about digging up the dino, learning from the master and experiencing Kirby’s work for the first time.

Marvel.com: Do you remember the first Jack Kirby book you were aware of? Did it take you a while to get into his style or did you take to it right away?

Brandon Montclare: Jack Kirby was, of course, before my time. But when I started reading comics in the mid-80s, and lucky enough to live in NYC, I had access to comics stores and back issues. Simultaneously, there was no trade paperback market. So like every little kid reader, you were aware of the King – but there were not too many opportunities to read him. The first work I would have been aware of would be up on a comics shop wall and in Mylar, beyond what I could afford. That being said: he was so stylized that Kirby was probably the first artist I could identify by eyeballing it. But it would be years later that I started to appreciate it.

Marvel.com: Devil Dino wasn’t necessarily one of Kirby’s more iconic creations. When you and Amy began working on MOON GIRL & DEVIL DINOSAUR, what made you want to look back and use this Kirby creation?

Brandon Montclare: We definitely wanted to work with an obscure Marvel character. What you lose in popularity and perceived marketability, you gain in creative control. Kirby casts a huge shadow over everything he does, but we thought Devil Dinosaur might be a little… less huge! Creatively, we wanted to really distance ourselves from the Dinosaur World adventures of a T-Rex. And we definitely did that, but it wasn’t a rejection. I think we honor Kirby’s pioneering originality by making Devil Dinosaur our own thing. And we love and use some of the core concepts of the 1970s book; moreover, putting Lunella Lafayette on the same (fictionalized) Yancy Street on the Lower East Side where Kirby grew up 100 years ago wasn’t an accident.

Marvel.com: DEVIL DINOSAUR was part of Kirby’s 70s Marvel work which has a very unique tone and outlook. Has that influenced your series?

Brandon Montclare: It’s definitely an influence, although, maybe it’s not always seen on the surface. Kirby’s 70s work was pure adventure and surreptitiously sophisticated storytelling – that one obvious and not-so-obvious thing I try to emulate. It was a very unified, professional vision. The subject matter was delightfully bonkers, but it was finely executed. I think that’s overlooked in a lot of Kirby stuff – just how consistent and considered he was at drawing as well as writing.

Marvel.com: Though he doesn’t speak, Devil Dinosaur seems to have a very specific character. What were the key aspects you wanted to carry over into MOON GIRL & DEVIL DINOSAUR?

Brandon Montclare: It was probably an old trick when even Kirby was using it, but a lot of how you get Devil Dinosaur to communicate to the reader is having it bounce off of the human character. Moon Boy, I think it’s safe to say, might have been included to help flesh out the big, red thunder lizard! We flip that in our book: we use Devil Dinosaur’s basic, animal nature to help show the more complicated Moon Girl. But we still need to make a dinosaur tell a story! And that’s down to the magical cartooning of Natacha Bustos. She makes a T-Rex have human qualities — happy or sad; subtle or demonstrative. It’s an amazing book visually, which is the least we can do with a Kirby creation.

Marvel.com: The series also revolves around Lunella, of course. Would you say there’s any thematic connections between her and Moon Boy?

Brandon Montclare: No. Not really! Lunella has a lot of influences, but Moon Boy simply wasn’t very fruitful for our purposes. But they are both outcasts, although in different ways. They do present the same visual storytelling challenges of getting a 4-foot and 30-foot character to interact again and again and again! Lunella does take a ton from classic Marvel characters that Kirby co-created with Stan Lee. Again, it’s not an accident she grew up on Yancy Street. Nor is it an accident that she was an awesome scientist before she becomes a super-hero.

Marvel.com: How has it been for you bringing him into a new era and giving him new life?

Brandon Montclare: It’s been great! I’m very proud that we flipped the script. I think not only has Moon Girl stood on her own as a new character, she’s actually raised awareness and appreciation for Devil Dinosaur. Of course, that’s a very small claim compared to Kirby’s original contribution to popular characters!

In the next Kirby 100 installment, Brandon Montclare will discuss the finer points of near annihilation as we focus on the very first Galactus story in FANTASTIC FOUR #48-50.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Lunella Lafayette and Devil Dinosaur face their ultimate challenge!

We’ve watched Lunella Lafayette grow into her own as Moon Girl, and prove her status as The Smartest There Is. Now, after going up against all kinds of threats and saving the day repeatedly, our girl finds herself, in some ways, back at the start, when the Omni-Wave Projector, which helped to launch her adventures as a budding super hero, goes on the fritz.

We chatted with MOON GIRL & DEVIL DINOSAUR writer Brandon Montclare about how the biggest brain in the Marvel Universe will deal with this challenge, and some other pretty significant difficulties that come her way.

Marvel.com: The Omni-Wave projector started it all for Lunella. So for her to have to deal with it malfunctioning now, after everything she has gone through, kind of feels like coming full circle.

Brandon Montclare: Before there was a real “Moon Girl” and definitely before there was Devil Dinosaur, Lunella looked high and low for any alien technology related to her Inhuman condition. But the Omni-Wave Projector has brought nothing but trouble…at least that’s how it always seems at first. So far, Lunella has always made the best of the chaos caused by the device. I don’t know if her luck is going to run out? It has indeed all come full circle—but the thing about circles: they never really end. They just go on and on and on.

Marvel.com: And this comes at an interesting time for Lunella. She will have just returned from her adventures in space with Girl-Moon, only to find she still has drama at home to deal with, too.

Brandon Montclare: I think when you grow up and start to see the world you simultaneously realize it’s very different while also feeling eerily familiar. Moon Girl is still just a kid—and for the Smartest There Is, it’s something new to learn. And whether she stays put on Yancy Street or adventures in the stars, there’s always drama. As well as new friends to be made, betrayals to avoid, and challenges to win. Her first reaction to all this is to start to get a sense that “there’s a time and a place for everything…” This thought is going to have a lot of repercussions in the current story and future stories as well. So it’s a big deal!

Marvel.com: It sounds like the malfunctioning projector will give us a glimpse of an alternate Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur whom we may not find as loveable as the duo we’ve gotten to know. Would you like to tease anything about that?

Brandon Montclare: The mirror universe story is fun….and evil—or maybe she’s just misunderstood? Devil Girl and her feathered, magical Moon Dinosaur. That’s pretty cool, I think. But wowzers, I think people should be looking forward to the visuals. I knew that the very idea of slightly-off Lunellas and Devil Dinosaurs is something that would excite artist Natacha Bustos. I was right! She really goes to town on everything: from giant T-Rex battles to a girl forced to have a conversation with her grumpy alter ego. It really is a tour de force. It’s everything Natacha does great, multiplied!

As for the tale. I can’t spoil too much. It feels like a fun aside…but again, it’ll give Moon Girl a lot to think about in future issues.

Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #21 cover by Natacha Bustos

Marvel.com: Lunella tends to have a pretty strategic way of thinking. What approaches will she take to trying to fix the projector?

Brandon Montclare: If the Omni-Wave Projector fails, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur can’t get home. But she’s very resourceful; and of all the fields of science in which she is expert, close readers might notice that she prefers to call herself an engineer. But even Earth’s biggest brain might need to call on some cosmic-powered assistance before the story ends. But it’s even riskier than you think… Yes, the Omni-Wave Projector is on the fritz. Yes, she hopes it has enough juice to get her home. But in the course of this adventure, there will be not one, but two dilemmas that require her to make a choice: Use the Omni-Wave Projector to save someone else’s day or get herself home?

Moon Girl’s brilliant mind tells her she shouldn’t push it. But her heart—which she’s never had to trust—is going to want to pull her in a different inter-dimensional direction.

Marvel.com: Anything else we should look forward to with future issues?

Brandon Montclare: Much like the Omni-Wave Projector united Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur through time and space, the team behind MOON GIRL & DEVIL DINOSAUR is the magic mix. I don’t think any of us expected to be working on a fourth—and fifth and sixth and… story arc. I truly don’t think the book would have been this strong if it wasn’t for every creator. I might be the first person to touch the page, but Natacha is the quarterback and my job is to hike her the ball. I try to set her up with cool things to draw so she can knock the readers out of their socks. On all books the artist is the creative lead—but it’s even more so on MOON GIRL & DEVIL DINOSAUR with Natacha. It’s her heart and soul on every page. That’s a lot for the colorist, Tamra Bonvillain, to live up to. But she’s so cool; probably because of her talent that backs it up. You can have a simple style, but this is not an easy book to draw. In addition to pretty colors, mindboggling colors, impactful colors, Tamra has to reinforce Nat’s storytelling.

And this book ain’t easy to letter. Travis Lanham has to get the little girl whispers and the thunder lizard growls to “sound” right. But he also needs to place and present dueling dialogue and interior monologues in the same panel. Then there are editors Chris Robinson and Mark Paniccia. They’re only allowed to be half-crazy, to help us in the world of the comic while staying sane enough to deliver a copy to the readers. And this is totally true: the readers are the last part of the team. They’re the reason we all did it and why we’re allowed to still do it. Their enthusiasm for our work is as important as their support for each chapter. And not to be too cute: the comic itself is our Omni-Wave Projector. Bring us all together through space to share a moment in time.

The adventure continues from Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, and company in MOON GIRL & DEVIL DINOSAUR #21 on July 26!

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