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.


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 (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.


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).


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 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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Look through an exclusive gallery of the new photography covers!

New issues of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR are set to introduce Lunella Lafayette to the real world!

For the covers of issues #32-#36, series artist Natacha Bustos has teamed up with photographers Rachel Orlow and Judy Stephens for a mixed media approach to comics. Illustrating over photos of a few New York City locales (including Marvel HQ!), the artist brings an entirely new flavor to the covers of Brandon Montclare and Bustos’ MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR.

“The next arc of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR, titled ‘Save Our School,’ is shaping up to be our biggest yet—with ramifications for the larger Marvel Universe as well,” says series editor Chris Robinson. “We wanted to signify Lunella’s expansion into this larger world by dropping her into the real world with these incredible photo covers!”

Flip through a few of the covers—as well as the unedited photos they’re based on—right here!

“In the beginning, I worked with some photos from my last visit to New York and started sketching basic ideas for the cover to let the team see the idea,” explains Bustos. “From then on, the brainstorming was continuous, especially on Chris’s side, who came up with great concepts to introduce the new characters—like Princess, who will have a very relevant role in the plot, or the not-so-new Wrecking Crew. The process of creating each cover ended up being very collaborative.”

Marvel Vice President & Creative Executive of New Media Ryan Penagos—an unassuming figure on the cover of issue #33—says, “When Chris approached me for the cover I feigned shyness, batted my eyelashes, and said yes. When he told me it was for MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR, I probably made a slightly uncomfortable noise of delight because Devil Dinosaur is one of my favorites and the Moon Girl series has been so good. And, ultimately, I’m just happy they didn’t edit out my mustache.”

And on the image she snapped of Ryan, photographer Judy Stephens says, “I thought about editing out the mustache, but decided against it at the last minute. Ryan, you’re welcome.”

“More and more people are becoming fans of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR, and we believe that we should strive to offer them an increasingly fresh and surprising comic,” summarizes Bustos, “It’s been an exciting challenge to bring these covers to life!”

Catch the photography covers of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR, by writer Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos, starting this summer!

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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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The series receives two Diamond Gem Award nominations!

Every year, Diamond Comic Distribution’s Diamond Gem Awards recognize the comics and graphic novels that have most helped the industry grow over the previous 12 months. And this year, Marvel.com would like to celebrate MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR for receiving nominations in the categories of Best All Ages Series and Best All Ages Original/Reprint Graphic Novel!

Lunella Lafayette, A.K.A. Moon Girl, was created by Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder, and Natacha Bustos in 2015—and the world’s smartest person hasn’t looked back since! In response to the nods, series editor Chris Robinson cheers, “It’s no surprise that MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR continues to bring Marvel fans young and old into comic shops, whether they prefer trades or single issues. Kudos, of course, to the series’ creative team, writer Brandon Montclare, artist Natacha Bustos, colorist Tamra Bonvillain, and letterer Travis Lanham—but let’s not forget the wonderful staff at local comic shops everywhere who evangelize the series every month. Thanks y’all!”

The Diamond Gem Award nominations stand as the latest testament to the unique joy, power, and excitement that MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR provides in every issue—in 2016, the series took home a Glyph Comics Award for Best Female Character. The Glyphs recognize outstanding comics made by, for, and about people of color.

As The Smartest There Is in the Marvel Universe, Lunella Lafayette uses her mighty mind, love of science, and best dino pal to save the day as she continues to grow and learn about what it means to be a hero. If you haven’t picked up this one-of-a-kind series, stop by your local shop to find out more!

MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #26 is on sale now! And, on January 31, read writer Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos’ MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #27!

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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 dishes on the Fantastic Three for Marvel Legacy!

written by Dominic Griffin

Lunella Lafayette first crossed paths with a member of Marvel’s First Family when she met Ben Grimm back in issue #14 of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR, but now she’ll be joining forces with The Thing and ol’ Flamehead himself, The Human Torch!

On November 22, writer Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos jump into Marvel Legacy with a new Fantastic Three in MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #25! When The Silver Surfer returns to Manhattan in advance of a cosmic threat, Lunella steps up for the job, but without Devil Dinosaur by her side, she needs some help. And that’s where Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm come in!

We spoke with Montclare to hear more about this unlikely trio.

Marvel.com: Since Lunella has taken the “smartest person on the planet” crown from Reed Richards, having her interact with the two Fantastic Four members who aren’t missing seemed like a no brainer, right?

Brandon Montclare: Precisely. It all lined up. And I think that happens because MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR has a lot of thought put into it. Even though a kid can read and enjoy it as much as an adult, it’s really layered. That doesn’t just come from me; that comes from the whole creative team. And when you have that kind of dedication, it creates an internal consistency where new things fit as if by magic!

But most of all, the FF leftovers are missing their brains—and now Moon Girl is missing her brawn. So it makes sense on paper! But Natacha and I have to make it make sense on the page.

Marvel.com: When you first created this character, did you know from the outset what kind of legacy characters she’d be likely to interact with?

Brandon Montclare: Not really. I always appreciated that Devil Dinosaur started as one of Jack Kirby’s many babies. Not the most loved! But he came from the King. So that became the inspiration for putting Lunella Lafayette on Yancy Street—as a nod to Kirby’s fictionalized version of the real Delancey Street where he grew up. So I like Lunella growing up there too. And Yancy Street leads to, of course, The Thing. But when I helped create Moon Girl with Amy Reeder and Natacha Bustos, we didn’t have the idea yet that she would be the smartest person in the world. That came to me later, and Marvel supported it. At first, she was just a typical genius! I say typical, because there’s a definite Marvel legacy of Bruce Banner, Peter Parker, Hank Pym filling that role. But Reed Richards, to my mind, acted as the prototype. So I think all that stuff pointed us toward a connection with the Fantastic Four.

Marvel.com: Can you talk a little about the chemistry Lunella has with Ben and Johnny?

Brandon Montclare: MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #14 (guest starring The Thing) felt like the most fun for me to write. So I was happy to get back there. Chemistry in these situations becomes as much (actually, probably more) about their personality conflicts than their teamwork. Again: they hail from the same neighborhood, but have had totally different experiences (and exist at least a generation apart). Plus, they’re natural opposites. So I love the dynamic. And for the Legacy arc, I can take them in a new direction. They both miss big parts of their families, so it becomes an opportunity to bond.

As for The Human Torch, he’s fun too. I like writing him and Ben bouncing off each other. I’m definitely awed by this one short story in MARVEL FANFARE by Barry Windsor-Smith about the two of them. It’s so good that it’s intimidating! But luckily most people haven’t read it. So it just acts as motivation for me to do even better with these two members of the Fantastic Four.

Marvel.com: Do you thinkif Lunella had been created earliershe’d have been a good fit for the Future Foundation?

Brandon Montclare: No. Sometimes I default to being contrary…and Future Foundation will always be something I can’t disassociate from Jonathan Hickman…but nonetheless it wouldn’t work story-wise. Lunella has been overlooked her whole life—it’s a big part of who she is. So while she wanted to get into the Future Foundation, or anyplace other than the school she resents—that never happened. It didn’t help her social skills, but it did create a certain kind of self-reliance.

Marvel.com: We know you can’t spoil anything, but can you give us a tease as to where this team-up might be headed?

Brandon Montclare: I can say it will head to Galactus and Silver Surfer—so that’s awesome. A blast from FF past. Lots of FANTASTIC FOUR Easter eggs. And a surprise character returns. But I think the best part of working for Marvel is being a part of the big universe. So I want to tie her into FANTASTIC FOUR lore. Marvel Legacy feels very personal to me. I grew up on Marvel. And to contribute something lasting to this Universe scratches just about all the itches I have.

Before Fantastic Three, Lunella was already becoming a big part of the world: a counterpoint for the Inhumans, sympathy with the X-Men, the world tour of heroes in “The Smartest There Is.” Fantastic Three and Legacy just cement her into the ongoing continuity, which gets mirrored in both the story and my experience writing it. It couldn’t have worked out better if I’d planned it.

Catch the team-up in MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #25, by Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos, on November 22!

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Tamra Bonvillain balances the Thing and Human Torch with our hero!

Two of Marvel’s most beloved heroes will join up with one of its biggest brains as The Thing and Human Torch form a new team with Lunella Lafayette in MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #25, coming November 22. The title character recently lost her crimson companion, so the two Fantastic Four members will try to take his spot as Silver Surfer and Galactus pay Earth another visit.

As Lunella joins a new team, the MOON GIRL squad continues to roll ahead at full steam thanks to writer Brandon Montclare, artist Natacha Bustos, and colorist Tamra Bonvillain. We talked with Bonvillain about the challenges offered by the book’s very different new additions, continuing to work with her team, and some in-depth coloring tips and tricks.

Marvel.com: The Thing has such a textured look. Does that offer any specific challenges when coloring his scenes?

Tamra Bonvillain: Not too much. I feel like Natacha’s done most of the heavy lifting giving it that textured look. I do approach it a little differently in that I’ll try to stay within the individual rock bits to give the coloring kind of a faceted look. If we were doing things in a more realistic type style, I’d do more textural stuff, but this seems to work pretty well for the cartoony world in our book.

Marvel.com: Along similar lines, Human Torch must throw off all kinds of light. How is it keeping track of those light sources while coloring?

Tamra Bonvillain: I work in Photoshop and I keep all my rendering layers for different things separate. If there’s different colored lighting in a scene, they each have their own layer for me to manipulate, so I just kind of treat them one at a time. For example, if Human Torch is near stuff, I’ll use the orange light layer I have to light those objects, and use the other layers to light up different bits from other angles. Sometimes the lighting might overlap a little, but that’s okay, because the effects will interact with each other to create the right effect.

Marvel.com: The Silver Surfer will also make an appearance in the book. Are there any special tricks to making him look appropriately shiny?

Tamra Bonvillain: With metallic surfaces, I try to give it more exaggerated contrast. You’ll have dark forms right up against extreme, bright highlights, and since he’s all metallic, I carried that over his body.

Marvel.com: With all of these physically different characters around, how do you make Lunella stand out?

Tamra Bonvillain: When I render, I try to do figures or groupings of objects at one time. So when rendering Lunella, I have her whole figure selected, and the background is another selection, and foreground elements a third. There may be more sections broken down depending on the complexity of the scene. I always do my best to make these things all separate out from one another, and of course, Lunella or who or whatever the central focus is of that panel should stand out the most.

There’s different ways to accomplish that, primarily through value, color, and saturation. Value is lightness and darkness. So, say Lunella is against a light background, you’d want her to appear darker against that. You can contrast colors by picking colors that are more opposite on the color wheel. Say Lunella is against a blue sky; that works because of the warm tones of her skin, and if possible, I can work that into her clothing.

Characters move from scene to scene and that doesn’t always line up that way so conveniently, so you can tweak a figure overall to give it a different color feel to the background while maintaining the consistency of a character’s outfit. Saturation refers to the intensity of the color. If Lunella was against a kind of gray or muted background, you could then amp up the color saturation on her to help stand out, or vice versa. You can use each of these things and in combination to alter contrast further. There are other ways to achieve this, but that’s primarily the factors I’m thinking about in color.

Marvel.com: How has it been working with Team Moon Girl up to this point?

Tamra Bonvillain: Everything has been great! It’s a joy working on Natacha’s line art, and [former writer] Amy [Reeder] and Brandon have always given us fun characters and locations to create. I feel very fortunate that I was given this opportunity from [editor] Mark [Paniccia] when MOON GIRL started a couple years ago. Both he and our other editor, Chris [Robinson], have always been easy to work with, and while I do’’t have as much interaction with [letterer] Travis [Lanham], his lettering is a great fit for the book.

MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #25 by Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos and Tamra Bonvillain gets even more fantastic on November 22.

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