The comic book industry has not always been the first to embrace diversity. Point of fact: Most of the major players from Marvel and DC are largely white and usually male. This made sense given the time frame of the 1930s until about 10 years ago when comic book readers were almost entirely male. However, modern day comic book readers do not necessarily conform to that same stereotype. Through self-identification, research has shown that women and girls comprise up to 46% of comic book fans. That’s half the market. A smart company would try to appeal to this growing demographic.
Enter Marvel’s newest superhero team: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.
Based on characters created by the legendary Jack Kirby, the original Devil Dinosaur focused on the adventures of a red Tyrannosaurus Rex and his caveman companion Moon Boy. It took place in an alternate reality where dinosaurs co-existed with cavemen. In this new incarnation, the caveman Moon Boy will be replaced with Lunella Lafayette, otherwise known as Moon Girl. The aptly alliterated Lunella is a pre-teen genius who has trouble fitting in. The giant red T-Rex will obviously still be a part of the story. The other main difference is that this story will take place in modern day New York City. That certainly will create unique scenarios the duo will have to address.
“What’s really cool is to be able to put a Tyrannosaurus Rex in modern day New York City and also juxtapose with a little girl,” story writer Brandon Montclare said. “You’re going to have a 30-foot dinosaur interacting with a three-and-a-half tall girl…I can’t think of any other book that’s kind of like that, where you have these kind of crazy things that are going to be very different to work on. But if everyone can pull it off, it’s going to be a unique type of storytelling.”
At the helm of this new project are writers Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare, themselves no strangers to the comic book industry. They’ll be assisted by artist Natacha Bustos and editors Mark Paniccia and Emily Shaw. This will certainly be an interesting venture into relatively unknown territory. One would probably struggle to find many fans of the original series. This essentially gives the team carte blanche to create the story they want to create. Their aim is to produce a family friendly title. It remains to be seen whether this will pan out for Marvel. It certainly won’t hurt. The tide seems to be turning.