Moon Girl, AKA Lunella Lafayette, is being described by her co-writer Amy Reeder as a “female Inspector Gadget — only this time, she also knows what she’s doing.” She’s a gender-bended version of Moon Boy, a 1978 creation from comics legend Jack Kirby, who claimed as his sidekick a T-Rex named Devil Dinosaur. “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” will keep the overgrown lizard, but change the boy to a girl, of course, and move the action to contemporary NYC.
Reeder and Brandon Montclare intend to pen a “Pixar-like” comic for all ages. “That’s where the tone jumped off for us,” Reeder said. “The character lives in this world where people don’t really get her…. That her brain just works a little differently than all of the other kids her age really resonated with us, and that idea of feeling sort of isolated and on your own during that very early time of life we thought was really compelling and could really resonate with a lot of readers.”
“Something that’s hallmark of a Marvel Hero is that they’re gifted with a power they may see as a curse,” added editor Mark Paniccia. “Their hero’s journey is to discover how to use it to help others. Lunella is a little genius with grand plans on going to big schools, but she’s got an Inhuman gene, unpredictable alien DNA inside that — once triggered — could take her life in a wildly different direction. She’s determined to control that change. I think that speaks to struggles we all experience as kids and will make her story resonate with young and older readers alike.”
“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,” said Montclare. “You’re going to have a 30-foot dinosaur interacting with a three-and-a-half [foot] 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.”
Artist Natacha Bustos explained her excitement about adding a central black character to the Marvel pantheon: “It’s great to be a part of the creation of something which can mean something special to so many people…. I myself have come up against this dilemma — I’m half Afro-Brazilian and half Chilean besides being Spanish — of finding few or no cultural references, especially in Spain, a country where there is isn’t any community comparable to the African American community in the states. You end up ironing out your differences and you need to work hard on this aspect to be able to continue maturing as a person.”
“It’s really important that the mainstream throws up new references like these,” she continued,” and it’s an honor to be a part of that change that Marvel is bringing to the comic-book creative landscape. A greater number of readers are looking for characters they can identify with, and above all, with the aim that any reader, whatever their background or lifestyle, is capable of transcending their own identities to see themselves in a mirror of entertainment for 20 or 30 minutes without any difference.”