Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1
- Jordan Ifueko
- Alba Glez, José Marzan Jr.
- VC’s Travis Lanham
- Cover Artist:
- Ken Lashley, Rain Beredo
- Release Date:
- KJ Díaz
Supergenius Moon Girl and her partner, Devil Dinosaur, have been forced to give up their superhero ways, thanks to a systemic crackdown on superhumans and parental interference. So what’s a superhuman genius retired hero to do but seek out other superhumans and assemble the greatest roller-derby team ever?
Written by Jordan Ifueko, penciled by Alba Glez, inked by José Marzan Jr, with colors by KJ Díaz, and letters by VC’s Travis Lanham, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 follows Lunella as she struggles to adapt to normal life and normal friendships — but those things don’t come easy to Marvel’s girl genius, and it doesn’t take long for the new normal to be upended. Luckily, that may be just what Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur need.
Writer Ifueko endeavors to capture the excitement of contemporary youth culture, slang, and speech. But at times, the dialogue feels forced and a little dated — making this issue an awkward read. Too much emphasis is placed on the uneasy and uncomfortable rapport among Moon Girl’s roller derby team, the SAD SAKs, so much so that the plot feels like an afterthought until the ending. There is little chemistry between the SAD SAKs, which makes Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 hard to get through. The dialogue is meant to be witty, contemporary, and hip, but instead comes across as mean-spirited, showing how little respect the characters have for each other. The tone is so cynical and determined to make certain characters unlikeable that it’s unsurprising when one of them proves to be untrustworthy.
Moon Girl works best when paired with Devil Dinosaur, her true friend and partner. Generally speaking, Lunella, smart as she is, isn’t the most socially adept and rarely extends gestures of friendship to others. It’s hard to see Lunella forced out of her element into a situation that is clearly not the best fit for her. The SAD SAKs, except for the mild-mannered Will, are as difficult to empathize with as the issue’s antagonists. So the ending of this issue — which features some much-needed fight scenes, a decent if shallow enemy, and chances for Devil Dinosaur to come into the picture — is a relief and a welcome change of pace. The ending provides hope for a new adventure and a means for character development for Moon Girl and her new team.
The sardonic cynicism of the writing and storyline stands in stark contrast with the visuals, courtesy of penciler Alba Glez and inker José Marzan Jr., especially paired with KJ Diaz’s cute colors. Based on the art alone, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 appears to be a sweet, straightforward, cute, and appealing young adult comic entry. Glez’s wide-eyed, baby-faced designs, paired with Marzan’s bold inks, give this issue a fresh appeal. Diaz’s color palette furthers the candy-coated cuteness of the aesthetic, sticking to a palette of soft, muted shades and pastel hues. Dusty pink, seafoam, lemon-lime, yellow, and orange make up the Boogie Down Roller Rink setting and add to this charm. However, these seemingly saccharine, pleasant trappings do little to tone down the dark and dour dialogue.
Although it suffers from its cynical tone, frustrating plot, and meandering pace, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 ends on a promising high note, with the heroes hopefully back in business, ready to tie up loose ends and explore a new side of the titular characters. The creative team uses this uneven debut to set the stage for an intriguing series.