Comics

Moon Girl: Gone Bad

Lunella Lafayette and Devil Dinosaur face their ultimate challenge!

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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!