Moon Girl has always been an all-ages style comic character — I mean, she’s paired with a red semi-intelligent T-Rex named Devil Dinosaur. She’s a character I’m sure we’ll see for years to come, but in one of Marvel’s latest collections, it’s in how she’s paired with other heroes that takes center stage. Read Moon Girl and the Marvel Universe with the intention of seeing how she teams up like a boss.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Lunella Lafayette makes new friends across the Marvel Universe! The smartest one of all takes it upon herself to solve the Terrigen crisis threatening the X-Men! And when Venom has a Stegron the Dinosaur Man problem, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur will lend a hand (or claw)! But when Big Red exits Lunella’s life, she needs a new partner! Who will it be? Ghost Rider? Daredevil? The X-Babies?! Maybe Kid Kaiju would be a better fit — but he needs help understanding his own monster army! Plus, when the vile Swarm has Lunella’s school hooked on cigarettes, it’s up to her and her faithful dino pal to butt them out!
Why does this matter?
As I stated in my review of volume 4, this is a series that’s all kinds of Saturday morning cartoon fun. It’s light, humorous, and well worth checking out for the zany adventures within. This collection is particularly zany since it throws Moon Girl up with strange collaborations like with the X-Babies, Ghost Rider, and even Venom. That makes this collection a good book for anyone since it gives readers a smattering of Marvel characters.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This collection opens with Moon Girl missing her big red sidekick Devil Dinosaur. This thrusts her on a few different adventures as karma seems to deem she needs someone else to help her punch crime in the face. That thrusts her into the X-Babies universe dealing with Mojo and a strange alternate reality, helping Ghost Rider in a race against other Ghost Riders, and has her prove to Forge she might be smarter than even him. Essentially all these stories work because Moon Girl is resolute in figuring out problems when they need solving. That includes Venom who, at the time, was the king of the dino-people in the sewers of New York (long story). These stories are fantastical and show how creators can get with a character who can figure out anything in a pinch. By the end it’s obvious Moon Girl is a strong voice that kids can look up to.
That is ever more obvious in the final story, which tackles two important issues. The first is the very real dilemma of bees dying off. Moon Girl knows they are super important and her approach in fighting a bee-centric villain helps show we can always figure out new solutions if we put our mind to it. In the story characters assume there’s nothing that can be done, but it’s inspiring to see how Moon Girl tackles the issue.
Series writers Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder do a great job with the second important issue: smoking. It has a PSA feel to it, but it’s subtle enough to fit into the narrative too. Keep in mind, this isn’t some two-page ad telling kids to not smoke, but a creative way to give that message so that it just might stick with the kiddos.
Following this is an excellent Motor Ball section that is highlighted by exceptional art. Kishiro admits in the first interview within this book that the art in this story was inspired by Frank Miller’s Sin City and you can tell. It’s less detailed as his usual work and more striking in its form. It’s a fun story too with more Motor Ball action.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There are issues collected here which were collected elsewhere, which is unfortunate if you’ve been following this series so far. That’s probably why this collection doesn’t have a volume number and instead stands on its own. It reduced the overall reading experience for me since I’ve seen these stories in other collections.
There’s also the schizophrenic nature of this collection that is a problem. There’s an anthology feel to the first few stories, but the Venom story seems quite random as well as the Forge and a picnic story. If you don’t know the bigger picture of what has happened in the Marvel universe these stories can be downright confusing.
Is it good?
A good collection that’s fun and highlights how impressive and inspiring Moon Girl can be.