The Marvel Universe can sometimes contain some mature themes and ideas, but there’s always Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur for that all ages crowd. The sixth volume releases in comic shops this week and I take a look, but is it good?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
It’s time to cry S.O.S. — Save Our School! New York City has a new mayor, and his name is…Wilson Fisk! Yes, the Kingpin is in charge of the Big Apple, including the Department of Education! But he won’t be running it alone: meet your new favorite Marvel character, Princess Fisk! What is her tragic past?
Why does this matter?
The last volume was more of a compilation of adventures thanks to events throwing the usual five issue story arc off. This volume, however, delivers an entertaining five issue story detailing the time Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur randomly switch bodies (you can see how that would stink when at school) and Kingpin adopts a child that is Moon Girl aka Lunella’s worst school-related nightmare.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
More often than not reading this series is like reading the best cartoon that doesn’t exist. Lunella has great sidekicks in her basement (a Doom-bot head for one) who have colorful commentary whenever she’s working on an invention. She has sidekicks of sorts at school in classmates who have interesting personalities and exemplify typical school kids. Then you have narratives that mix in wacky ideas along with strong messages that kids can hold onto. The visual style of Natacha Bustos is clean — pleasing to the eye and successful no matter the comedic angle (her use of vertical space is excellent). All things considered, this is the best superhero comic for kids. Period.
In this volume, Kingpin plays a bigger part and it’s fun to see him dote on his adopted daughter. She’s a bit of a monster herself, although still a kid. Seeing Kingpin in the father role is about as you’d expect. He spoils her rotten because of spending money is the only parenting skill he can muster. Princess Fisk is threatened by Lunella and plays the rich privileged kid well. It might seem weird Fisk and his adopted daughter are in this story at all, but it connects with a gangster scheme to close schools. This is all connected to a plan that requires meddling with exams and it all comes out with a nice message about doing what’s right.
As the story progresses Princess Fisk demands a dinosaur of her own, but if she knew the headache Lunella is going through she’d have second thoughts. You see, Lunella and Devil Dinosaur are switching bodies. Brandon Montclare uses this to full comedic effect that children young and old can get a crack out of. Just imagine a dinosaur trying to act normal in a classroom and you get the idea. There’s also a fun twist on Devil Dinosaur right out of a sitcom that livens things up later in the story.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
A scene with Lunella’s grandparents doesn’t quite work, serving more to give her family a bit more fleshing out, but doing little for the narrative (also does her family only eat burgers!?). Her parents are sort of present but unimportant too. I suppose kids can relate to her better with these family scenes, but their purpose seems a bit lost.
Is it good?
This is a wholesome and feel-good comic book read. This volume has a singular story that’s easy to follow and should entertain readers young and old.