I said this on the AiPT! Comics Podcast and I’ll say it again, “No matter your age, kids comics are a delight.” They’re light, fun, and inspirational. Why not put some pep in your step and enjoy a comic intended for kids, but great for all-audiences? Step right up for Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 7 out this week in comic shops!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
We all know that Santa Claus is making a list and checking it twice…but you won’t find precocious provocateur Moon Girl on the nice list this year! So when the children of Yancy Street need some holiday cheer, why is it up to notorious grinch Lunella Lafayette and jolly red Devil Dinosaur to fill in for Saint Nick? Then, eight hours of sleep usually means a full night’s rest – but for Lunella and Devil, it means a fierce fight to stay out of the Dream Dimension! Welcome to a place at the edge of our subconscious minds, where all manner of monsters dwell – but who is the Dream Dimension’s newest resident? And what does their appearance mean for the nocturnal adventures of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur?
Why does this matter?
I’ve reviewed nearly every single trade paperback for this series and I ain’t stopping now. This volume contains a fun one-shot Christmas story and then dives into a dreaming story involving Nightmare, Doctor Strange, and Sleepwalker. Yeah, it’s deep cut Marvel characters in an all-ages format. Get some!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The opening issue is the Christmas special drawn by Gustavo Duarte and written by Brandon Montclare (who writes every issue contained here). It’s light, fluffy, and fun as heck. It opens with some fun rhyming via the captions, which pop in and out that give you the warm and fuzzies — and those fuzzies don’t stop there as Santa is frozen in ice and someone needs to make his present rounds! It ends with a nice character moment for Moon Girl and a message for all kids that it’s sometimes better to give than receive.
The remaining four issues focus on a nightmare spell that’s affecting Yancy Street. Even Moon Girl can’t stop having nightmares and soon discovers a small human boy in her dreams called Bad Dream. It’s a classic example of Moon Girl attempting to use science and critical thinking to solve a magic problem which is why Doctor Strange gets involved. This leads to a team-up of sorts involving Sleepwalker and a resolution that’s satisfying and fun. Highlights include literal nightmare creatures entering the real world, Moon Girl waking up with just her underwear in class (what a nightmare) and a lesson about following your dreams.
The art by Natacha Bustos is incredible and color artist Tamra Bonvillain backs her up with cartoon-fun visuals. The dream world Moon Girl enters is like a funhouse or Alice in Wonderland which is never scary, unless you think slightly unnerving weirdness is scary. As an all-ages book, Bustos does a phenomenal job creating a world of wonderment that conveys a bit of danger thanks to darkness and twisted images, but is still light and fun in its positivity. I also absolutely love how Bustos renders Nightmare who is scaled back on the fear factor, but still a bit ragged around the edges.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The narrative loses sight of Moon Girl’s internal struggle possibly since her family isn’t in the picture like they usually are. She’s afraid of failing all the big wig superheroes, at least that’s my take, but that’s a somewhat silly fear that’s never really resolved. It’s pointed out, but there’s no real growth for the character.
Is it good?
Another fantabulous fun fantastic adventure for Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. It’s addictively accessible.