Friday, September 21, 2018

Book-A-Day 2018 #264: Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, Vol. 1: BFF by Montclare, Reeder, and Bustos

It is pretty hard to have a team-up book where one of the two team members has no way to actually know the other one's name. (Not to mention everyone else in the world, who know that name by some kind of comic-book-world telepathy, I think.)

And, on an entirely different level, it is hard for me to take seriously a book that seems to be the high-speed collision of "hey, don't we need to do something with Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur every so often to keep the trademark active?" and "hey, girls in STEM are hot right now, so we should do a comic about a nerdy girl."

Don't get me wrong, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Vol. 1: BFF tells a pleasant story, tells it well, and has entirely positive messages to impart to what I think it hopes is a multicultural audience of mostly young, mostly female readers. But there seems to be a lot of product management going on in the background.

Anyway: Moon Girl! Actually the preteen New Yorker Lunella Lafayette, who is way too smart for her school already at the age of nine! [1] Picked on by her classmates for being a know-it-all with a huge air of superiority who doesn't deign to even talk to them most of the time! Has the Inhuman gene, because this is a 2016 Marvel comic, and they were desperately trying to make that A Thing! [2] Makes weird science-y things out of random stuff, because that's totally something that anyone actually does in any reasonable world!

Devil Dinosaur! Named that by an outcast monkey-boy in some vague past era where bright-red dinosaurs mingle with monkey-boys! [3] Has that name in whatever language monkey-boy speaks, which is definitely not English! Smarter than you'd expect a vaguely T. Rex-y thing to be, and better able to sneak away and hide in (a) a modern city that (b) he's never been in before and (c) has nothing, as far as we can see, that he eats... than you'd expect! Also substantially more committed to fighting crime and not, y'know, eating things than you'd expect!

Luckily for her, because they meet wacky in the middle of issue 1, when the Maguffin the Nightstone (maybe) Kree Omni-Wave Projector (this time for sure!) burbles a hole in the space-time continuum and plops DD face to face with MG.

(Oh, and also lets loose a group of bad monkey-boys -- and I think one monkey-girl, though I don't want to judge anyone's monkey-gender presentation. Which leads us to...)

The Killer Folk! Tougher than Moon Boy! (Whom they, um, kill (?) before running through the hole in the space-time continuum.) Tougher than the Yancy Street Gang! Basically evil hipsters by the end of the book! They want the Maguffin (oops) and don't care who gets in their way! When they get it, they happy they have it and maybe do some more minor street crime, I guess. But they're our villains!

So MG somehow knows the big red dinosaur that grabs her in its teeth is friendly and named DD, and imprints on it like a baby duck. DD doesn't talk and mostly just smashes stuff, but he seems cool with being her sidekick (or vice-versa). And the monkey-boy did tell DD to go stop the Killer Folk from doing their Killer-Folk thing, and I guess that's what DD is doing, in his giant-red-dinosaur way.

The maguffin bounces back and forth between Killer Folk and Our Heroes, as the rest of the city gets more and more peeved at the giant red dinosaur breaking all kinds of things all over the place. Luckily, we readers are on the side of the giant red dinosaur, so we are really pissed when an actual superhero (well, the Amadeus Cho Hulk, so sort-of an actual superhero) shows up to be all superior, tell MG to go back to school, and arrests DD for being big and red and dinosaurian.

Does MG get her big red implement of mass destruction back? Do the two of them retrieve the Maguffin once and for all, and defeat the Killer Folk? Is there a Shocking Change that takes place on the very last page, to get us to buy Volume 2?

Reader, you know the answer already. [4]

[1] I was going to check to see what NYC magnet schools she would be eligible for, but that would just be mean.

[2] As opposed to The Thing, which they already had. And who isn't an Inhuman. At least the last time I checked.

[3] Wait. Isn't this supposed to be a comic for people who care about science?

[4] I forgot to mention who made this book, didn't I? Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder wrote it, and Natacha Bustos drew it. Tamra Bonvillain did the colors, which I thought were particularly strong.

1 comment:

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Jeepers, man, how much can one man read and write...?!

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