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‘Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’ makes an earth-shattering debut

‘Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’ makes an earth-shattering debut

‘Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’ makes an earth-shattering debut
March 03
13:00 2023

Since the premiere of Disney+, Marvel has released several shows which take place both in and outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While this was a brilliant way for fans to see the aftermath of “Avengers: End Game,” it also opened the door for Marvel to draw in a new audience with inclusive storylines.

With projects like “Ms. Marvel” and “She-Hulk,” Marvel has stepped out of its typical white male-led roles and toward a new era of diversity. Marvel continues this trend with the recent release of the “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” animated series.

“Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” is based on the Marvel comic by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder — although the show makes a couple of changes to their original story. Instead of the shy, misfit 9-year-old from the comics, the show portrays Lunella Lafayette as a 13-year-old genius unafraid to show her intellect.

However, unlike most comic-to-show changes, these edits make the show better and more relatable. By aging Lunella up to 13, Marvel makes her the first black teen superheroine, and crafts “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” into a coming-of-age show. In addition to that, her unapologetic brilliance gives young girls something to look up to. 

Background aside, the show itself is an absolute hit, receiving high reviews across the board, including a 100 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

The pilot episode establishes a strong sense of community within the show and Lunella. There are several shots of Lunella helping out business owners and playing with neighborhood kids as she sings about how close everyone is. 

Almost reminiscent of Miles Morales’ Spiderman, the community aspect pushes Lunella to become a hero when she realizes no Avengers are coming to save the Lower East Side. Instead, Lunella utilizes her brain, newly acquired Devil Dinosaur and social media-savvy bestie, Casey, to protect the neighborhood she holds dear.

Diversity reigns supreme both within the show and beyond. In addition to the main character being African American, the Lower East Side setting means there is a whole melting pot of diversity in side characters, including Lunella’s Latina best friend Casey.

It’s also seen in the pilot’s opening while Lunella skates through the city, switching between languages to greet her neighbors. Marvel takes it a step further by ensuring the cast who voices the characters are just as diverse as their on-screen counterparts, with Diamond White voicing Lunella and Libe Barer voicing Casey. 

Although the supervillain battles of this series aren’t Avenger-level threats (even if Lunella might feel that way), they still carry significance. Unsurprisingly, Lunella has to battle the episode’s villain a few times and overcome major setbacks before eventually saving the day. However, each failure is a teachable moment for Lunella and the viewers watching, whether old or young. 

Despite not being one of Marvel’s most known series, it’s refreshing to see “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” gain popularity. Non-white female protagonists like Kamala Khan, Shuri and, now, Moon Girl provide representation for marginalized young girls.

Despite being brilliant, many of these girls don’t have access to certain modern resources because of socioeconomic issues or racial bias. Lunella represents being proud of who you are, where you come from and making the most out of what you’ve got. 

Overall, the show is a nice break from all the heaviness of Marvel’s recent phases. On an aesthetic note, the show nails it. The color palette and animation style brings the nostalgia of retro comic book-style art to the small screen. Even Lunella’s costumes look as if they were copied straight from comic pages onto the TV.

Whether you can personally relate to Lunella and her background, or you’re simply looking for a show to pass the time, “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” is worth a watch.

Xander’s rating: 4/5

Featured Illustration by Felicia Tshimanga

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Xander Weems

Xander Weems

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