Marvel Has Finally Stopped Ignoring Its Smartest Character – Screen Rant

Moon Girl may be Marvel’s smartest hero, but she rarely gets the respect she deserves. Happily, new adventures are emphasizing Lunella’s relevance.
In recent issues of Fantastic Four and Dark Ages, Marvel has finally started to give its smartest character, Moon Girl, the spotlight she deserves ahead of her upcoming Disney Channel series. First appearing in 2015’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1, Moon Girl, real name Lunella Lafayette, is one of Marvel’s newest heroes, though her ferocious companion originated in Jack Kirby’s seventies series Devil Dinosaur.
Created by Amy Reeder, Natacha Bustos, and Brandon Montclare, Lunella is a nine-year-old Inhuman acknowledged by Marvel’s other geniuses as the smartest person on Earth. Her heroic adventures began when she crossed paths with Devil Dinosaur, a very powerful but not-so-smart red Tyrannosaurus-like dinosaur. With one providing the brawn and the other providing the brains, their misadventures eventually led the unlikely pair to become partners. The two also sometimes switch minds due to a rather inconvenient Inhuman power Lunella develops. Early in their adventures, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur came across Amadeus Cho, the former Hulk and also a genius. He gave Lunella a test which proved she is the smartest person on Earth, with the results later confirmed by Mister Fantastic, the hero who had previously generally been seen as holding this title.
Related: Marvel’s Most Unusual Duo Return To Comics Ahead Of Animated Debut
Unfortunately for Moon Girl, she has been largely absent from Marvel stories outside of her own series. This is surprising considering how often Marvel heroes cross paths in their own individual series and during events. The established genius characters especially, like Tony Stark and Reed Richards, make common appearances in event stories (even if only offering advice through a screen) and are often sought out for help by other heroes in otherwise unrelated books. Moon Girl’s notable absence at the center of such conclaves has been a slight to a well-rounded, interesting character, and has lessened fan awareness of such a notable part of Marvel lore. With a Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur series announced for the Disney Channel, however, Marvel Comics may finally be undoing the snub.
Moon Girl has been showing up a lot in recent stories. She appeared along with many other Marvel heavies in the Avengers arc Enter the Phoenix. In Dark Ages #1 (from Tom Taylor and Iban Coello) she plays an important role by being the first to understand the impending cataclysmic threat. She rides her dinosaur to the Baxter building to warn the Fantastic Four. In fact, she seems to be coming across Marvel’s first family pretty often, as she also appears in Fantastic Four #36 (from Dan Slott and Nico Leon). It wouldn’t be surprising if she continues to appear in their books, as Fantastic Four team members regularly appeared in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.
Moon Girl is one of the more unique heroes in Marvel’s pantheon. She doesn’t wear a cape or have conventional superpowers. She uses her wits, gadgets, and psychic bond with a giant dinosaur to confidently make her way through conflicts. At nine years old, she’s also younger than most of Marvel’s young heroes. This helps avoid the well-trod teenage angst of many characters and instead allows an exploration of childhood experiences, imagination, and potential. Even though she is a genius, she’s still a kid. Instead of fighting crime with a suit of armor, she rides around on roller skates and uses a spring-loaded boxing glove. Her comics have done well keeping her adventures lighthearted, endearing, and fun as they should be for a character of her age, but hopefully Marvel will also bring Moon Girl further into the mainstream limelight and let the planet’s smartest hero actually help out when it’s under threat.
Next: Spider-Man Claps Back at Iron Man for Underestimating His Genius
Amal Desai is a bipedal mammal and comic book enthusiast, among other things.


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