Mind Capsules – Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 and Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. #2

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1

Writer – Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder
Artist – Natacha Bustos
Colours – Tamra Bonvillain
Letters – VC’s Travis Lanham

Lunella Lafayette is smarter than everyone else. Almost. The problem is that while she might be smarter than most, she is not quite smart enough to get into the schools that she wants, like the Future Foundation. So as it stands, she goes to public school which does not stimulate her and is frustrating to no end and what else then is there to do but invent stuff so that she can keep herself busy and perhaps impress someone at one of those said schools so that maybe she can finally learn something she does not already know. The first issue of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is a very light-hearted tale written by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder that brings back Devil Dinosaur into the limelight, though totally by accident and no fault of Lunella’s. The Kree detector that she made, something she thinks will help the world, discovered an object and by chance, that object opened a portal through which some of the Killer-Folk who lived eons ago have emerged, looking for that very object. Right behind them is Devil Dinosaur, looking to put a hurt on them and avenge his best friend, Moon Boy. There is a real innocence about the book which makes it a pure joy to read, a true all-ages book. It also serves as a great introduction to one of Jack Kirby’s most underrated creations. Sure, Devil Dinosaur is just a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but it is the fact that he has become best friend’s with a member of the Moon Tribe who then rides around on his back, having adventures together when in reality, Devil should have eaten Moon Boy when they first met. What this title does is bring Devil from the past to the present, opening up a ton of storytelling opportunities and introduces us to a new, young protagonist that you instantly like and want to see more of. Illustrating this tale of an overly smart girl and time-lost beings is Natacha Bustos with a very simple and clean style of art that is both uncomplicated and instantly attractive to the eye. For a first issue, the book has everything going for it and has done everything right, leaving it on a cliff-hanger and leaving us with a mystery to ponder. Definitely one of Marvel’s best out of the flood of new titles.

5 out of 5

Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. #2
Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. #2

Writer – Frank J. Barbiere
Artist – Brent Schoonover
Colours – Nick Filardi
Letters – VC’s Joe Caramagna

The second issue of this series finds Dum Dum Duggan leading a mission with just Manphibian and Nina Price, Vampire by Night to find a missing subway train. It seems an easy enough task, but if it truly was, they would not send three members of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s S.T.A.K.E. division to do so. The further the three go, the more unsettling things become and soon they encounter a young girl who is summoning volatile spirits which attack them, and as they discover, against the wishes of the girl who has no control over the power she wields. Frank J. Barbiere and Brent Schoonover dump our heroes into some more trouble and do so with quite a bit of action and some light comedy, mainly consisting of corny one-liners. It actually gives the book a real classic Marvel feel, like it could have been published thirty or forty years ago. It is not a bad thing either, as it works for the material and gives it a lot of charm; also because Duggan is an old-school type of guy that would say that kind of stuff. Barbiere drops a little bit of background on Manphibian, telling us he is from a different planet, as well as a little history on Nina as she tries to console the poor girl who is unconsciously summoning the spirits that are trying to kill them. There is a bit of a mystery happening with Doctor Kraye back at S.T.A.K.E. who has some sort of plan in the works, though what it could be is unknown and at the same time, we are treated to a cameo from a big villain and a cliff-hanger with the return of another. At the end of the day, though this might not be Marvel’s best book, it is one of its oddest and one that is a lot of fun too and well worth picking up.

3.5 out of 5

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