Black girl magic has just been further actualized with the new Marvel superhero Lunella Lafayette, who goes by Moon Girl. Lafayette is a new take on a 1978 Marvel comic Devil Dinosaur that involved the adventures of a red Tyrannosaurus Rex and a young caveman-like boy known as Moon Boy. Today, Lafayatte may take over the Moon-child role but there’s nothing cave-ish about her. The new Moon Girl is an African American pre-teen genius.
Entertainment Weekly reports Moon Girl will be similar to an inspector gadget, but even more clever due to her “unpredictable alien DNA.”
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur were brought to life when Marvel’s team of creatives realized they did not have many books and characters that appealed to all age groups. The unlikely duo of dinosaur and girl genius will seek adventures across the concrete jungle of New York City.
“Generally, we’re skewing a little bit older with a lot of our titles and we wanted to create something that adults and kids could really love, like a Pixar feel. That’s where the tone jumped off for us,” said Emily Shaw, Marvel’s assistant editor.
However, it isn’t the age group we’re thrilled about – it’s the representation of a black girl superhero that has excitement over the new comic growing. Nancy Bustos, the artist behind the new superhero, spoke on her excitement of seeing the representation come to life.
“It’s great to be a part of the creation of something which can mean something special to so many people,” said Bustos who is Afro-Brazilian, Chilean, and Spanish.
Bustos can relate to growing up with a lack of characters that looked like her, “I myself have come up against this dilemma of finding few or no cultural references, especially in Spain,” she noted.
Independent publishers have diversified their characters for years, but it has taken mainstream media a bit longer to move the needle in diversification.
“It’s really important that the mainstream throws up new references like these, and it’s an honor to be a part of that change that Marvel is bringing to the comic book creative landscape,” said Shaw. “A greater number of readers are looking for characters they can identify with, and above all, with the aim that any reader, whatever their background or lifestyle, is capable of transcending their own identities to see themselves in a mirror of entertainment for 20 or 30 minutes without any difference.”
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur will shine light on the realities of pre-teen life and what it feels like growing up as an outsider. Moon Girl is a genius that not many quite understand (Black girls can already relate). Shaw described Moon Girl’s brain as working a little differently than the other kids her age, which was another selling point for the artist.
“…that idea of feeling sort of isolated and on your own during that very early time of life we thought was really compelling, and could really resonate with a lot of readers. That’s what really gave the story its heart at the beginning” highlighted Shaw.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur will premiere this fall.
article by Chelcee Johns via madamenoire.com