Marvel has released a new trade paperback in their Marvel-Verse line featuring Moon Girl, the smartest human on Earth! Customary of this line of trades, the format is smaller for younger hands and features a smattering of stories in order to give readers a taste of the character. This collection features Moon Girl’s first adventure, a “Marvel Legacy Primer,” and four issues originally collected in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 8.
For a recap of all the Marvel-Verse books, be sure to read our reviews for Marvel-Verse: Morbius, Thor, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, Doctor Strange, Shang-Chi, Captain Marvel, Deadpool & Wolverine, Iron Man, Venom, Thanos, and Black Panther — each one features various stories from the title character’s history.
The first two issues collected here give readers a nice primer on Moon Girl, but also Devil Dinosaur. Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder write the first issue with Natacha Bustos on art, and it’s just great. There’s a reason this series ran for over 40 issues. There’s a bond with Devil Dinosaur to explore, but there’s also a surefire firecracker in Moon Girl that’s hard to resist. AIPT’s Alyssa Jackson reviewed the issue back in 2015, which is worth a read.
Following this is the Marvel Legacy Primer issue written by Robbie Thompson with art by Marco Failla. It’s a super short recap of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’s relationship and how they switched bodies.
Next up is a Spider-Man team-up, which is no surprise since Spidey seems to show up in most of the Marvel-Verse trade paperbacks. It’s a War of the Realms tie-in by Brandon Montclare and Ray-Anthony Height. Spider-Man and Moon Girl actually fight, which is excellently drawn by Height, at the start of the story. The story looks fabulous and it serves as another example of how light fight comics can work so well. Moon Girl essentially tells Spider-Man she knows his secret identity which spirals into a fight and eventually the two fighting Pink Goblin (don’t ask!). The art style is a bit more realistic than the usual work by Alitha E. Martinez and Bustos on the series and it gives the issue a more mainstream feel.
It’s a bit of a grab bag after that, with a Thor War of the Realms tie-in of sorts with Thor requesting Moon Girl’s help to solve Loki’s riddle. The opening and closing tie into the event while the meat of the story is all a flashback. It’s a great little yarn featuring a hilarious twist for Devil Dinosaur and Thor is written quite well. He’s the loudmouth and fun version of the character. This issue is drawn by Gustavo Duarte, with Ray-Anthony Height drawing the opening and closing scenes.
Wrapping up the collection is a two-part story with Mr. Fantastic’s ego and self-assurance getting in Moon Girl’s way. She’s miffed he thinks he’s the smartest there is and she aims to prove him wrong. The story starts off on the wrong foot when Mr. Fantastic eavesdrops on Moon Girl and she’s not pleased about it. This is a nice way to end the story since Moon Girl takes a lot of pride in being the smartest person on the planet while Reed “Mr. Fantastic” Richards can’t seem to concede.
All in all, this is a decent collection that may inspire folks to go out and buy the eight volumes already collected for Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. You get her origin for the series, a Spider-Man team-up, and a battle of wits between Mr. Fantastic and Moon Girl. Either way, go pick up all the volumes — they are highly recommended.
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