Writers: Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare / Artist: Natacha Bustos / Marvel Comics
I TOLD YOU THIS ISSUE WAS GOING TO BE HYPE.
Okay, let me start over. To be truthful I wasn’t actually as emotionally equipped to begin this comic as I prepared for, so I will do you a favor and warn you now: have some tissues handy. While up to this point we’ve only seen glimpses Lunella’s repressed emotional self surface in the face of panic, this issue without a doubt solidifies her relationship with Devil Dinosaur as one that goes beyond practicality and has entered the realm of true friendship.
And then Amadeus Cho showed up.
Now I’ve been geeking out about this meeting of Marvel’s most brilliant minds who both happen to be people of color since the final panel of issue #3, and the Totally Awesome Hulk does not disappoint. The spectacular fun of watching Lunella and Amadeus go head to head in a battle of wits is just as exciting as the hard-hitting fight scenes between the Hulk and Devil Dinosaur, not just because the two sides seems evenly matched, but also because of the striking similarities. Both Lunella and Amadeus are cocky, childish, and completely set in their ways, yet they struggle so hard to understand the other’s logic that it speaks volumes about their relationships to themselves and other people. Devil Dinosaur’s personality also becomes more developed as we discover that his first priority really is Lunella’s safety above all else.
Without giving too much away, however, I’m going to stress again just how much the ending really yanks on your heart strings. As a comic aimed at younger audiences I’m especially delighted that Reeder and Montclare took an emotional risk in favor of necessary depth rather than writing a predictably sweet conclusion. For this reason I highly suggest this particular issue for children of only parents, children who are overachievers, or children who are in some capacity where the load they place on themselves outweighs the freedom and joy that childhood is supposed to allow for.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur continues to get better with each installment and this comic is no exception. Though the few pages that continue to be devoted to the Killer Folk have a tendency to feel a bit like tedious filler, the incredible chemistry from the three main heroes more than makes this issue worthy of your bookshelf.
9.7 Empty Tissue Boxes out of 10