Marvel's effort to encourage diversity on its pages is still going strong. Entertainment Weekly reports that the comics company now plans on launching a new title this fall that doesn't star an already popular white superhero. Titled Moon-Girl and Devil Dinosaur, the series will feature the adventures of pre-teen genius Lunella Lafayette and friend that happens to be a 30-foot dinosaur.
The concept for Moon-Girl and Devil Dinosaur actually draws from the short-lived Devil Dinosaur comic, penned by Jack Kirby in 1978. The original series followed the exploits of the super-intelligent Devil Dinosaur and his caveman pal Moon-Boy on Dinosaur World, a parallel Earth where dinosaurs roamed the planet. The new comic, helmed by writers Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare, artist Natacha Bustos, and editors Mark Paniccia and Emily Shaw, takes the title and concept and updates it for modern-day New York City — though there may be a handful of references to the original series along the way.
An original character created with diversity in mind
"Brandon and I were talking about co-writing books with Marvel," Reeder told EW, "and we were really interested in doing something that would be a lot of fun, and that gravitated towards something that wasn’t made yet or wasn’t a main character or popular character for awhile. I like that idea because you get to do a lot with those types of situations. You get to put a lot of creativity into it, and have your voice heard. You’re not quite tied in to all the events. So that’s something that attracted us."
Much of the series, which will reportedly have a Pixar feel, will focus on Lunella's being special but wanting to fit in, which will be difficult with a red dinosaur running around. She joins the likes of Kamala Khan and Miles Morales as another superhero of color starring in her own book. (She also, at least on the surface, resembles Gertrude Yorkes from popular series Runaways.) However, this certainly doesn't mean Marvel hasn't struggled with diversity. In addition to weathering criticism for its treatment of Black Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron and both Wasps in Ant-Man, the company recently came under fire for to its decision to make Hercules straight as opposed to bisexual. All this is to say that there's plenty of work that needs to be done, both at Marvel and in comics in general.