Montclare's Moon Girl Explores Outer Space & Alternate Marvel Realities

A person's curiosity can take them to some interesting places, but when inquisitiveness is paired with the smartest intellect in the Marvel Universe and a dinosaur best friend there's no end to the astounding places you can go. Nine-year-old Lunella Lafayette and her faithful Tyrannosaurus companion, aka Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, are slowly discovering that. The first two arcs of their series had the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe visiting their New York neighborhood, but in the current arc, by writer Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos, the duo has set out on a cosmic odyssey that's brought them face to face with some of the wonders and terrors of their fantastic reality like a sentient moon named Illa and their evil doppelgangers, Devil Girl and Moon Dinosaur.

CBR spoke with Montclare about the arc, the new characters his protagonists are encountering, the joy of watching Bustos design the subtle differences of a reality similar to our own, and how the heartbreaking climax of “Girl-Moon” will set the stage for the series' Marvel Legacy arc.

CBR: In your last arc, Lunella learned the important lesson that two heads are better than one and that it's okay to ask for help. At the beginning of this story though she and Devil Dinosaur rushed off on a dangerous mission in space to save Illa. It seems Lunella recognizes the value of help, but still has trouble asking for it...

Brandon Montclare: Yes, from a character view point that's exactly how it is. She'll never be perfect. “The Smartest There is,” the arc that just ended, was a way to introduce her to the larger Marvel Universe and bring her to a place where she can be involved with everything. So I think it was important to hit that with issue #18 and show that she's a part of the Marvel Universe, not just an outsider.

RELATED: Montclare & Reeder Explain How “Moon Girl” Became The Smartest Person in the Marvel U

I also wanted to show though that she'll still do something rash and irresponsible. A lot of “Girl-Moon” is about what do you do after you find your place in the world? What does that mean? What we're doing comes out of that.

Also, a lot of the last arc was accomplishing things from a publishing point of view; we wanted Moon Girl to be a big part of everything. Now we have an opportunity to do a story that just focuses on her, Devil Dinosaur, and of course the new characters. I figured as fun as it was to play Lunella off of characters like the Thing and Amadeus Cho, after six issues of a different guest star every month it was nice to do a story that focuses on our title characters and sends them off into outer space!

This personality quirk where asking for help is hard seems to be a common problem for a lot of the Marvel Universe's geniuses. Reed Richards, Tony Stark, and Victor Von Doom have all struggled with knowing when to ask for help in the past. In fact, the only other Marvel genius that I can think of that is really into collaborative science is the Wasp, Nadia Pym.

[Laughs] It's funny -- some of that is because it's publishing and everyone is doing their own books and you don't want to have a crossover every issue. To deal with that from a personality point of view though is interesting.

Not that I want to speak for Jeremy Whitley's great book, but Nadia is, “Let's form a coalition! Let's get everybody together.” It's in her nature. It's a struggle for Lunella though because she doesn't get along well with other people. She's always been on her own. She has learned to come out of her shell, but now that she has she's coming at things from another angle. She sees this current problem is important and she can't just leave it alone.

The current problem Lunella rushed into space to tackle is the predicament of Illa, the girl moon daughter of Ego the Living Planet -- a new character created by you and Natacha Bustos. What inspired her creation?

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