WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #47, by Brandon Montclare, Alitha E. Matinez, Tamara Bonvillain and VC's Travis Lanham, on sale now.
There hasn't been much competition for Reed Richards, aka Mister Fantastic, when it comes to the biggest brain in the Marvel Universe. His main challenger was his college rival turned eternal foe, Doctor Doom, but the supervillain was always hindered by his ego. Now, however, with Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #47, it looks like Reed's unequivocally been replaced by the comic's young, titular star.
Fed up with the Fantastic Four's interference in her business, Moon Girl challenges Reed to a contest to decide which of them is truly the smartest person in the world. Reed objects at first, thinking the contest frivolous, but when he finally acquiesces his own ego wraps him up in the contest. Their first challenge is to solve Bruce Banner's Brain Omnicompetence Examiner, a feat which Moon Girl performs in under a minute but which Reed proves completely incapable of.
Frustrated, Reed disregards the results by saying that Banner is only a physicist and hindered by his well-known Hulk problem. Far from thinking the contest frivolous, Reed sets out to design his very own series of challenges of mental acumen for he and Moon Girl to compete it. And then he loses those, too.
Even by the issue's end Reed never quite admits defeat, but it's abundantly clear that Moon Girl outdoes him by almost every conceivable mental metric. Even when it comes to defeating a rogue Doombot he overthinks the situation, developing a multi-stage plan Moon Girl foregoes in lieu of simply siccing her trusty Devil Dinosaur on the crazed automaton. Moon Girl identifies Reed's problem: "people can think too much sometimes," and the lesson seems to ring true historically.
After all, it was Doom's own ego that so often proved his undoing in his battle of wits with Reed. If it was Reed's own ego that got balled up in his contest with Moon Girl, then simplicity may be one of the secret ingredients to genius when it comes to smarts in the Marvel Universe.
However, the comic does not bring up an issue that could present Moon Girl with her next logical challenge: Reed's daughter. Valeria Richards has been frequently stated to have intelligence surpassing even Reed's, but it has yet to be seen how Valeria would stack up against the Inhuman Moon Girl. Given that Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur concluded with the issue, that particular battle of the minds may just have to wait.
KEEP READING: PREVIEW: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #47