As members of the Fantastic Four, Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm spent much of their heroic careers working with the smartest person in the Marvel Universe, Reed Richards. But in the aftermath of 2015’s Secret Wars, half of the FF disappeared, leaving the Thing and Human Torch leaderless. Now, after dealing with their grief over their missing family, the pair are ready to reunite — and there’s a new smartest person in the Marvel Universe to give them orders. Unfortunately for them, Lunella Lafayette, the star of Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, is only nine years old.
In Issue #25, writer Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos kicked off the series’ Marvel Legacy arc, “Fantastic Three,” which began with Ben and Johnny seeking Lunella out. The storyline quickly became a celebration and exploration of the legacy of the Fantastic Four. CBR spoke with Montclare about the arc, the classic Stan Lee-Jack Kirby era FF characters that will appear in it, and the role Devil Dinosaur and Lunella’s parents will play in the series moving forward.
CBR: It was clear that you had a great time playing with a lot of the classic Lee-Kirby Fantastic Four elements in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #25.
Brandon Montclare: Things like Legacy are one of the big reasons I did Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. When Amy [Reeder, Montclare’s original co-writer] and I were first working on the book, we were already doing Rocket Girl together. Marvel were fans of Rocket Girl and wanted us to bring some of that to their universe. So, from my perspective, this was an opportunity to play with all the toys.
It wasn’t just, “I’ll create a new character in Moon Girl and we’ll have this different thing and different angle.” All of that ended up happening, which was great. But the reason you really do this is so that you can be part of the Marvel Universe. So I grab at any opportunity to play with all the Marvel stuff. Sometimes I wonder if it’s a little too much—if I should be focusing more on Moon Girl and less on things like guest appearances. But it’s been a lot of fun.
When we first discussed Legacy, we didn’t know how we’d make Moon Girl fit. Ideas went back and forth. At some point, using the Fantastic Four became an option, so I jumped at the chance! I had used the Thing in an earlier arc of the series and had some ideas about tying Lunella into the missing Fantastic Four. So a few of those got revived. Human Torch got added to the mix. And pretty soon the team was off to the races.
I thought there was a natural connection to the Fantastic Four. Especially when Marvel allowed us to make Moon Girl the smartest person in the Marvel Universe. Plus there’s the Kirby connection through Devil Dinosaur. Again, this arc has been all the reasons I wanted to do a book at Marvel. It was a lot of fun to connect to the history.
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