But one of Marvel’s other popular series is called Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.
The comic follows a young genius named Lunella Lafayette who accidentally teleports a dinosaur into the present. The two become friends, her providing the brains and him providing the brawn for their adventures. The comic is set to release its ninth issue, and has gotten great reception, winning the 2016 Glyph Award for Best Female Character.
Marvel Studios is slated to produce a whole roster of films over the course of the next decade. It would be great if could they could make room for one more: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.
Although the big red rex would be all CGI, I think actress Marsai Martin would be the perfect candidate to play the lead role of Lunella Lafayette. Martin plays the character Diane in the hit ABC sitcom Black-ish. She is adorable, witty and often snatches the spotlight on the show. She would be perfectly suited for the little black girl genius.
Diverse representation is increasing on the page, but slower to make progress in Hollywood. Out of the 100 top domestic grossing sci-fi and fantasy films, only eight featured a lead character of color. One was animated (Aladdin), six were Will Smith, and none were women. Black and brown kids, particularly girls, have fewer opportunities to see people they directly identify with as the central impetus moving a story forward. Even though much of the media we consume is fictional entertainment, media representation matters. In a pragmatic world, we often miss the link between fostering our children’s vibrant imagination and their real world creativity and success.
Although superhero demographics might be trivial to the well-represented, they are powerful to youth of color.
Superhero stories such as Lunella Lafayette’s journey also help these youth relate and reinforce concepts such as morality, justice, determination, duty, inner and outer strength, agency, problem-solving, love, the power of imagination, hope, teamwork, leadership and more.
Depictions of a little girl riding through the city on a pet dinosaur would be exciting for kids. But seeing a black girl use her intellect to solve problems would be especially powerful for black youth, particularly black girls. Moon Girl as a comic is already important, but the film could be even more transformative.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur would be action-packed, but also a lighter, family-friendly film within Marvel’s testosterone and explosion-filled line up. Lafayette, the smartest person in the the Marvel Universe, and Martin, one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars, are examples of how Black Girls Rock. I think the pairing would be a home run.
If you’re looking to check out the series, it can be found in comic book shops near you.