Marvel Comics Devil Dinosaur Issue 1Marvel Comics Devil Dinosaur Issue 1 https://thelongboxers.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Marvel-Devil-Dinosar-Issue-1-1024x560.jpg 1024 560 Craig Coffman https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/e77f20d9285a48d7153bc69f693c889d?s=96&d=mm&r=g
A little bit about Devil Dinosaur #1 and why you might want to pay attention to it.
Built by Kirby
Jack Kirby has created some of the more interesting, and strange, stories and characters in comics. His works from the Bronze Age of comics have been actively sought out by collectors and readers for the past several years, so looking for his original creations is not a new endeavor. While many of us are looking (rightly so) at his work with DC on their Fourth World source material, some of his other ideas are still quite alluring. One of them being Devil Dinosaur.
NOTE: Before reading more, I need to acknowledge that I own raw and graded copies of this book as a full disclosure.
First appearing in Devil Dinosaur #1 (April 1978), this red monster was accompanied by Moon-Boy originally. Moon-Boy was, well, an chimp-like child who rode around on Devil Dinosaur. If you are old enough, think Chaka from Land of the Lost. Most of these books were a bit silly and not directly worth chasing down, but they are collected in a volume if you are interested in reading the series.
Short but Sweet
More importantly, after a short run of 9 issues, Devil Dinosaur was relegated to the land of the comic obscure and really only looked at by people enamored with Kirby or lovers of strange comics. Until Marvel (surprisingly) brought back the large red lizard. But this time with a female companion, Moon Girl (Lunella Lafayette), in 2016. She is a a 9-year-old African-American girl who is super duper smart and actually written pretty well.
Her series is over 30 issues strong and (reportedly) selling well to the Scholastic age readers. Many people have already shared opinions that this series would make a good screen adaption, either as a show (likely animate) or on the big screen. Her fan base is growing.
Why you might want to be interested in this book
Dinosaurs Are Not Just for Boys
In case you were unaware, there has been quite a push to get strong female leads into comics. While there are tonnes of amazing female characters with long established histories, and strong fan bases, both houses of the ‘Big Two’ publishers are happy to just womanize an existing male character instead of simply creating a new character.
Oh, and switch up the ethnicity. While in general the ideas are good, they execution is often heavy handed and leaves the long-time comic reading population upset and outraged. This is a bit ridiculous, but I can get it.
However, when looking at a book for speculation you need to put that aside and try to locate other motives. You need to not worry as much about what you _think_ a book / character / what ever is and try to look at what it could be. And what Devil Dinosaur could be is rose gold.
Get it? He is red. Gold is good. Rose gold is an actual thing…meh. I am not happy with that joke either.
And in the Meantime
While the current Devil Dinosaur admittedly hits on many the sore points laid out above, it still stands to be a solid pick up. Firstly, and mostly, Disney is fantastic on merchandising their properties. And they are solid with targeting younger girls. I might go so far as to state that the female market is their biggest market to target, and they tend to deliver.
The Devil (Dinosaur) You Know
Perhaps you did not know the Marvel is owned by Disney? If you did not, then my above comment would seem strange. But now that you do, let us connect some dots. Comics are trying desperately to attract more of the female market as well as encourage younger readers.
The current Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur check both those boxes. Add in the above thoughts by many others that this is a perfect set-up for a screen adaption, and fires get stoked.
Even if it does not come to pass, you are still getting a solid Bronze Age comic by (arguably) the best comic creator we have seen to date. Those are some strong underlying factors when looking for a book to speculate on. You want the book / character to be older (in some ways the older the better), popular or seeing a resurgence and still affordable in high grade.
Making the Grade
Devil Dinosaur #1 checks those boxes. While raw is not hard to find in the wild, I would suggest trying to lock down a graded 9.8 before the prices take off. But neither are bad, and there is a strong argument to having multiple raw copies in high grade as those will potentially see the highest lift if the book takes off.
The Secret Sauce
Big Red Thoughts
Okay, this starts to get down the rabbit hole. And where you need to put on the different lenses for evaluating books. The future. People are speculating on what comes next for Marvel and their crushing movie empire.
While I think there are certainly more capes and cowls to come, I am looking in other directions. One of those directions includes monsters. BIG monsters. In the event you forgot, Devil Dinosaur is a T-Rex. So, big monster.
Marvel has a massive (pardon the pun) stable of large monsters and creatures we have not seen take the stage. Yet. Currently, movies are able to make some amazing special effects which appear to pass the eye test handily which is key to this idea. Now that they are, it opens the realm of these types of movies to take place inside the MCU.
A few years back they brought back their Monsters Unleashed as a mini-series, and then followed that up with an extended series. That is generally a good sign. To read more about Monsters Unleashed, you might be interested in reading Monsters Unleashed Prelude.
SPECIAL NOTE: I have more thoughts on this, which will come in other posts. Marvel monsters is a thing and a big part of my current collecting / speculating.
On top of that, these monsters open up a tonne of avenues for toys, games, merchandise and amusement park attractions. Remember Disney? What do they excel at as a company? Stir in that these are not terrifying monsters, and you get the younger age kids involved.
Truthfully, young audiences go to see Jurassic Park so this is not far off tone or content. But, remember Moon Girl? She circles back to lock this into a younger, and potentially female, market. I think it is a matter of when, not if, Marvel goes down this path.
Well, maybe just wrapping it up. Devil Dinosaur should make for a solid speculative add to your collection, but if nothing else it is a solid piece for the long haul. Even without ‘news’ to drive values higher, this book has some strong underpinning desirability. Bronze age comic of a first appearance for a Kirby creation. That alone should make this book seem an obvious buy. Tie in a current re-introduction of the character and a link to a strong, younger female lead and the fire turns up.
Even without my guess about the future ideas for the MCU, this is a book that you can add to your collection for not a hefty sum. If you are swayed then grab a 9.8 while they are under $300. Only a bit more interested, get a high grade raw copy for under $75. Should you want to learn more before you jump in, do your research and possibly buy the trade for the original Devil Dinosaur but also read up on the introduction of Moon Girl.
This information is presented as of 10/15/2018