|First appearance||Devil Dinosaur vol. 1 #1 (April 1978)|
|Created by||Jack Kirby|
|Team affiliations||Fallen Angels
Devil Dinosaur is a Marvel Comics character who resembles a red Tyrannosaurus rex. He first appeared in Devil Dinosaur #1 (April 1978). Devil Dinosaur and his inseparable ape-like friend, Moon-Boy, are natives of “Dinosaur World”, a planet in a parallel universe where dinosaurs co-exist with tribes of primitive humanoid beings.
The only comic book series to feature Devil Dinosaur was short lived, lasting only nine months (April – December 1978). The original Devil Dinosaur series chronicled Devil and Moon-Boy’s adventures in their home, “Dinosaur World”. After the cancellation of Devil Dinosaur, the character’s appearances were relegated to one-shot comics, cameos, and supporting roles in other series.
Devil Dinosaur and Moon-Boy were the brainchild of artist Jack Kirby who scripted and penciled all nine issues of the first series. Devil Dinosaur was created during Kirby’s third stint at Marvel (1975-1978) with the original series being produced with hopes of being picked up as an animated series. Perhaps not coincidentally, seventeen years earlier Kirby had penciled Amazing Adventures #3 (August 1961) in which a time-traveling couple encounter a red Tyrannosaurus rex similar in appearance to Devil Dinosaur.
In Devil Dinosaur #1, Kirby states in the “Dinosaur Dispatches” letters column (see image) that the original intent was for Moon-Boy and Devil to be an early human and dinosaur from Earth’s past. Kirby writes: “After all, just where the Dinosaur met his end, and when Man first stood reasonably erect, is still shrouded in mystery.” Writers subsequent to Kirby have approached the character’s origin in various ways. Some have followed Kirby’s lead and portrayed the character as being from the prehistoric past of the main Marvel continuity (sometimes referred to as “Earth-616”), while others have depicted Devil as hailing from either an alien planet or a planet located in an alternate reality. Marvel’s most recent publications list Devil’s home of origin as “Dinosaur World (Earth-78411)”, a primitive Earth-like planet existing in one of the many alternate universes contained within the Marvel Multiverse.
The first appearance of Devil Dinosaur after the cancellation of the original series in 1978 was in Marvel’s Godzilla comic book series of 1979. The character was not to be referenced again in a Marvel comic until 1986 when the Thing of the Fantastic Four travels to a Pacific island where “Devil Dinosaur: The Movie” is being produced. During the Thing’s visit, Godzilla appears. After battling and destroying a robot Devil Dinosaur used in the film, Godzilla disappears once again into the ocean. Devil Dinosaur himself does not actually appear in the 1986 story, but beginning with the Fallen Angels limited series of 1987 the character has continued to make appearances in Marvel publications at sporadic intervals.
Fictional character biography
Early years on Dinosaur World
The young Devil Dinosaur was nearly burned to death by a tribe of Killer-Folk, hostile beings native to his planet, but was rescued by Moon-Boy, a young member of a rival tribe, the Small-Folk. Exposure to the Killer-Folk’s fire activated a mutation in the dinosaur which gave him powers greater than others of his species and turned his skin from olive green to flame red. Devil Dinosaur is fiercely loyal to his constant companion Moon-Boy and seems more intelligent than the average dinosaur (as they are portrayed in the comic). Devil Dinosaur first encounters extraterrestrials, and is briefly transported to Earth via magic before returning to his home world.
Godzilla rampages through the Marvel Universe (Earth-616). In an attempt to stop the monster, S.H.I.E.L.D. shrinks Godzilla with Pym Particles and attempts to teleport him via a time machine to the prehistoric past. However, Godzilla’s radiation distorts the time machine so that he is transported to the alternate universe of Dinosaur World instead. While there, he briefly unites with Moon-Boy and Devil against a common foe before being pulled back to the main Marvel continuity.
Member of the Fallen Angels
Ariel, an extraterrestrial mutant with teleportation powers, teleports the Fallen Angels to Dinosaur World where the group convinces Devil and Moon-Boy to join their team and return with them to Earth-616. Devil Dinosaur accidentally kills the super-intelligent mutant lobster known as “Don” by stepping on him. Devil and Moon-Boy are returned to their own universe when the Fallen Angels disband.
Dinosaur World again
Stranded on Earth 616 in modern times
The sorceress Jennifer Kale, in an attempt to return Howard the Duck to his homeworld, inadvertently teleports Devil Dinosaur and Moon-Boy into her New York apartment. The disoriented dinosaur rampages through the city before being subdued by Ghost Rider. Stranded in modern day Earth-616 after their teleportation there by Jennifer Kale, the pair is hypnotized into joining the Circus of Crime. After being rescued by Spider-Man, Devil and Moon-Boy are relocated to the Savage Land.
Later when the Roxxon Energy Corporation attempts to extract vibranium from the Savage Land, the inhabitants of the Savage Land including Ka-Zar, Devil Dinosaur and Moon-Boy enter into battle to save their home.
The Heroes For Hire mercenaries go on a mission to retrieve Moon-Boy from the Savage Land and encounter Devil Dinosaur in the process. Devil is found fiercely guarding a nest containing a clutch of eggs that apparently he himself has laid and the dinosaur abandons Moon-Boy to ensure their safety. The discrepancy between this development and his previously presumed male sex is noted by the mercenaries, who can only speculate as to the cause of the change. After returning to the U.S. the Heroes for Hire disband and group member Paladin leaves alone with Moon-Boy to collect the reward from the S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists who hired the mercenaries.
Moon Boy would remain under the custody of S.H.I.E.L.D. for some time, which drove Devil Dinosaur into a sort of saurian depression. Refusing to eat, or defend himself, he was in danger of dying. However, Stegron, the dinosaur man, became worried about the survival of the Devil-Beast due to it being the last known of its species. Leaving the Savage Land without the permission of Ka-Zar and building an army of reanimated dinosaurs, Stegron marched across the U.S. attacking S.H.I.E.L.D. base after base, until he was eventually stopped by the Fifty State Initiative. However, the group discovered the motive behind Stegrons plan, and though he was arrested all the same, the Initiative recruit Reptil, smuggled Moon-boy back to the Savage Land, where he was reunited with his companion.
He is slated to appear in the Pet Avengers series.
Powers and abilities
Devil Dinosaur is a gigantic reptile, with the instinctive savagery of a carnivore, and possesses superhuman strength and durability. He possesses above normal intelligence, at least by dinosaur standards.
In the alternate universe of Earth X (Earth-9997), the skeletal remains of Devil and Moon-Boy are on the Blue Area of the Moon. In the sequel storyline of ‘Paradise X’, it is revealed Moon-Boy’s people are the ancestors of Wolverine; that they were the predecessors to what humanity was supposed to be.[volume & issue needed]
In the Nextwave series, Devil Dinosaur is revealed to be the head of two organizations with ties to terrorism, the Beyond Corporation© and S.I.L.E.N.T., both which he created due to his growing hatred of “monkeys”. Devil is depicted as having the power of speech and states: “Moon-Boy hated me. Moon-Boy had to die. Moon-Boy tasted bad and gave me considerable rectal distress.”. Devil’s uncharacteristic behavior in the Nextwave series and also the fact that Moon-Boy, who is said to be dead, shows up later on friendly terms with a non-speaking Devil Dinosaur in Heroes for Hire has given rise to speculation about whether the Nextwave stories should be seen as occurring in the main Marvel continuity or not.
- ^ Allan Harvey (2006-09-05). “Introducing Devil Dinosaur”, http://www.thefifthbranch.com/gorilladaze/?p=71
- ^ Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters #1 (November 2005)
- ^ Godzilla, King of Monsters #21-22 (April – May 1979)
- ^ The Thing #31 (January 1986)
- ^ Devil Dinosaur #1 (April 1978)
- ^ Devil Dinosaur #1-9 (April – December 1978)
- ^ Godzilla, King of the Monsters #21-22 (April – May 1979)
- ^ Fallen Angels #4-8 (Limited Series, April – November 1987)
- ^ Marvel Comics Presents #161 (August 1994)
- ^ Marvel Comics Presents #174 (February 1995)
- ^ Marvel Monsters: Devil Dinosaur #1 (December 2005)
- ^ Devil Dinosaur Spring Fling #1 (June 1997)
- ^ Ghost Rider Vol. 3 #81-82 (January – February 1997)
- ^ Amazing Spider-Man Annual 1998
- ^ Marvel Comics Presents #5 – 7 (March – May 2008)
- ^ Heroes for Hire #9-10 (April – May 2007)
- ^ Heroes for Hire #15 (December 2007)
- ^ Avengers the Initiative: Featuring Reptil one-shot
- ^ Earth X #0 (March 1999)
- ^ Mutant X Annual 2001
- ^ Nextwave #12 (March 2007)
- ^ In a 2005 interview, writer Warren Ellis commenting on his Nextwave stories stated: “I think it has to be a self contained universe. It takes from Marvel history, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to drag mainstream Marvel into it for fear of what I would do to it.” [Jennifer M. Contino (2005-12-08). “Ellis Talks Nextwave & Ultimate Extinction”, http://www.comicon.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=36;t=004516] In 2006 Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada stated that “for the time being” Nextwave is set in a universe separate from the main Marvel continuity [Wade Gum (2006-07-01). “Heros Con: Joe Quesada Panel”, http://www.wizarduniverse.com/magazine/wizard/000765389.cfm] In contradiction to these earlier statements, recent Marvel publications such as Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and Civil War: Battle Damage Report (February 2007) seem to portray Nextwave’s activities as occurring in the mainstream Marvel continuity. However, Nextwave’s entry in Civil War: Battle Damage Report states: “Recent intelligence suggests some or all Nextwave members unknowingly had their memories and/or personalities altered by their new employers (H.A.T.E.)”. The Nextwave entry in Civil War: Battle Damage Report may be evidence of an editorial decision to include the Nextwave team in the main Marvel continuity in a way that provides a plot device to explain away inconsistencies caused by the previous editorial position that Nextwave was set in an alternate universe.
Devil Dinosaur Omnibus (reprints #1-9)