20 most upbeat superhero stories

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Variant cover of Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur #1 (Image via Marvel)

2. Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur

In real life, being a preteen is already a pretty rough, if standard state of being. Being a super genius can make things even more complicated. Of course, both of those states combined in the world of comics can make things so heinously difficult that it might be easier to just stay inside. Then again, heeding the call of adventure might also bring you a dinosaur friend.

Lunella Lafayette is one of those quasi-unfortunate kids. She wants to change the world but, as she soon learns, intelligence is only part of the equation. It also doesn’t help that she harbors Inhuman genes within herself. Exposure to mutagens could give her cool superpowers, but also might make her a target.

Lunella is a wonderful character — she’s so smart and formidable that you may forget she’s still a kid, until it becomes very clear. Her eventual team-up with the titular Devil Dinosaur in modern-day New York (and beyond) is also great fun. The ridiculousness of her world — which eventually includes teaming up with the X-Men and traveling through time — already provides plenty of humor.

Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur is also a warm, thoughtful story. After all, Lunella is insecure about her status as a genius young girl in a world that would often like her to simply be quiet. Watching her break and exceed expectations is thrilling.