Devil Dinosaur and Moon-Boy are the creations 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). Having learned that DC Comics was working on an animated series featuring Kirby's Kamandi, Marvel attempted to one-up their competitor by instructing Kirby to create a series similar to Kamandi, but incorporating a dinosaur co-star, since dinosaurs were hugely popular with young audiences of the time. The resulting Devil Dinosaur series was short lived, lasting only nine months (April – December 1978), and the proposed animated series never entered development. 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.
In Devil Dinosaur #1, Kirby states in the "Dinosaur Dispatches" letters column 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 an alternate reality Earth. Marvel’s most recent publications list Devil’s home of origin as "Dinosaur World (Earth-78411)", a primitive version of Earth 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 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 sporadic appearances in Marvel publications.
In August 2015, Marvel announced that Devil Dinosaur would be returning to print in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. The series will see him teaming up with Lunella Lafayette, a.k.a. Moon Girl, a new character to the Marvel Universe. Moon Boy will also play some part in the series.
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's early adventures on his home world include encounters with extraterrestrials and a brief teleportation to modern day Earth.
Later, 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 apparently 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.
After Ariel, an extraterrestrial mutant with teleportation powers, teleports the Fallen Angels to Dinosaur World, the group convinces Devil and Moon-Boy to join their team and return with them to Earth-616. During his time with the Fallen Angels, Devil Dinosaur kills "Don", the super-intelligent mutant lobster on the team by accidentally stepping on him. Devil and Moon-Boy return to their own universe when the Fallen Angels eventually disband.
After their stint with the Fallen Angels, the duo's life back on Dinosaur World is interrupted numerous times by events occurring in the main Marvel continuity:During a conflict between Slapstick and his time manipulating foe, Doctor Yesterday, Devil and Moon-Boy are briefly teleported to Earth-616.
In the midst of a tussle between the Technet and Lockheed inside Excalibur's lighthouse, Devil is once again briefly transported to Earth-616.
Young Celestials transport the Hulk back in time to combat Devil.
A renegade Skrull flees to Devil's planet and uses his shape shifting abilities to impersonate the late leader of the Killer-Folk, Seven Scars.
Due to the manipulations of the interdimensional traveler Access, Devil Dinosaur's world briefly merges with the DC Comics Universe where he encounters Anthro, a Cro-Magnon man.
In the midst of a battle with a Kraken, Hulkpool and his unwitting companions accidentally time travel to Dinosaur World where Devil Dinosaur, Moon-Boy and the Small-Folk help destroy the kraken. During Hulkpool’s effort to return to his own time, Devil and Moon-Boy are briefly teleported to the American Old West in the year 1873. While there, Devil attempts to eat a cowboy’s horse.
Some time later, 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 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.
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 Stegron's 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.
Reunited in the Savage Land, the companions' adventures continued: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. Roxxon's forces are soon subdued.
Devil Dinosaur meets the Pet Avengers when they are accidentally transported to the Savage Land. Out of shock and anger, Devil attacks the group. Eventually, the group of animalian Avengers are able to return to their own world.
The Savage Land Mutate, Brainchild, creates an army of cybernetic dinosaurs and steals Devil Dinosaur’s eggs in order to experiment on them. Spider-Man arrives and helps Devil and Moon-Boy defeat the cybernetic dinosaurs and rescue the eggs. At the end of the adventure, one of the eggs hatches revealing a red baby Tyrannosaurus.
In the Savage Land, a group of Killer Folk got their hands on the sacred Nightstone. Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur fought to reclaim it but Moon Boy died as the Killer Folk were sucked into a vortex through time with the Nightstone. Moon Boy's dying wish was for Devil Dinosaur to reclaim the Nightstone and to avenge him.
Going through the portal, Devil Dinosaur ended up in New York City. The Nightstone had fallen into the hands of Lunella Layfayette - a genius 9-year-old - who deduced the Nightstone was actually a Kree Omni-Wave Projector. Lunella had identified the Inhuman gene within her own DNA and feared being transformed into a monster due to the changes brought about by Terrigen Mist. Due to several Terrigen clouds that had been drifting around the city, due to the Inhumans detonating a Terrigen bomb, she took drastic action and intended to use the Nightstone to find a way to remove the Inhuman DNA. With Lunella refusing to give up the Nightstone, Devil Dinosaur was forced to bring her on his rampage through the city as he searched for the Killer Folk. Although Devil Dinosaur fought the Killer Folk, they managed to escape with the Nightstone.
Lunella ended up harboring Devil Dinosaur in her laboratory that she had built in the depths of her school, growing more and more frustrated that she was stuck with the "big red dummy" but found him useful when he helped save the lives of her teacher and class during a fire. However, the Hulk arrived, seeking to apprehend Devil Dinosaur for his earlier rampage and accused him of the fire. Lunella refused, declaring that she needed Devil Dinosaur and, growing frustrated with Amadeus patronizing her and undermining her intelligence, drew out a few homemade weapons to fight him, but only accidentally ended up knocking out Devil Dinosaur.
Lunella, feeling responsible for Devil Dinosaur's arrest and, feeling kinship to the beast stuck in a place he did not belong, broke him out under the moniker of Moon Girl, a nickname the other students used to bully her. After the Killer Folk - who had conquered territory previously owned by the Yancy Street Gang - failed to kidnap Lunella from school to be their blood sacrifice to the Nightstone on a full moon, Lunella decided to end things. She and Devil Dinosaur fought the Killer Folk once more and won, reclaiming the Nightstone. Lunella hoped she could finally use it to ensure she would not transform into an Inhuman, but at that precise moment she was caught in a Terrigen cloud.
Devil Dinosaur took Lunella's cocoon to her lab and watched over it for several days until she hatched. Lunella was at first relieved she had not changed physically, but was dismayed to learn her Inhuman power caused her consciousness and that of Devil Dinosaur's to switch. Devil Dinosaur proceeded to make her even more ostracized at school due to freaking out in class and attacking other students whilst Lunella rampaged through the city. Eventually though they returned to normal.
Devil Dinosaur and Moon Girl's next opponent came in the form of Kid Kree - a misunderstood Kree boy who had failed to enter the academy twice, who sought to capture an Inhuman to impress his father and make a name for himself on Earth as Captain Marvel had - who disguised himself as a new student, Marvin Ellis, in Lunella's class. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur fought Kid Kree several times, once being separated by Ms. Marvel, who recognized their fight as the childish squabble it was, but still entrusted Moon Girl with a device to contact her if things ever got out of hand.
Lunella is then approached by Hulk, who gives her the Banner B.O.X. (Brain Omnicompetence Examiner), and is surprised when she solves it in mere seconds, proving that Lunella is the smartest person on Earth. After consulting experts, Moon Girl, Hulk and Devil Dinosaur encounter Mole Man, who was attacking the city with a group of monsters. The next day, at her lab, Lunella ends up having a vision of herself in the future, where she is approached by Earth's smartest heroes. After school, she is approached by the Thing, who takes her for a walk when Hulk appears. When the two start fighting, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur manage to contain them while protecting the civilians, until both of them are left unconscious. Meanwhile, Doctor Doom is surprised to discover that Moon Girl is considered the smartest person on Earth and vows to prove himself superior. During science class, Lunella is attacked by robot drones until she is saved by Riri Williams. They follow the drones to a nearby alley, where Moon Girl encounters Doctor Doom. After Doom escapes, Moon Girl and Ironheart go to Moon Girl's secret lab, where they discover that the energy signatures of the drones are mystic in origin. While tracing Doom's location, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur arrive at the Sanctum Sanctorum and are found by Doctor Strange. Waking up from a dream, Lunella is reunited with Devil, who was shrunk down by Strange. While walking back home, Moon Girl and two of her classmates are attacked by Doctor Doom and his Doombots. Moon Girl uses an enlargement potion on herself to help Doctor Strange fight Doom and his robots. A few nights later, while installing an energy sensing probe, Moon Girl is found by five members of the X-Men.
Devil Dinosaur is a gigantic reptile, with the instinctive savagery of a carnivore, and possesses super strength and durability. He also possesses above normal intelligence, on par with a human's. He can switch bodies with Moon Girl because of her as yet unexplained Inhuman powers and may also be able to change his physical size, sometimes appearing nearly five stories tall with Moon Girl dwarfed by his foot and at other times closer to the size of a regular t-rex of roughly twenty feet in length and Moon Girl standing as tall as his knee. After their first mind-body switch he appeared to temporarily shrink to around ten feet in height.
Wolverine and Spider-Man are transported to an alternate reality in chaos. This bizarre world is ruled by a race of small ape-like creatures who are menaced by numerous enemies. Among these enemies is a cybernetic Devil Dinosaur ridden by a warrior-like being.
The Avengers of Earth-730834 battle Devil and Moon-Boy. This is after the Collector captures the Avengers and other notable Earth denizens and locks the in human-friendly jungle environment.
The mercenary Deadpool encounters dozens of versions of himself from alternate realities. One version he meets is "Deadpool Dinosaur", an amalgam of Deadpool and Devil Dinosaur.
In the alternate universe of Earth X (Earth-9997), the skeletal remains of Devil and Moon-Boy are at the Blue Area of the Moon. In Paradise X, the sequel to Earth X, it is revealed Moon-Boy's people are the ancestors of Wolverine.
In the Mutant X alternate universe, a version of Devil Dinosaur who bears Daimon Hellstrom's trident and "Moon Knight Boy" are members of Earth-1298's version of the Lethal Legion.
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 of 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 but 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. A more recent Marvel publication, the Marvel Pets Handbook, states that the Devil Dinosaur in Nextwave was a clone.
In Marvel's What If? series, the alternate reality of Earth-34882 is presented in which Devil is part of a team of super animals assembled by Howard the Duck.Devil Dinosaur appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "The Devil Dinosaur You Say!", voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. In the episode, Devil teams up with Wolverine to save Moon-Boy's tribe from the High Evolutionary who wants to sell them as pets.
Devil Dinosaur appears in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "Savage Land" with his vocal effects provided by Steven Blum. After being knocked off their jump jet, A-Bomb and Red Hulk encounter Devil Dinosaur under the control of Sauron who orders it to attack. Upon being alerted of She-Hulk and Skaar attacking his drill at the super-volcano, Sauron controls Devil Dinosaur into finishing the attack. Devil Dinosaur ends up swallowing A-Bomb as he then charges towards Hulk. Hulk and Red Hulk then fight Devil Dinosaur to get A-Bomb out of him. Upon being freed from Sauron's mind-control, Devil Dinosaur regurgitated A-Bomb as Devil Dinosaur becomes friends with A-Bomb. Devil Dinosaur helps to fight Sauron's forces and destroy the drill. Devil Dinosaur is brought back with the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. as their "pet." In the episode "Red Rover," Devil Dinosaur's antics start to annoy Red Hulk causing him to find someplace to relocate Devil Dinosaur. After trying a petting zoo and a museum, Red Hulk drops off Devil Dinosaur in Latveria (which he mistakes as Transia). After Red Hulk was captured by Doctor Doom so that he can siphon his gamma energy for his larger armor, Devil Dinosaur ended up rescuing him as they escape from Latveria. Red Hulk and Devil Dinosaur managed to make their way back to Vista Verde. When Doctor Doom caught up to Red Hulk and Devil Dinosaur, the rest of the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. joined the battle. With Devil Dinosaur's help, the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. were able to fend off Doctor Doom. Afterwards, Red Hulk and Devil Dinosaur had an understanding for each other, at least until Devil Dinosaur ended up burying Red Hulk in the ground again. In the episode "Homecoming," Devil Dinosaur was locked up in the weapons vault by Abomination when he took over Vista Verde. Devil Dinosaur was later taken by Leader alongside the weapons present with him. In the episode "Spidey, I blew up the Dinosaur", Devil Dinosaur goes on a rampage in New York after Leader fed him a gamma bomb that made him bigger. Spider-Man and the Hulks managed to save him before Leader could blow him up. In the episode "Banner Day", A-Bomb mentions Devil Dinosaur's attack on New York, admitting that although the Agents of S.M.A.S.H saved the day, the threat technically was their fault. In the episode "Days of Future Smash: The Dino Era," a dinosaur-dominated timeline has an intelligent version of Devil Dinosaur called El Diablo who has the power of speech and wears special armor. Alongside Spider-Raptor, El Diablo was among those who fought the tyranny of King Sauron. With help from the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., El Diablo and Spider-Raptor were able to free the primitive humans and overthrow King Sauron. El Diablo managed to befriend Moon-Boy. In the past, Hulk encountered a young Devil Dinosaur, who helped him defeat Leader's plot that resulted in the dinosaur-dominated timeline. Before pursuing Leader to the next time period, Hulk herded Devil Dinosaur and the other dinosaurs present to the Savage Land to keep them from going extinct. Once all that was done, the dinosaur-dominated timeline shifted to the next timeline.
Devil Dinosaur has a cameo appearance in the Avengers Assemble episode "Hulk's Day Out." He appears as a friend of the Hulk.
Devil Dinosaur has a cameo appearance in the Guardians of the Galaxy episode "One in a Million You." He appears as one of the creatures in the Collector's zoo.
Devil Dinosaur is a rare playable character in the match-three mobile game Marvel Puzzle Quest. His comic book covers are only available to collect during the in-game events to mark the anniversary of the game's release every October.
Devil Dinosaur appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers.
Devil Dinosaur Omnibus (reprints #1-9)