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 an parallel universe where dinosaurs co-exist with tribes of humanoid beings.
The first and 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. It is unknown how Moon-Boy was able to escape the custody of Paladin and return to the Savage Land.