Finding Nemo, Finding Nemo in Space, and Finding Nemo with Guns
Sea of Stars Volume 1: Lost in the Wild Heavens. Cool title, decent cover, and I’d been looking for a new graphic novel to read. It looked like it could be good, but it wasn’t. Really, it was just ‘Finding Nemo’ in Space; a flat, uninspired, Finding Nemo in Space. The art is fine, but it’s not telling a particularly compelling story, and the dialogue isn’t anything special. I imagine a lot of work goes into a book like this, so one has to wonder why someone would put so much work into this. But then if you saw Superman v Batman or Justice League you’ve probably already asked yourself a question like that.
The best I can come up with is that someone was enjoying drawing fish with planets in the background, but didn’t have a story to go with it, so they just smashed a bunch of other stories onto it. “Let’s start with Finding Nemo, make sure you have some cool animal sidekicks, and a robot! Don’t forget a robot. Then we need a conflicted bounty hunter-type, conflicted in loyalties to her personal morality and her culture and religion. Ya! And Nemo has super powers that he gets from a hammer! Wait, we can’t do that? What if he swallows the hammer? Okay, great, then we never have to draw it. And whenever the story starts dragging, we can just draw another big fish that tries to eat everyone, then we can save time on a few pages by drawing lots of explosions, and it will be great!”
Nope, it didn’t work. It seems like they might be setting up for a sub-genre shift in every volume – like, after the Nemo arc, they’ll go into an Exodus arc, or maybe a ‘change the heathen’s religion’ arc, who knows (after all, the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation is basically unwatchable, but manages to deliver some solid episodes in later seasons) — but also: who cares?
Because “Sea of Stars” hasn’t really given the reader any really interesting characters. And know, cheap versions of interesting characters isn’t going to cut the mustard. I didn’t really like Timon and Pumba the first time around. Making them a space whale and a space monkey with (somehow) shallower and less-funny dialogue isn’t going to cut it.
But one thing this book got me thinking about was Finding Nemo — because what is Finding Nemo, really? Well, if you think about it, it’s Taken, but with fish, without gun violence, and rated G. That’s all. Does it matter which one came first? Both of them worked. Actually, that’s a good question to ask people: Which is better? Finding Nemo or Taken? They might say that it’s like comparing Apples and Oranges, but it’s not! Not unless Apples are Oranges (maybe someday they will be). Because! (you can say) They are the same movie! One has fish, and one has Liam Neeson! So the real question is: What do you like Better? Liam Neeson or Fish? And now we have the last and final Taken movie: Liam Neeson vs Fish. Liam Neeson’s daughter, wife, or girlfriend is abducted by a fish, and he has to get her back. Think about how many levels that works on! Now it’s Finding Nemo and Taken — which are the same thing — but at the same time! And if you want it to be really good, then you’ll make sure that his loved one was kidnapped by Jaws. And that would be a good movie. Or comic book. Hey, maybe that’s what they should’ve done with Sea of Stars! Oh, shit. Maybe that’s what they tried to do. Well, you know what they say, you can’t make a Liam Neeson movie without Liam Neeson. Or… well, you probably shouldn’t.