Review: Finding Nemo: Reef Rescue #3

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With all the news that has been going on with Disney buying Marvel Comics, I thought that it would be nice to take a look at some of the Disney books that have been put out recently by Boom! Kids, who currently hold the license for several Disney and Pixar Books.  With Victoria recently reviewing the first issue of Monster’s Inc, and Stephen having reviewed the first issue of The Incredibles: Family Matters, I thought that I would take the time to review Finding Nemo: Reef Rescue #3, which was release September 10th at comic stores everywhere. Did the issue sink or swim? Read on to find out…

FindingNemo_03_COVER.jpgPrevious issue recaps…

In the first issue of Reef Rescue: After a school field trip, Nemo tells his father, Marlin, about how the coral reef looked like it was dying. Later, at a meeting regarding the situation, Dory volunteers herself and Marlin to go find the reason for the reef’s problems.  Dory, Marlin and Nemo are joined at the reefs by Squirt the sea turtle who wants to help investigate the situation. End issue one.

In the second issue of Reef Rescue: Realizing the they had little experience outside of their reef, Nemo and his friends decide to find the one fish they know was not a native of the reef, Gil, the old scarred fish that help liberate Nemo from the tank.  While Marlin is not very happy about it, he wants to be Nemo’s hero; he agrees and before long Nemo is reunited with the rest of the Tank Gang. After a brief reunion, Gil explains that the reef is dying in a nearby area as well, and that there is no home of stopping it.  Examining the new section of dying reef, they discover that the culprits are Crown-Of-Thorns starfish. They have been eating the coral, and since their spines are toxic to all fish, there is no chance of stopping them.  Nut Marlin, having just narrowly escaped being killed by the creature, announces that he will not let him home be destroyed; he will find a way to stop the invader! End issue two.

As the third issue of this four issue mini-series starts, Nemo and company, now joined by Gil, are still searching for a solution to the problem of the giant starfish.  Marlin, after declaring that he would fins a way to save their home, announces that he thinks that the best course of action could be preparing for the worse: the need to relocate all the fish in their reef. Gil reassures Marlin, telling him that Nemo looks up to his father more than he realizes. Suddenly, Squirt and Nemo race back to the group, telling them they have to prepare for a giant current. Nemo is swept out of the current, lost, and Marlin declares that they have to find Nemo, to which Dory replies, “Didn’t we do that already?”

But don’t worry, Nemo is found. As a matter of fact, he and the rest of the group end up saving a giant squid who was pushed to shallow waters by the currents. In gratitude, Seth the giant squid tells the searchers that they may be able to find a solution if they go and find, The Tribe. Gil, being the most worldly of the group, declares that the Tribe is to far away, it’s too dangerous. Marlin, once again experiencing a case of bravery, declares that they have come to far now, and besides, how bad can it be?

Finding Nemo: Reef Rescue #3 has been written by Marie Croall and features art by Erica Leigh Currey. When I picked up the first issue and saw what the focus on the story was, I was worried that it was another man-destroys everything story that would fall into a preachy diatribe.  By the middle of the second issue, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the antagonist was not man but a real, natural enemy of the world’s reefs. The third issue was a good little yarn that kids of all ages would enjoy. As a matter of fact, the whole series to date would be great for children and for adult readers looking for some light reading. Marie Croall (previously of 9-11 #1 and the 2004 DDP Voltron series) should be committed for not taking the human enemy route. Instead she wrote a story that can be appreciated on the merits of how it entertains you. Don’t get me wrong, there are some hidden lessons in the story. Marlin’s insecurity when it comes to his son, Nemo, and how he faces it is a good lesson for children of all ages, as is their use of teamwork to save Seth the giant squid. As an adult reader, I was a little bothered by the way Marlin seemed to be portrayed as a really brave one moment and then be shown with so much self doubt the next. But once you attribute this to him being brave for his son, but still unsure and worried, you have another lesson given, facing your fears and working through them. A younger reader would probably pick up on that right away.

The art by Erica Leigh Currey (artist and writer of Sea Princess Azuri) is nice and clean. She tells the story and you get and you can identify all the characters, an important thing when the only difference in a characters appearance may be the shape of their eyes or their size. The colors of Veronica Gandini (Mice Templar, Toys Story) are bright and vibrant, they give the really bring out the story and are a definite draw for young readers.

Overall, issue three of Finding Nemo: Reef Rescue was enjoyable. It is a book that I will love sharing with my daughter and it kept me entertained as well. There are some small hiccups in the story telling flow, but children probably would not really notice at all. Lots of people may simply overlook this and other “kid oriented” titles as fluff, but they really can be the key to interesting children in comics as a medium. Read it with a kid you love.

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