Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour

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There was a time in my life before I was obsessed with all things Scott Pilgrim. Really, there was. It was just a few short months ago. In fact, I remember the day vividly. As an avid fan of Edgar Wright, I figured I’d scope him out on IMDB and see what he’d been up to.

So upon checking, I see this title. “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.” So I click. I see it’s not a film with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Whoa! It’s Michael Cera!! I read the summary. “Scott Pilgrim must defeat his girlfriend’s seven evil exes to win her heart.” I read the name again. Whoa! It’s Michael Cera?? My mind instantly recalled that scene in Arrested Development, in which George Micheal Bluth is donning headgear and brandishing a lightsaber, clumsily crashing into boxes in his garage as he fights off imaginary stormtroopers. But Michael Cera playing a scrapper? It could be fantastic. I continue clicking.

At this point, Mr. Wright is already in the process of making the movie. His blog is showing daily pictures from behind the scenes. Fans are commenting how closely the film is already resembling the books by Bryan Lee O’Malley. And I’m even more intrigued. I want to see what all the fuss is about. If Edgar Wright is behind it, maybe it’ll be something I’d like. I decide to look up the comics.

I’m sooo glad I did.

I’ll level with you here. I had never read a comic book before. I always liked the idea of reading a comic book, but I never knew where to start. Everything I know about X-Men, I learned from the cartoon. But reviewers were saying that Scott Pilgrim was “accessible,” so I figured it could be a good entryway for me. Little did I know. The world of Scott Pilgrim is not only accessible, but completely engrossing.

I devoured the first five volumes faster than The Flash in a fistfight. I wanted Volume 6. (And yes, I took into consideration that some people have been wanting Vol. 6 for roughly… oh, six years or so.)

In Vol. 6, Scott Pilgrim is set to confront the big bad dude. Evil Ex #7. The “final boss.” THE Gideon Gordon Graves. Scott’s lady has literally disappeared before his eyes. His band broke up. He moved out on his own. He’s also unemployed…. again. To put it plainly: His life kinda sucks. Although he does have a fun new gaming device! (Score!) But, can Scott find a way to get back to his ass-kickin self? Does he even want to? What happened to Ramona, and what’s up with her head?

O’Malley does not disappoint. First off, Vol. 6 looks amazing. It’s incredibly clean. And like all the other SP books, there’s a lot of detail here. I’ll be noticing new flourishes throughout my repeated readings. It’s also fun to take a look back at the Scott Pilgrim from Vol. 1 and see how O’Malley’s artwork has grown over the last six years. It’s really cool to see the transformation. And it works for the books, too; as Scott gains momentum and confidence in his life, we see him as more detailed and fleshed out — more complete.

Vol. 6 is also BIG, it makes an impact. It’s fitting that the movie is coming out — this volume feels quite cinematic. The action flies off the pages. The drama lingers just enough to give you that emotional suspense. And of course, some parts had me absolutely cracking up.

We get some surprises. Shocks, even… we get some blood. But what matters is that we get answers. We get CLOSURE. What else would you expect after six years of mysterious happenings, interweaving lives, action and romance? (I’m looking at YOU, “Lost.”) THIS is how it’s done.

…Well, pretty much, anyway. The explanation of subspace and Ramona’s glowing head is thoroughly entertaining, but it feels a little rushed. I had to re-read it a couple of times to really get an idea of what was being revealed. But what’s cool is that it can be left open to interpretation, which is sometimes more fun than having one uncompromising finish.

We also get to see some characters come full swing. One theme throughout Scott Pilgrim is growing into adulthood and taking responsibility for actions, along with consequences. So it’s been fun to see how some characters have grown into their own. And I really care for these characters; even if they aren’t very likable sometimes. But that’s what makes them great — they’re flawed, like we all are. I think we can all identify with at least someone in the series. There’s something familiar here, and it’s matched with the fantastical, and at times, absurd. And that’s what keeps me enthralled.

The Scott Pilgrim series is an entertaining, action-packed, fun, touching, hilarious ride from start to finish. And Vol. 6 is truly the icing on the cake. It’s highly, highly recommended.

tags: bryan lee o'malley, scott pilgrim's finest hour

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  • http://andrewstamm.com Andrew

    Gosh… I loved it too. Still trying to figure out the glowy-head thingy though. Guess I’ll just have to reread it for a third time =)

    Also, excited for the video game to come out on the 10th! …and of course, for the movie

  • http://www.andrewstamm.com Andrew

    More Scott Pilgrim fun!

    http://www.onipress.com/titles/h/354

  • Surely Steiner

    Yeah, I think I need to read the entire series again… Keeping in mind what we learned about Scott’s memories, and paying closer attention to the glow. I think maybe it’s when they’re confronting issues with themselves? “Inside their own head”… And it’s a side effect of using subspace?

    And I’m still not sure how Gideon could make millions from “emotional warfare,” but I guess that’s left up to us. Maybe he keeps infecting people and knows they’ll be messed up because of it, so he wrote a self-help book under a pseudonym… sells millions of copies worldwide! ha ha

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