A Slice of Fried Gold

The dog days of Scott Pilgrim

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Scott Pilgrim and friends

#3 - Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe with words and art by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Scott Pilgrim is a really odd duck. The series, not the character (okay, perhaps a bit of both). When you think about it, it's a graphic novel series that perfectly encapsulates being a hip twenty something in the world today, and the way creator Bryan Lee O'Malley does it is by not only displaying the character in a realistic fashion with massive insecurities and girl problems galore, but by infusing the fantastical elements that Pilgrim has been raised on directly into the story.

Example: Pilgrim regularly earns experience points for successfully completing something, he wears an X patch on his jacket to signify that he went Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, and the central premise of the story is earning a girls love by defeating her seven evil exes (who predictably formed a league, not unlike the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants or the Injustice Society, except this one is primarly focused on beating Scott's ass). The funny thing is, people who grew up playing RPG's, reading comics, and listening to music always imagine life if there are elements of each of these things in them.

We just never put them into a brilliant comic book about love, lust, and the Scott Pilgrim way.

Volume five of this series, Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe finds our titular hero turning 24 and promptly announcing that he was going to be the best 24 year old ever, which clearly indicates that this volume will be problematic at best for good ol' Scott. And the hits keep on comin' in this one, with troubles arising on the Sex Bob-Omb (Scott, Stephan Stills, and Kim's band), Ramona Flowers, and evil exes fronts (exes works particularly well here - he fights twins!!!) in this volume.

However, regardless of the trouble he faces, O'Malley still pumps the story with laughs, charm, pop culture references, fourth wall destruction, awesome action scenes, and wonderful character development. This book did a lot to work towards my theory of where this story is going in the long run (I really like Scott's bandmate Kim Pine...), and all in all it was another great volume in what is one of the best two or three series on the market right now.

Now if only we didn't have to wait another year or two for the finale from O'Malley and his bizarre and splendid Canadian universe. That's okay. I can always reread them once again.

Rating: Awesome.


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