Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Book Review - Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim Series

Scott Pilgrim Volumes 1-6 by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Published by: Oni Press
Publication Date: August 18th, 2004 - July 20th, 2010
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★ (averaged)
To Buy Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little LifeTo Buy Vol. 2: Scott Pilgrim Versus The World
To Buy Vol. 3: Scott Pilgrim and The Infinite Sadness
To Buy Vol 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It TogetherTo Buy Vol 5: Scott Pilgrim vs The UniverseTo Buy Vol 6: Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour
Scott Pilgrim is finally moving on, if dating a High School student could be considered moving on for a 23 year old. Though nothing is really happening with Knives asside from riding the bus, and that's just fine by Scott. Scott goes through life wallowing in his past and not wanting to think of the future. He mooches off his gay roommate Wallace, known as the one with the money between the two of them, with all his spare time being devoted to his band, Sex Bob-omb. Then one night he dreams of a girl on Rollerblades only to find that she does exist. Scott now has a reason to live, the mysterious Ramona Flowers. As luck would have it she seems genuinely interested in dating Scott, he fails to mention Knives. The only problem is that he must defeat her seven evil exes in order to be allowed the honor of her boyfriend. The League of Ramona's Evil Ex-Boyfriends must be defeated and one by one they slowly are till nothing stands in Scott's way but his own personal baggage and an angry Knives. From an ex who is the rock star Envy, to all the women in his past, Scott easily has enough baggage to equal Ramona's. Everything must be overcome to win and is Scott up for the challenge?

I picked up this series because of the movie coming up, I can't resist an Edgar Wright film, but I also can't resist reading the source material. I'm surprised I hadn't actually heard more of the comics before now seeing as they are pretty tailor made for my generation of geeky gamers. I will proclaim ignorance of their existence, mainly because I don't troll the manga sized comics, so it's not really my fault... though I might have to troll that section of the bookstore more often. I totally enjoyed the comics, even though they were very uneven. Initially I didn't know if I would like them because the whole Scott dating a highschooler seemed kind of icky, but I was able to get past that. I also enjoyed the surreal elements of it with power ups and extra lives and sword skills being a part of everyday life, just like a Zelda game. I think where it failed was in the repetitive nature that having seven villains, all of which are some variant on the dating Ramona theme. You can't make each fight one up the last and not get into absurdity. Of course, just to make it more "interesting," one of the exes is a girl half-ninja while another is a set of twins who have robots. There's funny and then there's straining credulity. And yes, I know that sounds absurd when you're killing someone who drops coins, but killer robots and lesbian half-ninjas, while funny, can wear on you a bit. But my main problem was with the ending. The final battle seemed rushed and just pointless. What was Gideon up to? There were cyrogenically frozen women who rejected him and he apparently wanted Ramona to join their ranks. But why!?! That's what I was left with at the end. After three awesome comics and three middling comics I was left with why. You shouldn't be left with why at the end of a series. I need closure and I didn't get it! Plus, that whole bit with Ramona being a slave to Gideon, eh... ew and weird. I'm sad the comics are over because I genuinely loved the characters, once I was able to figure out who was who, they all kind of look similar so the character cheat sheets starting in volume two are very handy. But mainly I'm sad they're over because I didn't get a satisfactory ending... who knows, maybe the movie will deliver? Thankfully it's now out on DVD...


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