Friday, July 9, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together (Bryan Lee O'Malley)


Volume 4, wherein more ridiculousness occurs. Also wherein there are a few pages of color in the beginning! Kim Pine's a redhead!


Could it be that things are finally going well for our noble hero? It's summertime, life is good, and Scott Pilgrim couldn't be happier with the way things are going. Well, except for the fact that he's broke and needs to find a job. And that some crazy Chinese guy has been stalking him. Oh, and there's this little thing about Ramona being jealous of an old friend of Scott's from high school that turns up in Toronto. And Stephen Stills has cancelled shows and put band practice on an indefinite hiatus so they can record an album that no one else wants to record. And Young Neil is a jerk. Anything else? No? Oh wait, one more thing: it turns out that Ramona's latest evil ex-boyfriend is not a boy at all... twist!

Things are going great for Scott and Ramona until Lisa Miller shows up. Lisa was Scott's best friend in high school, before he started dating Kim Pine. She's only in town for a few days, but she's determined to find a way back into Scott's life. Ramona, who has been known to cheat on a significant other or twenty in the past, is uneasy about Lisa's sudden appearance. She turns downright suspicious once her ex shows up to challenge Scott. Her ex Roxanne, Ramona's college roommate and partner in the pair's experimental phase. Roxanne isn't the only one trying to make mince meat out of Scott, though. Knives—who made out with Kim Pine when she was drunk omg!—discovers that a photo of Scott she keeps on her wall has been defaced, and then Scott notices an older Chinese gentlemen following him around. Hmm, I wonder who that could be? Tensions mount as Scott and Wallace Wells, Scott's gay roommate, discover that their lease is up and new living arrangements are going to have to be made. Scott can just live with Ramona, right? Too bad the two are in a fight after the Lisa situation comes to a head. To make matters worse, while running from the mysterious Chinese man, Scott inadvertently enters a subspace highway that goes directly through Ramona's head. Unsettlingly, he finds her kneeling at the feet of a mysterious figure. Could this be Gideon, the man she never talks about but is constantly linked to? The man she allegedly dated in New York?? The man she named her cat after???

Scott finally decides that he needs to man up in most areas of his life if he wants to win Ramona back. He gets a job (+500xp!), but loses it, but then gets it back (+1000xp!!); he defeats Roxanne—good thing he got that longsword proficiency in grade five—, discovering in the process that his next opponents are a set of twins, gross; he restores honor to the Chau family, and Knives' dad stops trying to kill him; finally, he admits to Ramona that he is in love with her (+9999xp Level Up!!!)! The book ends on a primarily pleasant note, with Scott moving in to Ramona's apartment, earning the power of love, and gaining a kick ass new sword. All is not as sweet and sugary as it seems, though. Ramona's got a secret, Scott's got to fight twins, and Stephen Stills is hiding something from his bitchy sometimes-girlfriend Julie...


Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together
by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Volume 4 seems to be the most psychological thus far. Scott and Ramona's relationship is really put to the test, but the main plot line of fighting off evil ex-boyfriends takes the backseat. Everything is brought together very nicely, but Scott is kind of a bitch for most of the book, which is slightly annoying. I wanted to see him kick a little more ass. To be fair, though, his epiphany at the end would not have been nearly as effective is he wasn't such a pussy the whole book.

Minor details and characters from past volumes are finally brought back and utilized to great effect. Bryan Lee O'Malley manages once again to keep the book original but on tone.

I very much enjoyed this book, but it feels a bit like a bridge between more important events. Volume 3 dealt heavily with Scott's emotional backstory and Ramona's true character, while throwing in some history and supporting character motivation. This book sets things up very nicely for the future, but definitely feels like the calm before the storm.


Only one more book to go! Keep reading, Genoshans!

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