Friday, July 2, 2010

Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness (Bryan Lee O'Malley)

Level up!



When last we left our hero, Scott was waiting for his ex-girlfriend, Envy Adams, and her band, The Clash at Demonhead, to meet up and discuss terms so that Scott's band, Sex Bob-omb, could open a show for Envy's. Save point! Scott spots a glowing save point in the corner of the bar, but fails to reach it before Envy enters the room. Hopefully Scott doesn't die...

Once everyone is together—Scott; Ramona; Envy and her boyfriend, Todd; Envy's drummer, Lynette; Stephen Stills; Kim Pine; Stephen's sometimes girlfriend Julie; Young Neil; Knives Chau—things proceed to get very awkward. Envy is a bitch, but Knives idolizes her for being so cool omg. Knives fails to contain her excitement, though, and lashes out with "I've kissed the lips that kissed you!!!" Envy's drummer then proceeds to punch the highlights out of Knives' hair. Peace out, Knives. Things continue to go south as Scott and Todd find that they can no longer remain civil to each other. Their evil ex-boyfriend battle begins, but Scott is swiftly dispatched by Todd's psychic vegan powers. The fight would have continued—and, for Scott, possibly ended—right there, but everyone agreed that evil ex-boyfriend fights are tedious and unnecessary at 3:30am. They all agree to meet up at Honest Ed's the next day. Honest Ed's is a ridiculous store that sells so much stuff for so cheap that it's difficult to get through the store without suffering a stroke. Envy decrees that Scott and Todd must make it through the store, and the first one through is the winner. Todd is told he can't use his psychic powers, but cracks under the pressure of all the great deals, and accidentally causes the building to implode. They agree to try again in a few days, after the show that both bands are playing.

Here the book gets pretty stellar. We finally find out what happened between Scott and Envy, as well as how Scott and Wallace became friends, and the details of Ramona and Todd's relationship. We also learn that Todd sometimes cheats on things, for example his veganism (gasp!) and Envy (shock!). All relevant parties make their way to the club where the bands are supposed to perform, but while waiting for the show to start, Ramona and Envy cross paths and get into a cat fight. It's a fairly even match, with Ramona wielding a massive hammer—+2 against girls—and Envy wielding her bitchiness, but the crowd is clearly on Envy's side. Until Wallace Wells tells Ramona to break Envy's "horsey ol' face." With the crowd's attitude gradually changing, Ramona regains composure. To further complicate things, Knives intervenes as well, kicking Envy in the face just as she's about to wail on Ramona with her own hammer. With Envy down, Ramona takes command. Envy calls on Todd to save her, but realizes that he's actually hooking up with Lynette backstage. Envy breaks up with Todd, and Todd vows to break Scott. Todd's psychic vegan powers are too much for Scott once again, but this time Scott has back up in the form of The Boys and Crash, a new band formed by the previous members of Crash and the Boys. They help to hold off Todd's attacks, but the vegan is still too powerful. Recognizing that he is finally going to be beaten, Scott acknowledges that he "need[s] some kind minute, poorly-set-up deus ex machina!!" Luckily, one arrives in the form of the Vegan Police, intent on arresting Todd for his violation of veganism and stripping him of his powers. Once unpsychicified, Scott easily defeats Todd, headbutting him into a glowing pile of coins. In the douchebag faux-vegan's wake is a strange, floating Scott Pilgrim head. Scott reaches out for the extra life and poof! It disappears in a cloud of smoke: 1-up! Sex Bob-omb plays their set and everyone loves them; Envy leaves town; all is lovely in Toronto.


Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness
by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Volume three is the most complete book of the series so far. It follows a strongly-driven linear plot, but includes flashbacks and other elements of depth to increase appreciation and empathy for the characters. We learn more about Scott and Ramona's dating history, Stephen and Kim's motivations, Knives insanity, and the subtle machinations of Gideon, the leader of all the evil ex-boyfriends. Mad dramz.

This book is stylistically perfect.

The smoothest read of the series so far. If somehow you had failed to get hooked on the first two books, this is the one that would most likely push you over the edge. It's incredible how seamlessly Bryan Lee O'Malley is able to evolve the plot and characters while remaining true to the overall style and tone of the series. Fantastic job.


Keep reading, Genoshans!

1 comment:

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