Friday, July 16, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe (Bryan Lee O'Malley)

The penultimate volume!



Happy birthday, Scott Pilgrim! On Scott's 24th birthday, he vows to be the BEST 24-YEAR-OLD EVER! His year gets off to a terrible start, though, when he's ambushed at a party by the twins Ken and Kyle Katayanagi, Ramona's next two evil ex-boyfriends, and their killer robot. Scott easily dispatches the robot, but Ramona doesn't seem impressed. Back home at Ramona's apartment, it becomes more evident that Scott isn't carrying his weight in the relationship. Uh-oh. Meanwhile, Sex Bob-omb takes a break from recording to rehearse for their upcoming gig. Too bad they suck now. Scott, Kim Pine, and Stephen Stills are all nervous and freaking out leading up to show time, but their only option is to play. While waiting for the band to start, Ramona is confronted by Knives in the bathroom. Ramona is snarky; Knives tries to drop kick her. Ramona whoops Knives' ass, but not before Knives unleashes a painful truth on Ramona: Scott and Knives were still together when he met Ramona. They leave the bathroom to find that the Sex Bob-omb gig is already over, as it was really just a set up to get Scott to fight another killer robot.

Armed with the knowledge that Scott is a liar and a cheat, Ramona tells her boyfriend that he should probably stay somewhere else for a few nights. After two consecutive couch surfing evenings—the first with Wallace Wells, Scott's old roommate, the second with Kim Pine—, Scott and Kim plan a way to get Scott and Ramona back together: Kim and Ramona meet for lunch and Scott just happens to show up. It works, but during the ensuing conversation, Ramona's head starts to glow in a way that it hasn't in several volumes. Kim comments on the glow, but Ramona dismisses her completely. What's the deal? Why's your head all glowy, Ramona? With Scott and Ramona back together, the three decide to attend another party, and Scott is forced to face yet another killer robot. Ramona, still angry with Scott, gets the glowy head thingy again, but Kim manages to take a picture this time. After Scott beats the robot, the three get wasted on tequila and things calm down for a few hours.

After the party, though, Kim is abducted by the twins, oh no! Ramona and Scott, who have no idea, head home for some make up sex and drunk sleep. Except Ramona can't sleep. Still too worked up about the fact that Scott cheated on Knives, she confronts him, going so far as to label him a future evil ex-boyfriend. He begs her not to break up with him, but then passes out, completely wastey-face. Scott wakes up in the morning to find Ramona gone, and freaks out for a bit until he realizes she's just in the shower. He then receives a text message from Kim Pine, alerting him to the fact that she's been abducted. He yells through the bathroom door to Ramona that he's going off to save Kim, but Ramona doesn't hear him and has no idea where Scott has gone when she gets out of the shower. This clearly pisses her off. She removes a towel from her head and reveals that she's cut her long hair, which Scott told her he liked, and has gone back to the hairstyle she had when she was with Gideon.

Scott heads to the abandoned building where Kim is being held captive and challenges the twins to a final battle. He quickly starts to lose ground, however, and the twins take this opportunity to reveal a few more terrible things about Ramona. Scott finds out how she cheats on everyone she dates, but is a horrible hypocrite who can't stand being with a guy who has ever cheated on a girl, even if that guy cheated with her. Kim, noticing that Scott is losing morale and about to be defeated, quickly makes up a lie that Ramona just texted her saying that she believes in him, hopes he's safe, and can't wait for him to come home. Invigorated by Ramona's renewed faith in him, Scott defeats the twins, earning $79.95 for Ken, $74.95 for Kyle, and a $2 Twin Bonus when they are reduced to coins. Scott frees Kim and rushes back home to Ramona.

Unfortunately for Scott, Ramona has actually given up on their relationship. When he gets back to their apartment, Scott finds Ramona in their room, packed and ready to leave him. He makes several futile attempts to convince her to stay, but in a sudden burst of glowy-headedness, Ramona disappears, leaving Scott with little other than Gideon the cat, a note she originally wrote for Gideon the ex, and a hole the size of Ontario in his chest. To make matters worse, when Scott leaves the apartment to go look for Ramona, Gideon the cat runs away, and Scott forgets his keys, locking himself out for good. Time passes; Scott searches for both Ramona and the cat, but is unable to find either. He switches off between Stephen Stills' and Kim Pine's apartments for places to sleep until finally his parents get him a place of his own. Eventually, Kim decides that she wants to move back home, and leaves Toronto. More alone than ever before, Scott starts to go slightly insane, imagining that he sees Gideon the ex everywhere. Finally, Scott remembers the letter that Ramona wrote to Gideon that she left at her apartment:

Don't wait up
for me, cause
I'm not coming
back. It's over.

Scott initially takes comfort from the note, until he realizes that it doesn't mean anything since she never sent it to Gideon. He has little time to ponder this, however. As the book approaches its conclusion, Scott receives a mysterious phone call. "This is Gideon. When would it be convenient for you to die?"


Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe
by Bryan Lee O'Malley

The subtle characterization and gradual shifts in conflict are superb. Bryan Lee O'Malley builds tension beautifully, culminating in a wonderful prelude to the final book.

So good.

This volume turns a series that's often goofy and absurd into a truly suspenseful ongoing narrative. I absolutely cannot wait to find out what happens to these characters.


July 20th! The final volume! Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour! All of your questions will finally be answered! Who is Gideon? Will Scott be able to win Ramona back? Can Sex Bob-omb ever recover from the loss of Kim Pine? Are Stephen Stills and Knives Chau secretly dating? Does Scott have what it takes to live in an apartment by himself? WHY DOES RAMONA'S HEAD KEEP GLOWING?!?! All this and more! Do it! Buy it! Read it! Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour! And don't forget, we'll have the culmination of all the Scott Pilgrim ratings into one final Ultimate Scott Pilgrim Rating! Until then, keep reading, Genoshans!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Contact Information and FTC Disclaimer

FTC Rules: While I do not make any money from authors, publishers, or anyone else related to these books in exchange for these reviews, there have been times where I've received free copies of a book to be reviewed, and may receive more in the future. Due to FTC compliance rules, however, you should always assume that I have an ulterior motive, and thank them for their unceasing vigilance in the face of this ever-increasing threat of blog advertising.

If you would like to contact me regarding a book you would like reviewed, or for writing matters in general, feel free to email me at