Monday, August 23, 2010

Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

The second volume in the Scott Pilgrim epic begins with a flashback. During this we travel back to Scott's High School days. On his first day of school Scott gets into a fight and of course, gets sent to the principal's office. There he meets Lisa, another new kid, and later future Sex Bob-Omb member, Kim Pine. The three eventually create a band, and it is revealed that Scott and Kim were an item in high school. The flashback sequence ends as Ramona skates through Scott's dream of playing video games.

Back in reality, Scott is still awkwardly juggling two relationships at once, but his fling with seventeen year old Knives Chau could be coming to an end thanks to roommate Wallace Wells' ultimatum. Whether or not Scott will have the balls to do what must be done is one of the major underlying themes of these books, and it plays a big role here.

Meanwhile, Scott has big dinner plans with Rammy, (the name he calls Ramona in his head), and he pours most of his energy into their relationship. When he's not doing that he is training, (read: playing video games), for his next evil ex battle.Those pesky bastards keep popping up too, this time in the form of pro skater-cum-hollywood actor Lucas Lee. To complicate things further: Ramona is hanging out with Scott's sister, Stacey, Knives wants to kill Ramona, AND Scott's very own evil ex, Envy Adams is back in town making Scott's life miserable again.

It is difficult to write a review that will do this second volume justice, as there was so much going on from page one, up until the cliff-hanger ending. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is one totally jam-packed book. It has fights, love, and humor, all the hallmarks of this series. I think this is an important book, as it gives the reader a good sense of just how big Scott's task will be; Not only does he need to fight the seven evil exes, but he's also up against himself, and the past.

It truly is Scott against the world in this volume, and through all the turmoil, I really got a strong sense of Scott's character...or lack thereof. It is hard to not feel a little sympathetic for the guy as there are a lot of shitty, complicated things going on in his life, but at the same time much of it is his own fault, and most of the rest of it could be handled quite easily if the dude could just nut up. O'Malley gives a bunch of important back story to many of the characters, and this helped to add to their development, and add another layer to this already engaging story.

I noticed a slight improvement in O'Malley's artwork on this volume. There is a sharper, more detailed quality to the art, and there is a noticeable improvement in the drawings of the characters.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World does a great job of picking up where the previous volume left off. O'Malley seems to have found a winning formula with the whole action/comedy/romance thing. The first volume set the bar pretty high, and that level of quality is easily maintained here. I could go on for longer, but I'll simply say: this is a hilarious, and completely enjoyable read.

Grade: A

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