You spent the first five years trying to get with the plan, and the next five years trying to be with your friends again.
After six years, six volumes and seven evil exes, was she worth it? That’s the big question about Bryan Lee O’Malley’s “Scott Pilgrim: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour.”
‘How we got here: Scott Pilgrim is 23 years old, played bass in the band Sex-Bob-Omb with his friends and fell in love with this awesome delivery girl, Ramona Flowers.
Problem: Scott must defeat the aforementioned seven evil exes before he and Ramona can date.
Solution: Flawed and messy. It’s not that simple when fighting Japanese twins, half ninjas and a vegan psychic are the least of Scott’s worries as he makes the transition to adulthood.
O’Malley had a towering task in front of him with the final volume of his “Scott Pilgrim” comic book series. All the subplots need to be wrapped up, characters need their closure, back stories need to be filled. Then there’s the inevitable boss battle with the last evil ex, Gideon Graves, a man who seems to be richer than Bill Gates and Oprah combined, and hipper than the Pitchfork Music Festival. O’Malley concludes his epic with confidence, an intact sense of humor and his best art yet.
Living in a video game world would be really fun, wouldn’t it? I mean, that’s why many people become addicted to video games like “World of Warcraft” and “Final Fantasy” — they can become more than who they are in real life. One of the great thrills about reading
“Scott Pilgrim” is that video game life mixes with regular, messy, exciting, dramatic, real life without any seams showing. Scott is as grateful for the longsword proficiency he picked up in fifth grade as he is for his job as a dishwasher.
For mere mortal readers, there’s much to enjoy, since O’Malley knows when not to linger too long. Don’t get the numerous references to classic video games? Feast on the manga-esque art. Are the drama and angst getting a little too heavy? Here’s a 16-page fight scene, complete with superpowers and special weapons. And the name of this game is change. Scott needs to confront not only Gideon, but also his own past, and end the chain of confusion and hurt feelings.
Will he win? Will Scott ever get Ramona back? Like any classic role-playing game, all the hours of reading and re-reading will pay off in an epic way during “Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour.”
Final Grade: A-