April 24, 2012

Getting Graphic: "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Universe" by Bryan Lee O' Malley

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Universe (Vol. 5)
written and illustrated by Bryan Lee O' Malley
Oni Press (2009)
ISBN 9781934964101

It was May of last year when I read volume four in the Scott Pilgrim saga, so I was a little foggy where the story had left off the last time. The great thing about a Scott Pilgrim book is that as soon as I started reading, I was right back in the thick of things and enjoying all of the hijinks.

Scott has battled his way through most of Ramona's evil ex-boyfriends, but it's taken a toll on his relationship with her and with his band-mates, too. Ramona's past is creeping up on her too, as the nefarious Gideon still seems to have a hold on her. As for the band, Sex Ba-Bomb are recording their first record, but the gigs are sporadic and Scott kinda sucks on stage. At least he's still kicking tuckus when it comes to the evil exes.

There were a lot of fun little moments in this volume, but didn't feel nearly as epic as the other four editions. The story felt like it was in kind of a holding pattern, while the mystery of Gideon came into focus--metaphorically and literally. Plus, there was the whole issue of Scott dating Ramona and Knives at the same time for a while, and now Knives knows and figures Ramona should know, too.

This volume seemed to shine a brighter spotlight on Kim Pine than ever before, which I kind of liked. She's snarky, cute, loyal, and doesn't suffer a whole lot of bullsh*t from Scott or anyone else. Heck, if Bryan wanted to write another series of graphic novels with Kim as the focus, I'd have no complaints.

I love the artstyle, which seems especially tightknit in this volume, or maybe it's just been so long since I read a Scott Pilgrim book that it felt brand new all over again. In any case, the way the illustrations turns cutesy and cartoony when Scott feels confused and/or vulnerable are a nice touch.

Definitely looking forward to the sixth and final volume, which I hope to read sooner rather than later.

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