Friday, February 13, 2009

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Universe (vol. 5)

by Bryan Lee O'Malley

There's nothing quite like a new volume of Scott Pilgrim. It's one of those times of the year that people wait patiently for, all the more so because of it's unpredictability.

This volume is another fun installment in Scott's life. He's 24 now, and determined to be the best 24 year old he can be, but he's still having problems remembering things, or recognizing people like his younger brother. He's also having some problems with the band and Ramona, who has found out that he cheated on Knives Chau with her. Also in this volume, he fights #9 and #10 of the 11 Evil Exes of Ramona Flowers, as well as some robots.

While this is a great comic, it didn't seem to have as many 'video game-isms' as the previous books, nor did it add much to the Scott Pilgrim staple of such things as traveling through sub-space, nor the hilarious realization of Volume 4 that not all Second Cups are the same place, connected by inter-dimensional doorways.

As well, it seemed like this issue wasn't as grounded in Toronto as the previous volumes were. There were still references to places like Sneaky Dee's, and a construction site at Queen and Bathurst, where "an old building is being gutted and turned into something else," but I didn't feel like the city was itself a character in the book, as it has been in previous volumes, which staged fights in the Reference Library and Honest Ed's. Perhaps that's only a sensitivity I feel because I like seeing my home town get portrayed so well.

Reading this issue, I started to think about the impending Scott Pilgrim movie. I honestly don't know if the charm of this title can translate onto the big screen. So much of what makes this comic work is that it IS a comic. Ramona's glowing head can't look anything other than cheesy when digitized. I will most likely end up seeing the film, but I know that nothing can replace the quality of this book.

Now there's nothing to do but what for another unspecified number of months before the sixth and final volume comes out....

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