Sunday, February 15, 2015

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

This fifth installment of the Scott Pilgrim series of graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley seems to me to be the Kim Pine story. Kim is Scott’s ex-girlfriend and bandmate. She has enough troubles of her own with a bad roommate, cheating boyfriend, and a sense of losing her edge as Sex Bob-omb makes and album instead of playing musing.

In spite of this, Kim musters the selfless courage to help Scott and Ramona get over their baggage and try to make their relationship work. She draws out the best of friends often seem to be not worth the trouble, especially Scott. She supports and encourages both, and helps them to connect when they can’t seem to do it on their own.

Scott is being a jerk, as usually, through much of the book. He is incredibly forgetful. I suspect it is a kind of Peter Pan syndrome. On his 24th birthday, Scott vows to stop aging. He seems to have trouble forming new memories. For all the progress he made in previous books, he is still resisting the transition to adulthood.

Even with the focus on Kim, the story of the evil exes continues. Scott defeats the Katayanagi twins, though in a different manner than the movie. This is another scene of Kim’s selfless friendship.

Of all the books, this one has the sense of being “in between.” It is in between the build and the climax to be expected in the final book. I think O’Malley made a good choice in bringing in Kim so much in this volume. He was able to move the story of Scott and Ramona along while also giving some space to look around and not rush to the end. Scott is too messed up to make it on his own, so it is nice to see one of them get some attention.

Bryan Lee O’Malley also wrote

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O’Malley, Bryan Lee. Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe. Portland, OR: Oni Press, 2009.