Thursday, November 05, 2009

Scott Pilgrim: +5 Critical Hit

In my continuing quest to only review comics that everyone has already read, I finally get to Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe.

I find myself running into the same problem as most reviewers at this point in the series. We all know it’s a solid series and this volume is no different in that regard. This volume doesn’t play up Scott’s battles as the focus of the plot. The focus tends to be on the characters around him reacting to the constant battles; in this case, a bunch of hi-tech battle-bots.

Having the main narrative focus switch from Scott to Ramona (and to a lesser extent Kim Pine) was quite a brave move here. I mean, Scott’s name is on the title of the book but he’s certainly not the main focus. Rather we’re given more of a story about the supporting women in the larger plot. It works out well because by this point, five volumes in, the audience “gets it.”

The refocusing onto these characters allows the reader to get a better connection to the world. It helps us understand why they are important to Scott and why he’s important to them. That even though he’s generally self-focused their friendship for him is stronger. Although, to be honest, I was getting a bit tired of it in this volume. While he’s certainly a charming character I was starting to wonder why everyone was being so patient with him all the time. It certainly feels real for the time of life these characters are in, but for me I kind of moved beyond spending too much energy on selfish louts.

Weird, I didn’t think I felt like that about this book. I generally liked it and it has me anxiously awaiting the final volume and the movie version, but I found myself beginning to lose patience with the main character. I still love the ideas behind this series and I love the characters but I was also happy to have something of a refocusing onto characters I wanted to know more about. While it would be fantastic, part of me hopes we don’t get a Ramona Flowers Adventures type of follow up. I like her mystery and to see where her story goes. I have a feeling it’ll lose that beguiling nature if it’s explored.