Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
by Bryan Lee O'Malley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 2 / 9781932664126
I first came to the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels after being introduced to the concept by the delightful movie, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World". Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 2 provides some much needed backstory on the characters, as well as some more in-depth characterization of the love triangle between Scott, Ramona, and Knives.
Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 2 opens with a flashback of Scott and Kim in high school and how -- as Scott remembers it -- they met and fell for each other. The flashback could perhaps be better orchestrated, as some of the many flavor characters in the flashback are hard to keep separate, but the overall feel is a well-executed play on Scott's (and the series') obsession with video games and play fighting. The volume then continues through the Lucas Lee fight and ends with the opening of The Clash at Demonhead and Envy and Todd on stage.
This volume provides a lot of valuable backstory and characterization of Kim, and and O'Malley shows a lot of talent in crafting someone who could very easily be totally unlikable to the reader and instead making her sardonically charming and almost vulnerable. At the same time, we see more of the burgeoning rivalry between Ramona and Knives -- including a delightful fight scene between the two girls that sadly did not make it into the movie -- and with a well-placed and utterly misunderstood flashback on the part of Knives, the author drops the first notice on the reader that memories in this novel are not necessarily to be relied upon, and that we're looking at a cast full of unreliable narrators.
If you liked Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1 and are interested in more backstory and characterization, Vol. 2 is here to provide; but if you really just liked the fight scenes and video game references of the first volume, be aware the the second volume is a little more slower paced in some ways.
~ Ana Mardoll
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