Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness
by Bryan Lee O'Malley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 3 / 9781932664225
I first came to the Scott Pilgrim franchise via the movie, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World", and have very much enjoyed the graphic novels thus far. Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 3 covers the time from the introduction of The Clash at Demonhead (as well as Envy and Todd as important romantic figures in Scott and Ramona's past) to the conclusion of the Scott/Todd battle.
If Vol. 3 has a flaw, it's perhaps in the overly slow pace. The volume does a great job of fleshing out the backstory of Scott and Envy, as well as making Envy into a very sympathetic character instead of just "that woman who broke Scott's heart", but at the same time, there's an overall feeling of killing time until the next volume in some ways. There's a several page sequence where Todd and Scott are forced to run through "Honest Ed's", which would appear to be something of a tourist shop containing EVERYTHING EVER SOLD EVER and the boys are thoroughly overwhelmed by the awesomeness of the store, and then the store implodes, and... somehow it lacks the same zaniness and punch of earlier volumes.
On the other hand, the volume does a great job of exploring why money and fame don't automatically equal happiness, and it's nice to that the sympathetic treatment and deep characterization of all of the characters thus far (especially Scott's ex-girlfriends) is being extended into a meaningful exploration of Envy and Scott and how the two of them grew apart as Envy started reaching more for the stars and Scott resisted out of a sense that their band was just for having fun and meeting "chicks".
If you like the Scott Pilgrim series thus far and don't mind a mostly flashback-and-characterization volume, then Vol. 3 will meet that need nicely; if you're just here for the video game references and fighting scenes, there's a nice kickboxing/giant-hammer battle between Ramona and Envy in the second half that will seem strangely familiar to fans of the Ramona/Roxy movie battle.
~ Ana Mardoll
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