A note from the Editor: I know we’ve covered Scott Pilgrim a few times here, but Ben is going to break down everything for you, and I mean everything. Do enjoy. -Mike

Well everyone, you asked for it so here it is. (Actually truth be told, nobody asked for it but I’m giving it to you anyway… if there is anybody that reads this site please let us know by posting in the comments today!)

Anyhow, this will be part one of my five-part Scott Pilgrim franchise review. There should (in theory) be one part coming out each day this week, so keep reading to find out everything you could want to know about Mr. Pilgrim (not really though: these are just reviews, not an in depth analysis).

So I now dub this: Scott Pilgrim Week!

BEGIN!

Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life

This is what started it all. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life came out in 2004 and opened the series off with a short tale of boy meets girl… but then ditches said girl for another girl.

Actually ditches isn’t the proper word as he cheats on her with this other girl who as it turns out has seven evil…

You know what? It’s pretty complicated now that I think about it. But it really is a great story. Brian Lee O’Malley manages to weave a tale that is somehow both completely implausible but still based in a real world. The characters, while they may have super-powers or build fighting robots, are completely believable as people with their own unique personalities, quirks, and flaws. And that is what makes the story so compelling.

And while O’Mally’s manga-inspired, black-and-white art style may not appeal to everyone it really works for the story that is rife with references to video games, anime, and movies. For those of you who would initially be turned off by the books’ initial manga-ish look and feel — I urge to put aside your predisposition and give this thing a try.

But enough about the series as a whole.

Precious Little Life is, as previously stated, a great way to start the series off. If you have seen the movie (which we’ll discuss later this week) you will have seen exactly what happens in this volume. For those of you who haven’t, I’ll summarize.

Scott Pilgrim is a 22-year-old living in Canada. He’s jobless, but is in a band, Sex Bob-Omb (a tribute to the living bombs in Mario), with his friends Stephen Stills and Kim Pine (who he used to date). He lives with his “super-gay” roommate Wallace Wells and they share a bed as he is too poor to afford, well anything really.

The recent development in Scott’s life is that he now has a girlfriend. In high school. And she’s Chinese. Her name is Knives Chau, and people (particularly Kim and Scott’s sister, Stacey) judge him quite severely for dating this young girl.

One night Scott has a dream in which another girl skates through his head. Shortly thereafter he realizes that this girl is real and becomes obsessed with her despite the fact that he is already dating Knives.

Scott finds out that this girl, Ramona Flowers, is a delivery girl for Amazon and he concocts an elaborate plan to get her to go out with him… and it works.

Their date goes mildly well but they end up snowed out and head back to Ramona’s place. Long story short he ends up sleeping there (but no sex) an then invites Ramona to the battle of the bands that Sex Bob-Omb is playing at.

Knives is Sex bob-Omb’s only fan so she also is at the concert. The band that plays before Sex Bob-Omb knocks out most of the audience (including Knives) and as a consequence Sex Bob-Omb ends up playing for a mostly empty room. In the middle of their song though they are interrupted by Ramona’s first evil ex-boyfriend, Matthew Patel, who is here to defeat Scott. They fight and Scott wins before he and Ramona take off.

As it turns out Scott must defeat Ramona’s seven evil “ex’s” if he wants to continue dating her. They make out. Scott mentions Gideon Graves, who he suspects to be one of her “ex’s” and Ramona’s head starts glowing, which freaks Scott out.

And that’s where it ends. It leaves some questions un-answered but more importantly leaves readers desperately wanting more. I won’t give you a conclusive review however, for that you’ll have to wait till Friday.

Scott Pilgrim Vol. 2: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World opens with a flashback to Scott in high school. He meets a girl named Lisa and they start a band. Scott gets Kim to be their drummer and then he has to fight tons a people and rescue Kim from Simon Lee, a kid at the rival High School. He does so and he and Kim begin dating. Then Scott moves away and they end their relationship.

So then we’re back to current day where Scott is forced (by Wallace) to unceremoniously break up with Knives before he and Ramona’s next date. The date goes fairly well and things seem to be going well for Scott. Wallace is helping him train for his next fight with Lucas Lee, Ramona’s next “ex.” Scott also runs into Kim and we get a sense of her bitterness towards him (maybe she still feels hurt over their break-up?).

Of course there is to occasional “Ramona’s head glows” thing that messes with Scott, but still things are going pretty well… Knives sees Ramona with Scott and swears to get revenge on her. But for Scott, life is good and he is even able to defeat Lucas Lee with little problem, and Ramona is able to defeat Knives in a fight at the library (or at least make her leave).

Then gets a call from his ex-girlfriend: Envy Adams. And Scott and the gang are somehow roped into going and seeing her band play a concert. And her bassist and current boyfriend, Todd Ingram, is none other than Ramona’s next evil “ex.”

We’re again left with a slight cliffhanger that leaves us wanting more Scott Pilgrim, but this is not a bad thing in the least, because we’ve now gotten two great volumes of a story with very few flaws. I have nothing but good things to say at this point in the story.

Scott Pilgrim Vol. 3: Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness

Following the concert, Envy has everyone come backstage to “talk.” Knives is also with them as she is dating one of Scott’s friends in an attempt to make him jealous, and Knives worships Envy.

Scott starts fighting Todd who is a vegan, which gives him super-powers. During the fight he gets flashbacks to when he was dating Envy. It appears that she changes throughout college and eventually would go on to break his heart by kicking him out of the band they started and cheating on him with Todd. The conclusion of the fight is put off until the next day. This happens, but the fight is still not concluded. Ramona tells Scott about the time that she dated Todd.

The fight is eventually concluded by the end of the volume and Scott earns an extra life. Envy is quite sad that Scott kind of killed her boyfriend, but is also relieved in a way because she found out that he was cheating on her. The two of them make amends before Envy leaves.

But what’s more interesting is what happens between the fights. Scott and Knives talk and while Knives is still very much in love with Scott, she decides that she really just wants his happiness, so much so that she protects Ramona when she and Envy are fighting. There is a bit of a mirroring going on as Ramona also has been fighting Scott’s “ex’s,” although following this volume that stops.

This volume is unique in the series as it is the one that actually focuses largely on a single fight. The previous two volumes had a lot more focus on what was going on between the fights and what made the characters who they are. This one still does that, but it also uses the fights themselves to help convey the relationship between Scott and Envy, as well as all the problems that Envy has caused for Scott.

It’s different from the previous two volumes, but still manages to continue the fantastic storyline that has been set up. It’s also one of the only volumes that doesn’t leave readers with a cliffhanger-like ending.

For my conclusive review of this volume (as well as the others), come back on Sunday. And if you want to know more about Scott Pilgrim come back every day this week.

About The Author

Renowned Novelist. Internet Celebrity. Swedish Chef. He was born a poor boy in the Bronx to a recently widowed ex-porn-star named Juliet. As a young man he struggled long and hard before eventually overcoming his rough start. He began a year long hike over the Appalachians and across the country before eventually arriving in Hong Kong, the City of Angels.

Here, with his forged papers, he found employment at a local dive bar. At the age of 20 he decided he had had enough of serving drinks to cocaine-addled strippers and their greasecovered car-repairman-turned-druglord dealers and left on a journey back to his hometown where he started a band, broke up the band, married a famous geologist, got a divorce, and finally opened up his own bakery/film studio: Purple Flamingo Productions.

None of this is true and he is actually a videographer based in the midwest who spends his days working at a local theater. Benjamin Perry: Filmmaker. Nerd. Sarcastic Asshole.

4 Responses to Scott Pilgrim Franchise Review Part 1: Volumes 1-3

  1. Ben Perry says:

    Seeing as nobody has posted here, I am now a firm believer that what I write, will never be read.

  2. A A says:

    Thanks for the recap on the first few volumes on the Scott Pilgrim series. The sixth chapter of the 2nd volume confused me because I thought that whole chapter was a dream so I didn’t understand if Scott really dated Kim or wished he did.