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book review:

Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe

I’ve been waiting what feels like forever for this fifth volume of the romantic rock n’ roll adventures of the wide-eyed, floppy-haired Scott Pilgrim, but when it finally appeared it wasn’t what I expected at all. The series sees Scott fighting to defeat the seven evil exes of his new subspace-skating girlfriend Ramona in order to truly win her heart-but in this one, where Scott is pitted against two twin brothers that Ramona once dated, his own heart doesn’t seem to be in it anymore. Not only does Scott begin to wonder if it’s all worth it, but Ramona herself is growing less and less certain that she wants her heart to be won by Scott in the first place. All in all, this is a much less hilarious volume of the series than the previous four have been, but that contrast really works in its favour to heighten the drama where before it had mostly been all about the comedy.

Scott and his crew, including his band Sex Bob-Omb and his still-obsessed teenage ex-girlfriend Knives Chau, talk like my friends and I do and seem like the kind of people who would read Broken Pencil, actually, and the series is set in Toronto with plenty of recognizable landmarks as settings for the action. So, as a Torontonian, it’s hard not to feel like I’m reading about people I know. My very own extended social circle.

O’Malley’s manga-inspired art continues to improve with every volume, and volume five’s holographically shiny cover is endlessly entertaining all on its own. Upon the release of the upcoming big-screen adaptation of Scott Pilgrim, with Michael Cera in the title role, Pilgrim will likely to blow up big time, so you’re going to want to be able to say that you were a fan before the world at large had ever heard of it. Pick this up as soon as you can. It’s fun stuff, I promise. (Richard Rosenbaum)

by Bryan Lee O’Malley, $15.95, Oni Press, 1305 SE Martin Luther King Blvd., Ste. A, Portland, OR, 97214, USA,

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