And so, as the still mysteriously-fizzling (financially -- it's still a fun flick) "Scott Pilgrim" movie wraps up its late summer run, we have the "alternate ending" -- the one that comics creator Bryan Lee O'Malley gives us in the final volume of his, well, epic of epic epicness. To quote some Hollywood marketing maven somewhere.
Vol. 6 of the saga, "Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour," brings us to the conclusion of the late teen /20-something saga about love, loss, power-ups (and downs) and moving through life's "levels." And indeed, since he's growing up (and creator O'Malley just hit his 30s), maybe it's his early autumn.
The videogame logic of the previous editions here reaches its apotheosis, sometimes -- it must be confessed -- to the detriment of the story itself. The "rules" of this universe keep shifting around, and yes, I know, we're at a a different "level" than the previous volumes.
Still, Scott's tentative forays into romance finally get resolved, though not without some blood spilled (isn't that always the way?), and O'Malley makes some of the best use of blank pages I've ever seen in a comic (to suggest a subjective experience of oblivion).
The literalized metaphors toward's book's end, about being trapped inside our heads all jibe, but I could've used more of the minimalism of the earlier books, the sense that a lot was left unspoken, or happening betwee, or out, of frame. Maybe a slight "power-down" on the relentless sword fighting. Here the blades come out, even inside the aforementioned heads.
But maybe that's what modern life feels like. And since it's different than the movie's ending, your "summer of Pilgrim" isn't quite over yet.
A different version of this review appeared in Nexus Graphica.