Nov 30, 2010

[Comics] Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness (Vol. 3)

Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness (Vol. 3)In your traditional comic book, each issue is a snippet of the world that the characters are involved in. And you really don't have that much time to cover a whole lot of the story within the limited pages of your standard comic book issue, but that's how the system works.

In a more limited series run, each issue becomes a heck of a lot more precious. And the big comic book companies capitalize on this by having very lengthy limited runs ranging from 6 issues all the way to 52 issues (we're looking at you DC Comics!). This gives them enough mileage to tell the kind of story that they want to tell while still brandishing the whole "limited" banner. It gets kind of cheesy, I know, but that's life in the comic book world now.

But then you get the truly limited runs that end up bloating each issue size beyond normal (and when I say bloat, I don't mean this in an overly negative way) but the end result is still fun. Thus you get the fulfillment of a rich story and something that is truly limited in scope. Personally, I'll always feel that six issues is the limit in terms of things. You get longer than that and it starts to become kind of cheesy.

Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness is the third volume in the highly limited Scott Pilgrim series. Each digest-style issue is the product of Bryan Lee O'Malley.

The issue brings us right back into the action right were the last issue left off - with The Clash at the Demonhead performing. Scott and his friends get invited to hang out backstage with Envy and the rest after the show, but this leads to a nasty confrontation. Knives gets the highlights punched out of her hair just for revealing to Envy that she had also dated Scott. And as Scott jumps to the rescue, he find himself thwarted by Todd's psychic vegan abilities. You heard me - vegans have evil psychic powers!

The story jumps around and reveals more about the history between Scott and Envy when she was still Natalie V. Adams and the eventual break-up. Then of course there's the rematch with Todd and Scott trying to find a way to get around his vegan abilities. And then there's the silly past between Todd and Ramona but then you kind of understand this part of the formula for each issue.

Despite how there does seem to be some formula to each issue, it's still a formula that works. We meet each new evil ex, we learn about their history with Ramona and we get a little flashback action with Scott's life before all this. This is one of those situations when the reliability of the scenarios builds anticipation for each new issue and the exploration of each character history.

I really liked the decision to give Todd psychic abilities. Some may feel that they went over the edge in terms of giving him superhuman abilities, but I think it totally worked. It's not like the series is all that serious - we did have demon hipster chicks in the very first issue after all. People do turn into coins when they are defeated, and thus psychic vegan powers can totally fit into the equation.

The added complexity of revealing the true history of Envy Adams and how that affected Scott also worked for the story in a rather significant way. This all contributed to fleshing out the characters a heck of a lot more and obviously building up to an even greater reveal further down the line. Or at least that's how it read to me.

Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness was pretty kick-ass and it got a long way with the vegan psychic powers twist. It gets 4 secret weak points in areas you wouldn't expect out of a possible 5.
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