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July 21, 2010

Oni Press Reviews: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour!

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Everyone please welcome ComicAttack.net guest writer, and our Editor-in-Chief’s co-worker at Collector’s Paradise in Los Angeles, Nicholas Ignacio, as he reviews Oni Press’s 6th and final volume of the Scott Pilgrim saga: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour!

Scott Pilgrim is huge right now. Besides the comic book, it’s got its own movie coming out in August, a videogame, and even logo t-shirts sold at Hot Topic. Get rid of that hipster sneer and ignore the “sell-out” vibe – Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim is a testament to what Indie comic creators (and publishers) can accomplish with hard work and grass roots DIY promotion, and maybe a little luck and perfect timing.

Since the release of the first volume, Precious Little Life, in 2004 to last year’s fifth volume, Vs. the Universe, the comic book has experienced a steady rise in popularity. Now, the sixth and final volume has arrived, Finest Hour, and Scott Pilgrim has finally reached the apex of its adoration and acclaim. If you were at a “Finest Hour” midnight release party, the hundreds of people waiting in line at your comic shop can attest to Scott Pilgrim’s stellar rise in the pop culture landscape.

Scott Pilgrim is about a twentysomething slacker (named Scott Pilgrim, duh), who falls in love with the girl of his dreams (he literally meets her in his dreams). And in videogame fashion, Scott has to defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends before he can truly be with her. But like I said, this comic is huge, and this is the final volume, and so you probably know all of this backstory already.

At the start of Finest Hour, the hopelessness and “Empire Strikes Back”-esque despair that ended the previous volume continues to pervade Scott and his small apartment. Ramona has left him, his band SEX BOB-OMB is no more, and the one constant in his life, Kim Pine, has moved back home. Four months have passed since the last volume, and all Scott has done is laze around in his apartment, playing PSP, and avoiding the inevitable fight with final evil ex-boyfriend, Gideon Graves.

Taking gay best friend Wallace Wells’ advice of having casual sex in order to get over Ramona, Scott fumbles around his own exes – Knives Chau, Envy Adams, and Kim Pine – attempting to hook up with them. Since Scott lacks subtlety, he comes off as both hilarious and desperate. The first half of Finest Hour involves Scott’s reconnection with his ex-girlfriends, these experiences giving him self-insight and revealing the truth about his past relationships. Scott’s visit to Kim’s hometown provides the push that motivates Scott to finally fight Gideon – to fight for Ramona’s love. To avoid spoiling this moment of inspiration, let’s just say that it involves an homage to “Legend of Zelda” and a “version” of Scott we’ve seen throughout the series.

The second half takes place inside Gideon’s newly opened “Chaos Theatre” (a place also hinted at throughout the series), and their epic battle for Ramona’s soul. Since the only thing the characters in the series do is lounge around bars and go to parties, everyone is at the “Chaos Theatre” – from Wallace to Gay Scott to Stephen Stills to Young Neil – hanging out and watching Scott fight. To avoid spoilers once again, here are some quick teasing words involving this fight: Swords, “What A Dick!”, 1-up, cryo-chamber, subspace, the glow, lots of Ramonas, Ramona’s exploding bag, LEVEL UP, Pyramid, and “Chronotrigger,” and $7,777,777.

Since Finest Hour is the final volume of the series, the stakes are high for both the characters and the readers. Who will Scott Pilgrim end up with? Will you be satisfied with how it all ends? Satisfaction is subjective – you’ll like how it ends or you won’t. You won’t, however, have wasted your time reading Scott Pilgrim. Besides the romance, the frenzied fighting scenes, and videogame affectations, at the heart of the comic is a coming of age story. Gaining the “Power of Love” in Vol. 4 (Gets it Together) isn’t enough, that was only a small step to Scott’s growth. Finest Hour is all about Scott dealing with this arrested development, of accepting and learning from his past memories and relationships, so he can grow up and be with the one he loves. By the end of the series, Scott’s growth is fully satisfied.

Finest Hour also displays the growth of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s storytelling abilities. Flip through Vols. 1-6 and you can see the gradual artistic progress of O’Malley’s style throughout the years. Of course, a lot of the volume’s success in the art department involves O’Malley’s art assistants, John Kantz and Aaron Ancheta, who added another level of depth to the art.

After Scott Pilgrim and its explosion into pop culture, what’s next for Bryan Lee O’Malley? Whatever it is, if there’s a midnight release for it, I’ll be there.

Nicholas Ignacio



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack, Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: Oni Press Reviews: SCOTT PILGRIM'S FINEST HOUR!! https://comicattack.net/2010/07/scottpilgrim6-review/ #comics #ScottPilgrim @OniPress […]

  2. I think I need to check this Scott Pilgrim kid out and see what all the fuss is about! It looks like fun and the after reading all of the press about the movie and the upcominig video game my interest has officially been piqued!

  3. Aron White

    I’m with Speech! I’m gonna check it out.

  4. […] each week to see what we have to say about the latest comics. Also, welcome Andy’s co-worker, Nick Ignacio to this week’s Chirps; Nick works with Andy at the coolest comic shop in Los Angeles, […]

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