Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour

Bryan Lee O’Malley

The comic-book series Scott Pilgrim is experiencing a burst of popular attention. Outré hipsters, über geeks, and English-lit grad students attempting to legitimatize the graphic novel as art form are all preparing to either embrace or ostracize the forthcoming film version as genius fan service or blasphemous debasement, and this just-released final installment of the six-book series is contributing to the amplifying frenzy. The hysteria is understandable. In the six years the series has unfolded, the skeleton of the story has always been simple: millennial slacker Scott Pilgrim must defeat the seven evil ex-boyfriends of the droll and enigmatic Ramona Flowers in order to win her heart and prove himself to himself and his motley crew of hip friends. But author Bryan Lee O’Malley also made his tale a clever, genre-bending, magical realist examination of the special challenges and thrills of growing up in the 21st century, as a product of video-game and Internet culture. Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour offers up expected and satisfying resolutions to the central loose plot threads left from the last book, with O’Malley’s signature dark humor intact, but at its core the series is a gentle nudge to its audience to attempt to embrace adulthood and intimacy as the next and greatest bold adventures.