Bryan Lee O’Malley’s “Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together” (does he though?) is the fourth volume in the Scott Pilgrim saga and probably my personal favorite! It’s also possibly the least like the movie?
Scott vs the Summer
It’s a scorching summer in Toronto, Canada. Scott and friends go to the beach to celebrate Julie’s birthday (at her aunt’s beach house). There are a lot of cute moments between Scott and Ramona in this one, while the two of them awkwardly consider taking the next step in their relationship (aka the L Word: not “lesbians”). During a heatwave, Scott escapes his non-air-conditioned apartment to go hang out at the mall where he runs into Lisa Miller! (see the flashback from Vol 2)
Scott vs Temptation
The central conflict of this one is Scott navigating his unresolved feelings for his old friend, Lisa, who is in town for the summer and clearly has a crush on him. Things get extra awkward when Lisa and Ramona meet before Scott even has a chance to tell Ramona about her. It all comes to a head when Ramona realizes that she has a thing for him, prompting Ramona to kick Scott out, right around the same time he gets locked out of his apartment and the only option he has left is to crash on Lisa’s couch… Ultimately Scott does the right thing and nothing happens between them, but Scott decides to not tell Ramona.
Scott Pilgrim Gets A Job!
After realizing he needs to bite the bullet and get a job, (because he’s always broke and keeps free-loading on his friends) Scott asks his friend, Stephen Stills for a job at “The Happy Avocado”. “Scott! Are you going to work? Do you have what it takes to be a serious dishwasher? Maybe the best dishwasher there ever was?” Stephen dramatically asks. Scott responds (just as dramatically), “I can do it! I can do anything!! Just give me a chance!” Stephen then turns casually to his manager and says, “Hey, Dominique? Can my friend have that job?”
Before he has a chance to celebrate however, he’s randomly attacked by a mysterious bearded man with a trench coat and a katana! – Turns out that it’s Knives’s dad, Mr. Chau! And to make matters worse, Scott also has to contend with another evil ex…
Ramona’s Fourth Evil Ex
As we’ve come to learn, Ramona Flowers has a lot of evil exes (7 to be exact), and it turns out one of them is an evil ex-girlfriend: Roxy Richter – a “half-ninja” punk chick with a grudge, a sword, and teleportation. Ramona explains that they used to be roommates in college and that she “was just a phase”. Roxy explains that she taught Ramona everything she knows, including the ability to traverse sub-space!
During the ensuing confrontation, Ramona comes to Scott’s rescue and throws down with her own evil ex! Ramona has Scott climb into her sub-space purse to protect him and pulls out a titanium baseball bat! Leading to one of my favorite panels in all of comics…
Scott Levels Up!
During the climactic fight with both Roxy and Mr. Chau, Scott realizes that he has to confess his feelings to Ramona: “I know you just play mysterious and aloof to avoid getting hurt. I know you have reasons for not answering my questions. And I don’t care about any of that stuff.” “You don’t?” she responds. “Ramona, I’m in love with you. And I know we can make this relationship work,” he says. “Oh, Scott…” And just like that he earns +9999 XP and levels up – and gets a fancy new flaming sword! Scott runs into battle against Roxy and we get a quick samurai style showdown that ends in Scott slashing her in two, but before she poofs into an explosion of cute forest creatures she ominously hints at the next volume: “You got me Pilgrim… but you’ll never defeat the twins!”
In this volume we get more random clever moments that O’Malley weaves in, like when Scott and Wallace go shopping, we get a receipt with an itemized breakdown of just how broke they are. We also get some ominous foreshadowing for both Nega-Scott and Gideon and a funny subplot where Stephen meets Kim’s new roommate and after realizing they have a recording studio, spends the rest of the book skipping band practice to work on making their first album.
We get more awesome video game references when Scott notices his ‘Thirst Meter’ is low, so he checks his pockets and we get an inventory of his pocket: mostly lint and wrappers – he then looks up at his ‘Cash Meter’ which is on empty! There’s even a great scene where Ramona invades Scott’s dreams (again), this time while he’s fantasizing about an epic RPG quest through some mystical woods, with a Navi-like companion straight out of the Legend of Zelda.
The graphic novel ends with a scene somewhat similar to how it began, with Scott and Ramona together, and this time it’s Scott who asks, “Don’t you just wish this moment could last forever?”
To be continued in… Vol 5: “Scott Pilgrim vs the Universe”!