I experienced a strong sense of closure last Thursday as I finally got to read Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour. But before I got to read it I went through absolute hell as all the forms of book distributors failed me in what was clearly a sick practical joke to make me miserable. So I ended up getting the book at a comic shop the day before my shipment arrived 3 days late. Now I have 2 copies and I guess I'll just keep both. People will surely be impressed when I tell them I love Scott Pilgrim so much that I own two copies and it was not an unintended result of emotional weakness.
So Finest Hour wasn't really what I was expecting but that doesn't mean it wasn't totally great either. One thing I felt and apparently pretty much everyone else that read it did too is that it has a totally different tone from the rest of the volumes. While all the other volumes felt like systematic books in a series with a beginning middle and end, Finest Hour just felt like an end. It made me look at the previous 5 books as the beginning and middle which I guess makes sense because then that explains the whole volume situation. It is just one long book broken into pieces.
The humor in this book is much less focused on video games and is rather based around the characters themselves. Scott has totally lost and is still recovering from when Ramona left him in the last volume. He makes out with Knives and Kim and tries to with Envy to fill the emptiness that Ramona left him with. So Kim helps him confront his past so he can go and face Gideon. Then the rest of the book is pretty much Scott fighting Gideon, dying, (totally called it!) coming back to life, reuniting with Ramona and then they both kick his ass together. Also, Gideon is totally a dick. He created a machine where he kept all his ex-girlfriends like trophies. Scott and Ramona end up together and the book ends with them falling into Subspace holding hands. It really was much darker than any of the previous installments. I mean really, you should have seen the blood splatters.
I wasn't expecting O'Malley to make it all work out but I'm glad he did. In the end Scott Pilgrim is a story of growing up and learning from your mistakes while letting go of the past. I read it twice back-to-back and I was sad that it was the end of such a precious and hilarious story but I also felt really happy for all the characters that I love so much.
So now I have the movie to wait for. Reading Finest Hour totally shifted my perspective on how I see the film. It's like I'm really seeing it as an adaptation for the first time. Before I just saw it as another chapter in the SP saga but now that I know the whole story I feel like this is a story that has been around for a while and I just found that they're making a movie and I'm thinking to myself, "How are they gonna handle all of this?" I'm as excited as ever!
I think I might read it again right now. Then later I'll be doing the same.
P.S. Seriously, what am I gonna with that second copy?