O'Malley's cult-favorite series about a Canadian slacker attempting to defeat his crush-object's seven evil ex-boyfriends is the weirdest, funniest and coolest Western variation on the manga aesthetic to date, and the third volume is even more hilarious than the first two--mostly because O'Malley's running gags are the kind that improve with repetition. At their core, the Scott Pilgrim books are outrageous allegories for coming to terms with a partner's former romantic relationships. This time, Scott's pitted against Todd Ingram, the current boyfriend of his ex, rock star Envy Adams; they battle at a discount department store and a rock club. Unfortunately, Todd's got psychic powers, because he's a vegan ("graduated top of his class from vegan academy and everything"), and he's also a much better bass player. On top of that, Scott's band, Sex BobOmb, can't quite get it together; 17-year-old ninja Knives Chau is still obsessed with him; and the mysterious Ramona Flowers is becoming envious of Envy. O'Malley's story zooms through its slalom-course plot, peppered with delectably witty dialogue, and he pulls in wild ideas and images from manga, role-playing gaming (Ramona's hipster handbag is actually a "subspace suitcase" from which she draws a "large hammer, +2 against girls") and video games. (May)[Page 52]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.