My initial reaction as I read the first few pages of this volume was not a good one. Scott Pilgrim was pretty lame, the high school girlfriend was sort of creepy, the bandmates/roommate were either whiney or annoying, and there didn't seem to be much of a plot. The illustration seemed very uninspired.
But wait. After the first pages we have the arrival of Ramona, major love interest number two for Scott. Suddenly, he becomes more interesting, the first part of the plot kicks in, and Scott's friends and sister begin to say interesting things. Even the art perks up - better color, interesting panel design, more expressive line work.
By the late middle the book is in high gear. Ramona continues as a strong character. The Scott Pilgrim character has to deepen and become more personable just to keep up. The band comes into focus. Knives gets a personality. The other secondary characters also start to chip in. And the major plotline, (fighting the ex-boyfriends), comes into focus. There is some real development, some honest emotion, and a lot of forward progress and action. There's a big finish that is excitingly drawn, and a nice denouement.
The upshot is that this is a very satisfying Volume 1, but it will kook you to keep going to the later volumes.
Please note that I received a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a frank review. I think my copy is just like the final form, which is a good thing because at the end of Volume ! there is an extended note from the author describing the genesis of the characters and some of the locations, and unlike most such notes, it adds a great deal to your understanding of and enjoyment of the book.