Sunday, April 5, 2009

Y THE LAST MAN (Vol. 1-3)

"Y the Last Man" is Brian K. Vaughan's homage to Mary Shelly's book's "The Last Man." In Shelly's book a plague has killed everyone but a man named Lionel. In Vaughan's tale, a plague has killed all the men (or rather everyone who possesses a Y chromosome) on earth except for a man named Yorick Brown. Another work mentioned that is of note to this comics tutorial is that Yorick's lighter has "Fuck Communism" written on it, which he says is from a graphic novel. That graphic novel is Preacher, which we will be reading next. Jesse Custer, the main character, has the same lighter, which he got from his dad.
But onto the review. I love Y the Last Man. The premise is just so interesting and Vaughan does such a great job setting up this post-plague world. My favorite volume out of the three we read is probably the third. I like the idea of the male astronauts being alive even though they ended up dying once they got to earth. Also, Vaughan does a great job of introducing a lot of characters but not letting any of them fall flat. From Sonia to Natalya, the women Yorick meets all seem very real and unique. Hero, Yorick's sister, is probably the most interesting to me. The whole idea of the Daughters of the Amazon is pretty frightening but seems pretty plausible in that setting. Yorick is my favorite character, though. What I love is that he isn't the usual manly man - but is kind of a self professed dork, who is trying to stay faithful to his girlfriend through this whole ordeal (he fails, but I think we can cut him some slack given the circumstances).
I like that the art is kind of reminiscent of traditional comic book art (Superman is mentioned by Yorick a good bit) and the panels are also pretty traditional, which I thought fit with the radical plot. The cover art is usual realistic but provocative. The third volume in particular, with the skeleton astronaut was pretty gripping.
A very addictive series that always ends on a high note. Favorite line from the series so far: "It's Raining Men. Hallelujah!" in Volume 3, page 87.

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