Friday, January 11, 2013

Comic Review: Y: The Last Man Volume 1

    The epic five volume story begins with the death of all the male mammals on Earth, except for young escape artist Yorick and his rather mischievous monkey Ampersand.  What may be the last generation the world will ever see must come to terms with loss on an unparalleled scale, while one lone man tries to find his family and the woman he loves.  Conspiracies, mad science, cults and zealots, and dangers unknown stack the deck against our hero and his companions.

    Much of this volume serves as an introduction to the world and to the major issues Yorick faces.  Amazons, an extreme feminist cult, want him dead.  An Israeli soldier wants the power he might represent.  The US government wants him to repopulate the world.  And that’s just to name a few.  Idiots have long argued that a world ruled by women would be more fair or idyllic than one ruled by men.  But Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra have created a ‘what if’ story that shows the more likely truth.  All our prejudices and injustices will persist with or without men.  Women and men may not be the same, but we’re all human with all the good and bad that entails.

    This series is rough.  People die, often ignominious deaths.  Good people get killed.  Bad people walk free.  Justice is most certainly not served.  People are more complex than one might expect.  Yorick actually reminds me a lot of myself, though I’d like to think I’d be a bit smarter and less rash when it comes to revealing myself to dangerous characters.  But his desperate attempt to remain true to his idealized woman I totally get.  Not to mention his self-defeating BS.

    The art isn’t amazing, but it’s good.  And I think the style actually works extremely well for the story.  It’s not showy at all.  Often the images are pretty basic, the people and their costumes not only realistic, but often kind of dull.  Like real people.  Not a lot of flashy panel design.  And when flashier designs are used, it’s for emphasis, like spice.  The covers, however, are often quite beautiful.

Y: The Last Man The Deluxe Edition Book One
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Pia Guerra, etc.
Publisher: Vertigo
ISBN: 978-1-4012-1921-5


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