Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Comic Review: Y: The Last Man Volume 2

    Yorick may not be alone after all.  Not exactly.  Will a pod descending from space bring two more men into the mix?  And what will the various militant factions think of it?  This volume sees blood on many hands as our heroes are tested.  And poor Yorick, he goes through a surreal gauntlet in order to come to terms with…well all the various things he’s gone through.  If the first volume is the introduction of the concept, this volume is shift in focus toward the greater story.

    Pia Guerra’s art is even better in this volume, and guest artists Paul Chadwick and Goran Parlov do a good job of keeping the style cohesive.  Again, the few strong stylistic moments serve the story; sepia for a specific childhood flashback; Polaroid pictures for a happy memory tainted with shame.  And the whole ‘Comedy & Tragedy’ chapter is a reflective eye on the series’ conflict.

    While this series could easily fall into more exploitative territory, it continually challenges expectations.  And there is a sadness in it.  Not just the sadness of a species passing on, but of the realization that all the blame heaped on men for countless generations could have been passed around to the women, too.  Humans are humans, and women have the same capability to achieve great good, but also the same capacity for terrible evil.  And watching a civilization collapse from the outside makes you so much more aware of how easy it would be to fix.  But inside, things are never so easy.

    Brian K. Vaughan is as brutal toward his characters as Robert Kirkman, introducing great characters you can’t wait to see do great things, only to see them shot in the face a few panels later.  It feels a bit like watching Lost, where every time Jeff Fahey showed up, I spent the whole episode expecting him to get killed.  Every time I like a character, I keep waiting for a bullet, an arrow, or a knife to snuff them out.

Y: The Last Man The Deluxe Edition Book Two
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artists: Pia Guerra, etc.
Publisher: Vertigo
ISBN: 978-1-4012-2235-2


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