Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Comic Review: Y: The Last Man Volume 5

    Dang it.  I am not, by nature, an emotional man (other than anger).  But this book kicked my emotional ass.  Maybe even harder this time than when I first read it 5 or 6 years ago.  Here are the final revelations and final resolutions.  And it’s rough.  Yorick isn’t the same he was five years earlier, when all the other men kicked it.  And the women have changed a great deal along the way as well (those who have survived).  The whole world has changed…sort of.

    I don’t feel right talking about the plot points of this volume, as this is where the various story threads all come together.  But man, Brian K. Vaughan doesn’t let you have what you want.  It’s compelling, and it works.  But it’s so danged harsh.  So danged harsh.  The last chapter/issue just destroys me.  It’s beautiful, uplifting I guess, but so, so darned sad.  Gah.  Just read it and then we can talk about it.

    I’m glad that the final volume is primarily illustrated by co-creator Pia Guerra.  I know that schedules for comics can be very grueling, and that fill-in work is often needed.  And Goran Sudzuka did an excellent job on this series, maintaining the style and tone very well.  But it felt right to have Guerra back for the end.  The last chapter/issue is especially good.  Like the rest of the series, it’s not flashy or in your face with style.  But it’s so tonally right for the wistfulness, the melancholy, the nostalgia.

    So, yeah.  There are a lot of reasons Y is among my very favorite comic series.  It’s a good story, well told.  It has a bunch of cool characters and never quite goes where you expect.  But it has something else.  It’s one of the few pieces of literature that can pull genuine tears out of me.  It makes the chunk of coal that rests where my heart should be ache almost like I had the real thing.  I am not, by nature, an emotional man.  But you wouldn’t know it as I write this, still wiping at the corner of my eye.

Y: The Last Man Deluxe Edition Book Five
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Pia Guerra
Publisher: Vertigo
ISBN: 978-1-4012-3051-7


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