The Last Man
I usually try to write this column to bring you, the reader,
a review of a comic that may have slipped under your radar.
Maybe it comes out of one of the smaller publishers, or maybe
it's just something from the Big Two that didn't get a lot
of press, but it's usually something that hasn't had more
press coverage than the State of the Union Address.
you read your comics by candlelight inside of Hal's Bad Caverns,
then you have heard of Y The Last Man. I don't think
there is one reviewer in the comic industry who does not love
(or at least wants to go steady with) this book. So, in a
moment of weakness, I picked it up. Thank heaven for moments
you haven't heard, Y is the story of Yoric Brown, amateur
escape artist, unemployed college grad, and last man on Earth.
In the summer of 2002, an virus of unknown origin killed every
animal on Earth possessing a Y-chromosome, everything except
Yoric and his pet monkey Ampersand.
has to find his way first to Washington D.C., and then across
the country in an effort to discover why he's still alive
and kicking, all the while avoiding opportunistic former-supermodels,
armed Republican wives (feel the fear in that one), and a
cult of women who think a world without men is just fine (and
boy, do they plan to keep it that way).
K. Vaughn writes one of the most intriguing stories in comics
today. All the praise he gets is deserved. Put aside that
x-rated (and invariably fun) fantasy of being the last man
on Earth. What would happen to the American, for that matter,
all government systems with no men? Who takes over when 90%
of the government is dead? And if a man showed up, what would
happen to him (and believe me, it's nothing like a Jenna Jameson
addresses all these questions in Y, including touching
on subjects like militant feminism, and continued racism.
It's great to see a comic that is so incredibly out there
as far as concept, but still grounded in reality.
also scores double points for characterization and handling
fairly large cast. Yoric is a great lead character (despite
his apparent need to show anyone who wanders by that he is
indeed a phallic possessed individual) and very human, as
his first concern after checking in with remaining family
is to set off to find his fiancé and get to repopulating.
355 is a great straight-laced opposite to play against Yoric,
while she spends most of her time protecting Yoric from his
own stupidity. Vaughn has a great touch for the female characters,
from Yoric's Senator mother to the cult leader of the Amazons
(the militant feminist group out to make sure the worlds stays
penis free). Some of the female characters are strong, some
are soft, but all are believable in the way they are portrayed
in a world without men.
impressed with the art on this book. Penciled by Pia Guerra
and inked by Jose Marzan Jr., this is good comic work. Guerra's
style is realistic and very expressive. The facial expressions
of his characters are felt more than seen, and Guerra even
seems to make the eyes of his characters expressive. This
is more like watching well directed cinematography than reading
a comic in the way he sets up panels and paces the story.
it before (maybe not in a review for anyone who's looking
to catch me in a continuity error), but an artist who can
pace a story well will always make a good story better. It
might even make a crap book good (anyone over at Marville
listening?). I'd also like to give a nod to Marzan, who's
inks give the book a nice and clean look. His inks really
make Guerra's pencils crisper, which just further augments
the greatness of this book.
like this book, and I usually try to never agree with the
hype (mostly in an effort to be difficult and cooler than
people who cater to "the Man," man) but Y
hooked me. My only regret is that this is the collection of
the first five issues, and the second is probably far off.
At $12.95, Daddy needs a fix, and his fixes are cheap and
damn DC/Vertigo for not putting out the second volume already.
Damn them right to Vertigo Hell (now being run by back-up
angels, as Satan has left the building).
Y - The Last Man