Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned

Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication date: September 2002 – March 2008
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Pencillers: Pia Guerra,Goran Sudžuka and Paul Chadwick
Inker: Jose Marzan Jr.

As you can see, Y: The Last Man is sort of old news, but since this is my first time ever reading it I thought maybe I’m not the only one new to the series.

Details, Please…
One July summer the supposedly impossible happens: every mammal, fetus and sperm…anything with a Y chromosome dies. Yorick Brown, an unemployed English Major of New York seems to be the anomaly along with his pet monkey Ampersand. On finding out he is the only male survivor all he wants to do is go to Australia to find his girlfriend Beth. Of course not everything is as easy as it sounds, after two months a group of women known as the Amazons go around defacing memorials to men claiming Mother Nature killed all men on purpose so women could inherit the Earth. So of course when they find out about Yorick, they call him a deformed female poisoned by his own hormones and try to kill him.

Luckily he just happens to double as an amateur escape artist, which comes in handy when women either want to help him repopulate the world against his wishes, study him like a lab rat or just keep him from finding his girlfriend.So far everyone is trying to figure out what caused all the men on Earth to die. Is it about some ancient artifact hinted at being stolen or the fact that on that very same day a geneticist gave birth to a human clone? I love how its science fiction mixed with political intrigue, because Yorick’s mother as a U.S. representative, is trying to help stabilize the government after some women are saying since men and all the founding fathers are dead their constitution doesn’t apply anymore.

So What?
While writing this I realize a lot of what I’m saying is painting women in a negative view, but I don’t think that’s the aim of the graphic novel. This is like a feminist dream in that all the women so far are strong. I think if the situation was the other way around men would be desperate to fix things too. Perhaps they’d miss women a lot more though. I’m really curious about what’s going to happen to Yorick. I really like him, and I like that he’s not taking advantage of the situation and trying to sleep with everyone. At the same time he seems rather unconscious of his situation. He’s not as careful as he should be considering he could be the last man on Earth and has a responsibility to the world now. As of the first five issues all he seems to care about is finding his girlfriend instead of helping prevent the extinction of the human race. So he’s a super romantic stuck in probably the worst scenario ever. Can you imagine if it was the other way around? I’d hate to be the last woman on Earth. Somehow I thought it would be easier if it was a man, but Yorick has it pretty hard.

Y: The Last man has won a couple of Eisner awards including: Best Writer, Best Continuing Series, and Best Penciller/Inker Team and was nominated for the Hugo Award for best Graphic Novel in 2009. A film was in the works but is temporarily on hold.Personally I think a television series would be better. Shia LeBeouf and Zachary Levi were connected to the role and writer Brian K. Vaughan wanted Topher Grace as Yorick. This really messes things up in my head, because all I can think of is Eric Forman. If he was the last man on Earth…Earth would be doomed.

For those of you who’ve read the whole series, is it worth continuing? I’m pretty hooked already, but if this turns into a lesbian utopia I’m out. No offense against lesbians, I just love men too much. I already ordered volume 2 so I’ll let you know how it turns out.

8 comments

  1. “Topher Grace as Yorick. This really messes things up in my head, because all I can think of is Eric Forman. If he was the last man on Earth…Earth would be doomed.”

    I cracked up so much at this!

    Anyway, haven’t really read many graphic novels, would you recommend for a newbie?

    1. I haven’t read that many either, but I really like Y: The Last Man so far. Another one I really liked was Runaways and it’s by the same writer. 🙂

    2. I recommend The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. Or you can try Fables – it’s a re-telling of classic fairytales lol. Lucifer is also good – it’s sort of a spin-off from The Sandman. Actually when it comes to Graphic Novels, anything by Neil Gaiman is good!

      Good luck!

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