Y: the Last Man boils down to a story about a man and his monkey. Well, it’s a little deeper than that. It is the story of Yorick Brown and his monkey Ampersand. Like Transmet, Y was done as twelve issues a year for five years. Every issue is filled with stunning story and visuals. It’s like the Princess Bride of graphic novels. It has action, adventure, intrigue, romance, love, science, and poop flinging.
Yorick’s story starts with him on the phone with his love Beth. It’s a very long distance relationship, as Yorick is in New York and Beth is in Australia. He is hanging upside down wearing a strait jacket. You see, Yorick is somewhat of an escape artist. Escape is a good skill for the last man on earth. Shortly after we meet Yorick every male on the planet dies. That includes men, boys, and male children, including all male mammals.
Tensions are heightened as we see different parts of our culture in ways we haven’t seen before. What would happen if the Senate seats held by men were suddenly evacuated? Would you hold elections? Let the wives take over the seats? Brian K. Vaughan tackles all sorts of interesting issues.
I love Y. It’s one of my favorite graphic novels of all time. By the end of the series you really care about the characters and relationships. What happens to Beth? How about her and Yorick? As the story progresses we learn more and meet new and interesting people. Dr. Mann and Agent 355 are a few examples. Dr. Mann is a leader in the world of biology and an expert in the field of cloning. Agent 355 is a spy like character. The relationship between them and Yorick is extremely fun and interesting to watch. The other relationships are just as interesting. Yorick and his sister Hero have some interesting troubles that go far beyond that of normal sibling rivalry. Vaughan writes very deep and interesting characters.
The characters in Y are also very beautifully represented by Pia Guerra’s artwork. Each character and place is beautifully represented. You can see the emotions on the faces of the characters and every landscape is a panorama of awesome. Fully half of the story is told here. Every part is fully realized, from the women, (amazon’s and lipstick lesbians alike) to the buildings and vehicles. If I say more it might be a spoiler. But it’s worth checking out Y just for the art.
Overall Y: the Last Man is an amazing beast of a piece. It’s a wonderful and gripping story of man, love and sex in a world we all sometimes wish we could live in. Come on, I know you’ve dreamed about it. Well Yorick is living the dream, and I’m not so sure it’s the wondrous place we all imagined. Pick it up; you owe it to yourself to enjoy this graphic novel.
4.5 monkey poos out of 5