Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Y: The Last Man (Complete Series) by Brian K. Vaughan

Early on in Luke Reviews’ history, I put up reviews of the first couple books in Y: The Last Man, then stopped. I had read through the first five, but for whatever reason never posted reviews. However, over spring break, I sat down and read all ten volumes, and I knew it was time to take a look at the series as a whole.

Y: The Last Man takes a look at a world where all the men are dead. All the men, that is, except Yorick Brown, escape artist and loser, and his pet monkey, Ampersand (i.e. &). As Yorick sets out to find out what happened, he picks up new members to add to his group, including 355, an agent of the Culper Ring, a secret government group, and Dr. Mann, a scientist tasked with creating male clones to let the human race repopulate the world. Travelling first across the country, then around the world, Yorick is on a quest to find his girlfriend, Beth, but has to help Dr. Mann save humanity first.

The series is absolute brilliance. From its early stages with the fights against the Amazons, to the quest to recapture Ampersand, all the way to the final denouement, every single part of this ten-volume saga is excellent. Yorick, along with 355 and Dr. Mann, become incredibly rich characters who show massive amounts of growth as the series progresses. The writing manages to touch on a number of very serious and sensitive subjects, along with hitting deep emotional cords, yet keeps its witty humor throughout.

This is the series for people who don’t read comics or graphic novels. It is the series for people who do. It is a story that, rare in this genre, has an obvious beginning, middle, and end, and fits the 60 chapters of story together in a very tight weave that makes a truly cohesive whole. If you read only one graphic series, read Y: The Last Man.


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