“Y: The Last Man” is one of the best graphic novels I have ever read

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Like most kids, I enjoyed reading my share of comics. But at that age, most of them were of the superhero and cartoon character variety. I remember even reading a comic about an ex-NFL player named Phil Grayfield who wore an indestructible football uniform and became the hero SuperPro (yeah, that was pretty lame)! But as I got older, I started reading less and just watching the movies as they began to populate our culture. Then, I started to find that interest again. I never buy many comics because I’m not too sure which ones are worth the money. But a friend recently let me borrow a five-book series titled Y: The Last Man. And after reading this series, I have found my love for comics again. And I have this series to thank for it.

Y: The Last Man is a science fiction comic series written by Brian K. Vaughan, penciled by Pia Guerra, Goran Sudzuka, and Paul Chadwick, and inked by Jose Marzan, Jr. The series was released originally from 2002 to 2008 by Vertigo and tell the story of Yorick Brown, the last man on Earth after an event kills every male mammal on the planet. Yorick is a young college graduate who is doing very little with his life after school. He is dating Beth, who is in Australia doing anthropological work when the “gendercide” takes place.

After the event takes place, Yorick is determined to reunite with his girlfriend, or his fiancée, as he believes she agreed to marry him before their phone conversation was cut off. But finding her will be harder than he imagined because he is the last man on Earth and all of the women want him to either re-create the male species or to kill him to wipe out the males completely. But Yorick, along with his pet monkey Ampersand, take to the streets and go on a worldwide journey to meet his fiancée and run into a large cast of characters along the way.

Joining Yorick on his journey is a bodyguard named Agent 355, a geneticist named Doctor Allison Mann, and later on an Australian Naval spy named Rose. But even after travelling across the globe with these women, Yorick continues to find out more secrets about each that alter his views on them throughout the series. The group also runs into other characters on their journey, including Alter Tse’elon, an Israeli army chief, a female astronaut named Ciba, a Russian named Natalya, and Hero Brown, Yorick’s sister. Hero has jaded feelings about their childhood and, after the plague, joins a group called the Daughters of the Amazon, a group of women hell-bent on destroying any remnants of man and destroying anything or anyone in their way.

This little review of the basics clearly doesn’t do the whole series justice. There is so much to the story that I can’t fit into here or don’t want to write about because I don’t want to spoil anything. The books take the reader across a United States like you could never have imagined. Then travels a strange world where chaos reigns supreme and one man is the key to the future of mankind. The series is filled with action, love, death, questions, and, honestly, very little straight answers. But it is an amazing read and if you are a fan of graphic novels, this is a must-read. I haven’t been a fan of comics for quite a while, but Y: The Last Man has given me a renewed interest in picking up a few and sitting down to read a little bit more.

So, does anyone out there have any good suggestions?

Daryl Karpinski Jr.

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