I’m late to the party. Like, ten years late. But hey, comics are a journey, not a destination.
Long story short, Y, The Last Man is Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra & Jose Marzan Jr teaming up for what it is one of the most exciting, terrifying and thoughtful anticipation tales I have read in ages.
Imagine a world without men. No chromosome Y, no male animals, nothing. Gendercide, they say. All of a sudden, on the same day, all over the world, men die. Well, except Yorick Brown, 23, and Ampersand, his monkey.
The last man on the planet. Not what you think.
I’m on volume 2 atm (out of 10), and what strikes me is the variety of characters and situations. Women have to face the loss of half the human race, and while some of them find comfort in “Daughters of Amazon”, a violent, man-hatred driven community led by Victoria (fascinating character, I’ll come back to her later), the others try to live a normal life (The Merrisville Community) or accept their new duties as politicians, in a world now ready (forced?) to accept a womanpower. In other words, they try their best with what they have. In this world, Yorick is seen as an only hope, but also as a threat, hence his journey throughout America.
Of course, with such a plot comes the question of feminism. Why Victoria, the ferocious leader of the Amazons, sounds so important to me (even if her character disappears quickly -which saddens me), is because behind the “super feminist” cliché you read at first (aka, Feminism as people often portray it, hate for the men and all that) there is something in her story that would have been nice to develop. Victoria is smart, smart enough to gather a bunch of women, to convince them to mutilate themselves (Amazon style) and to become violent towards their “sisters” like she likes to call them. Her hate isn’t explained other than the whole ‘men are pigs, poison, we’re happy to get rid of them, their patriarchal power is no more ” and that’s where I am frustrated with her storyline. What are her true motives? Where does this anger come from? Was she convinced that the gendercide was a good thing precisely because she couldn’t stand the power men had on her, or just because she could take a lead on her peers without any obstacle?I guess the reader has to chose where to stand with her.
The way the characters are written is brilliant, though. Yorick is not a superhero. His mother, a senator, isn’t all trustworthy. The enigmatic 355, Yorick’s bodyguard, is not the uni-dimensional character you’d think she is. All the group of women are different, all with the same question in their mind :not even “how”, but, “what now?”
I’ll probably write another things while reading the other volumes, but it’s been a while since I last enjoyed a series that much. Success.