Monday, July 27, 2009

Y: the Last Man by Brian Vaugh

Y: the Last Man is a comic book (graphic novel) series that is definitely for mature audiences and not what you normally think of with comic books. There are no superpowers or superheros and none of the frames are meant to have you rolling in your seats laughing. True there's action, but this one is a little bit more serious than you'd expect when wandering through the comic book section.

The story revolves around a plague that wiped out all of the men and male animals, except for two : Yorick Brown and his pet monkey Ampersand. On their journey to make sense of what happens and to reunite with Yorick's girlfriend who is on another continent, he picks up a bodyguard from the Culper Ring known as 355 and Dr. Allison Mann who hopes to clone Yorick and bring back the male population. Along the way they face opposition from two main groups - The Daughters of the Amazon desperate to destroy anything related to man, and the Israelis who want to capture Yorick in order to create war and therefore peace (I didn't really understand their motivation). Through a series of ten graphic novels and four years, Yorick and his group travel the world and run into an interesting set of characters, some friendly and others quite dangerous. The fate of the world rests in their hands and they'll do anything and everything to make sure Yorick stays alive.

As I said, this novel is definitely for mature audience. Not only does it have language issues (the F word is a favorite among the characters) but there are large amounts of violence (I think that a major battle and death happens in just about every novel) but nudity (male and female). The story also has it's complex moments that might be over the heads of certain reader. I still have no clue who/what the Culper Ring is. They might have explained it 50+ times, but it still doesn't make much sense and I'm still a bit fuzzy on the Israeli's motivation. Now I have to admit that I didn't read the first book but there was a nice synopsis in the second book, so I knew the gist of things. Maybe that would explain more and drive home the necessity of reading them all. The first few books had the synopsis but that ended around book four or five. Either way, I made it through the book and really began to feel for all of the character. Each one has its charm and you can't help but feel their desperation, pain, love, and hope.

This graphic novel series is really interesting in how it interprets the world without men. It's definitely eye opening to see the impact that they have on the world but, at the same time, I wonder if the reaction of women is a little askew. I highly doubt it would end up as violent as this novel depicts, but, then again, that wouldn't make a compelling story now would it? Now I'm not a graphic novel person, at all, but this one held my interest. I really don't think that it will appeal to younger audiences but older readers who like graphic novels but want a little bit more meat to the story would find this enthralling.

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