Y The Last Man: A Good Cup of Coffee

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Y The Last Man: Vol. 1-10.

Brian K. Vaughn, Pia Guerra, Jose Marzan Jr.

Vertigo Comics / DC

I gotta admit, the first time I browsed through Y The Last Man #1, I wasn’t that impressed. The look and feel of the comic looked fine, but I just wasn’t blown away. And the main character seemed really goofy—which he is—but he’s more than that, and having read the entire series, the goofiness, the sad sap that he starts off as is not where he ends.

My English teacher, Dr. Zaidman, always talked about the difference between average restaurants and great ones: it’s all about the coffee after dinner. Y The Last Man ends perfectly. The Epilogue and final scenes are poignant, somber, and creepy. I loved the ending—no small feet for a 60 comic run.

So, other than the ending, why should you invest in the entire run? The heart of the series, the main question, is still relevant: How do we get along with each other? What does the world look like without men—or all but one? The series has aged well in this regard. Almost 20 years later, gender issues haven’t gone anywhere.

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Y The Last Man works for me. I struggled to get into Saga, another Vaughn title. The later was too bubbly, too damn silly. Y goes right up to that line, but doesn’t cross it. There is plenty of heavy action, violence, and family backstabbing in Y.

Of the main cast, I thought Agent 355 was well done. Her backstory later in the series was one of my favorite episodes and her final scenes were amazing. She kicks a lot of ass.

Towards the end of the series, Yorick holds up a skull and asks: “How can anyone tell the difference?” If you want your ideas of gender challenged, give this title a spin.