Y: The Last Man

Its not often that I cannot gush about something enough.

Brian K Vaughan’s ‘Y: The Last Man’ was something that Blackett lent to me as our ‘new story of the week’ quite a while ago and since the first few pages of the first volume (of ten) I’ve been in love with the world of Yorick Brown where him and his monkey Ampersand are the only males left alive on Earth after a mysterious ‘plague’ kills all those with a Y chromosome instantanteously and all at the same time. With the help of some wonderful characters he meets along the way, Yorick tirelessly searches for his girlfriend Beth whilst running into the kind of dangers and sexual shenanigans you’d expect the last ever man in the world to encounter.

The comic has spanned 6 years of writing and 60 issues collected in ten compilations, which is such a huge amount of work it pains my poor brain to think about how genius Vaughan is. Only today I have finished reading the final volume which came out at some point this week whilst I wasn’t looking.

Spoilers a-go-go after the break.

All this work is hard to encapsulate in a brief review, which I promise to keep as such, as I could waffle on about this for hours.

Basically, volume 10 picks up with Yorick and 355 (this is one of those occasions that if you don’t know who that is, then you should immediately go out and buy all of Y:Last Man) still globe-trotting looking for Beth. We go through some dramatic encounters with a loon from the Israeli army and sooner on than I expected, Beth and Yorick are finally reunited. Sexy time ensues, but Beth reveals that before the men died out, she was planning to dump Yorick. Understandably heartbroken, Yorick does a runner back to the arms of 355, but just as they express their hidden feelings for each other, 355 is shot in the head and dies in Yorick’s arms.

‘Pause to cry’ count: 1

In a manly gesture, Yorick decides to end the fighting with those out to harm him and calls a halt to this part of the story. Fast forward 60 years and we’re in France where Yorick’s illigitimate daughter Beth is in power, and clones of Yorick (and others) are dandering about the place. Beth Jr. explains to one of the Yorick clones that the original Yorick went mad after 355 was murdered and as such she had to tell the public that he had died. In fact he hadn’t. Beth believes that clone-Yorick can get through to real Yorick (now very old) and make him come back to the real world.

Some flash-backs courtesy of old Yorick reveal touching moments spent with 355 at the very beginning of the story, and the death of his monkey pal Ampersand.

‘Pause to cry’ count: 2

Old Yorick leaves clone-Yorick with some words of wisdom, and then when his back is turned, escapes his strait-jacket and is gone.  The End.

A-may-zing! This whole story is just incredible and I really cannot do it enough justice. I really believe that this will be a classic that people years from now will be reading and marvelling at its wonder. All ten volumes will take pride of place on my bookshelf and I firmly believe they will be there for a long time.

Oh, and apparently it’s getting made into a film, woooo! With Shia LeBouf. Hmmm. Not much information yet, and some sites are even claiming it will be scrapped, but I’d like to think its a more of a case of taking their time in order to get the story perfect. Let’s hope so.