Y: The Last Man – Brian K Vaughn

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“…Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him…”

 

In 2002, on July 17th, all living mammals with a Y chromosome die in the space of seconds, simultaneously. All except for a young magician and his pet monkey. Yorick Brown was on the phone with his fiancé when the event took place and now he is the only living man on the planet. Now the resulting planet is in chaos as a society with only women in it pick up the pieces of humanity and look to move on. They must also deal with the fact, that unless a great scientific breakthrough takes place, the species will go extinct in one generation. Suddenly Yorick Brown is pursued by those who would use him and those who would kill him.

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Yorick’s mother, a Congresswoman, commissions Agent 355 of the secret government organization known as Culper Ring to protect her son. The travel cross country to find geneticist Dr. Allison Mann to find out why Yorick is still alive and how to use him to save mankind. Along the way they must battle the Russians, the Israelis, crazed Amazons and Yorick’s own sister, Hero.

 

But Yorick simply wants to get across the world to where his fiancé Beth is. That and save his pet monkey too.

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This was one of the most entertaining books I have read in sometime. The concept of last man on Earth is complicated by the fact that the world is still filled with women. Some of them seeing that extinction of mankind, as least as far as the men go, as not really a bad thing. Yorick as a character grows through the series. From the young man who can’t keep a real job to the savior of the world while pursuing the woman he loves. But like in most things, it is not always as it seems.

 

Y the Last Man is filled with complicated and interesting characters. So much so that Yorick may often be not central to the tale happening at the moment. Hero, Dr. Mann and 355 are some of the most potent and well developed female characters ever to grace a comic book page. Ironic that they are in a book titled Y the Last Man.

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Y the Last Man is another example of what made Vertigo comics such a terrific line of books and why they were ahead of their time.

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