From Publishers Weekly
Vaughan and Guerra have crafted a frequently funny, sometimes compelling, postapocalyptic American road story with a twist. A mysterious plague has wiped out every man around the globe, except for one: a sardonic 20-something romantic named Yorick. Poor Yorick, however, has to conceal his identity from man-hating Amazons, renegade separatists and all sorts of other female factions who want to use him for one thing or another. He's on the run with a government agent and a geneticist as they hope to figure out what caused the plague and how Yorick survived. This volume focuses on the character development of Yorick and geneticist Dr. Alison Mann. Vaughn spends three chapters on Yorick's past and present psychosexual traumas, as he encounters a very eccentric therapist; the next three chapters follow Dr. Mann down some dangerous roads. Vaughn is an excellent episodic writer, able to sustain a suspenseful arc of plot, themes and realistic characters from one moment to the next. Guerra's art is unremarkable but competently conveys all kinds of action. Most important, Vaughn makes readers care for his characters. In the tradition of much good sci-fi writing, his fantastic plague backdrop is a very clever way of isolating and expanding on simple human themes of love, loneliness, fear and, of course, gender relations.
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If the story tacked on to One Small Step
[BKL My 1 04] was seventh-inning-stretch comic relief, the fourth installment of Y: The Last Man gets back to the game in high style. California-bound Yorick Brown, agent 355, and cloning expert Alison Mann reach deep-rural Colorado, where 355 leaves Yorick with former associate 711 while she and Mann get antibiotics for the only other living male, Yorick's monkey, Ampersand. Yorick isn't just getting stashed out of harm's way. Unbeknownst to him, 711 is to play with his head to curtail his penchant for life-threatening heroics. The treatment involves testing his sexuality as well as his will to live. Though lurid (think Kitten with a Whip
meets The Evil Dead
), it seems to work, and when Yorick's fellow travelers return, the little troupe heads further west. In Arizona, they encounter survivalist secessionists as dangerous as the self-proclaimed Amazons still pursuing them. The action blazes before a foreboding jump cut back to Kansas. Still artfully written and plainly drawn, Y remains a helluva trip. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved