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Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned Paperback – January 2, 2003

192 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Yorick Brown is an escape artist; has a fabulous girlfriend who's traveling in Australia; and possesses a genetic make-up that's allowed him to survive a plague that killed every male being on the planet except for him and his pet monkey. Yorick is the last man on earth, and in the resulting chaos, he must find a way to help save the human race. At least that's what the (now all-female) government thinks. Yorick would prefer to find his girlfriend, but it's hard to get a flight halfway around the world when almost all the pilots and mechanics are gone. It's hard enough to drive down the block, since the streets are jammed with the cars of men who were behind the wheel when the instantaneous plague hit. Furthermore, the entire social fabric has gone to hell, with gun-wielding wives of Republican representatives insisting on getting their husbands' seats and tribes of latter-day Amazons claiming males were meant to die. Since Yorick's mother is a congresswoman, he's protected by secret spies. And his escape skills come in handy when he's trapped first by a marauding garbage-woman and then by his mother, as she tries to keep him from doing anything stupid. Meanwhile, who are the mysterious Israeli soldiers who seem so gratified by the situation, and why is Yorick's sister so intent on joining the Amazons? With clean lines and muted colors, Guerra and Marz n invoke a frighteningly believable future; their vision of the surprise and horror to come is so beautifully ordinary, it's entirely convincing-and addictive.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

A mysterious plague has killed every man on earth except Yorick Brown, who was somehow spared. That is the provocative premise of the comics series whose first five issues make up this book. The sole Y-chromosomed survivor is an amiable, headstrong young man, the son of a U.S. congresswoman and, as it happens, an amateur escape artist. He spends most of the story on the run from a tribe of self-styled Amazons bent on eliminating the last vestige of patriarchy. He is also trying, with a bioengineer who may be responsible for the worldwide "gendercide," to figure out why he survived; hoping to reach his girlfriend in Australia; and, of course, contemplating the repopulation of the planet. Rather pedestrian artwork doesn't do much to liven the story, though its straightforwardness imparts deadpan believability to such ramifications as the female secretary of agriculture ascending to the presidency. Fast-paced anyway, the yarn introduces a large number of intriguing characters and plotlines as it lays the groundwork for what promises to be a compelling series. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; aFirst Edition First Printing edition (January 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563899809
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563899805
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brian K. Vaughan is the Eisner Award-winning writer of Y: THE LAST MAN, EX MACHINA, RUNAWAYS, and PRIDE OF BAGHDAD. His newest work, with artist/co-creator Fiona Staples, is SAGA, an ongoing sci-fi/fantasy series from Image Comics that The Onion's A.V. Club called, "the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make." Vaughan lives in Los Angeles, where he works as a writer and producer on various film and tv projects, including three seasons on the hit series LOST.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Ware on March 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
While this may not be the most unique story idea (something kills of every male animal on the planet except one man and his male monkey), Vaughan's handling of the story is exceptionally well done. His characterizations are vivid and each has their own voice, making it easy to remember who is who from issue to issue (rather than waiting for this trade paperback, I bought all of the monthly issues individually as they came out). Vaughan also throws in some very interesting story concepts: women who used to be models now trying to find meaning in their lives, a new tribe of Amazonians, and a doctor who was about to give birth to a clone of herself thinking that it's all her fault.
Pia Guerra's artwork, while not outstanding, is very solid. She very capably imbues each character with their own individuality. She is able to convey emotions very well and her designs for this post-apocalyptic world are subtle (i.e., the world is still recognizable, but it is very evident that things have changed).
This title was a sleeper hit for Vertigo with the first two issues selling out quickly and prices jumping quickly. I assume that if you are here, you're at least mildy interested in this title. Do yourself a favor and pick it up. You will not be disappointed.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Steven E. Higgins on September 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
For a brief time a few years ago, it seemed that Vertigo might be in its death throes. Sandman had been over for a while, Preacher was ending, and Transmetropolitan had very little time left in its run as well. The new books being touted as flagship titles-books like Outlaw Nation, Swamp Thing, The Crusades, American Century-were not living up to expectations.
But luckily the writer of one of those failed projects (Swamp Thing's Brian K. Vaughan) came along just then and helped revive the line. He and artist Pia Guerra created a book called Y the Last Man that has quickly become one of the hottest phenomenons in comics today.
In the first trade paperback collection for the series, Y the Last Man: Unmanned, we are introduced to Yorick Brown and his monkey Ampersand, who are both somehow spared when every other male on the planet dies. This first book sets up many of the events that are to follow, establishing situations like that of Yorick's mother, one of the few female Congresswomen left who is now trying to rebuild the government, or that of the Amazons, a group of women who believe the Y chromosome was an aberration and the men deserved to die off.
There is a great sense of mystery surrounding this series. Vaughan has done a wonderful job of leaving certain aspects of the story unresolved yet still maintaining the fans' interests in what the answers to those questions might be. Readers might wonder, for example, what causes the deaths of all the men on Earth. Was it the removal of a mystical artifact from its homeland or an experiment in cloning gone wrong that killed the men? Might the cause have been some kind of biological weapon created by the government, thus satisfying conspiracy theorists the world over? It could be any or all of those things.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on February 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan takes the old phrase of "the last man on Earth" and looks at what life might be like for said man. The story of Yorick Brown is one of tragedy and mystery, with a little humor thrown in for good measure.

Yorick is an escape artist. He is a recent college graduate with an English degree and is currently unemployed. He earns a little cash from his work as a magician and escape artist, but he depends on his beautiful and loving girlfriend Beth Deville for support (both financial and moral). Yorick's mother Jennifer is a United States Congresswoman (or Representative) from Ohio, and his sister Hero is a paramedic in Boston. Though each has their own troubles in life, overall, things are going well for the Brown family. Then a mysterious plague wipes out every mammal on the planet with a Y chromosome. Humans, dogs, cows, apes, their populations are literally cut in half within moments. No one knows why, but the surviving women tend to blame themselves. Notable among them are Dr. Allison Mann, a geneticist who gave birth to a human clone at the exact moment the plague hit, and Agent 355, a secret agent from a branch of the US Secret Service known as the Culper Ring, who at the moment of the plague, removed a sacred artifact from Jordan that had been said to cause a tragedy comparable to the Trojan War if ever removed from its homeland. Instantly, women everywhere are forced to live without their husbands, fathers, sons, and friends.

Although, there are two exceptions. Yorick survived along with his new male monkey Ampersand, who he was training to be a helper monkey. Why they survived is a mystery, but they are now the last hope of humanity.

In the wake of the plague, the world has vastly changed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Edmonds on April 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm not entirely sure how to take this book. Basically, the premise is ALL the males on the ENTIRE planet have died, regardless of species apparently, with the exception of slacker Yorick Brown and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand. Why they are the only two males left on the planet is part of the mystery. The women try to take charge of the situation, running the governments of the world as best they can with the limited resources that are left (For instance, electricity is no longer available. Why? Were the only people capable of managing to run the electric plants men? This is one of the things that seemed rather unbelievable for me in this very unbelievable scenario.) and trying to keep a semblance of order in a world that seems to be falling apart at the seems. The women in general seem to miss their men, but there is also a growing group of "Amazons" who are glad that the "oppressive" men are gone, leaving the world for the women (never mind that in this scenario, the entire populace of the entire world is definitely running on a finite timeline, so I'd tend to think that even these extremists would see the need for having males around, if nothing more than sources of reproduction). Some scientists are looking into cloning as a means of keeping the human race alive. I kept thinking, "What happened to the sperm banks? What about the pregnancies and births that occurred after the initial 'plague' wiped out all the men?" Maybe these are all things that will be dealt with in subsequent volumes, but as of now, I'm left scratching my head at what seem like obvious problems with the storyline, even though the entire story was still entertaining. And of course, the big question is how does Yorick fit into all of this? Well, some of the women look at him as the means to jumpstart the human race again.Read more ›
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