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Y: The Last Man, Vol. 3: One Small Step Paperback – April 1, 2004

46 customer reviews
Book 3 of 10 in the Y: The Last Man Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this addictive follow-up to the brilliantly imagined Y: The Last Man, we're still in the near future and Yorick Brown and his monkey sidekick, Ampersand, are still the last two males on Earth. It's been some months since the mysterious plague that wiped out all male creatures. Since then, women have been picking up the pieces. A mysterious government agency, the Culper Ring, is trying to get Yorick across the country for scientific study without being discovered, which isn't as easy as it sounds, but at least the growing drag king subculture makes it possible for people who look like men to walk around without exciting too much comment. Meanwhile, an Israeli strike team is trying to capture Yorick for its own uses, and the U.S. president is colluding with them. Most suspenseful of all, a space station carrying two surviving male astronauts is about to crash down in a Kansas cornfield. The stakes are high, and Vaughan masterfully interweaves story lines: the astronauts' survival, the military operations, an enemy spy, the valiant scientists and an unexpected travelling drama troupe that offends an entire town when it puts on a play in which the world is saved by a lone surviving man. Meanwhile, is Yorick falling in love with his bodyguard? Guerra knows just what the story needs, backing up Vaughan's tale with killer artwork and a smorgasbord of female heroines who look terrific without the least suggestion of cheesecake. This book is complete and utter comic gold.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The last panel of Cycles [BKL N 15 03] revealed that, although Yorick Brown is the last man alive on Earth, two other live men are on a space station. Their return to terra firma would take some heat off Yorick, who, in the third Y: The Last Man collection, remains in the custody of secret U.S. agent 355 while Israeli commandos pursue him. He, 355, and cloning scientist Allison Mann head for the decontamination facility near which the astronauts intend to land. They are joined en route--near-fatally for 355-- by a Russian agent, who comes in handy when the Israelis show up and snatch Yorick. Only after negotiations, ammo exchanges, and Yorick's own heroics does 355 re-take him. This hunk of Yorick's odyssey ends with a surprise as nasty as the Cycles surprise was hopeful. A pendant featuring Yorick's pet monkey, Ampersand, and a peripatetic theatrical company fill out the volume; drawn by a different, slightly more polished artist than the main story's Pia Guerra, it is every bit as well written by Vaughan. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401202012
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401202019
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,099 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

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Griffen on April 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
"One Small Step," the third volume of Y: The Last Man loses no momentum from the previous two volumes, "Unmanned" and "Cycles." In fact, I'd say it picks up steam. Now that I've become accustomed to the characters, I care more about them and find their perilous adventures more gripping than ever.
"One Small Step" contains two stories, the primary one being the title story. Yorick, Agent 355 and Dr. Mann travel through Missouri to Kansas and seek to help two more potential male survivors of the plaque to arrive safely on Earth from orbit. All males of all species on Earth died in the plague, but it didn't extend to those males OFF the planet. The International Space Station houses two male and one female astronaut, all of whom are dangerously close to suffocating in the failing life support of the station. They have to evacuate the station and find out whether they can survive now that several months have gone by since the plague.
Thrown into the mix are the Israeli soldiers, led by their stoic Colonel, whose motives have been unclear until this story. Suffice it to say that old scores die hard.
Brian Vaughn builds the tension slowly with several events threatening to collide explosively. The violent colonel, an endangered Yorick, and the fate of the astronauts all hangs in the balance. I found myself flying through the climactic pages of this story, eager to find out what was going to happen.
You really have to read the first two volumes before you move on to this one. There's too much back story you'll miss. But it's worth the time. This is one of the best comics to come out in the past several years and is not to be missed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As One Small Step, the third collected volume of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra's compulsively addictive series from Vertigo, opens up, we now know that Yorick may indeed be the last living male mammal on the planet, but there are two male astronauts in orbit, and they're ready to come back home. Everything that happens between all this sets the stage for the future as Yorick, Agent 355, and Dr. Mann make try to make their way to them, but not before others cross their path with their own intentions. Despite the moments of lag here and there, One Small Step is still exceptional comic reading from the best ongoing series to come out of Vertigo since Garth Ennis' Preacher; and speaking of which, the in-joke in the beginning of this TPB will leave you having a good laugh.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NF TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Y: The Last Man is a 10-volume graphic novel collection about what would happen if an unexplained plague wiped out every male on earth, animals and human alike, in a heartbeat. The premise of this story is that two males were inexplicably spared: a young man named Yorick Brown, amateur escape artist and generally something of a loser, and a capuchin monkey. The primary plotline is concerned with how to keep Yorick alive long enough to figure out just why he survived and whether that information can be used to help repopulate the earth, all while Yorick tries to find his girlfriend and would-be fiance, who was on a sabbatical in the Australian Outback when the disaster struck.

In the process, Yorick and the people who help him encounter crazed "Amazons," who believe it is their duty to remove the last vestige of the male of the species from the planet, an out-of-control Israeli Defense Forces commander who wants Yorick for her own purposes, Yorick's mother, a Representative and one of the few members of the U.S. government left alive, Yorick's sister (with a few plot twists I won't reveal), and various others, some who try to aid him, many of whom try to kill him.

The science in this set of graphic novels frankly doesn't make much sense, so you have to turn your brain off, much as you have to do when you read Superman. Some of the depictions of life without men make sense; some less so. There are plot twists galore and *everyone* has secrets, some of which aren't revealed until the final volume.

I found the artwork in this series to be adequate but uninspiring. It reminded me a little of the old Curt Swan Superman and Legion of Super Heroes days.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Koppel on October 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is really two separate stories. In the first story we have the conclusion of the quest for the Russian space capsule. In the second story, and injured Ampersand is taken in by a group of traveling actors. There is no real transition between the two tales. Ampersand is healthy at the end of the astronaut arc. In a later tale we learn a little about the transition in a short comment from Yorrick.

The Russian space capsule is going to land in the American heartland. It happens to be near a research facility that should be able to keep the male astronauts isolated from whatever killed all of the males actually on the planet (Yorrick and Ampersand excepted). But of course nothing is simple in this new world and the Israeli army unit makes their play as they learn the truth about the space capsule.

Suddenly we meet a troupe of actors who find the injured Ampersand. They quickly discover he is male and decide to do a play about the last man on Earth. A mysterious sword-wielding figure keeps an eye on the action from the shadows. When the big performance finally arrives there is some chaos and Yorrick arrives to reclaim Ampersand. The story ends with a quick joke after we learn what some feel is necessary to save the world.

Two very different stories. The first is full of action and brings together a number of continuing characters and advances the plot significantly. The second story is more of a pause with almost no action and none of the continuing characters. It is hard to rate a book made up of two such different parts but I felt each story had something to offer even if the second story seems very unlike the rest of the series. Check it out.
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