- 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: 204 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned Paperback – January 2, 2003
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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.
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
Top customer reviews
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The titular 'Y' in this story is Yorrick Brown. An amateur magician and literary student, he is the only man (along with his pet monkey) to survive a mysterious plague that rapidly wipes out every other male of any species on the planet. He is far from the only character in this series however, as a good 3/4's of the plot is devoted to the female politicians, doctors, EMT's, and special forces that remain in the world. Needless to say, the wide depth of characters is easily the best aspect of this story.
Dialogue is also a strength in this series. Vaughn can be both witty and emotive with his turns of phrase, and he has crammed in a boatload of statistics about women, the government, and all sorts of random trivia. This can occasionally become to obvious, but it's not a huge problem.
The one weakness in this story is the monkey, Ampersand. He causes nothing but problems and should have, at the very least, been tossed into a cage a long time ago. Hopefully this comes under control in the next volume.
However, the hostility directed against Yorick by so many vigilante women doesn't quite ring true. He doesn't know why he wasn't affected by whatever killed all of the men and neither does the government or his mother. I can't see any intelligent woman, much less his mother or the USA government, permitting him to roam about, traveling with a single bodyguard to try to reach Boston or Australia.
However, 'Y' is definitely suspenseful. I have decided to stop judging the implausible bits for now. I am curious how the series will end. Since this is volume 1 of 10, obviously there are cliffhangers left. On to volume 2!
I find it's helpful to rattle off the other comics/graphic novels I enjoyed in that if someone reads this list and finds themselves nodding their head saying "Yep,I liked those too" then it's more likely you might find this graphic novel to your liking.. and the reverse is true too if your reaction is "God that stuff was AWFUL" then my recommendations of graphic novels probably won't do much good for you :P ... other graphic novels I've enjoyed include:
- Sandman by Neil Gaiman
- Preacher by Ennis and Dillon
-Hellblazer, by Ennis and Dillon and earlier work by other writers/artists too up until and including the Ennis/Dillon days
- Watchmen, V for Vendetta and Swamp Thing by Alan Moore
- The Dark Knight Returns by Miller
- Morning Glories (first graphic novel collection... after that was so mired in mystery and inconclusive I just lost interest)
- Astro City earlier graphic novels
- Old Man Logan
- Kingdom Come
- The Boys
The title refers jointly to Mary Shelley and genetics, the Y chromosome and the creator of Frankenstein's novel about the last living human being following a devastating plague (Shelley was so far ahead of her time in her two best known novels that it would be over a century before people were writing on comparable themes). Yorick Brown, a generally unlikable smartass who makes a living as an escape artist, is the last remaining human male, just as his pet monkey Ampersand, is the last surviving nonhuman male. The question surrounding what caused the death of all human males and why Yorick and Ampersand were spared is the subject of the next nine installments in the story.
I love so many things about the series. I like the wit and pop culture references (including extensive self-referentiality). Many of the characters are a lot of fun. There are some weaknesses as well. As mentioned above, Yorick is not often a very likable character. And some of the groups of females in the series are not very enjoyable, in particular the Amazons, who are more like absurd caricatures of the feminazis created in the fevered imagination of Rush Limbaugh than any believable group of real life women. Still, there are so many good things in the stories that one can forgive the occasional lapses. Later it become harder to forgive some pedestrian storytelling, but that wouldn't come until much later in the series. The first several books are just flat out fun.
I strongly recommend this series, especially with the final book in the series slated for publication in late spring. It will bring to a close well over a thousand pages of graphic novel goodness.