The Zeroth

Zeroth, before all the rest.

Y: The Last Man

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Like any geeky guy out there I like comics, like any pre teen boy I read a few of the Superman, Batman, etc. But like many others out there I got turned down with the huge amounts of different books out there, so I pretty much let that part of my geekery go away. Till recently.

I’ve been trying to read a lot of comics lately and last week I came upon Y: The Last Man.

You can follow the link to read the article on Wikipedia so you can get the authors and publishers, in case you live under a rock and had never heard about the book before.

I should warn that I might spoil some details on my review, but nothing I would call mayor spoilers

The idea is simple, an unknown plague, or virus, or something happened and roughly at the same time all around the world every mammal with a Y chromosome dies. That means every single male out there is gone, leaving a world full of females, which inevitably dooms the whole world. Except for one guy, and his pet monkey.

The premise really sold me when I first heard it, simply brilliant. There are a few facts that the first issue threw at me that help me get more into the story:

495 of the Fortune 500 CEOs are death, as are 99% of the world’s landowners.
99% of all mechanics, electricians and constructions workers are deceased…
…Australia, Norway and Sweden are the only countries with women serving on board submarines.
Worldwide, 85% of all government representatives are all dead … as are 100% of Catholics priests, Muslim imams and Orthodox Jewish rabbis.

Like I said, fucking brilliant.

Once I got over the brilliance of the concept I started reading. Our main guy Yorick (only guy I should say) gets paired with a secret government agent called 355 and given the task to find a geneticist named Dr. Mann, who specializes in cloning.

I read the first two trades and a little more, and my first reaction was “meh.” Like I said, I love the concept but I just couldn’t get on board with some of the character’s decisions, specially Yorick’s. I sort of went alone with what was happening, but there was really no why, or reason as to why they were doing what they were doing.

Still I kept reading, seeing as I had the issues with me, and I had a bunch of free time. And then… that’s when the shit really started hitting the fan, and the writing got better, the character’s were much more real, their back stories were revealed and answers were given.

The character became much more lovable, and the situations had much more reason behind them. There is one particular issue where Yorick’s behavior is explained and compared to someone with suicidal inclinations, which explained so much, and made a lot of sense in the context of the world.

The script is full of pop culture references; movies and comics and books are honored all around the issues. The art is not extraordinary but very real and simple which helps grounding the story in a believable universe.

This comic book reminds me a lot of Lost, which is no surprise being as the writer of the comic has actually written for the show.

Which makes it kind of hard to convince you to read it. Like Lost the premise is what pulled me into the show, and slowly the character’s stories started making sense of their actions and the mystery kept me hooked. But like Lost the comic book has its problems, a few numbers are clearly just fillers some mysteries could be answered right away, but are kept there to pull the story. And some of the twists are “too much” if you can understand what I’m trying to say.

But gladly unlike Lost, Y will eventually end someday. Wikipedia says its only going to be 60 issues, but I read up till 57, and I’m not seeing how they are going to wrap up everything in 3 more issues.

Overall Y: The Last Man is a great book, it has its flaws, but I think its merits outweighs them. There is nothing quite like it out there, and if you are a fan of the serialized shows, like Lost, Heroes or Prison Break you are going to really enjoy this. With the writer’s strike still going this might be the closest you get to these kind of entertainment.

Definitely worth your time.

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Written by geminiman

December 4, 2007 at 11:42 pm

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