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Why You Should Read Y: THE LAST MAN

Before SAGA, Brian K Vaughan wrote a brilliant sixty issue story about a man and his monkey.

Great comic books can be more than just muscular men in capes punching bad guys in the face. Sure, those books are still awesome, but some of the best stories in comics aren't about super-powered beings. They're about people and their reactions to events. In 2002, a book by writer Brian K Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra launched at Vertigo which told the simple, yet insanely complex, story of a man and his monkey called Y: THE LAST MAN.

Yorick Brown and his monkey Ampersand

Vertigo, a DC imprint, has always been known as the comic book company that tells more stories that veer away from the traditional cape books and tell more mature stories, many of which are mini-series. In the summer of 2002, Vertigo launched a new book, which would end of going down as one of the imprint's best series.

Y THE LAST MAN is the story of a young man, named Yorick Brown and his monkey Ampersand, both males in a world where every single male has died. That's right, every male on the planet, not just human males, has died in the world, and this story doesn't go the way you think it would. Yorick and Ampersand are off on a journey to find Yorick's fiance, Beth DeVille, in Australia, which is hard when you're the last of your kind and you end up on the run from Amazons, who think that God killed all the men on Earth for a reason.

Bad day at the office.

What caused all the men in the world to die? Well, that's something that's explored most of this series. It's always a question in the back of the reader's mind: Is it mystical? Is it biological? The world teeters between normalcy and chaos as some of the women left in the world try to go on with their lives, while others just go all "Mad Max."

== TEASER ==

The book is a lot more than that though. It's about fighting for the future for the human race, while some people try and destroy it. It's a brilliant mixture of sanity and craziness. The chaos popping up around these characters only adds to the excitement of the overall goal of fixing the planet.

Yorick with his sweet beard.

While the book mainly follows Yorick, there are some extremely compelling secondary characters in the book including Jennifer Brown, Yorick's mother who works for the government, Hero, who is Yorick's sister who seems a bit in over her head since the plague, Agent 355 (Three Fifty-Five), Yorick's bodyguard, and Dr Alison Mann who is the leading scientist on cloning and is looking for an answer to problem facing the world.

So why should you read this series? It's brilliant. From issue one to issue sixty, you'll be sucked in. It's incredibly engrossing and all of that is thanks to the writing of Brian K Vaughan. The characters are incredibly compelling and while everyone has their favorites, they'll all be characters the reader will become quickly attached to.

This book is also quite the emotional roller coaster. Aside from the final issue, a singular issue brought me to tears. Yeah, a comic made me tear up, quite a bit, for the first time. That's how connected I got to this series, and frankly, I'm still obsessed with it.

Artist Pia Guerra worked on the majority of this series and her style became just as important as anything else. It was consistently beautiful, and it's something you find yourself looking forward to with every issue. It's fantastic story telling though art, and it completely fits in with the Vertigo style many fans have become accustomed to.

This series also contains one of the very few times the last issue is a perfect fit to the rest of the series. It's one of my favorite singular issues of any series. It just concludes the series in a completely different way than expected, but it works. It will leave you satisfied. Sure, you may want more, but you'll be completely happy with what the creative team leaves you with.

Y: THE LAST MAN isn't a comic you should read. It's a comic you have to to read. It's required reading in order to be a comic book fan. It's a fabulous story about a man and his monkey in a world of women. The art and writing are top notch, and it's my favorite comic book series of all time. I've read it 3 times all the way through, and I'm currently going for a fourth. Trust me. It will have the same affect on you.

Mat "InferiorEgo" Elfring is a comedian, local idiot, editor of the website Crap Trap, and host of the podcast "Mat & Lewis Vs The Internet."

Follow and unfollow him on Twitter.

76 Comments
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Posted by djotaku

Amazing story - it took me too long to get into it after my younger brother lent it to me.

Posted by Renchamp

@inferiorego: This is a well-timed response. Too often lately we are seeing negativity for the sake of claiming superiority (i.e. the harsh statements and immediate exit) in our forums and reviews. I'd prefer we just acted like a community and civilly discuss these things instead of busting everyone's balls about an oddly placed period in the middle of a sentence.

(It's Doctorate of English, not Doctrine. Boo yah! And I'm out.)

Moderator
Posted by inferiorego

@Renchamp said:

@inferiorego: This is a well-timed response. Too often lately we are seeing negativity for the sake of claiming superiority (i.e. the harsh statements and immediate exit) in our forums and reviews. I'd prefer we just acted like a community and civilly discuss these things instead of busting everyone's balls about an oddly placed period in the middle of a sentence.

(It's Doctorate of English, not Doctrine. Boo yah! And I'm out.)

Thanks..

P.S. You won my secret "let's feed the grammar trolls game."

Staff
Posted by Renchamp

@inferiorego said:

@Renchamp said:

@inferiorego: This is a well-timed response. Too often lately we are seeing negativity for the sake of claiming superiority (i.e. the harsh statements and immediate exit) in our forums and reviews. I'd prefer we just acted like a community and civilly discuss these things instead of busting everyone's balls about an oddly placed period in the middle of a sentence.

(It's Doctorate of English, not Doctrine. Boo yah! And I'm out.)

Thanks..

P.S. You won my secret "let's feed the grammar trolls game."

Dang it! That makes me the grammar troll. *llama face*

Moderator
Posted by inferiorego

@Renchamp said:

@inferiorego said:

@Renchamp said:

@inferiorego: This is a well-timed response. Too often lately we are seeing negativity for the sake of claiming superiority (i.e. the harsh statements and immediate exit) in our forums and reviews. I'd prefer we just acted like a community and civilly discuss these things instead of busting everyone's balls about an oddly placed period in the middle of a sentence.

(It's Doctorate of English, not Doctrine. Boo yah! And I'm out.)

Thanks..

P.S. You won my secret "let's feed the grammar trolls game."

Dang it! That makes me the grammar troll. *llama face*

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Staff
Posted by impossibilly

In my personal experience, Y: The Last Man and The Walking Dead are the two series that work best when I'm trying to get a friend to start reading comics.

Posted by Trodorne

It was a great series. but it had a great ending. and im sad that it is still done though.

Posted by inferiorego

@impossibilly said:

In my personal experience, Y: The Last Man and The Walking Dead are the two series that work best when I'm trying to get a friend to start reading comics.

I completely agree. They are great gateway drugs.

Staff
Posted by K3vinkha0S

If you even have a slight interest in comics this should be a required read. If you have a interest in comics and haven't read this series shame on you.

Posted by cbishop

@inferiorego said:

This is going to sound like it's directed at you, but it's directed more at the people that just come on here to point out typos, in the meanest way possible, and leave. I understand you, cbishop, are an actual contributing member of the site...

Mat, again, I didn't mean to cause an avalanche of complaints - sorry about that. My mother does have a degree in English, and beat good grammar into me (for the most part), so I'm going to lie back on the couch and blame her for my intolerance. lol

(There's more response than this, but I sent it in PM.) ;)

Posted by Mucklefluga

I've got Vol 1. Can someone give the rest of the volumes to me for free? Please?!!!

Posted by inferiorego

@cbishop said:

@inferiorego said:

This is going to sound like it's directed at you, but it's directed more at the people that just come on here to point out typos, in the meanest way possible, and leave. I understand you, cbishop, are an actual contributing member of the site...

Mat, again, I didn't mean to cause an avalanche of complaints - sorry about that. My mother does have a degree in English, and beat good grammar into me (for the most part), so I'm going to lie back on the couch and blame her for my intolerance. lol

(There's more response than this, but I sent it in PM.) ;)

I understand how you feel. My mother is a college professor. Her office is literally above mine.

Staff
Posted by cbishop

@inferiorego said:

@cbishop said:

@inferiorego said:

This is going to sound like it's directed at you, but it's directed more at the people that just come on here to point out typos, in the meanest way possible, and leave. I understand you, cbishop, are an actual contributing member of the site...

Mat, again, I didn't mean to cause an avalanche of complaints - sorry about that. My mother does have a degree in English, and beat good grammar into me (for the most part), so I'm going to lie back on the couch and blame her for my intolerance. lol

(There's more response than this, but I sent it in PM.) ;)

I understand how you feel. My mother is a college professor. Her office is literally above mine.

My mother lives with me. :/

Check and mate. ;}

Posted by inferiorego

@cbishop said:

@inferiorego said:

@cbishop said:

@inferiorego said:

This is going to sound like it's directed at you, but it's directed more at the people that just come on here to point out typos, in the meanest way possible, and leave. I understand you, cbishop, are an actual contributing member of the site...

Mat, again, I didn't mean to cause an avalanche of complaints - sorry about that. My mother does have a degree in English, and beat good grammar into me (for the most part), so I'm going to lie back on the couch and blame her for my intolerance. lol

(There's more response than this, but I sent it in PM.) ;)

I understand how you feel. My mother is a college professor. Her office is literally above mine.

My mother lives with me. :/

Check and mate. ;}

You win.

Staff
Posted by cbishop

@inferiorego: LMAO!

Posted by KRYPTON

This is my favorite book.

Posted by lykopis

This is definitely a series someone should read as a comics fan. Not top notch throughout and I found myself let down a couple of times but those moments were in the extreme minority.

I found a lot of faults with the characters but not in the presentation, but in the personalities themselves which is part of why I refused to function for an entire weekend outside of reading this beginning to end.

Best ever? Nah, but incredible and deserves recognition as a book well worth the time investment in reading. Head out to your library - it should be there.

Posted by Shika1Dude

really really awesome book, BKV is a great storyteller. People should invest into SAGA, there's already a feeling of an all time great in the making about this book! Best quote ever - ''A pair of deuces ain't much... but sometimes, it can be a winning hand" YTLM

Posted by animehunter

I read a while ago and reread it recently and I can say I would highly recommend everyone to read it.

The story is well written, flows nicely and keeps you interested through out.

The art is well done and complements the writing/story beautifully.

Posted by DarkDay

@Billy Batson said:

It's a good series but it's not worth its fandom.
Ex Machina was better.
BB

Haha. I'm glad someone finally mentioned Ex Machina. I think that might be my favorite series. Still enjoyed Y though. But I definitely agree.

Posted by Billy Batson

@DarkDay:

Yeah, Ex doesn't get the attention it deserves.
BB

Posted by DarkDay

@Billy Batson: No it doesn't and I find it crazy. Amazing series. So underrated.

Posted by Billy Batson

@DarkDay:

Well it's gotten the deluxe treatment and it has ranked well in CBR's top 100 runs lists and such so that's something. Still, it should get more exposure than Y.
BB

Posted by Tacos_Kickass

Literally just finished the last issue, This series is amazing and makes me want to get a monkey, I loved every minute of this story.

Posted by TheFirstLantern

Got the first two trades earlier this week, time to read

Edited by Fallschirmjager

Bump. Because awesome.

Just finished reading it for the first time.

Absolutely amazing.