Why You Should Read Y: THE LAST MAN

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Posted by inferiorego (21254 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

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#1 Posted by spinningbirdcake (1430 posts) - - Show Bio

Or in my case "Why you should re-read Y: The Last Man." Which I shall now go do :)

#2 Posted by -The Renegade- (125 posts) - - Show Bio

One of the best series ever period.

#3 Posted by cincyducksfan35 (129 posts) - - Show Bio

My favorite story. Period.

#4 Posted by silentecko711 (29 posts) - - Show Bio

One of the best Comicbook stories put out ever! I will never forget reading this! Now that I think of it its actually like the Walking Dead with Women instead of Zombies lol

#5 Posted by Aeroman (495 posts) - - Show Bio

Just wondering besides Y the last man is it okay to read Fables?

#6 Posted by dondave (34645 posts) - - Show Bio

I think I finally have to pick this up

#7 Posted by TheSmallvillefan12 (181 posts) - - Show Bio

This is my favorite series ever.

#8 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

Agreed man, agreed! With this in mind...I need to go re-read now...

#9 Posted by danhimself (22304 posts) - - Show Bio

completely agree....one of the best comic book series of all time...I can't count the amount of times that I've read it

#10 Posted by Sergotron (108 posts) - - Show Bio

@Aeroman: Yes go ahead and read Fables. Just do yourself a favor and stop at Volume 11 maybe 12. Series ends in a satisfying manner. It has not been that great since then.

#11 Posted by cbishop (7198 posts) - - Show Bio
The world tinkers 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."

Arghhh! The word is "teeters." Would someone at CBSi please hire CV an editor? Please! Please!

#12 Posted by JDevil (56 posts) - - Show Bio

I read this again about two weeks ago, it was awesome being able to read it all the way through without stopping (except for eating and sleeping and such)!

#13 Posted by Bogey (934 posts) - - Show Bio

Definitely a must read.. One of the great books to come from Vertigo.

#14 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

It's so great.

#15 Posted by DH69 (4258 posts) - - Show Bio

Why You Should Read Y: The Last Man - Because its awesome.

#16 Posted by The Stegman (23192 posts) - - Show Bio

Out of all of the comics I have read, this is my all time favorite, it's fantastic. I would love to see it become a series on HBO or AMC.

#17 Posted by NightFang (9904 posts) - - Show Bio

Because it's great. that's way you should read it!

#18 Posted by CrashBang (120 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly one of the most treasured times in my life was when I was reading this series for the first time (Easter holiday last year, while teacher training).

Greatest series of comics of all time (IMO).

I may get a Y tattoo...

#19 Posted by ComradeCold (20 posts) - - Show Bio

whats the best way to collect it, like i got a lend of all the issues from a friends but would love my own copy, any advice in whats the best way to collect it?

#20 Posted by AltyAce (43 posts) - - Show Bio

@ComradeCold: I am collecting the oversized deluxe hardcover editions at the moment, they are really nice on a book shelf and have a quality feel to them that does the series justice. I currently have the first three volumes out of the five it's collected in, will get the other two soon when I have some spare cash, can't wait!

#21 Posted by AWeekInGeekdom (228 posts) - - Show Bio

Easily one of the best comic book series of all time :)

#22 Edited by TheLog (12 posts) - - Show Bio

Brian K. Vaughn is one of the all time greats.

@ComradeCold: I recommend the deluxe hardcover editions. I just bought the first two of the five books and I'm very impressed by the quality.

#23 Posted by twocifer (5 posts) - - Show Bio

Been reading the series now since last summer/early fall. Just finished vol. 8. Will probably pick up the next to volumes in a week or two. My wife even loves the books. Very well done... can't wait to see how it all ends.

#24 Posted by MadeinBangladesh (6160 posts) - - Show Bio

Thank you InfoEgo for making this!!!

One of favorite comic series everrr!!!

#25 Posted by Deadcool (6809 posts) - - Show Bio

One of the saddest finales I have read.

#26 Posted by diarraharris3 (17 posts) - - Show Bio

I bought every issue but got rid of every issue except for the final issue. It's as close as a perfect issue I've read in years.

#27 Posted by Hassun (76 posts) - - Show Bio

A few mistakes and problems here and there, but overall still a very good story. I have no problem recommending Y: The Last Man.

#28 Posted by Owie (3625 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll have to check this out.  I am a huge fan of Saga, and I've been hearing so many Saga people say good things about Y.  I've been putting it off, because I thought the concept seemed kind of like a one-liner.  But I think I need to make the plunge.

#29 Posted by Renchamp (2289 posts) - - Show Bio

There were two series I wanted to read when I learned that comics weren't just about superheros: Y: The Last Man and The Walking Dead. I've read the Walking Dead and eagerly await being able to read Y. (I just have to pimp out the Walking Dead pages on our wiki first. Completionism.)

#30 Posted by zombietag (1491 posts) - - Show Bio

you read Y because youre not an idiot and youre on this website because you love good comics. get a grip.

#31 Posted by They Killed Cap! (2243 posts) - - Show Bio

Ok, you sold me. I will be trying to pick up tomorrow.

#32 Edited by benblanks (65 posts) - - Show Bio

benblankson March 13, 2013 at 7 p.m.

@cbishop said:

The world tinkers 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."

Arghhh! The word is "teeters." Would someone at CBSi please hire CV an editor? Please! Please!

I loved the article because I too am very fond of Y: The Last Man, and I don't mean this as a direct shot at you [Matt], but I agree with this guy because this is a frequent problem with, arguably, every article I read on this site written by an actual EDITOR or at the very least a paid employee!

That's right, every male on the planet, not just human males, has died and the world, and this story doesn't go the way you think it would.

And the world what? Do you mean IN the world?

It's fantastic story telling though art, and it completely fits in with the Vertigo style many fans have become accustomed to.

Here, it seems like you might be about to say something akin to "however the art..." but I'm sure you mean 'through the art'

Aside from the final issue, a singular issue brought me to tears.

This one may be the fault of my own poor skills of interpretation. Are you saying every other issue other than the last one brought you to tears or are you referring to the last issue as the singular issue that brought you to tears? As I said before, I honestly do not blame you Matt, I don't know whether or not you get paid and I know if I didn't I wouldn't give a crap about whether or not there were typos or any other errors in my articles either. The fact of the matter is I see this same thing all the time from people I know are paid employees or, ahem, editors in chief, and I just think it might not hurt for articles to get sent to one another for a little editing just to make sure points are being made in a clear and concise manner that's all. Seriously though, I'm just being nit-picky and I don't want to come off sounding like a jerk-face, this is a great article and you're all doing society a great favor by doing what you do and spreading the word about damn good comics. There needs to be more articles on Comic Vine like this in which older, already completed, comics get some light shed on them for folks who may not be in the know.

#33 Posted by grifter78 (229 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree, it's as essential as Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns.

#34 Posted by rondoudou (182 posts) - - Show Bio

monkeys are awsome! i gotta try and find this book

#35 Posted by SavageDragon (2248 posts) - - Show Bio

@-The Renegade- said:

One of the best series ever period.

Couldnt agree more, Loved it. Seriously one of my all time favorites.

@AltyAce said:

@ComradeCold: I am collecting the oversized deluxe hardcover editions at the moment, they are really nice on a book shelf and have a quality feel to them that does the series justice. I currently have the first three volumes out of the five it's collected in, will get the other two soon when I have some spare cash, can't wait!

Yeah man I know what you mean, I have all % hardcovers on my shelf right now. I re-read the series every year or so too. Its always a blast and the past few times ive re read it I notice something funny, sad or just brilliant very time.

This series is Fantastic. Y and DMZ are my favorite Vertigo books ever.

#36 Edited by Ellie_Knightfall (4818 posts) - - Show Bio

Your timing on this is uncanny. Started a new job at my comic shop a little over a month ago. First day my boss handed me the first trade and told me it was a must-read. I just finished the ninth tonight (one more to go). One of the best things that I've ever read.

#37 Posted by Queso6p4 (1430 posts) - - Show Bio

While the writing and art for this series was pretty good I found it was a letdown once they started getting into the astronauts in space bit. Plus the ending was pretty anticlimactic.

#38 Posted by FalconPuuunch (942 posts) - - Show Bio

Best thing I have ever read. Surprised there hasnt been a movie adaption.

#39 Posted by TheFizz (33 posts) - - Show Bio

It completely goes off the rails near the end. Yorick is not likeable to me either. It was hard to root for him as the protagonist of the story. I guess I'm one of the few who don't think it's quite the mind blowing comic series. It's solid, but not far beyond that for me.

#40 Posted by darkwingdan (186 posts) - - Show Bio

"Why you should read Y: The Last Man"

Umm... because it's frickin' Y: The Last Man?

#41 Posted by JediXMan (29666 posts) - - Show Bio

I read it last year. It's quite good; I personally wouldn't put it among my favorites, but it's good.

Online
#42 Posted by emmett24 (7 posts) - - Show Bio

Y the Last Man is definitely one of the greatest series there is. I'm on the second to last book right now, and I'm loving every second of it. :D

I didn't care for Saga though, stopped reading it after the first issue.

#43 Posted by Hostile (42 posts) - - Show Bio

I had a lot of little problems with it that detracted from my enjoyment of it by the end.

#44 Posted by carlfoster91 (2 posts) - - Show Bio

Hey! And I had just started reading this starting about a month ago. Already on vol. 7 and loving every moment of it. BKV got me into comics, casually, at 13 with Runaways and I’m loving Saga. LOVE this book though.

#45 Posted by Queso6p4 (1430 posts) - - Show Bio

@JediXMan said:

I read it last year. It's quite good; I personally wouldn't put it among my favorites, but it's good.

Fair enough. Fair enough. :-) It's definitely a solid work.

@emmett24 said:

Y the Last Man is definitely one of the greatest series there is. I'm on the second to last book right now, and I'm loving every second of it. :D

I didn't care for Saga though, stopped reading it after the first issue.

That's interesting that you don't care for Saga. Personally, I wish it'd focus more on The Will and Lying Cat, which the last issue did, but what about it didn't you like?

@Hostile said:

I had a lot of little problems with it that detracted from my enjoyment of it by the end.

You said it better than I did. Thanks!

#46 Edited by Billy Batson (57795 posts) - - Show Bio

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

#47 Posted by bladewolf (614 posts) - - Show Bio

@cbishop said:

The world tinkers 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."

Arghhh! The word is "teeters." Would someone at CBSi please hire CV an editor? Please! Please!

Still not the most egregious error...but I agree!

#48 Posted by cbishop (7198 posts) - - Show Bio

@bladewolf said:

@cbishop said:

The world tinkers 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."

Arghhh! The word is "teeters." Would someone at CBSi please hire CV an editor? Please! Please!

Still not the most egregious error...but I agree!

No, by far, it's not. This is just the one that finally made me scream lol. This article is mostly well written - someone else pointed out other errrors - but a not-completely-well written article about a well written series.should get somebody flogged. Since CV actually has people carrying the title of "editors," it should be them. I didn't mean to cause an avalanche of complaints though. I just wanted to make mine and go on. That said - moving on. ;}

#49 Posted by jinxuandi (595 posts) - - Show Bio

I have this but haven't read it, just because there's so much other stuff to read. But I think I'll move it up on my reading queue.

#50 Edited by inferiorego (21254 posts) - - Show Bio

@cbishop said:

@bladewolf said:

@cbishop said:

The world tinkers 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."

Arghhh! The word is "teeters." Would someone at CBSi please hire CV an editor? Please! Please!

Still not the most egregious error...but I agree!

No, by far, it's not. This is just the one that finally made me scream lol. This article is mostly well written - someone else pointed out other errrors - but a not-completely-well written article about a well written series.should get somebody flogged. Since CV actually has people carrying the title of "editors," it should be them. I didn't mean to cause an avalanche of complaints though. I just wanted to make mine and go on. That said - moving on. ;}

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.

While I appreciate people telling me where I've made a mistake, it's not the end of the world. I see what you wrote, correct the mistake, and move on. Sometimes, I get insanely pissy/upset/hurt/butthurt because the replies are extremely harsh for something as small as misspelling a word, a typo, or in my case, flat-out misusing a word because I frequently change up sentences as I go. In fact, I'm holding back so I don't act like a spoiled 14 year old girl who just got told I can't have a pony because I work here, and I'm supposed to be professional and whatnot. Usually, I'm just quiet, but it's gotten to the point where I've gotten so annoyed with people on the net being "dicks." It's not just here. It's everywhere on the net.

Proofing your own work or other's work isn't an easy job. Things are going to slip through the cracks. In fact, you'll find typos and errors everywhere on the net and in print, especially newspapers. Now, before you scoff out loud, behind your keyboard, and reply with something like "you should be better at your job," think about this. Would you rather have a writer, with a Doctrine in English, with no passion in this industry writing these articles, or would you rather have some idiot like me who lives and breathes comic books that is going to make the occasional grammatical mistake or typo? (I'm already fearful for your answers to that one) Here's something I tell my students (yep... I teach. I must be awful) almost every single day, "No piece of writing is ever finished. It's just completed for that moment." A piece of writing, no matter what it is, can always be improved upon. However, when you're on a deadline, you just have to turn it in, and do your best to get the piece to a point where you're comfortable with it.

This is about more than just me crying about people being mean. This is about how we all treat each other on the net. Most people, at some point in time, come off as jerks to someone else on the net, and there are some people that just act like jerks constantly on the net. This little rant will in no way ever change how anyone here or anywhere else acts. Most likely, I'll get heat from other users for being whiny or sucking at my job because that's how sad my faith is in others on the net now. All I'm asking is before you post anything anywhere on the net, ask yourself this question "Is this something I would say to a total strangers face? If not, how should I rephrase it?"

Here's the TL;DR version:

Thanks for telling us when we make typos/mistakes in our article, but can you be less mean about it?

Everyone should try and be a bit nicer on the net.

I truly do appreciate the comments, whatever they might be about. I love this site, and I love the users... for the most part.

Bye bye,

Mat

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