Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan (2003-2008)
Goodreads Summary: “Y” is none other than unemployed escape artist Yorick Brown (his father was a Shakespeare buff), and he’s seemingly the only male human left alive after a mysterious plague kills all Y-chromosome carriers on earth. But why are he and his faithful companion, the often testy male monkey Ampersand, still alive? He sets out to find the answer (and his girlfriend), while running from angry female Republicans (now running the government), Amazon wannabes that include his own sister (seemingly brainwashed), and other threats.
I started reading this series because it’s been on so many lists of must read graphic novels. Plus the plot sounded so intriguing and once you read the summary you just have to find out what caused all the men to die and what kind of world now exists.
The main character is Yorick and I really did like him even though he’s painted as somewhat of a loser who will correct your grammar and try to perform magic tricks. He’s in love with his girlfriend who is in Australia and all he wants to do is find her and propose. However he isn’t 100% faithful to her along the way which made it seem contradictory when he claimed all he wanted was to reach her.
I also really liked the secondary characters along for the ride, including his sister Hero, his bodyguard Agent 355 and Dr. Mann, who wants to figure out why Yorick is still alive. Yorick’s pet monkey, Amersand, also provides lots of comic relief and despite his antics he and Yorick seem to have really bonded.
Another aspect which makes this series so interesting is the world that is created when all the men die. It makes you realize just how many jobs men hold which contribute to the infrastructure of our world. And once all the men were gone it wasn’t as if all the women bonded together and tried to make the world all peaceful and beautiful. There were women threatening each other for control of the government, not to mention the crazy Amazons who really believe all men should die and set out to kill Yorick.
In the beginning of the series I really just wanted to find out what happened. But as the series progressed I was enjoying the ride so much that it didn’t really matter. I loved being along on the journey of these characters, seeing all their crazy adventures, watching some of them fall in and out of love, and being a part of the series’ world. That being said, I wasn’t completely satisfied or convinced with the explanation for what happened, but I did like the ending of the series. And, again, it was so enjoyable to read it that ultimately it didn’t matter.
So if you love both science fiction and graphic novels, I think this will make the perfect read. It also has quite a post-apocalyptic feel to it and in addition to being wildly entertaining, it’s also thought-provoking.
Have you read this series? What do you think would happen if all the men in the world really did die? Have you read anything similar? Can you recommend another great graphic novels series?