Who Needs Boys? A Review of 'Y: The Last Man'


Y The Last Man coverWay before I started having an active interest in most comic books, a very close friend of mine introduced me to this then-recently finished series.  I was pretty hesitant at first due to having only read certain comics before, but, at the encouraging of my friend, I read the series and really enjoyed it, not because of the artwork, but because of the “what if” scenario that played out.  I’m a bit of a sucker for “what if” scenarios, seeing where things might have gone had things been different in even the slightest fashion, so this really appealed to me on several levels; however, there were some things about it that did their best to keep me away from finishing it (both times I read through it), but the overall storytelling really kept me interested.  There’s been talk of making a feature film adaption, and I know there have been some fan-film productions already made, so I hope that they keep to the core of the series, even if they cut away a bit of the dressing.


Very Brief Summary (covering all 60 issues)

While talking to his girlfriend over the telephone, Yorick suddenly finds himself as the last surviving human male on the entire planet due to unknown conditions.  Making his way to Washington, D.C., Yorick finds his mother and tells how he plans to go to Australia to find his girlfriend.  Fearing for his safety and how important he could be to the future of the world, his mother and the newly sworn-in President of the United States orders a female federal agent to accompany him and a leading biologist on his trip.  Throughout the trip across the United States, the trio encounters several women who want Yorick either to repopulate their society, or to kill him as the last remaining representative of an oppressive, patriarchal society.  In their travels, they discover that the biologist’s parents had a hand to play in the downfall of man and pay them a visit in Japan, before discovering that Yorick’s girlfriend is still very much alive and waiting for him in Paris.  After dealing with the problem of repopulating the world via genetic cloning, Yorick and his agent/bodyguard head to Paris where he finds his girlfriend, but he’s come to the realization that he is really in love with his travel companion.  After confessing to her, Yorick is heartbroken when she is killed by an Israeli militant.  Years later, Yorick remembers his life as a new age of prosperity has swept over the world.


The main thing that really stood out for me in this series was the fact that Yorick kept getting himself into some really difficult situations simply by being there.  Sure, the fact that he’s the last man on Earth will draw a lot of attention from anyone, but how he ends up in these things is truly beyond comprehension.  The mere fact that a young man, with no discernible talents aside from escapism, is the center of so much turmoil and plotting is rather annoying to me.  This is a problem I have with a lot of comics like this; someone who is just an average person becoming the center of attention as a major plot point just screams to me that they’re trying to fill a comedic niche—though in the case of this series, it is less about humor and more about true love.

I also noticed a great deal of some inconsistences as time went on in the plot, where things from the very beginning no longer matched those seen in the very end.  Considering the series lasted over 5 years (and 60 issues), it is understandable that some of the details were slightly different, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that they shouldn’t be; people take and keep character and creative notes for a reason (or at least I do).  And, the fact that they kept changing the story—not just opening up more of the story to new information, but changing it—was a little hard to keep up with, or at the very least frustrating.

Probably the biggest disappointment for me was the way the comic ended; I was really hoping for Yorick to get his day of happiness, of being able to find true love and hold onto it, but tragedy seems to have marked his life for good.  Likewise, the fact that Yorick’s sister and his ex-girlfriend end up in a relationship is a little weird for me and hard to contemplate.

All in all, the writing was really superb, though it could have been much better.  There is certainly potential for a feature film, but I just don’t see how someone can create a 3-hour film that tells all of the necessary aspects of the comic series; there’s a lot of stuff, detailed and small, that has to be shown to make the story what it is.  If there was a film series, that I could get behind, but I’m not sure if there is enough fan interest to create that much production.



Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 16:57

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