Mania Grade: A-
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- Authors: Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, Jose Marzan
- Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics
- Price: $2.95
Y: THE LAST MAN #1
Y:THE LAST MAN? Why not?
By Tony Whitt
August 04, 2002
The most terrifying part of the first issue of Y: THE LAST MAN
is not the nail-biting countdown to the release of the male-dominating plague, or even the scenes of every man but one suddenly vomiting blood and bleeding from the eyes as a result. No, indeed. The most terrifying part is the last page, in which the statistics for those deaths are given, such as what essential jobs are done by male workers, and we realize just what sort of trouble we'd all be in, regardless of gender, if men did not
exist. We all knew living in a male-dominated culture could be a bad thing, but this
focuses on Yorick Brown, an out of work English major and escape artist who just happens to be the only survivor of a sudden plague that kills every male creature on Earth. Seemingly his only reason for escaping the mass men-ocide is a sudden attack of agoraphobia: he hasn't left his apartment in days. Both his girlfriend and his mother, a representative in the U.S. government, are concerned about his welfare, but not half as concerned as they'll be when it becomes public knowledge that he's literally the last man on Earth.
This is a comic that begs to be filmed - Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra have created one of the best modern horror stories here, one which makes THE STAND
look like a Tolkien knock-off by comparison. The sudden scene changes as we're introduced to Yorick, his girlfriend, his mom, a female U.S. secret agent, a female EMS technician, and a female Israeli colonel might feel a bit cramped, but joined with the countdown to the plague's release, they give the book an amazingly quick pace. There's a lot of backstory and dialogue here to get through, but you'll be surprised how quickly you do
get through it.
Guerra's artwork, ably assisted by inker Jose Marzan, is a big help. Some may find Guerra's artistic style a bit bland - there's nothing at all that jumps out and screams "boo" like some artists' work - but the quiet realistic approach, even during some of the bloodiest scenes in the story, helps bump up the realism several notches. Not only are we convinced that this could happen, we're convinced we're watching
it happen. Nothing could be more frightening than that.
I do have some slight concerns about where this series will go. Some writers might take it in the direction of fantasy, with Yorick riding off into the sunset looking for (and finding tons of) women to impregnate, while some might make it a none-too-subtle dig at the idea that the world would be better if women ran it. Vaughn and Guerra seem to be heading somewhere else - if the hinted-at cause of the plague is an indication - and wherever it is, you'll want to be there for every step of the journey.Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at