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Monday, October 1, 2018

Comic Review: Y: The Last Man #1 - #5

I have heard a lot about  Y: The Last Man, but until now, I never had the pleasure to read it. Now that the last book in the series was released, I start the journey, 16 years after it has started, and share it with you. 
















Total Rating: 7.6/10

Originality: 
8/10

Art style: 8/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Dialogue: 7/10
World building: 7/10
Fun: 8/10
Predictability: 8/10
Believable: 7/10
Relevancy: 8/10

Genre: Sci Fi, Graphic Novel

For You if you like: Lost, 
Similar Books / Authors: Saga, Preacher
Time It Took Me To Read: approx. 1.5 hour

A good start to a 60-part dystopian graphic novel (Single Issues #1 - #5) with an interesting premise. 



"It’s too late, it’s like this everywhere. My partner. My husband. All over the city. All over the world, maybe. It’s the men…All of the men are dead."

The story starts with the image of a bloody woman - so you know something is going down immediately. The following pages tell the story before the disaster, whatever it may be. We find ourselves in Jordan, Israel, New York and Washington. 

I knew this book is for me, when we saw a monkey throwing his own poo at the main character. What can I say - I am easy to impress.



Vaughn, author of this universe, has also worked on Lost, makes me look forward to reading it, as despite its many flaws, I absolutely adored Lost. 

Originality: 8/10

A world were all men died - everyone carrying the Y-chromosome that is -, except one dude called Yorick and his monkey. A satire exploring what the world would look like if all men would mysteriously die from one second to the next.  It actually would make a pretty great TV show, and I am surprised nobody has picked it up yet. 
The idea is neat - what if they were no men? However, why is the story still told from the point of view of a man? 
We later also encounter the Amazon's - a cult of women thinking nature killed men for a reason.

Art style: 8/10

I cannot explain what it is, but the comic style was not my favourite. However that somehow fits - we are not watching superheroes or villains, but everyday normal people who just happen to get caught up in this world. 
What I really loved were the detailed full-page images between chapters by other artists. 

Atmosphere: 8/10

The first pages set up the catastrophe in an excellent way: We jump to different locations, to different characters, with a time warning. Twenty four minutes before. Eighteen minutes before. I could hear the 24 time counter noise in my head. 
And then it happens. 
This follows hysteria, chaos, confusion, violence and anarchy. And all without men. 

Characters: 7/10

Brian K. Vaughan introduced us to the main characters in the graphic novel - and considering this is only 1 out of 60 comics, the characters are still quite flat with a lot of room to growth. What I do like is that Yorick, the only surviving male, is not a superhero at all. Nobody in that world is - they are all "ordinary" people. Plus, his monkey is a great comic relief. 


















Dialogue: 7/10
Despite the dark story line, there are some humerus scenes. Yorick and his monkey are very entertaining:

Beth: Oh good lord. Please don’t tell me you bought a chimp.
Yorick Brown: I didn’t. He’s a monkey and I didn’t buy him, I applied for him. Get away from my wallet you bastard!

The dialogues flow smoothly which is crucial - as they are the only one despite the art that carry the whole story. I found myself really getting drawn into the conversations. 

World building: 7/10

The plague hits all over the world, and we get a bit of a sense what it looks like everywhere. Plus, Yorick's quest (I will try to avoid spoilers) is about travelling the world, which is a clever way to tell us the story and what happened to the world without forcing it. I am very excited to learn more about the world, as there is clearly lots of potential.  

Fun: 8/10

Reading Y: The Last Man is definitely one thing: Fun. And this is why we read novels and graphic novels in the first place anyways, at least I do. Brian K. Vaughan grabs your attention, and I am very curious to keep reading how Yorick's story continues. 























Predictability: 8/10
Since the first volume covers a pretty big disaster very quickly, a lot happens, a lot of it unexpected. And there is one major twist towards the end too - a really good one, that I did not see coming. 

Believable: 7/10

Once the disaster has happened, thinks become a bit wonky. We jump from the moment of the disaster to a point in the near future, where things have already started to fall apart. As I point out below, I feel a bit unconvinced that the world is really meant to fall apart like this without men. How would the world look like the other way around? If all women would die? Anyways - this is only the first out of many parts, so I did not expect to be immediately sold on this idea anyways.  


















Relevancy: 8/10
The background idea is interesting and an important question for gender equality: What would the world look like without men? But while you would think 50% of everything should still continue to work, it seems like the whole world is falling apart. What happened to all the women in technology, science or engineering? 
Ignoring this, this comic does deal with gender issues, beyond the basics we are usually used to, and in a new and innovative way. IT is often referred to as a feminist comic. Brian K. Vaughan also addresses other issues, such as racism, politics, xenophobia and religion. Quite a lot to cover for a "short" 150 or so pages introduction to a graphic novel series. 

Convinced? Then join me on my journey and read Y: The Last Man Book 1  yourself! 

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