I am not REALLY a comic book person. I can’t keep up with the universes, iterations, and who had a kid with who. I also have a really hard time reading comic books – the panels are too small or too busy or I miss content because I am trying to look at the artwork or vice versa.
Just for curiosity’s sake, I asked him what his all-time favorite comic was. I was expecting him to say The Walking Dead or Watchmen or Spiderman #4237 or any of the other comic books I’ve heard him talk about over the years. He replied without any hesitation, “Y: The Last Man.”
I had never heard him mention Y: The Last Man before, ever – at least that I can remember. So I figured I may as well check it out if it is his favorite. He said “..it’s long. Like, five books long.” GREAT. How delightful. I’ll start with book one and see how far I get.
I polished off all five books in two weeks.
Guys, this the best comic book/graphic novel I’ve ever read, and definitely makes the top 50 of the best books I’ve ever read, period. Y: The Last Man is the story of Yorick (Hamlet, anyone?) and his monkey, Ampersand, who are the only surviving males on Earth after a mysterious plague wipes out all the living male mammals with a Y chromosome (humans, animals, embryos, and sperm included).
So, if, like me, you’ve never heard of Y: The Last Man, read on for all the reasons you should check it out ASAP.
THIS IS AN ALARMINGLY COMPLETE PORTRAIT OF AN ANDROCIDE
I did have to Google what androcide meant, so I’ll save you the typing – its the formal term for “the systematic killing of men, boys, and males in general” (thanks, Wikipedia!).
This is the craziest apocalypse story I’ve ever read or seen. We all live in today’s world where dystopia and the end of the world are frequent topics of movies, TV, books, and just about everything in pop culture. I’ve seen a lot of armageddons, including Ben Affleck’s. Yorick and his band of misfits and protectors constantly encounter circumstances that no other world meltdown story has come up with.
Think about it – 93% of airline pilots are men. 80% of Congress is men. The branches of the military are made up of 85% men. What happens when all of those humans go away, all at the same time? Honestly, it gets even crazier when you get into sperm and livestock and everything else with a Y chromosome, but I don’t want to spoil anything.
YORICK IS AN AMAZING ANTIHERO.
Yorick is a massive pain in the ass. He’s whiny, annoying, a magician (which is more of my personal bias, but still), completely singleminded and pig-headed, and lastly, a giant hindrance to all the people trying to keep him alive. He’s basically a giant loser when the plague hits and continues to be one after he and Ampersand are the last males.
Which, frankly, is why I like him.
Yorick makes no pretense of being the last man that is going to SAVE the world. He is just the last man, period. He relies on other people to save him/help him throughout the books. I can’t stand it when Superman or Spiderman or Batman are like “GOD WOE IS ME, I CAN’T HAVE LOVE NOR FAMILY NOR FRIENDS BECAUSE I AM A SUPERHERO AND I AM DUTY BOUND TO PROTECT THE WOOOOORLD”…yeah, dudes, I know its hard out there but you all were born to superheroes AND chose to be superheroes. Please stop whining about it. Yorick didn’t choose anything – he’s just the last man standing, period. And he acts accordingly.
AGENT 355 IS A BADASS
I am a lady. I like reading about other cool ladies. Sue me.
Agent 355 is a member of a super secret US group who is assigned to be Yorick’s bodyguard. She. Is. Awesome. Just the right about of “tortured by her past” without coming off as melodramatic, can fight like a total badass, and she is constantly saving Yorick’s sad butt. She is sarcastic and snarky and takes none of anyone’s shit. I also love that she is the only person in the comic to call Yorick by a nickname (Rick), because who actually would go by Yorick if that was their name? Anyone?
IT WILL (HOPEFULLY) BE YOUR NEW FAVORITE TV SHOW
After over a decade in development hell, FX announced that they will be adapting Y: The Last Man into a TV show. YAAAAAY! A comic book show so dark they have to put it on a cable channel!! If the series is gonna be as excellent as the books, they have a lot to live up to, but I’m excited regardless.