Y: The Last Man

Over the holidays, I re-read a comic series called Y: The Last Man (warning: spoilers). Ben was the one who recommended the series to me, and I’m glad he did (he also bought me several of the later volumes as a gift).

Here’s a summary, from the back of the first volume:

In the summer of 2002, a plague of unknown origin destroyed every last sperm, fetus, and fully developed mammal with a Y chromosome – with the apparent exception of one young man and his male pet. This “gendercide” instantaneously exterminated 48% of the global population, or approximately 2.9 billion men.

Now, aided by the mysterious Agent 355, the last human male Yorick Brown must content with dangerous extremists, a hoped-for reunion with a girlfriend on the other side of teh globe, and the search for exactly why he’s the only man to survive.

The whole story is really well written by Brian K. Vaughan. The main character’s name is Yorick, and he’s both an English major and a magician/escape artist.

He is protected by a member of the Culper Ring, known only as “Agent 355.” The two of them travel (with Yorick in disguise) along with Dr. Allison Mann, who is a geneticist and expert on cloning. The three of them journey from the east coast to a lab in California, where they ultimately hope to create/clone more male humans.

Despite his companions and their attempts to keep him safe, not everyone who learns about Yorick is happy. There are a host of other forces that set their sights on Yorick, and who would use him for either political or ideological gain.

I found myself blowing through pages really quickly. In part, I was re-reading… but I found both the dialogue and story just really compelling. I really like buying comics in this way: multiple bound volumes, so that I can read as much as I want as quickly as I want. Whenever I finished one volume, I could immediately begin with the next.

I keep thinking this comic would make a pretty good movie. And I guess I’m not the only one who thinks this.

If you’re interested by this quick summary, I highly recommend picking up the first volume and checking it out. Although if you do, be prepared to visit your local comic book store to pick up the following volumes.

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