Friday, January 6, 2012

Y, The Last Man, Vol 1: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan; Art by Pia Guerra and José Marzá, Jr.; Painted Cover by J.G. Jones

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Title: Y, the Last Man, Vol 1: Unmanned
Series: Y, the Last Man
Authors: Brian K. Vaughan; Art by Pia Guerra and José Marzá, Jr.; Painted Cover by J.G. Jones
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781563899805
Publisher: Vertigo
Artist Website: hellkitty.com
Twitter: @PiaGuerra
Format: Paperback
Rating: 3/5 stars

I'm not entirely sure how to take this book. Basically, the premise is ALL the males on the ENTIRE planet have died, regardless of species apparently, with the exception of slacker Yorick Brown and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand. Why they are the only two males left on the planet is part of the mystery. The women try to take charge of the situation, running the governments of the world as best they can with the limited resources that are left (For instance, electricity is no longer available. Why? Were the only people capable of managing to run the electric plants men? This is one of the things that seemed rather unbelievable for me in this very unbelievable scenario.) and trying to keep a semblance of order in a world that seems to be falling apart at the seems. The women in general seem to miss their men, but there is also a growing group of "Amazons" who are glad that the "oppressive" men are gone, leaving the world for the women (never mind that in this scenario, the entire populace of the entire world is definitely running on a finite timeline, so I'd tend to think that even these extremists would see the need for having males around, if nothing more than sources of reproduction). Some scientists are looking into cloning as a means of keeping the human race alive. I kept thinking, "What happened to the sperm banks? What about the pregnancies and births that occurred after the initial 'plague' wiped out all the men?" Maybe these are all things that will be dealt with in subsequent volumes, but as of now, I'm left scratching my head at what seem like obvious problems with the storyline, even though the entire story was still entertaining. And of course, the big question is how does Yorick fit into all of this? Well, some of the women look at him as the means to jumpstart the human race again. Some of the women want to kill him, as he's the last "oppressor" on the planet. And what does Yorick want? To get to Australia to find his girlfriend who he proposed to over the phone at the exact moment everything went to hell, even though there really doesn't seem to be a way to get to her from Washington DC anymore. The art is good; it's not great, but it isn't bad. I can't tell if the story is supposed to be taken seriously or if it's supposed to be a dark comedy; maybe it's supposed to be read a little as each. I'm giving it 3 stars, but I'm interested enough in what's happening to read at least one more volume to see if some of my questions are answered.

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