Sunday, September 11, 2011

Passes the Bechtel Test: Y The Last Man Unmanned

When searching the shelves for something for my son (he has just started dipping his toes outside the kid-specific areas) I noticed a copy of Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned by Brian Vaughan and remembered seeing it recommended on So I picked it up, partly to see why this was shelved in adult nonfiction as a comic rather than in Graphic Novels, which is apparently a YA group. I guess if a story doesn't involve either teenagers or superheroes, it's not YA. Odd.

The story follows Yorick, child of parents with poor naming skills, with a few excursions into the life of his sister Hero. In the first few pages, Yorick is an unambitious post-college guy talking with his much more energetic girlfriend while she hikes through Australia. Then all the men in the world drop dead except for him (and his pet monkey). This shakes up society a bit.

Yorick goes looking for his family, so we travel around a bit to see the devastation (lots of male drivers crashed) and the strange turns of society, including some women who adopt Amazon personas and glory in the removal of the evil sex. He has to hide his gender from everyone, since the crazies would kill him to finish the job and the non-men haters want to control him for his own protection. Yorick only wants to find his girlfriend, which is a bit sad since I thought she was trying to dump him during their last conversation. Oh, and there is an Israeli spy doing something or other. The pictures are clear and vivid so that it was effortless to follow the twists of the story, and the premise is interesting enough that I think I'll keep looking for the other volumes. I like having the guy everyone is left with be a rather dim sloucher rather than a superstar.

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