Ashley's Reviews > Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned

Y by Brian K. Vaughan
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Feb 25, 12

bookshelves: favorites, sci-fi, graphic-novels-and-comics, dystopian, addictive, nerd-lit
Recommended for: nerds
Read in February, 2012, read count: 3

What would happen if all the men died? All but one, anyway. That's what Y: The Last Man asks, following in the grand and depressing tradition of Mary Shelley. Yorick Brown and his monkey are seemingly the last males on Earth. He has to learn to live in a world where he's either the most sought after prize, or the most sought after target. Often it's both.

I am always and continuously newly surprised every time I come to the Goodreads page for this book. There are so many people who find it offensive or over the top or chauvinist or whatever their other issues are. I just want to shake all of you people. This series is FUN, and certainly you have to suspend a lot of your disbelief to believe something like this is possible, but so what? I love lots of stories that are "unbelievable" because I love what they're trying to do, and at heart, I love what Y is trying to say about the human condition, even if it depresses the shit out of me (but that's a story for Vol. 10).

There also seems to be a lot of anger about the Amazons, and I agree that they are, er, polarizing. But I think -- and I can't believe I have to keep saying this -- we as readers have to be careful not to associate the actions and viewpoints of a few characters with the ideas of the author. As I see it, this series attempts to chart a wide range on the WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF scale. It's not just interested in the good guys, it's interested in the fringes as well, and that includes people who have let their fear and anger over a hopeless situation turn them into people who do despicable things. Actually, that description applies to most of the characters in this series. So no, I don't think this series is sexist or chauvinist, and I think you're reading it wrong if you do think that. And I certainly don't think you can judge an entire series just by its first volume. Keep going and finish the story, THEN judge.

Boy, this got weird and ranty even quicker than normal. Meh. I'm not going to waste more time defending this thing that I love. Instead, you should just go here and read Oliver Sava's take on the series. He says it better than I feel like I could right now.

[Second read, Summer 2009]

[First read, Summer 2007]
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