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Y: The Last Man, Vol. 4: Safeword

(Y: The Last Man #4)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  26,066 ratings  ·  609 reviews
The fourth collection of the acclaimed Vertigo series, Y: THE LAST MAN: SAFEWORD reprints issues #18-23 of writer Brian K. Vaughan's and artist Pia Guerra's dynamic series. As the Last Man on Earth and his companions continue to head West, the story takes a detour into the psychological.

In the care of a fellow Culper Ring member, Yorick Brown is forced to confront his trem

Paperback, 144 pages
Published December 1st 2004 by Vertigo
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  26,066 ratings  ·  609 reviews

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Swaroop Kanti
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Endings have to be earned."

It's like my old man used to say...
...Everything looks better after a good night's sleep.

Volume 4: Safeword brought the excitement back into the series. It is now going to be, going forward, so very interesting...

Y: The Last Man is about the only man ("The Last Man") to survive a mysterious plague that wiped out every other male of all the species on the planet ("every mammal with a Y chromosome).

And, these are the words of The Last Man:
Christ, how many more wome
Notes: Grade and review pending re-read. Collected review for volumes 3-4 can be found here: ...more
I thought that maybe this volume was taking the series in a direction that might have been a little too ridiculous for me to continue taking it seriously. However, the insanity of seeing a dominatrix appear on the pages is explained fairly enough that I felt I could give it a chance (however, it's definitely not what you expect - how is that for clickbait?)

Anyway . . . after getting past that bizarreness, the last part of this volume is insanely intense and possibly some of the best I have seen
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
LOL forget what I said about the lack of a little sexual politicking in the previous volumes. This one makes up for a lot of THAT and it still manages to sweet and real and not a sleezefest.


Good writing. It's the only possible reason.

What a trip tho. Safeword had me guessing all the way and when they finally got to Arizona, I was charmed and horrified at the same time.

It's like no one will ever learn anything. And it doesn't matter what sex we are, either. All the good and
Himanshu Karmacharya
In this volume, we delve in the psyche of the protagonist. The psychological trauma that he has gone through is written and revealed in a brilliant fashion. However, I found this book to be a bit too ridiculous at times. Despite this, it has kept me intrigued.
Y: The Last Man, Volume 4 SAFEWORD

Safeword? You had me at hello! Oh, not that kind of safeword? Okay. I'll shut up now before I incriminate myself...

Anyway, please forgive me for floating my reviews of the first three volumes of this series, but (1) I needed to refresh my memory after a 6 month Y The Last Man hiatus, and (2) I thought maybe one or two of you might have some remote interest in reading the background of the series to date (cos I'm not going to reiterate it here).

Look, props defin
Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
As Yorick, 355 and Dr. Mann continue on their trip to California, Vol. 4 has the most character development and immediate danger yet! Vaughn totally takes it in a completely chaotic direction; to quote one of my favorite hockey play-by-play men, Bob Cole, "Everything is happening!"

Yorick really steps it up in this collection and begins to realize that he's destined for much greater than he can grasp. I mean, it takes an awful lot for him to come to that conclusion (and it's in the craziest way p
Jesse A
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This series is definitely starting to grow on me.
Sԋҽʅʅყ ƚԋҽ Wҽιɾԃ αɳԃ Wαɳԃҽɾιɳɠ Wαɾɾισɾ
It's been a year and a half since all the men died on the planet except for Yorrick and his pet monkey, Ampersand. Yorrick is still traveling across the country, to San Francisco, with Agent 355 and Dr. Mann. In this one, Ampersand gets sick, so Agent 355 and Mann leave Yorrick with one of 355's old retired agent buddies, Agent 711, while they find antibiotics. Things get a little cray-cray after Yorrick is drugged by her.

But, we find out it's for his own good (you'll have to read it to find out
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it

"Okay, that is the worst fake chick voice I have ever heard. And look at your hands! You're totally a dude."

This one is super out there, but I loved it. The second half is particularly awesome--lots of crazy happenings and some new interesting characters.

Yorick is growing on me. In the first two volumes I thought he was pretty damn annoying, but now I am appreciating his dumb humor far more. The snippets of backstory given about him made this volume feel a little more deep than the previous vol
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Didn't like it as much as previous books.
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Alright! Another four stars for The Last Man! :)

I still claim that the story is really interesting, fast-paced, the art is still brilliant (this time no examples, though). We also see some character development of Dr. Mann (she's gay and she cloned herself), 355 (aaand she keeps a diary) and Yorick (the development process into an idiot is complete for him now, alright).

However, if you thought this review will lack bitching, unlike the first three, you're very, very wrong. WROOOONG.

At the very b
Bill Khaemba
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
EVERYONE!!! Should read this graphic novel its hella badass and drives such a powerful message!!!! This probably one of the best thing ever!!!!
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
I like Yorick more and more with each Vol. This one was again such a quick read. My eyes just flew through pages and clouds of words. And at the beginning of this one..oh my, it got a little juicier …I mean I thought something like this would happen sooner, like in the first book. But it turned out to be like a therapy session. Like intervention. Ha ha, funny psychiatric stuff! And just you wait to read about some Yorick's memory from the past. Something that happened to him when he was a kid, i ...more
Mar 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Hmm...I dunno, I didn't love this volume.

Maybe it's been too long since I read Vol. 3?

This just seemed like a gigantic downer. I realize post-apocalyptic books aren't usually laugh-fests, but this was just not doing it for me...

Even the weird Sex part turned out to be sad and depressing (which is actually pretty normal I hear, when it comes to sex involving comic book readers...zing!).

Here's hoping things pick up next time around...

I suppose I should discuss how this was the volume where Yorick
I liked the first half of this volume more than the second half. Once again I was surprised at the direction it took. I continue to be surprised at the way story has unfolded. At this point I'm really interested to see where it goes next, but first I'll need to see if I can get a copy of the next 2 volumes as my library doesn't have them.

The artwork continues to be fine, but not mind-blowing. So far I feel like this could easily be a novel instead of a comic.
John Wiswell
Feb 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Comics readers, post-apocalyptic readers
This volume has two major stories, and they're very different.

The first explores Yorick's mind through some highly dubious and expedited psychoanalysis and chemical means. There are some offensive assertions here (like that a guy who isn't horny must be repressing something; that comedy is always a defense mechanism, inferior to seriousness), some really redundant points (for the eightieth time the pseudo-feministic narrative reminds Yorick that he isn't always in control), and both the art and
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, comic-books
This series is amazing. Every single volume is amazing. I just love it. I can't wait to read the next one. I just don't want this series to end.
Shannon Appelcline
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Two shorter stories make for an uneven volume.

Safeword (#18-20). I'm not a fan of the whole psychological-assault-as-an-intervention trope, and that's pretty much what this story is. Yeah, we get some insight into Yorick, and yeah it's got an ironic ending, but otherwise, it's a so-so read. And so horribly over the top. [5/10].

Widow's Pass (#21-23). Fortunately, we finally get back on track with "Widow's Pass", which has us ever-so-tantalizingly close to California. We get a new interesting situ
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel, series
I'm starting to get a bit irritated. I don't get why every woman the quartet (Yorick, 355, Dr. Mann, Ampersand) meets along the way is some kind of crazy, demented man-hater. All are toting guns and ready to shoot before asking questions. So far none of the women have really tried to seduce Yorick (really? probably the only living man around and none of these women in their prime want to jump his bones?).

This volume starts off with 355 taking Yorick to get babysat by an excolleague of hers whil
Dec 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Safeword" introduces a new character: Agent 711, a retired Culper Ring agent who's also a friend of 355's. She helps Yorick to take a deeper look at the reasons behind his compulsive recklessness, and it's not pretty.

This part of the series was a little... iffy for me, for a variety of reasons. While the conclusion sets up some important events later in the series, the means by which its done is unnecessarily extreme, in my opinion. But I guess it's more entertaining to most people than a simp
Jesse Lehrer
Sep 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
Wow just when I thought this story couldn't get any worse. Talk about an excuse to put S&M into a story line jesus christ what a STRETCH. Throw in a story about child molestation and threaten to rape someone and they have an epiphany? what? What the hell is this psycho garbage? Laughably terrible the only reason this volume didn't get a 1 star is that the story with the Sons of Arizona in the second half is at least mediocre. Of course, just after learning not to endanger himself and reaching se ...more
Tiffany Lynn Kramer
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Easily my least favorite in the series so far. Not only does Yorick continue to irritate me but I hated the change in art style. If it wasn't for my attachment to 355, Dr.Mann and a few other side characters I'm not sure I'd continue on.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
More factions, secessionists, new life, therapy(!) - more and more intrigue......
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those Who Need to Know Y: The Last Man is So Celibate
Shelves: hoopla, image
Still a good series, but I feel we are repeating certain scenarios now, i.e. Yorick and co. run into a group of angry, armed-to-the-teeth women with whom they need to deal while even within the group all is not necessarily as it appears... I'm keen on finding out what happens when (view spoiler) and I will certainly continue reading to find out! ...more
This entry in the ongoing series focuses first on a character development arc for Yorick, trying to explain some behaviors on his part using some basic psychoanalyis and extreme intervention techniques, amd then switches the scene to Arizona to take on the classic western American militia type.

The first story is facile and it seems an attempt to break down the virile-yet-chaste archetype that I didn't really see Yorick falling into While it provides some limited backstory for Yorick, I don't fe
Jedi JC Daquis
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Safeworld plunges you inside Yorick's mind. Oh, this one's offensive yet beautiful. The story establishes Y's will to live, after all that has happened to him. The Last Man is ever stronger than before, for reasons we don't know yet. The second story gets Dr. Allison Mann under the spotlight. It felt refreshing since Agent 355 and Yorick are always the focus of the story.

There is an explicit display of women empowerment in Safeworld. The thing which I like with the way Vaughan has handled it in
Joshua Castleman
Oct 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics
Tossing in the towel on this series. There just aren't any characters I care about, and ultimately, the whole story just feels too contrived and one-sided/shallow. I'm tired of seeing the same attitudes and opinions expressed from supposedly different regions and people groups, it sounds like a broken soapbox.

On top of that, this one had to bring in even more Vertigo/HBO-ness that seemed even more shoehorned in just for the shock sake of having crude/shocking material. Needless to say, I though
Why yes I am clambering desperately to reach reading my goal for 2016, why do you ask?? I do not recommend waiting as long between volumes as I did because I could hardly remember what happened in the last one. That being said, as my star rating suggests, I liked this one. It held my attention but I wasn't on the edge of my seat and I found myself less impressed with the art than I remember being. Yorick is the snarkiest of snarks and we got to dig into his backstory a little more in this volume ...more

Artwork was as amazing as ever.
Story-wise, however, this volume was kind of strange. Didn't like the first part that much. Wasn't a fan of the kinky-but-not-kinky stuff, I just wouldn't understand the point of this (view spoiler).
The second part was great, funny and thrilling and shocking. Loved to learn something more about 355, even though it was just a little snippet.
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Brian K. Vaughan is the writer and co-creator of comic-book series including SAGA, PAPER GIRLS, Y THE LAST MAN, RUNAWAYS, and most recently, BARRIER, a digital comic with artist Marcos Martin about immigration, available from their pay-what-you-want site

BKV's work has been recognized at the Eisner, Harvey, Hugo, Shuster, Eagle, and British Fantasy Awards. He sometimes writes

Other books in the series

Y: The Last Man (10 books)
  • Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned
  • Y: The Last Man, Vol. 2: Cycles
  • Y: The Last Man Vol. 3: One Small Step
  • Y: The Last Man, Vol. 5: Ring of Truth
  • Y: The Last Man, Vol. 6: Girl on Girl
  • Y: The Last Man, Vol. 7: Paper Dolls
  • Y: The Last Man, Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons
  • Y: The Last Man, Vol. 9: Motherland
  • Y: The Last Man, Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores

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