[Name Redacted]'s Reviews > Y: The Last Man, Vol. 2: Cycles

Y by Brian K. Vaughan
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's review
Oct 15, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: alternate-history, graphic-novels, mystery, philosophy, politics, post-apocalyptic, religion, sci-fi, society
Read on December 18, 2011

The second volume in the series improved a bit on the pacing, and the characters are a bit better defined, but not by much. The character Yorrick keeps making bizarre decisions which seem to come out of nowhere; I'm not sure whether it's just that the author has failed to characterize him enough for me to understand WHY Yorrick is making these choices (which, in the first volume, I tried to rationalize as the result of his traumatic experiences) or whether he's just having Yorrick make them to drive the plot. Six of one, a half dozen of the other.

Again, I just don't see the sexism, and I've been trained to see it EVERYWHERE. No orgies, no weak women begging to have a crack at the last man, no sexual activity at all. A pleasant surprise from a series about "the last man on earth" which others have claimed is chauvinistic. The religious fanatics behave exactly as religious fanatics are wont to do, but we are also presented with a town full of reformed female prisoners who have established a near-utopia yet harbor no ill-will towards males. Again, the main problem is how flat all the characters feel. Yorrick's romance (?) with the townswoman didn't feel authentic, and while I understand intellectually the dynamic which exists between Victoria and her Amazons (seeing it, as i have, in real-life situations), it still feels nonsensical for Hero to flip from loving her brother to hating him just because Victoria punched her and gave her a little lecture. Yes, we learn that she had a habit of picking bad men before the extinction, and we learn that she and Yorrick each thought their father loved the other more, but so what? We also learn that Hero's boyfriend at the time of the die-off was a great guy, so it would make more sense for Hero to blame the Amazon's "Goddess" for robbing her of that than accept that all men are evil and must be purged. Frankly i couldn't understand why Yorrick didn't point out that the only ones doing any killing or oppressing were WOMEN. None of it makes much sense if I stopped to think about it for even a second, and I suspect it's because the none of the characters feel fully realized. We don't connect with them, and so many of their actions just seem...arbitrary.

Still no sexism. The political partisanship rears its head again at certain points, but nowhere near as egregiously as in the first volume. Still a 2-star series...

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