Saturday, April 17, 2010

56. Y, The Last Man, No. 1 Unmanned, by Brian K. Vaughn

I knew about this series of graphic novels because of Lost. I'm the type of viewer that reads four or five blog recaps after each episode, because I can't possibly take in all of the details and wrap my mind around the bigger picture at the same time. (It's a tough show.) After one episode, last season I think, all of the posts I read mentioned that Hurley was reading Y the Last Man in one scene. For some reason, that title stuck in my mind and I recognized it when I asked around for graphic novel recommendations and a couple of people brought it up. I could tell that Colin thought it would be cool if I read it, and I love when he thinks I'm cool, so I checked out volume one, Unmanned, from the library.

Yorick Brown is an escape artist; has a fabulous girlfriend who's traveling in Australia; and possesses a genetic make-up that's allowed him to survive a plague that killed every male being on the planet except for him and his pet monkey. Yorick is the last man on earth, and in the resulting chaos, he must find a way to help save the human race. At least that's what the (now all-female) government thinks. Yorick would prefer to find his girlfriend, but it's hard to get a flight halfway around the world when almost all the pilots and mechanics are gone. It's hard enough to drive down the block, since the streets are jammed with the cars of men who were behind the wheel when the instantaneous plague hit. Furthermore, the entire social fabric has gone to hell, with gun-wielding wives of Republican representatives insisting on getting their husbands' seats and tribes of latter-day Amazons claiming males were meant to die. Since Yorick's mother is a congresswoman, he's protected by secret spies. And his escape skills come in handy when he's trapped first by a marauding garbage-woman and then by his mother, as she tries to keep him from doing anything stupid. Meanwhile, who are the mysterious Israeli soldiers who seem so gratified by the situation, and why is Yorick's sister so intent on joining the Amazons? 

Plot summary lifted from 

I can sum up this review in one sentence: Dude, it was awesome! No, really it was. I loved it. This world is intensely interesting; I love reading about these characters and how each react to this bizarre situation. Unmanned has a little bit of everything: tongue-in-cheek humor, action, intrigue, pathos. I was really disappointed when I found out that the library doesn't carry all of the volumes, because I immediately wanted to devour the rest of them. I'll probably invest in buying them at some point; I can see tearing through them and then re-reading more carefully every once in awhile. I highly recommend checking this series out. 

Oh, and here's a screen grab of Hurley with his copy on Lost:


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