Book review: Y: The Last Man

I never read comic books as a kid. I’m not sure why; probably a couple of reasons. Comic books back then were what boys did, and I wasn’t too much into superheroes. (I hadn’t tapped into my nerdiness then; the original Star Trek didn’t come along until I was 10 years old.) And, I read “real” books. Big thick books with lots of chapters, even in grade school.

Likewise, as an adult, I had never read a graphic novel. Not because I had any objection to them; I have always thought they were great. Anything that gets kids to read more, especially boys, is great. It’s just that I had never come across one that appealed to me.


Over spring break last week, one of my coworkers recommended and gave me the first two installments of a graphic novel called Y: The Last Man. Yorick Brown is an unemployed English major in Brooklyn. He’s also an amateur escape artist. His mother is a U.S. congresswoman; he has a sister, and a girlfriend who is visiting Australia. He also has a pet capuchin monkey that he is training to be a service monkey. One ordinary day, while he’s talking on the phone to his girlfriend, all the males on the planet suddenly die, of some horrible hemorrhagic condition. It’s not just the humans; everything with a Y chromosome has died – except for Yorick and his monkey.

Why has this happened? Does it have anything to do with the cloning experiments of a physician in Boston? And why were Yorick and his monkey not affected?

Society changes overnight. 99% of the mechanics, electricians, construction workers and landowners in the world are dead. Only 14 nations have women soldiers who have served in ground combat. 85% of government representatives around the world are dead. 100% of the Catholic priests, Muslim imams, and orthodox Jewish rabbis are dead. 92% of all violent felons are dead.

And a lot of women want Yorick. The cloning specialist needs him to help her get to California. A violent radical group called Daughters of the Amazon want him dead. The Israeli Defense Forces are chasing him. Yorick only wants to get to Australia and his girlfriend.

The story is fascinating. It’s mind-boggling to think about what would actually happen in those circumstances – what IF all the males died at once?? There are several developments that I would never have considered, but that would likely come to pass.

It’s not for kids; it’s violent and uses adult language.

The artwork is excellent.

I can’t wait to read the rest of it.


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