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||June 18, 2008|
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Average Customer Review:
( 51 customer reviews )
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47 of 52 found the following review helpful:
A compelling if bittersweet ending to a great sagaJul 01, 2008
By Robert Moore
There have been some great long series in comics, but Y: THE LAST MAN is unique in that all ten volumes making up the entire run tells a single story. The various books truly have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Other series may have a background arc that extends throughout the various books comprising their run, but Vaughan's masterpiece introduces a number of questions in the first volume that are developed in the ensuing nine volumes and answered only in the last. Will the human race survive the loss of all the males? Will Yorick be reunited with his finance? What do the Israelis tracking him have in mind? These and other stories are developed gradually over the course of the entire run.
The tone of the series as a whole tends to action drama laced with pop cultural references and humor. You laugh on one page, only to have something really horrid take place on the next. But none of the shocks of the first nine volumes comes anywhere near the shocks found in the final issues comprising Volume Ten. I won't go into details, but while all the main stories are completely wrapped up, they won't please every fan. While most of the news for the human race was positive, things did not turn out all that well for most of our heroes. Indeed, some of the arcs ended in utter tragedy. Though the story as a whole focuses on Yorick's constant joking about everything, the book's final events bring even his jokes to a halt. Some things are beyond wit. One event in particular is so shocking (you'll know it when you see it) and so unforeseen that it completely changes the nature of the entire series.
In a story like Y: THE LAST MAN it is absolutely essential that you end the whole thing well. This volume does precisely that. It cannot, of course, be read on its own. Anyone wanting to read the entire series needs to start with the first volume and move forward. FABLES 10 came out earlier this month. You might, with some difficulty, be able to start reading in that (wonderful) series with that volume, but Y: THE LAST MAN has to be read from beginning to end. Starting with this volume would be like beginning GREAT EXPECTATIONS with Chapter 25.
I want to single one character out for praise. I've been engaged in a project lately that involves looking at the major female heroes in various popular media, from TV to graphic novels to movies. The past ten to fifteen years (Buffy seems to be the tipping point) has seen an explosion of great female heroes. But incredibly very, very few of these have been women of color. Max in DARK ANGEL is racially indistinct but seems exotic, but she is close to the exception. Agent 355 in this series is easily one of the most compelling and truly heroic black characters around. The genre -- indeed, all genres -- need more characters like her. It isn't just young black females who need to see empowered characters like 355. Just as, I believe, that both men and women have their views of women subtly altered by popular female heroes like Buffy and Xena, so I think all of us have our views of race and gender affected by a character like 355. Sadly there are very few black female characters her equal. Storm in the X-Men is an exception as well as several characters in Octavia Butler's novels (especially the protagonist in the Earthseed novels). But there shouldn't be so few examples.
In a way, I'm truly saddened that this series has come to an end. For years we've been looking forward to the next issue and looking ahead to the distant future (which is now past) to find out how everything ends. I confess it didn't end like I had expected or even how I had hoped. But sometimes as readers we get the story we needed instead of wanted. In the end, it was a great read.
17 of 21 found the following review helpful:
Alas...Jun 23, 2008
By Pat Shand
All in all, this is an astoundingly satisfying conclusion to what may be the best comic series of all time. As Hellboy once said, "What makes a man a man?... It's the choices he makes. Not how he starts things, but how he decides to end them." Brian K. Vaughan gave us a truly great ride with the first nine volumes of "Y: The Last Man," but how he chose to conclude this series and pay-off all the plot points is truly spectacular.
Vaughan's writing here reminded me of Alan Ball ("Six Feet Under") at his best, and that's saying a lot. Each page pops with references to past events, little nods to pop culture, and supremely earned character moments that we've been waiting for since the man-killing plague hit in the first issue. There are no sweeping gestures to erase the plague, no "everything is all okay" ending, just a coming together of all the plot threads that Vaughan has established in a realistic, bittersweet, and emotional ending. The care that Brian K. Vaughan took in writing this and the care that Pia Guerra took in penciling this is so obvious, as it's their goodbyes to the characters they've been on this journey with for sixty long months. It's a beautiful piece of writing, and definitely establishes "Y: The Last Man" as one of the comics to absolutely transcend its medium. Anyone can pick up this series off the shelf, knowing that it's a) accessible to anyone and b) that Vaughan stuck with this series to the end. And didn't shy away from truly ending it.
Reading this book was one of the best, most emotional experiences I've had with a piece of fiction. The only instances that come equal how I felt while going into this book and the feeling of finishing it was how I felt when the final episode of ANGEL aired and when I turned onto the final page of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Yorick's tale was a long one, and it wasn't always as smooth as it could have been, but it all comes together in this beautifully written and illustrated book. I'll sorely miss reading this series into the late hours of the night, but the way Vaughan ended Yorick's story, I can't help but be satisfied.
So bear with me as I say goodbye to these characters who I've come to know in reading this series. Goodbye Natalia. Goodbye all three Beths. Goodbye Hero. Goodbye Rose. Goodbye Alter. Goodbye Dr. Mann. Goodbye Agent 355. Goodbye Ampersand. And goodbye Yorick Brown.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
Must Read. Outstanding.Nov 05, 2008
By Emmanuel Palermo
I've read a lot of comics and graphic novels, but there have only been a few that were so good that the emotional response was almost physical. The Y: The Last Man series is one of those books (Maus is one of the other books as is the 9/11 commemorative issue of Amazing Spider-Man). The story never took a clichéd turn and explored the man/woman/life dynamic in so many ways and on so many levels. I remember reading another person's comments that the series shouldn't end while I was one-third to midway through, and thinking "Yeah, I don't want to get to the end." Now that I've finished the story, I have to disagree (although I would certainly welcome a short re-visit a la Grendel Tales or the Sandman spin-offs). I think the story met an appropriate conclusion, but no Hollywood ending here. Get it. Read it.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
the last tradeOct 14, 2008
By R. Ekman
i read the last trade with a bit of trepidation. i knew it's the last issues left to read and i was afraid all the journey will end badly and i will feel ripped off.
actually i knew it wont happen. i was just sad the journey was over for me with these characters.
and the ending? i really liked it.
the series definitely had its highs and lows but all in all, it was great.
it was EXCELLENT.
if you hadn't read it yet - you should start.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
WowOct 07, 2008
By Robert Nunez
I used to think that Brian Vaughan was possibly one of the best comic book writers ever.
Now I know he IS the best.
Y has been an incredible ride, but often great journeys can make for disappointing endings. Not here. Everything that had been building in the previous 9 volumes pays off here. It's beautiful, sad, human, joyous and completely satisfying.
Pia Guerra's art never looked better. It started off very good and grew in beauty and subtly. She interacts with Mr. Vaughan's writing so flawlessly that words are often not necessary.
I love this series and I love this book. This is why I still read comics.
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