Friday, 31 October 2014

y: the last man

so i finally finished reading y: the last man. my feelings about finishing it are kind of ambivalent. i mean, i loved it, i loved the characters, i loved going on this journey with them and now it's over and i have to carry on with my life. and that's kind of what the story is about.

the story is about this young dude called yorick who is the last surviving man after a plague wipes out all the other men in the world. he then travels the globe with his bodyguard, 355, and a scientist, dr. mann, hoping to find a cure for the plague and also be reunited with his girlfriend. the series is collected in ten books, which is how i read it.

there are some really clever and interesting ideas about gender in this story. for example, one problem the characters have to deal with is how to move between countries when there are no planes. why are there no planes? because most of the pilots were men so most of the planes fell out of the sky when the plague hit. the world without men setting provides a constant source of questions and notions about how men have shaped our world and what it would look like without them. at the same time, the writer, brian k vaughan, never seeks to answer these questions outright, it's more about giving the reader something to think about. it is never suggested that a world without men is somehow better than the world we have now, and in some ways there seems to be many of the same problems, but it's certainly no worse off.

the thing is, the story isn't really about that. mostly it's a love story, and it's not the love story you think it's going to be. i'll try not to spoil it, but i cried a lot at the end (and i was in public, so that's awkward). it's the characters that really make the story work. they're cool people to be around and i grew to love all of them. the story is so epic that they all feel like they've changed so much since first appearing. they have suffered tragedy after tragedy but they keep moving, and that's what it's all about. this isn't a story about the world ending. it's about what you do when you think the world ended. it's about how you carry on and build a new world. it's not about survival, it's about evolution, and that's something everyone should be able to relate to.

somehow you must find a copy of this comic-book series and read it immediately. it is that good.

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