08 June 2011

Faster than a DC Bullet: Y: The Last Man, Part VI: Y: The Last Man: Whys and Wherefores

Comic trade paperback, 166 pages
Published 2008 (contents: 2007-08)

Borrowed from the library
Read May 2011
Y: The Last Man: Whys and Wherefores

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Pencillers: Pia Guerra
Inker: José Marzán, Jr.

Colorist: Zylonol
Letterer: Clem Robins

Bam! This is it: the end of Y: The Last Man. In my previous reviews, I've tried to allude to general events without being specific, giving the sort of information I wouldn't mind getting ahead of time. (Actually, I rarely mind spoilers at all, so long as I get to choose them, and I very often do.) There's nothing really worth talking about in Whys and Wherefores, though, that doesn't involve given everything away, so SPOILER ALERT. Well, other than that it's nice to finally have a whole book of Pia Guerra art again.

Things That Happen And Opinions That I Have About Them:

1. Alter is back. Again? Even with the backstory filled in for her in the previous volume, she still comes across as unmotivated and uninteresting. She's gonna kill Yorick... because? And something. Also, I hate villains who gratuitously shoot their own subordinates. It makes them stupid. And Alter is really stupid.
2. Yorick finally finds Beth. (There is a lot of aimless wandering around Paris first, though.) Huzzah! This was a very nice moment, even though you knew it had to happen.
3. Beth was going to break up with Yorick the day the plague struck. I knew it! All the same, it was a hugely devastating moment. Poor guy. Poor her, too.
4. Yorick and Agent 355 are in love. I don't buy it. This volume works really hard to sell you on it, but never really succeeds. They act like good friends-- really good friends-- but never really lovers, I don't think. Yorick has this whole speech about how love changes you, and he's a better person for being with 355, who wouldn't have been a jerk to some kid at the lunch table or something? It doesn't convince. How did 355 make him into a better person in a way that any pair of friends who spent five years together wouldn't? I buy sexual tension-- he is literally 355's only option, after all-- but not romantic love.
5. Agent 355 dies. (I told you there were SPOILERS.) Damn damn damn damn. This was devastating. It really works though, even if you don't buy Yorick and 355 as in love, because of the massive amount of time you've spent with the character.
6. Yorick realizes that Alter just wants to die. Okay... She's still stupid.

The rest of these points come from the last issue, which jumps sixty years into the future, then fills in the past through flashbacks. There are lots of clones now, of Yorick and others, and the human race is shuffling forward much as it always has.
7. Other Beth's daughter (Other Other Beth?) is President of France. For some reason.
8. The Russian boy is tsar of all the Russians. Awesome! His adoptive mother was probably my favorite recurring character, anyway.
9. Yorick hangs out with a bunch of monkeys in a straitjacket. (He's in it, not the monkeys.) This feels a little too... weird movie-ish, and not real enough. I mean, is this really what you would do with someone?
10. Hero and Beth got together. This is actually a very nice ending for both of them, but especially our troubled Hero.
11. Doctor Mann dies some day. Well, of course she does.
12. When Yorick is an old man, Ampersand finally kicks it. My goodness, now this was sad. This was the moment I felt my eyes watering up. Poor little thing.
13. Yorick escapes one last time. Now the straitjacket thing is kinda dumb, but it's really just to set up this moment, which was awesome.

My only real problem with the ending as a whole is that the unmanned society had stuck around. So much of the series has dwelt on how the women put society back together without men, that to end with the return of men is just a dull status quo revival. Couldn't Vaughan have found some way to keep men out of the picture for good without killing off the human race? Of course he could have; he's the writer.

The only overall flaw of Y: The Last Man is that the individual stories could be repetitive sometimes, and there was some aspects of the big story that were dumb (the Culper Ring and Alter). On the whole, Y: The Last Man was sf of the best sort, combining an intriguing scenario with good characters.

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