Reviewed By: Eden Zacarias
Publisher: Vertigo (DC Comics)
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artists: Pia Guerra, Gordon Sudzuka, Massimo Carnevale (cover art and original covers)
Genre: Graphic Novel (Hardcover)
MSRP: $29.99 USA
Release Date: Available Now
Alas, poor Yorick, we knew you well but in knowing you we have come to find ourselves realizing we have been in the presence of something special and that – of course – is thanks to Brian K. Vaughan and the talents who helped him carry out a story as remarkable as Y: The Last Man. It was no surprise that Vertigo would reprint this incredible series in hardcover format and now we find ourselves finishing off this amazing tale with Book Five of The Deluxe Edition of Y: The Last Man. This is one edition comic book fans should not be without, especially those who missed out on it the first time around.
Covering the last 12 issues of the series, Book Five finds the last man on Earth, Yorick Brown and Agent 355 of the Culper Sphere are still in Beijing, China with Doctor Allison Mann and her lover, Rose. While their stay in Beijing is an important one, Yorick is determined to be reunited with Beth who he found out may very well be in France. Of course, they run into trouble again as Yorick, Agent 355 and Doctor Mann are taken down by the female ninja, Toyota.
Oh, but it is where Toyota takes them that the story takes an interesting and revealing turn as they not only find themselves in medical facilities of Doctor Mann’s mother but also somebody else quite shocking. You see, it is this person who helped a fellow scientist push the cloning process forward. It is this person who tells Yorick a most startling truth about the outbreak that wiped out all men … well, with some exceptions. Trust me when I say that it’s a true shocker.
Another surprising development occurs nearby as Agent 355 manages to escape to face off against Toyota in a final battle that ends in a very interesting and tragic way. As they all manage to escape from their captor, Rose forces 355 to recognize something we’ve been suspecting for a long time. This little detail actually makes Yorick and 355’s continued journey a bit heartbreaking seeing as he is on his way to meet with a woman he’s been pining for since they started traveling together.
On the move as well is Yorick’s sister who is traveling with Other Beth and her baby as well as the Russian cosmonaut and her baby boy as well as her Russian bodyguard. They find themselves in a gun battle against women who want the male baby … a fact that is not surprising seeing as there have been battles to obtain semen samples from fertility labs all over the world. Hero is determined to get Other Beth and her brother together again for the sake of their daughter so they too are headed for France.
In the middle of all of this we catch a glimpse of what Victoria, the once leader of the Daughters of the Amazon who is still hired to dispose of all the dead male bodies still found scattered around the United States even four years later. Victoria and a male-impersonator she saves from a group of angry Amazons are taken to the White House where we see what happened to Yorick’s mother. It is Victoria and her new lover that come up with a plan to honor the woman who had served the country in its most darkest moment.
Unfortunately, Lieutenant General Alter and her Israeli command team are on their way to France as well to find Yorick. Alter has convinced most of the women that it is in Israel’s best interest to secure the last man for them in order to protect the Jewish state against those who want to see Israel wiped off the face of the world now that all their men are dead. This mission leads Alter to take drastic measures that begins to seem insane to her other officers.
When Yorick finally reaches Paris, France, he manages to find the woman he has been looking for and dreaming about since the plague. It’s a reunion that forces Yorick to realize the truth about his feeling for Beth and somebody else even more dear to him. There are other reunions in Paris too but the more tragic being one that will change everything for Yorick.
I would be doing readers a great disservice by describing what happens after this but it isn’t surprising that Brian K. Vaughan still manages to keep surprising us even down to the last panel. The fate of each of the characters is handled beautifully as we learn of the measures it takes to keep humanity alive thanks to Doctor Mann’s work and Yorick’s help. The series says a lot about humanity and our innate nature to preserve it and to keep marching on even when things are at its worst.
Then there’s the artwork that made us here at the office huge fans of Pia Guerra who made the characters, backgrounds and action look amazing. With Gordon Sudzuka and great coloring, the series always looked very impressive and definitely easy on the eyes.
Book Five of The Deluxe Edition of Y: The Last Man is, simply put, Required Reading for anyone who considers himself a comic book fan. It’s one of the more monumental works to come along in a long time and this reason alone warrants the hardcover treatment. Believe me when I say that you will not forget this story anytime soon.
COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN
Yorick and Agent 355 finally come face-to-face with the truth behind the plague and the person that might actually be behind the whole thing. However, the pair continues on to France to reunite Yorick with his Beth as the Israeli commandos led by Alter close in on him. Meanwhile, Yorick’s sister and her traveling companions also find their way to Paris as their destinies are finally revealed.
Pia Guerra and Gordon Sudzuka have made Y: The Last Man a visual feast with unforgettable scenes and great character designs. On top of that, the original covers by Massimo Carnevale are simply stunning and – thankfully – are included in this deluxe edition.
An epic, spectacular and outright brilliant piece of literature, Y: The Last Man is an unforgettable reading experience and this fifth and final Deluxe Edition version is a fitting finale for a series that never failed to impress or surprise us. This is a Must Have edition that deserves a place in your library.
Review copy provided by Vertigo (DC Comics)