There is no way I will be able to do justice to this series, but I'll try. This is a graphic novel series by Brian K. Vaughan that's about the only two males who survive a "gendercide" in which all male species on Earth die. The two males are Yorick Brown, an awkward amateur magician/escape artist with no real direction in his life, and his pet monkey, Ampersand. Literally every other being with a Y chromosome on Earth died in a sudden plague-like epidemic.
Yorick and Ampersand are almost immediately discovered by Agent 355, a member of the mysterious "Culper Ring," who has been given the task of keeping him safe. Yorick's first priority is finding his fiancee (who was traveling in Australia when the plague hit) to let her know that he somehow survived. The problem is that Agent 355 has been instructed to get Yorick to a laboratory so that perhaps they can discover why he is last man alive, and to explore the possibility of cloning his DNA. Yorick and Agent 355 get into several dangerous situations along the way, mostly because all of the women left on the planet are desperate and confused, some of them forming bizarre, violent mob mentality. Plus, Yorick's gender has to be disguised at all times, because obviously the last man on Earth would draw some serious attention.
This series is fabulous. Once you're in, it's very difficult to pull yourself out of the story. There are so many questions: What caused the plague? Why did Yorick survive? Why did Ampersand survive? What is the Culper Ring? Can they clone Yorick's DNA? How can they repopulate the Earth? What happens to the world when half the population dies? Will he ever find his fiancee? See, I could go on. You're curious right now, and you haven't even read it. Admit it. And the characters... They're all well-developed, and you find yourself actually caring about them and wanting to know more about their backgrounds (which, luckily, you do learn the backgrounds of almost all of the key characters). Really, I picked up the first book in this series in the local comic book store, House of Heroes, out of utter boredom while Derrick was looking around. A few pages in, and I knew immediately that I had to buy the series. I know it's a graphic novel (so... really, a comic book, then), but even if you're not a graphic novel kind of person... This will get you. It will get you good. Its original run was in 60 short comics, but they have been collected in 10 books for your reading pleasure. I counted it all as one book since it is a graphic, after all, but it's actually probably the length of your average book.
If you're a graphic novel reader and you haven't read this -- honestly, what's the matter with you? If you're not, this is a great place to start. Only Watchmen by Alan Moore is higher on my list of Graphic Novels That All Humans Should Read. We're not talking about super heroes and aliens, here. This is just a good friggin' story, period.
Completed April 14, 2010
A Second Opinion
I can't say much about this series that Chassi hasn't already said, so I'll keep this short. This comic series is one for the masses. If you have never read a comic and have never had any desire to read a graphic story about men in tights with phenomenal cosmic powers, you could still enjoy this series. Y builds a wold of intrigue, captures and builds the characters, and creates a compelling story that anyone can appreciate. I can't say enough good things it, so let me just say this: READ IT!