Y: The Last Man 1: Unmanned

y the last man volume 1 unmanned cover review brian k vaughan pia guerra
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 9/10

The beginning of a great series

Story is rich and some areas don't get their due through the course of the series

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Y:  The Last Man

Publisher:  DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer:  Brian K. Vaughan

Artist:  Pia Guerra

# of Issues:  5

Release Date:  2003


Y: The Last Man #1

Reprints Y:  The Last Man #1-5 (September 2002-January 2003).  Yorick Brown is an escape artist, lit-major, and unemployed.  With his mother working in Washington, D.C. and his sister Hero a paramedic, Yorick tends to his new helper monkey Ampersand and plans for proposing to his girlfriend    who is in Australia in an exchange program.  When a mysterious plague instantly kills all creatures with a Y chromosome except Yorick and Ampersand, Yorick finds himself the most important person on the planet.  Yorick and Ampersand could be the future of the human race but a group calling themselves the Amazons don’t want the old world back.

Written by Brian K. Vaughan, Y:  The Last Man Volume 1:  Unmanned was the first volume of the award winning series from DC Comics and Vertigo.  The series was released to instant acclaim and has been floated around for a possible film or television adaptation.  These issues were also collected as Y:  The Last Man Book 1 Deluxe Edition.

Brian K. Vaughan had been around a bit when Y:  The Last Man was released, but this movie made him a comic book star.  The smartly written story not only was able to tap into popular culture, but also in this volume it begins to build a solid mystery…why did the men die and why did Yorick and Ampersand live?


Y: The Last Man #4

The story has a lot of players.  It is odd, but I think that Yorick might not be my favorite part of this series.  Though he is a fun character, he’s almost too hip.  What makes the series is the other friends (and enemies) of Yorick and how they affect the story.  Characters like Agent 355 seems to have almost as much back story as Yorick.  I am also a particular fan of Yorick’s shattered sister Hero who works with the Amazons.

The story also feels oddly realistic.  Vaughan does a good job thinking out what would really occur when about 50% of the population of the Earth dies and how the other part can survive.  With the discovery of cloning, it raises new questions about are both sexes needed, but there are obvious problems with this idea and the comic does a great job in subtly exploring it.

Pia Guerra’s art is solid, but not very experimental.  A lot of Vertigo’s comics push the artistic edges by being more fringe, but Y goes for more traditional comic art.  I like traditional art as much as the next person so I can’t fault Guerra’s art since it does allow you to focus on the story.

Y:  The Last Man was a big deal when it was released.  It made a star of Brian K. Vaughan and continues to be a strong read over a decade later.  I really could see a smart HBO, Showtime, or FX series being developed out of this more than other big comics like Starman, Powers, or PreacherY:  The Last Man 1:  Unmanned is followed by Y:  The Last Man 2:  Cycles.

Related Links:

Y:  The Last Man 2:  Cycles

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response