Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Book #62

Y: The Last Man, Deluxe hardcovers, vols 3 & 4, by Brian K Vaughn, Pia Guerra, et. al. Graphic novel.

Comic books are a medium, not a genre.

I like supeheroes, really I do. But some of the strongest stories being told in sequential art in the 21st century are not of the "caps and cowls" variety. And of these non-superhero books, Y: The Last Man may be the best.

A strange virus has struck earth, killing every male mammal on the planet. All except two, a man (Yorick) and his monkey (Ampersand). Desperately trying to reunite with his girlfriend halfway around the world, Yorick's journey has brought him under the protection of the mysterious agent 355. There seems to be hope for a cure to the plague in Asia, and he detours there. A pseudo-journalist has snapped a photo of Yorick in a pose that reveals his, ummmm, definite maleness. Will this photo be believed, which could hamper Yorick's efforts, or will it be dismissed as a hoax? Will a cure be found? Will Yorick find his girlfriend? These are the questions that are left to be anwered. These volumes take us through issue 48 of the series 60-issue run, so we are entering the last act. I look forward to finishing the series with volume 5.

Unfortunately, Guerra did not draw as many of the issues in this part of the run as I would have liked. Although the other artists tried to ape her style, her strong lines and ability to differentiate characters stand out among the other artists.

Comic books are a medium, not a genre.

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