Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Comic Review: Y the Last Man

Y the Last Man: Whys & Wherefores, collecting issues 55-60, by Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra.  

Comic books don't need super-heroes.

I returned actively to the hobby of reading comic books about 5 years ago, and it was books of the non-super variety that drew me back after taking nearly 15 years off from the hobby. I have nothing against capes and cowls, and have I do read my fair share of these books, but the books I returned to after my hiatus were 100 Bullets, Fables, and Y the Last Man. It was the shortest run of this batch of comics took me the longest to finish. I started reading Y the Last Man in 2010, and it was nearly a year ago that I read up through issue 48. It took me a year to read the final dozen issues
Perhaps I was trying to put off the end of the story, knowing that once I made it issue 60, I knew it was over. Perhaps it was worry that the end of the story would not live up to the promise that the first 48 held out. I am a plot-first reader, and so I was going to need to what happened, what caused the disaster, why Yorick was immune. In short, I was going to want answers.

Vaughn delivered very nicely on his promises. Each of the last few stories wrapped up important plot point, with issue 60 serving as a very interesting epilogue, jumping into the future six decades. The final ending of the story, the last few pages, the last few panels, all left me satisfied. Both plot and character were taken care of. Endings are notoriously hard to pull off, and this ending  is pretty good.

It was during the time of reading stories like Y and 100 Bullets that I first heard the expression "comic books are a medium, not a genre." I agree with this sentiment wholeheartedly, and have loved diving into this style of  books. Sequential art can tell any type of story, and even though superheroes are the most popular stories told in this manner, they are not the only stories that can be told in this manner.  In the last few years,  the non-hero books The Walking Dead, Unwritten, and Mouse Guard have all found their way to my stack.

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