Y: The Last Man
Today, January 30th, 2008, marked the end of a
wonderful, amazing, one of a kind comic book series known as “Y: The Last Man”. In case you aren’t a fan of comic books, or you haven’t heard any news surrounding a movie deal, here is a link to the Wikipedia article which does a much better job describing this incredible comic book series: Wikipedia: “Y: The Last Man”. Even the mainstream media got a hold of this wonderful last edition. ComicMix has a great round-up of the coverage around the net here.
My girlfriend and I started reading the series last year and loved every issue. Today, was a sad day, as the comic book series has come to an end. Today, during my lunch break, I hopped over the to local comic book store to grab my reserved copy:
After issue #59, there was a lot of questions that I wanted to be answered and I was jumping out of my skin with anticipation. The final issue of Y did not disappoint.
SPOILER WARNING – do not read on if you do not want to see how the comic book ends yet.
The comic brought us 60 years into the future and we discover that cloning has been successful for the women left on the earth. In addition, we discover that Yorick has survived (despite popular opinion) and one of his clones gets the opportunity to meet him. It turns out that Yorick was put into a straight jacket and kept with his daughter in a room surrounded by clones of his monkey, Ampersand:
Yorick apparently decided that 86ing himself on his 86th birthday was humorous, and thus we find him in his straight-jacketed situation. In case you didn’t get this joke, here’s a quick explanation:
When something is “86’d” it means it is gone. This is especially common in the food service industry. The number 86 is actually short for 8 foot by 6 foot or: the size that graves used to be dug — 8 ft deep, 6 ft long.
That aside, the conversation that Yorick has with his clone is humorous and we are privy to some flashbacks of Yorick’s history. Particularly moving was Yorick’s goodbye to Ampersand:
Just to tear a few more tears out, we find that Yorick was in fact taking Ampersand to visit Agent 355 one last time:
We also discover, in this issue, that Beth, his lover, and Hero, his sister, become lovers.
During the conversation between Yorick and his own clone, his clone has opened a window so that Yorick may get some fresh air. It is through this coincidental event that Yorick gets his chance and goes through the open balcony window. The reader is left to think that Yorick has committed suicide. We are then brought to a memory of Agent 355 and Yorick having a humorous conversation. After this, we are brought back to the present to find that Yorick did not jump out the window. But in fact… escaped.
I’m sure that I, along with all the other readers, would not hesitate to say that we knew Yorick well:
The special 48-page issue grabs on to your feelings — good and bad — and takes them for a ride. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll remember. The final scenes of the comic offered a satisfying end to one of the most versatile, interesting and original comics to ever hit the stands.
Brian K. Vaughan, the amazing writer behind the series summed it up best:
“The years I’ve been fortunate enough to spend with these characters–and their stupid monkey–have been the greatest adventure of my life, and I’m forever grateful to everyone who helped this boy survive the journey.”
You will be missed Yorick.
(Note about the images: the photos on this page are from my copy of Y: The Last Man #60. The images are ©2008 Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. They are reproduced in this article as works of art open for discussion, criticism, or review.)