Home > Boston, dystopian, Genre, graphic novel, scifi > Book Review: Y: The Last Man: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan (Graphic Novel) (Series, #1)

Book Review: Y: The Last Man: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan (Graphic Novel) (Series, #1)

Man with a monkey.Summary:
The world is changed overnight when all the men and boys in the world mysteriously drop dead.  Factions quickly develop among the women between those who want the world to remain all female and those who would like to restore the former gender balance.  One man is mysteriously left alive though–Yorick.  A 20-something, underachieving magician with a girlfriend in Australia.  He desperately wants to find her, but the US government and the man-hating Amazons have other ideas.

As soon as I heard the concept for this series, I knew I had to read it.  Plenty of scifi books have explored other planets consisting entirely of women or an Earth of just women decades after the men died out, but very few go to the immediate after-math of the loss of men.  I like that one man is left alive.  It lends a scientific mystery to the social aspects of a planet suddenly full of just women.  Yorick’s characterization is perfect.  He’s laid back enough that there’s not constant angst over the situation, but intelligent enough that he gives the different factions a run for their money.  I also appreciate that Vaughan didn’t have all the women suddenly singing kumbaya and holding hands.  The fighting, violence, and disagreements among the women are honestly a far more accurate representation of how things work.  Women are people, and people fight and disagree.  That certainly isn’t a realm that belongs to just men.  Vaughan gives an even-handed, fair representation of women covering everyone from women mourning the loss of rock stars to women set world domination and everything in between.  I commend Vaughan for that.

The art work is full-color and impactful.  Periodically there are full-page illustrations instead of panels.  This apocalytpic world isn’t dark.  It’s full of light, passion, and energy.  Everyone is drawn consistently, and it is not at all difficult to tell people apart.  One of the most impactful pages features a close-up of one of the Amazon women with one of her breasts cut (or burnt) off.  It’s a very powerful image.

I also appreciated that around 1/4 of this issue takes place in Boston, and Boston is accurately drawn and represented.  I love that Boston is key to the story for the scientific community here.  It’s tiring always seeing us represented as just the center of the Irish-American mafia.  I hope Boston pops up again in future installments.  It’s nice seeing my city in print.

Unmanned does an excellent job of quickly setting up the dystopian world where only one man is left alive.  The artwork is compelling, and the storyline fairly represents the broad spectrum of female personalities.  If the basic concept of this dystopia intrigues you at all, I highly encourage you to try it out.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Amazon

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  1. November 10, 2010 at 8:04 am

    I love this series!

    • November 12, 2010 at 10:56 am

      Yes, a lot of my friends have said really good things about it!

  2. November 10, 2010 at 8:05 am

    I so want to read this series!! i almost bought the first volume last week, but I had to choose between Y the Last Man, and the first Fables volume, and I went with Fables. Fiction where it’s a world of just women – I’ve read plenty where it IS all hand holding and kumbaya singing, and boy was that annoying and boring! Next time I’m at the comic shop, i will try to bee-line right for Y the last Man, before I’m distracted by everything else I want to buy.

    • November 12, 2010 at 10:57 am

      Awesome! I can’t wait to see what you think of it. The kumbaya all women futures *are* so annoying, lol.

  1. November 12, 2010 at 7:44 am
  2. November 30, 2011 at 9:15 am
  3. December 28, 2011 at 1:00 am

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