Originally published as 60 episodes in a comic series, Y: The Last Man is now available in volumes more resembling graphic novels. As it should be deservedly preserved: the adventurous story is as strong as any in our book lists. Following a failing magician, a mysterious government agent, and a monkey, it charts the last man on Earth’s post-apocalyptic journey with a twist: he might be the last man, but the women are still alive.
What’s it all about?
On July 17, 2002, uninspiring escape artist Yorick Brown and his monkey Ampersand suddenly become the only male mammals left alive on Earth. A disaster, referred to as a plague, has killed everything else with a Y chromosome – and taken out a few women too, in the process. Hiding himself in disguise, Yorick starts a trek across America, determined to find his girlfriend (in far off Australia). Complications abound along the way, however, as Agent 355 determines to deliver Yorick to the new President, and ninjas, cloning and the generally violent state of Israeli throw spanners in the works.
Why read Y: The Last Man?
Disregarding that this is a graphic novel/comic, with great artwork and a generally faster style and pace to most post-apocalyptic literature, the backbone plot of this story makes for a clever angle on the apocalypse. Roughly half of the world is still alive, after all, and you’d expect the fairer sex, as it were, to do a good job of keeping things from turning towards the savage violence that’s all too common after the End. According to Y: The Last Man, though, a fallen society populated by women is as dangerous a place as any other dystopia.