Monday, February 04, 2008

Y: The Last Comic

Being with a series from the beginning creates a lot of personal investment. This is especially the case when you know the story is finite and, by the way, so damn good every step of the way. Y the Last Man was quality from the get go and it stayed that way with uncommon consistency. For easily the first half of the series, those cliffhangers kept you on the edge waiting for every next issue. Through the second half they did keep coming, and the twists were the kind you either didn't see coming or thought they might-- but didn't think he'd have the balls to do. And by "He" I mean Brian K. Vaughan, I'd say one of the best writers today. And by the sounds of things, not just comics. Towards the end the weight of the series had to bear its resolutions through, but never stopped adding to the overall story.

Vaughan took the hook, the "Last Man on Earth" scenario, and made it anything but. And the best part for me was that it was delectably sci-fi. Most people wouldn't classify it as such because the best usually isn't, but it was hardcore science fiction. But what can't be argued was that that the book's concept was the wrapping, because at it's core Y was totally character driven. Yorick, 355, Dr. Mann, and all their wonderful intersections made for some great comics. With the last issue we get a well executed "fast forward" scenario as the world without men learned to move onward, and even here there are a few last surprises. I'm glad it ended the way it did, without any switcheroos or dreams or reversals of past documents. It was strange seeing Yorick in his altered state, and his flashbacks were even kinda spooky in a way like you maybe should not be watching as he fills in some gaps. And Ampersand, dammit, his sequence was without a doubt geared to tug at the heartstrings, damned if it didn't. As with all good stories the ending was in fact a sweeping arc that leads to a new beginning.

While my grattitude for the story stays strong, the art on this book throughout its life was nothing short of amazing. I love Pia Guerra!!! Ranked possibly only with Steve Dillon and Frank Quitely in her ability to portray humanity amongst the fantastic, issue after issue wrenches out every range of action and emotion through countless situations. This is quite a feat considering the book can at times be 80% talking heads. When Guerra was absent, Vertigo chose very wisely for fill ins, I've mentioned each of them here on the blog and would welcome them on other books. But what they accomplished with those choices was a maintained consistency, an thematic artisty that complimented the book as a whole. And boy do I respect that.

I guess what the last issue represents is respect. Not just my respect for the series, but the series itself. If you've not read Y, you owe it to yourself to pick up that first trade, bet you'll be hooked. If you have been reading Y, you may understand what I mean with the statement to its respect. It was a damn good series, and while I'm sad it's over it will be fondly remembered as one of the medium's most intriguing books.

Post a Comment