The comics binge continues with The Last Man: Book One by Brian K. Vaughn (of Saga), Pie Guerra, and Jose Marzan, Jr. The Last Man follows the story, well, of the last man. Some mysterious incident causes every male mammal on the planet to die at once except the titular man, Yorick, and his monkey, Ampersand.
What we get, at least in book one, is the story of Yorick’s journey to reach his girlfriend on another continent as society deals with the fallout of half the population dropping dead suddenly. This is where the book get heavy. Yes, after half the population drops dead, THEN the story gets heavy. They drop in all the statistics on what men do: heads of state, pilots, mechanics, soldiers, etc. Sexism somehow actually looks worse in a comic book.
As Yorick goes on his quest, it’s interspersed with the women of the planet dealing with the fallout. There are issues of governance, dealing with the bodies, and, of course, classified activities that might explain what happened.
I feel like I have a good idea of what caused the incident (it seemed like a dead giveaway), but you never can tell. They haven’t given that away yet.
And while some last man alive stories might focus on women wanting him to stay alive, this one does a good job of women trying to make him dead. The series is batting about 50% in terms of the women who want Yorick to stay alive and those who are actively trying to end his life.
As for technical aspects: It’s printed on non-glossy paper, which doesn’t actually affect the artwork much. Speaking of the artwork, it’s fine but not great. There’s nothing about it that is very distinct. Very generic when I compare it to Scott Pilgrim, Saga, and The Sandman. Maybe the key is to have S be the leading letter in the first noun in the title.
Other than that, I look forward to continuing the story. I’ll probably catch up on Saga first, but I’ll definitely keep The Last Man in my short-term queue.