Current Reviews


Y: The Last Man #8

Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artists: Pia Guerra (p), Jose Marzan Jr. (i)

Publisher: DC

The book opens with Hero balking at the idea of hunting down and killing the last man on Earth, as she has learned this man is her brother Yorick. However, we see the leader of the Amazon is quick to bring Hero back into the fold, and soon Hero appears quite willing to take part in the hunt. We then join Yorick & his group in Marrisville, Ohio, where we are still getting some fairly strong hints that there is something important the women of this town are keeping a secret. However, Sonia, the woman who originally found Yorick, looks to be quite pleasant in her dealings with Yorick, and as the two head out in the woods to gather fire wood, we see the two discover they actually get along quite well. We then see that in spite of his girlfriend, Yorick allows himself to fall for Sonia, and we see it is her that brings an end to the romantic kiss that the two were sharing. Meanwhile, back in town, we see Dr. Mann makes a rather surprising discovery, as a delirious Agent 355 lets some information slip out that's quite shocking. We then rejoin Yorick as we see Sonia lets him in on the big secret of Marrisville, Ohio and we see this new information has Yorick rushing back into town making a big pest out of himself. We then see his moralistic ranting is brought to a crashing halt when Hero arrives with her fellow Amazons.

This issue offers up the answer to the big mystery of what secret the women of Marrisville, Ohio were trying to keep hidden, and while the answer isn't exactly going to leave one picking your jaw off the floor, it is a fairly interesting secret that makes it easy to understand why these women would be nervous about strangers walking into their community. Now naturally in his typical leap before looking fashion, we see Yorick lets his sense of morality dictate his response to this bit of information, while most people would at least have to common sense to recognize they were vastly outnumbered, and with one of his group injured & unable to move, it might not be a good idea to jostle the hornet nest that is the town of Marrisville, Ohio. Then again Yorick is a character who seems to thrive on the idea of making things as difficult as he can for himself, as when he encountered a group of obviously hostile Amazons in an earlier issue, he basically sent up a fireworks display to tell them that he was a man. I'm thinking that it's the escape artist part of him that seems to drive his actions, as he's a bit like that kid you knew when you were younger, that would do anything he was dared to, no matter how gross or dangerous it might've been.

My one problem with this series is that the rabid Amazon hunters that are actively pursuing Yorick include his sister among their numbers, and no matter how strained their relationship might've been, the little pep talk that serves to cast aside any doubts that Hero might've had about killing her brother was quite unconvincing. Now I realize that the death of every man she ever knew (except her brother) might have done some serious mental damage, and when one is faced with a sense of loss this tremendous people will automatically look for a place to belong. There's also the simple fact that when she was pressured into killing that woman, it became clear that Hero was a person who doesn't respond well to conflict, and as such she will cave in to the demands of others simply to shift the focus away from herself. However, even with all this stacked up in the corner for why she would even consider killing Yorick, the simple fact of the matter is that he is her brother, and the age difference between the two doesn't look to be all that large, so the two would've spent most of their lives together. In the end Brian K. Vaughan needs to do far more work when it comes to convincing me that Hero would be so far gone that she would be willing to kill her brother.

Pia Guerra is a solid artist when it comes to clearly detailing the material, and while the work isn't the most detailed I've ever come across, it does manage to convey everything it needs to. From the look of outright hatred that is seen on Hero's face after she is convinced her brother is pure evil, to the look of outright surprise on Dr. Mann when Agent 355 makes her delirious admission, the art deserves full marks for its ability to deliver a nice array of facial expressions. It also does some nice work on the scene in the woods, as we see Yorick does split wood like a girl, and there's a wonderful little sequence where we see Yorick & Sonia share a brief moment of intimacy, before she decides to tell him the truth about Marrisville, Ohio. The only quibble I would make with the art is there are times when it gives characters heads that look too small when compared to the rest of their bodies. On the other hand it is nice to see the art recognize the fact that not every woman is going to look like a super-model, and even more important it's easy to tell these characters apart, as they have different body types, facial structure, and even their body language manages to convey their various personalities, as we can see which women are overly aggressive, and when elements of a conversation have them on edge.

Final Word:
This book continues to hold my interest quite nicely, and while the big secret of Marrisville, Ohio is a little conventional, and the fallout from this discovery isn't given much room to play out before the Amazons enter the scene, I do have to credit Brian K. Vaughan for playing off yet another idea that I really hadn't given much thought to. It does seem that as this series moves along Brian K. Vaughan is steadily proving that the idea of every man on the planet being wiped out is a concept that is rift with potential ideas, and while the focus remains squarely on Yorick, this new environment that he moves through is what really draws my interest. My only quibble with this book would have to be the rabid hatred the Amazon group displays, as even before they discovered there was still a man alive, they were a highly unpleasant group, and Brian K. Vaughan needs to take some time to explain why they hold on to such hostility, in a world where they had seemingly been given everything they could've hoped for.

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