Current Reviews


Y: The Last Man #44

Posted: Friday, April 7, 2006
By: Michael Aronson

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Pia Guerra

Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

Huh. Iím kid of surprised that Iím not as enthusiastic about this series as I usually am. Thereís nothing wrong with this particular issue, but then there wasnít anything particularly exciting. Maybe Iím just suffering the cost of reading a Vertigo series in monthly format when they usually work best as trades (despite the merits of following this particular series in monthly form I wrote about in last issueís review). Hopefully itís just a temporary lull.

Part of the disappointment has to do with the follow up to last issueís gripping cliffhanger. Perhaps it was futile to assume it was as drastic a turning point as it seemed, but the reveal is really underwhelming and feels a bit alien to the tone of the series. Itís explained away pretty well, but I canít help feeling a bit cheated since the previous cliffhanger seems so false now.

While the cliffhanger in this issue is meant to be a great ďOh shit!Ē moment, it feels more like a ďdíoh!Ē Itís a good twist, but sort of too haphazard than weíre used to. It kind of demonstrates how much the series has changed, from plotlines and confrontations over conflicting needs and ideals to those concerning intentional antagonism or accidental mishaps. I kind of miss the old style.

Now too much really happens in this issue. A couple new characters get involved, a new threat is revealed and the end to Yorickís year-and-a-half quest to retrieve his pet monkey is finally in sight. Still, this issue is a lot of exposition. Itís interesting exposition and offers fine dialogue, like always, but it doesnít move the plot forward that much.

It may sound like I just rambled off a lot of negatives, but this issue isnít really that bad. Itís more of what readers have come to expect, which is the progression of a deep plot with strong characters. It just doesnít deliver or pay off on any setup in its own right. Hopefully the rest of the arc will pick up and the last quarter of the series will rocket toward its conclusion. I really canít see Y existing farther than its planned end. It has the potential, but the lacking execution suggests that Vaughanís ready to wrap things up.

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