Now this was a fun read. And a quick read, because I consumed the 10-book run (60 individual episodes) rather voraciously. It’s addictive! Like, more enthralling than a TV series even. It’s Y: The Last Man, by Brian K. Vaughan and drawn by Pia Guerra. And it well deserves all the praise that’s been heaped upon it during its run over 5 or so years (ending in 2008).
I would definitely call it sci-fi, but it’s probably not like any sci-fi you’ve ever seen or read. I don’t think I’ve yet come across anything much like it… The premise is pretty extreme: at the beginning, a “plague” wipes out every male mammal, including all the men, except for one guy (the protagonist, Yorick, the titular “Last Man”).
He embarks on a voyage spanning multiple continents, on a quest to find his long-lost fiancee Beth. Along the way we see how the world (the women) have been coping with and reacting to the catastrophe. It’s basically one incredibly cool idea or detail after another that make for a very complete, realistic, and satisfying adventure. The dialogue is as snappy and fast-paced as in Buffy TVS, and just as hilarious and loaded with pop culture references.
It also has quite the cast of crazy characters, in addition to Yorick himself, who is an escape artist. It includes astronauts, geneticists, secret agents, ninjas, pirates, cow“girls” (cowboys not appropriate, haha), crazed man-hating lesbians, and a monkey. Hey, the monkey plays a very important part in the plot. Seriously.
Anyway, all wackiness aside, it’s also really thought-provoking, as any *real* SF should be, and makes a lot of interesting points pertaining to our own world. Or, I should say, it does a massively great job of… “speculating”, as it were. The series is a major achievement in any medium, and I’m bummed it doesn’t just go on and on forever. So do yourself a favor and CHECK IT OUT!!
The first episode is available to download here. They’re pretty cheap on Amazon, and to be honest, I checked all of them out from the library 🙂 But I definitely plan to buy them in the future.