Y the Last Man, Books 5 and 6, by Brian K. Vaughan

Ring of TruthI read the first four books of this series, um, a while ago, and I was so disenchanted by the fourth that I didn’t make a concerted effort to find the next one. I would wander by the graphic novel section every so often, see books 6-10 but not 5, and go on my merry way. But then the universe was like it is time for you to read these and so a shorter while ago I found these two books practically jumping off the shelf and into my bag. You don’t argue with the universe and its italics, people.

Girl on GirlI still didn’t bother to read them until right before I had to give them back, though, because I am stubborn. And… well, now I’ve read them. I certainly wasn’t as creeped out by them as by Book 4 up there, but neither did I find them particularly exciting.

In Book 5, Yorick meets a bunch of ladies, confronts some emotional demons, confronts a probably-no-longer-demonic sister, and does some really really stupid stuff that somehow manages not to go badly for him. Meanwhile, Dr. Mann may or may not have figured out the whole man-alive thing, 355 kicks some serious ass, the aforementioned sister plays at kicking some ass, and Yorick’s girlfriend shows up just long enough to get kidnapped or something.

In Book 6, basically the same stuff happens except that there are also pirates and ill-advised sexytimes and a literal boatload of heroin.

So here’s the thing about this series: I definitely want to know what happens. I want to know how Yorick survived, I want to know what’s up with all this secret-political-cult shit, I want to know who gets to live happily ever after. But I really don’t want to expend any more effort finding out.

Part of this is the fact that in every book there are like eight million things going on — I didn’t even mention the ninja or the Amazons or the Israelis above — and most of the plotlines don’t do anything more than remind you that they exist and probably set up something that’ll happen in a future issue but at the moment I would like to focus on what’s going on in this issue, thanks. I don’t know if this would be better or worse if I were reading this in issue form, rather than the trade collections.

The bigger thing, though, is that I am just so over Yorick. If I have to watch him run into ostensible danger to save some lady or other at which point the lady is saved and the danger is disappeared, or especially if I have to watch him walk around in a gas mask to hide his Last Man status only to have the mask ripped off for one reason or another and then the only repercussion is that he has to tell some surprised woman his whole life story… it’s not appealing to me, is what I’m saying.

Luckily, the husband is totally willing to expend the effort to finish the series, so one of these days I’ll know how it goes. Even more so if the rumors I hear about a movie or a TV show come true; those are the kinds of things that appear on my Netflix queue when I’m not paying attention. 🙂

Recommendation: I’m giving this series a pass, but if you’re more forgiving of this odd-to-me, possibly normal-for-comics pacing and plotting, I say go for it.

Rating: 5/10 for the both of them.

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