Friday, March 5, 2010

Y: The Last Man / Unmanned TPB

When explaining to my uncle the plot of Y: The Last Man, he was quick to the assertion that it was the same thing as the movie "The Omega Man" based on the "I Am Legend" novel. I recently watched "The Omega Man", starring Charlton Heston... "The Omega Man" and Y: The Last Man are nothing like alike. In fact, "The Omega Man" is quite embarrassing.

Y: The Last Man starts off with the story line "Unmanned." A certain event happens which causes every male human and animal to die on earth, except one man and his pet monkey. The males all die in an instant without any warning causing world wide destruction. Airplanes crash from the sky, roads around the world are devastated with car wrecks, and most of the world's governments are decimated. Apparently, men run this place we call Earth. Who knew?

Many women are also killed in the male D-Day. If women were on the roads or on planes or in anyother situation where a male was in control of transportation (submarines?), they were killed by approximation. Yorick Brown (the man) and Ampersand (the monkey) go on living without exposing themselves to the surviving women for fear of what they will do to him. There are women gangs which cut off the breast, and women trash collectors who scour the cities for dead male bodies to sell as currency. The governments are askew with battles over who is in charge. One great scene in "Unmanned" comes when the republican wives storm the White House wanting to take their dead husband's seats. If you though Republicans were crazy now, just wait till they go all vagina.

Brian K. Vaughan sculpts a wonderful "what if..." tale through many gender issues. He addresses ideas of how women would or could act if men were gone. They, like men, can take all shapes and sizes of character. Some have leader qualities, some are followers, and some are just bad-ass with a shotgun. My favorite part about Y: The Last Man are the false stereotypes of women that are addressed. Vaughan even goes after the stereotypes that seam like they are good like not being aggressive and working out disputes.

This Vertigo published comic of the day reads like a real-life adventure and addresses gender stereotypes like no comic before it. Too often comics are total sausage-fests these days. Y: The Last Man "Unmanned"...not so much.

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