Do you know that insult framed in the sentence, “I wouldn’t [insert whatever verb you want here] you if you were the last person on Earth?” Yorick Brown is the butt end of that joke: since he is the last living man on the Earth. In this alternative-contemporary ongoing series, all the men of the world died in a mysterious plague, except for Yorick and his pet monkey, Ampersand. In the few years since the near extinction of mankind, Yorick and Ampersand have made their way from New York to California in disguise, avoiding womankind whenever possible. His mission is to find his fiancé in Australia, but his guardians, Dr. Mann and Agent 35,5 merely want to find out why he has managed to survive when all other males died.
But Ampersand has been kidnapped, so Yorick and his friends have boarded ship and headed across the Pacific Ocean to find the little primate as they have recently discovered that he holds the key to how and why Yorick survived. Of course, no sea voyage is complete without some loving, pirates, and a submarine. As a spy is discovered onboard and Yorick’s identity is revealed to the captain, Dr. Mann and Agent 355 explore new-found feelings and discover the true intentions for the ship and its cargo.
The main story arc provides a great high-seas adventure for Yorick as he makes his way to Japan in search of Ampersand while also providing some new character dynamics. Yorick’s knack for making interesting friends still persists, and he may have even found a new playmate for Ampersand, but he still yearns for his fiancé, Beth. The second arc, a mere issue in the story, provides some character development and further background on Beth and her relationship with Yorick. Though not as compelling as the main arc, readers will still appreciate some better understanding of Beth and her current predicament. Overall, the graphic novel serves more as a bridge to the next plotline than it does provide much progression of plot.
Since the first issue of Y: The Last Man, the art has remained consistent with little variation. A dull pastel color scheme connects backgrounds and scenes, while lightly fogged periphery haunts the dream sequences that permeate the second story arc. The art engages the readers even though it is not particularly outstanding.
This volume represents the classic “filler” issues that can be the struggle for any time-oriented ongoing series in which the artists must account for time in a compelling manner. They seek readership retention while at the same time looing to avoid cataclysmic plot elements; possibly a calm before the storm. But even in this calm, readers will zip through the pages. Even when the story by its own standards is mediocre, it still beats many of the other series out there.