Y: The Last Man Vol. 9: Motherland and Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores by Brian K Vaughan with artwork by Pia Guerra and Goran Sudzuka
Genre: Science Fiction (Graphic Novel)
Series: #9 and #10 of the Y: The Last Man Series
Publication Date: Vol. 9 – 2007, Vol. 10 – 2001
Pages: Vol. 9 – 143, Vol. 10 – 167
The Short Version:
The final two volumes in a series about what happens after all the males die except for a young man and his pet capuchin monkey.
Why I Read It:
This series has been a bit of a hit or miss journey but at a certain point I had to finish to find out how it ended.
These two volumes are compilations of issues 49-60 of the comic series.
From the Publisher:
Volume 9: Motherland
A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. Finally reunited, the last two males on Earth – Yorick Brown and his pet monkey Ampersand – are on a slow boat to China, heading for a long-awaited reunion with Yorick’s lost fiancée in Paris. But while the pair are getting ready to cross two more continents with their longtime protector Agent 355, their other traveling companions – biochemist Dr. Allison Mann and her girlfriend Rose – are nearing the end of a different quest: finding out what caused the plague that wiped out every other mammal with a Y chromosome four years later.
What they find, in a hidden lab in Hong Kong, is something that none of them expected – something that could mean the end not just for the Last Man, but for any future his gender might have.
Volume 10: Whys and Wherefores
THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE. More than four years after the male-killing plague scoured the Y chromosome from the planet, the saga of Earth’s two surviving males is about to come to a close. In their long odyssey around the globe, Yorick Brown and his monkey Ampersand (together with their traveling companions Agent 355 and Dr. Allison Mann) have managed, against the near-constant threat of death and despair, to discover a possible origin of the gendercide and – in Yorick’s case – to father one of the first children of a new, post-male generation.
Now the remaining trio of Yorick, Ampersand and Agent 355 are at last approaching Paris, where Yorick’s long-lost fiancée Beth awaits – along with the heavily armed women who have been hunting him across land and sea. There, in the City of Light, the Last Man’s search will finally end – or so it seems.
Overall this series has been a fun and interesting ride. Set in the near future, it’s full of political and social commentary pertinent to our current time. It takes place over essentially a 5 year time frame beginning with a sudden plague that kills all the male mammals on earth with the exception of a young man and the pet capuchin monkey he was training to be a service animal.
Their journey beginning in the chaos of the initial disaster in the US, takes them around the world as a new social and political world develops. The changing gender roles and the various political and military (also pseudo military) factions make for an interesting backdrop to the storylines that are the ongoing thread through the series. Dr. Mann is searching for the answer to what caused the plague and why. Agent 355 is trying to keep Yorick safe and alive. Yorick’s goal is to reunite with his fiancée who was in Australia when the plague hit.
Along the way there are several groups of characters and storylines that intersect and entwine with the three major characters. Along the way there were some I cheered for and some I was happy to see end or fade away.
Did it all wrap up neatly? No. There were some threads that didn’t really get explained or resolved and there were others that wrapped up a bit too neatly or conveniently for my taste but overall I think the final outcome made sense in the context of the series as a whole. The final epilogue section had both some of my least favorite moments as well as some of my favorites.
The artwork throughout the series was good. Characters changed but remained consistent. There was a variety of settings and moods to portray along the way and Pia Guerra’s work impressed me.
Through the ten volumes of the series it had both great moments and moments that annoyed the heck out of me but all in all it was pretty darn entertaining and inventive.