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Y: The Last Man: Ring of Truth (Vertigo, 2002; #24-31)

As with Sandman, I’m dragging out reading Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man. And if you’re not reading it, you should be.

Yorick Brown and his pet monkey Ampersand are the only two creatures to survive when everyone and everything with a Y chromosome dies. Nobody seems to know what’s behind the sudden, mass die-off. Some assume terrorism. Others believe that it’s the work of a higher power. But Yorick and Ampersand may be the key to solving the mystery—if a shadowy government agent can keep the two of them and the scientist who will study them safe from religious fanatics, self-styled Amazons, foreign government agents, and rogue intelligence factions.

Despite its doomsday vibe and out-there premise, Y: The Last Man is grounded in character and relationship. Yorick’s relationships with his mother and sister drive much of the book’s action; and his main goal is to find his way to his girlfriend Beth, who was in Australia when the die-off happened. “Ring of Truth” marks the halfway point for the book, and even as answers to its larger mysteries begin to come into focus, other characters’ families and colleagues take on a greater narrative role. This all helps to make a global catastrophe feel like something intimate and specific.

Pia Guerra and José Marzán Jr.’s lines are clean and active. That, along with Guerra’s realistic style and Zylonol’s reserved color palette helps to ground Y’s world and tone. Everything in the art feels intentional and controlled.

It should come as no surprise that I think you should try Y: The Last Man if you haven’t. But you definitely should.

Collected in

  • Y: The Last Man, Vol. 5: Ring of Truth (#24-31)
  • Y: The Last Man, Book Three (#24-36)


Writer: Brian K. Vaughan | Penciller: Pia Guerra | Inker: José Marzán Jr. | Colorist: Zylonol | Letterer: Clem Robins | Covers: Massimo Carnevale

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