Home > Vertigo > Y: The Last Man #21

Y: The Last Man #21

April 10, 2004

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Widow’s Pass Part One

On the long trek to San Francisco, our friends are sidetracked by the Sons of Arizona.

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Pencils: Goran Parlov
Inks: Jose Marzan Jr.
Colors: Zylonol
Letters: Clem Robins
Editor: Will Dennis
Cover Art: Aron Wiesenfeld
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

The long walk across a half-dead America to Dr. Mann’s lab in San Francisco has been made even harder than our friends expected thanks to natural disasters that have gone unchecked and woman-made disasters that force them to divert through Arizona. The road gets bumpy again, however, when Yorick, Mann and Agent 355 encounter a young woman who warns them of the actions of the Sons of Arizona, an ironically-named militia group who has decided that the government was responsible for the mysterious plague that killed all the men on Earth, and are determined to save their home state even at the cost of the other 49.

This is by no means the first time this story has gotten political, but it is a little disappointing to see Vaughan return to the frequent whipping boy of the militia. That said, even though it’s not exactly an original idea, Vaughan handles it very well, giving the whole situation an appropriate sense of menace without going overboard.

The characterization in this book really stands out. Yorick finally learned a lesson last issue about his reckless nature, and that lesson is taking its toll on his emotions and actions. The Yorick that marches into Arizona in this issue is a markedly different young man than the boy who was the only male to survive the enigmatic plague 20 issues ago. He has grown, gotten stronger and matured, and more than anything else in the books, he shows how the world has changed with him.

One thing that has surprised me about this series is how much it has really tuned into a road story. At the outset I expected more of a hardcore sci-fi series with a bit of a horror aspect, but the focus is really about our characters walking across America and showing how much every part of the country was touched by the deaths of all the men. For some reason, that focus really struck me in this issue, even though it’s been a part of the series since the beginning. It’s not what I expected in issue one. I love it, though.

Goran Parlov steps in for Pia Guerra as penciller this issue, and does such a good job that I didn’t even realize we had a guest penciller until I read the credit box to write this review. Knowing it’s a guest artist, I was able to see some small stylistic differences, but Parlov either has a very similar style or he deliberately tried to stay consistent with Guerra’s style and either way, we get an issue that looks very good and doesn’t jar the reader with a drastically different style the way a lot of guest-artist issues do.

While I’m not as crazy about this issue as some of the previous ones, it’s undeniably a solid book that advances the story very well. Y: The Last Man fans will not be disappointed.

Rating: 7/10

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