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Y: The Last Man – The Deluxe Edition, Book V (Review)

In an effort to prove that comic books aren’t just about men in spandex hitting each other really hard, this month I’m reviewing all of Brian K. Vaughan’s superb Y: The Last Man. In April, I took a look at all the writer’s Ex Machina.

You know, I think I’m not entirely sure what to make of the conclusion to Brian K. Vaughan’s superb Y: The Last Man, which wraps up here after sixty issues. It’s strange, as if the saga wraps up almost more than I expected, while still remaining the wonderfully intimate adventure that roped me in from the start.

Colour me sad that it's coming to an end...

Note: As we’re reaching the end, expect spoilers. Lots of them. And big ones too. If you want a recommendation… well, go read one of the earlier reviews, or just pick up the first collection and give it a shot.

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Y: The Last Man – The Deluxe Edition, Book IV (Review)

In an effort to prove that comic books aren’t just about men in spandex hitting each other really hard, this month I’m reviewing all of Brian K. Vaughan’s superb Y: The Last Man. In April, I took a look at all the writer’s Ex Machina.

It’s very clear that we’re now entering “end game” when it comes to Brian K. Vaughan’s spectacular Y: The Last Man. Even if I didn’t know that the next deluxe edition will be the last, there’s a clear sense that the writer is moving everything into position for the final few issues. Characters die, our heroes are closer than ever to their goals, explanations are teased… It seems that the stage is being well-and-truly set for the last chapter in this magnificent saga.

No time for no monkey business...

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Y: The Last Man – The Deluxe Edition, Book III (Review)

In an effort to prove that comic books aren’t just about men in spandex hitting each other really hard, this month I’m reviewing all of Brian K. Vaughan’s superb Y: The Last Man. In April, I took a look at all the writer’s Ex Machina.

What continues to astound about Y: The Last Man is how Brian K. Vaughan took a pulpy science-fiction concept that might have served as an episode of The Twilight Zone and has managed to not only expand it out into a five-year series, but also continue to offer new and clever takes on a world without men. It’s a wonderful and thoughtful book, but perhaps the most impressive thing is that – amidst the end of the world – Vaughan never loses sight of humanity.

It's bloody great...

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Y: The Last Man – The Deluxe Edition, Book I (Review/Retrospective)

In an effort to prove that comic books aren’t just about men in spandex hitting each other really hard, this month I’m reviewing all of Brian K. Vaughan’s superb Y: The Last Man. In April, I took a look at all the writer’s Ex Machina.

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath bore me on his back a thousand times, and now how abhorr’d in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it.

Hamlet, Act V, Scene I

Y: The Last Man is perhaps a triumph of comic book story telling. Told over the course of sixty issues, it’s the story of (as the title implies) the last human male on the planet following the death of every other male mammal (save his monkey) in a mysterious plague. It’s not necessarily the most original idea – in fact, it brings to mind Frank Herbert’s The White Plague (although in that case it was a plague which killed all the women) – but it’s a well told story by author Brian K. Vaughan. Indeed, his work here would see him hired as a writer on Lost, perhaps the strongest affirmation that a multi-layere pop culture author can aspire to. All told, Y: The Last Man is a smart, fascinating a bold comic book narrative which perhaps demonstrated to the mainstream what geeks like us have known for years: superheroes aren’t the only thing in comic books.

Trying to figure out "Y"...

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Ex Machina: The Deluxe Edition – Volume V (Review)

In an effort to prove that comic books aren’t just about men in spandex hitting each other really hard, this month I’m reviewing all of Brian K. Vaughan’s superb Ex Machina. And in June, I’ll be reviewing his Y: The Last Man.

If you follow any story to its real conclusion, you always get the same thing. Regret. Pain. Loss. That’s why I like superhero books. Month after month, they just keep going. So no matter what terrible things happen, you know there’ll always be another chance for wrongs to get righted. It’s like, without a last act, those stories never get to become tragedies.

I guess that’s why they call ’em comics.

– Mitchell Hundred, Vice

This is it. The end. The final run of issues where Brian K. Vaughan wraps up his second hugely successful and hugely acclaimed original comic book series, as we follow Mayor Mitchell Hundred through the final traumatic year in Gracie Mansion…

… and beyond.

Ex mayor?

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Ex Machina: The Deluxe Edition – Volume IV (Review)

In an effort to prove that comic books aren’t just about men in spandex hitting each other really hard, this month I’m reviewing all of Brian K. Vaughan’s superb Ex Machina. And in June, I’ll be reviewing his Y: The Last Man.

What’s weird about the fourth ane penultimate volume of Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris’ superb superhero political science fiction mish-mash comic book is simple how much fun it is. I’m not suggesting for a moment that the first three volumes were anything less than superb, but there’s a sense of playfulness in this volume which just makes it seem like the creators are have the time of their lives. I was worried after the last volume that the underlying “conspiracy” story would overwhelm the saga as it reached completion, but it’s still just as fascinating and unpredictable as it was back when it began.

Justice for all?

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Ex Machina: The Deluxe Edition – Volume III (Review)

In an effort to prove that comic books aren’t just about men in spandex hitting each other really hard, this month I’m reviewing all of Brian K. Vaughan’s superb Ex Machina. And in June, I’ll be reviewing his Y: The Last Man.

We’re at the half-way point in this saga of the superhero mayor of New York City, so that means that Vaughan and Harris are turning things up a few notches. The three central threads of the series – Mayor Hundred’s time in office, his history as a superhero and the conspiracy surrounding his origin – are beginning to intertwine and collide in a variety of interesting ways. Being entirely honest, I’ve always been a bit skeptical about how the series hopes to balance all these different elements, particularly with a relatively short run of fifty issues. As things begin to move to a head, it becomes clear which of these particular threads that Vaughan is going to focus on.

Talk about catching the bus...

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