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Brian K. Vaughan – Y: The Last Man, Vol. 4: Safeword

March 17, 2010

27. Y: The Last Man, Vol. 4: Safeword by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, Goran Parlov, José Marzán Jr. (2004)
Y: The Last Man, Volume 4

Length: 144 pages
Genre: Graphic Novel, Sci-Fi

Started: 13 March 2010
Finished: 13 March 2010

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I am hooked. Like a fish.

How long can the last
man alive stay that way if
he doesn’t want to?

Summary: Because of Yorrick’s penchant for foolhardy bravery – a dangerous and deadly trait for the last man on the planet to have – Agent 355 and Dr. Mann leave him with one of 355’s friends, another agent of the Culper Ring, while they run an errand in town. However, Agent 711 has secrets that she hasn’t shared even with 355, and Yorrick’s stay with her may be as dangerous as anything he might have encountered in town. Later, the trio of travelers run into a separatist militia in Arizona who are convinced that the plague which killed the men was actually a evil government plot… and that goes down about as well as you might expect.

Review: While not much happened in this installment to push the plot forward action-wise, it was certainly a heavy-hitter on the character growth and development front. Dr. Mann and Yorrick both have to own up to some nasty truths, and it’s a painful process for both of them. The book felt a little bit fragmented; it’s two arcs in this volume, instead of one per as the previous installments have been. It was also rather dark – I mean, the whole series has been dark; you can’t kill off 50% of the planet in the first three pages without having to face a lot of dark situations – but this one pushed the series into some darker and deeper emotional territory than it had previously gone. (Also some much more mature territory – if you couldn’t tell from this volume’s title, it’s definitely not for the wee-uns, the squeamish, or the faint of heart.) I feel like the artwork has gotten more consistent over time – characters look the same from one panel to the next, as well as from issue to issue, much more than they did at first. The art also gets a little more… experimental? non-standard? in this volume – largely necessitated by some hallucinogenic drugs with which Yorrick gets dosed, but overall used effectively. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: A little slower action-wise than previous volumes, but just as insanely compelling anyways. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next volume.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: The Lair of the Undead Rat
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: “Yorrick always gets to be last!”

Cover Thoughts: It’s evocative, for sure, but just not as effectively creepy as the cover for One Small Step.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2010 3:41 pm

    Why have I not started this series yet? I really think I’ll love it.

    • March 19, 2010 12:41 pm

      Nymeth – I really think you will too! It’s an interesting story with a good blend of elements you should enjoy.

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