THE PO-MO PARTY’S OVER! Welcome to the final edition of Billy & Mandy’s weekly review of Y: The Last Man. This is it, our thoughts on the final chapter of the epic tale of a boy and his monkey. WARNING: SPOILERS!!! If you don’t know what that means by now… we’re giving it all away for free. So if you don’t want to know, stop reading NOW. We welcome your comments and hope that you enjoy the program.
Billy: Flying cars? It must be… THE FUTURE!!! So, 60 years later… how did it make you feel when you saw that big black page?
Mandy: Black page… my first thought: I wasn’t ready for Yorick to be gone. I was hoping he’s not dead, right?
Billy: I was hoping for more present tense closure… and that black page shattered that dream.
Mandy: Yeah. Did you feel like the fast forward was a big fat cheat?
Billy: Only in the way that we assumed that this issue should be the epilogue to the last arc not the entire series. I thought it was okay as a wrap up, it’s interesting enough for Vaughan to show us how the world turns out without men. I mean, Paris looks nice from the sky. Hey, Beth Jr. being president is a big fat cheat though. There’s really no reason for this other than to service the plot.
Mandy: I know. I was just typing that. EXPOSITION DEVICE. DING!
Billy: It wasn’t that bad, actually. I was really sad things didn’t work out with Scar-Beth and Yorick in the aftermath of 355’s death. I don’t think they ever had a fair shot.
Mandy: He didn’t really love her. Why are you so attached to her scar-iness?
Billy: I don’t really know. I can’t explain it.
Mandy: Seriously, how is he supposed to get over never really having a chance with 355?
Billy: Hey, nice call back to the Elvis story. I liked the conversation between nature Yorick and nurture Yorick.
Mandy: Me too. Also, I actually liked this resolution with Yorick. I mean, the cheats are fine but it was nice to hear from him.
Billy: Yeah, it made the future jump bearable. What about the Yorick/Hero reunion?
Mandy: I liked it. How did you feel about being right all along about Hero and Beth?
Billy: Well, I called Scar-Beth/Hero as a couple not OG Beth/Hero. So, I was wrong.
Mandy: Did you just admit that out loud?
Billy: I typed it.
Mandy: Yorick and Ampersand made me the saddest of all.
Billy: Do you think Yorick regrets his choice to leave OG Beth? This scene takes place about 7 years after issue 59 and his reference to the Welsh custom leads me to think he does. Like, maybe at this point in time he’s thinking his feelings for 355 were just another test?
Mandy: I don’t know. I’m possibly blinded by my own preference for 355 but I think this is meant to create a contrast with the realizations we can see he’s had about life when he’s talking to clone Yorick. At the point that he goes to see Hero, maybe he’s wondering if he made the wrong choice. Either way, obviously he still doubts himself. I don’t think that part ever goes away for him.
Billy: And then he refs that conversation he had with OG Beth about the French language being for chauvinists. I think he really loves her, but he fucked it up so bad, and not to take anything way from his feelings for 355 or anything, but I think maybe he wishes it were different.
Mandy: Yeah, I’m sure that’s true. Obviously his life would have been completely different if not for the plague.
Billy: Yeah. Hey, as lame as the Allison clones were before, the “Dr. Men” scene totally makes up for it. I loved it.
Mandy: Yeah, I knew that would make you laugh. Also, Allison was really pretty. All her little clones made me miss her.
Billy: The “Dr. Men” scene may be my favorite flashback. Okay, so let’s hash this out… that scene is 10-15 years from 59, so we know that the morphic resonance BS is actually BS. And the fact that Yorick clones exist in the future means the Amulet of Helene explanation is bogus as well. This leaves the chemical agents released by the Culper Ring in China and “Hand of God”… which is it? Thoughts? For me, it’s got to be “Hand of God”. The chemical agent explanation could work, but Alter’s a liar and I don’t want to believe her.
Mandy: That question definitely resonates with my concerns. I think that might be one of my only lasting annoyances with this series, that we never really get an explanation. He basically invalidates all the ideas but never really gives us the real reason.
Billy: Well, but the explanation really doesn’t matter, right? It’s just us as readers playing with the plot, the most insignificant aspect of all of this.
Mandy: BLAH BLAH.
Billy: So, you were saying about Ampersand? Did you cry?
Mandy: No. I didn’t cry… but I thought about it.
Billy: You didn’t cry?
Mandy: No. I’m a ginger. We have no souls. Like vampires but with better hair.
Billy: Man, I cried when I first read it a few months ago. You ARE soulless. Where is that place where he buried 355? Guesses?
Mandy: Dude, it’s the tree. THE TREE. That’s my guess.
Billy: UGH, which tree? OH! No…
Mandy: I know.
Billy: “…get your heart broken in, so it’ll be ready when you really need it.” Great advice. Like, grandfatherly and shit. Heh.
Mandy: I like that advice.
Billy: Yorick never actually finds what he’s looking for. That’s kind of depressing.
Mandy: I don’t know… he finds what he needs. Enlightenment.
Billy: The final flashback to the plane crash… those five pages have to be the best five pages of the entire series. I feel like Vaughan had been writing that scene since Year One, constantly tweaking it. It was perfect, in context with the rest of the series of course, but perfect nonetheless.
Mandy: Yeah. I loved it too. I was just rereading it.
Billy: What do you think young future Yorick’s chances of finding love are in this “world of woman”?
Mandy: Better than Yorick’s, I hope… because he gets a clean slate, right? Like he has less baggage and so do the women.
Billy: And of course, the ending, “He escaped.” What was going through your head?
Mandy: I said “he escaped” out loud before I turned the page.
Billy: First time we meet Yorick, he’s trying to get out of that straight jacket and then 59 issues later, he finally does.
Mandy: I really like the escape motif and the way that Vaughn has played with it throughout the series. And the idea that it means more now because he knows what he’s escaping from and it doesn’t really matter where he’s going or where he ends up.
Billy: Backing up, when 355 and Yorick are talking on the plane wing, and he asks her about life after this and she says, “I hope this is the end of the line”, was Vaughan actually talking about this series?
Mandy: Yeah, but there’s always fanfic.
Billy: At the end, the title takes on additional meaning. “Y” = “WHY?” Yorick was searching for the meaning of his life.
Mandy: I always sort of read it that way though. Yorick’s battle was constantly this “why me?” idea and he had a hard time justifying his own existence BEFORE all the men were gone and even more so after.
Billy: Dude, so when the last cover was spoiled, a lot of readers thought it might imply that this whole thing was happening in Yorick’s head. Did that thought cross your mind?
Mandy: I thought for a half a second about it all being a dream or something. But I dismissed it pretty quickly.
Billy: Last question: Seriously, did you cry at all?
Mandy: YES. The plane flashback made me cry.
Mandy: When 355 builds to the line, “you may need to meet more women…”
Billy: I hope people, that are not you or me, enjoyed reading these. But even if they didn’t, this was really fun. We should do it again.
Mandy: Agreed. You know what I want to read? PLANETARY. We should read that together. What do you think?
Billy: Well, okay then.
Mandy: I love it when you do what I tell you to do.
Check back in next Monday for our AIM-chat review of Planetary #1. See you soon!
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