Y: The Last Man,
#2: Cycles

by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra
(Vertigo, 2003)

Yorick is the last man on Earth. The others all died from a massive, sudden, inexplicable plague. And now, everyone who learns of his existence is after him -- to kill him, to study him, possibly to breed with him or to do something else that hasn't yet been revealed. Yorick just wants to find his missing girlfriend, but he's saddled with government operative Agent 355 and Dr. Allison Mann, a scientist who may have caused the plague to begin with.

To begin Cycles, the second book in his ongoing series, Yorick is attacked by hobos and falls from a moving train. Yorick is discovered by a woman -- and a damned attractive and lonely one at that -- who takes him in, strips him and heals his wounds. The mysterious Sonia also tells the townsfolk about him -- and the women of Marrisville, Ohio, aren't necessarily nice, and they seem to have a secret.

Meanwhile, Agent 355 is injured and feverish, in the care of Allison, and they're trying to find Yorick before he falls into any more trouble. Unfortunately, a crew of modern Amazons, including Yorick's missing sister Hero, is hard on his tail, and they're not looking to play doctor on the playground, if you know what I mean. Oh, and there are a couple of male astronauts who, because they were orbiting the Earth at the time, also escaped the plague.

You just know it's all going to end badly for someone.

The second volume of Y: The Last Man is as engrossing as the first. Also fascinating is an opening statistics page, explaining which countries and which occupations were hit hardest by the sudden death of every male. (Here's a gimme: don't expect to find a Catholic priest any time soon.)

by Tom Knapp
15 April 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.