Y: The Last Man, #9: Motherland
by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra (Vertigo, 2007)

I'm not ready for Y: The Last Man to come to an end, yet volume nine of the series, Motherland, makes it pretty clear that conclusions are just around the corner.

Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra's excellent Vertigo series has set Yorick, the last man, on a global mission of science and personal salvation. His constant companions are Ampersand, his pet monkey and the only other surviving male; Dr. Allison Mann, a genetic scientist bursting with secrets; and Agent 355, a government bodyguard and assassin who keeps her secrets under lock and key. Currently along for the ride is Rose, an Australian spy and Allison's lover, whose loyalties are still unclear.

More answers come to light in this book, as the apparent architect of the man-killing plague comes to light and Yorick discovers he isn't the last living man after all. Meanwhile, 355 mixes it up with a ninja, Allison starts bleeding and Rose makes an uncomfortable call home. In Paris, Yorick's missing girlfriend Beth may be waiting, while back in the United States Yorick's sister Hero, the mother of his child (a different Beth), a Russian agent and a former astronaut duke it out with modern Amazons.

There is an unexpected parting of ways, a surprising death or two, a couple of emergency surgeries and some wild monkey sex. Portions of this book will keep you on the edge of your seat, while others will knock you back on your butt.

And all of these threads seem to be converging, although it's still anyone's guess how things will turn out in the end.

The book ends with a pair of stand-alone tangential stories that describe the fates of some of the people Yorick has encountered along the way. These stories are interesting, but do little to further the plot.

I fear the next volume will be the last, so I am reluctant to read it -- but I hope it's published soon!

review by
Tom Knapp

9 June 2007

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