Y: The Last Man,
#6: Girl on Girl

by Brian K. Vaughan,
Pia Guerra
(Vertigo, 2005)

It's been two years since an unexplained plague wiped out all but two of Earth's males, leaving one man and one monkey to carry the burden of humanity's future alone. Yorick and his pet monkey Ampersand, in the company of scientist Allison Mann and bodyguard Agent 355, have trekked across the United States to a remote lab in San Francisco in order to find a solution to the global catastrophe. But now, with Ampersand kidnapped by a Japanese merc, the team is taking a slow boat across the Pacific for a rescue attempt -- after all, it's Ampersand, not Yorick, who may carry the salvation of mankind.

With Yorick's disguise revealed and safely ensconced in the captain's quarters, Mann and 355 get better aquainted -- you read the title, right? -- until a spy brings mayhem to the Love Boat cruise. A submarine comes churning in their direction. And then, it's anyone's guess who the real pirates are.

While things get sorted out at sea, readers finally get to spend some quality time with Beth, Yorick's at-large girlfriend, lost in the Australian Outback. There are flashbacks to explain their relationship in the past, as well as a vision quest in the Dreamtime, courtesy of the local aboriginal tribe.

The consequences of the man-killing plague span the globe, so it's fitting the story of Y finally leaves the American shores, too. Girl on Girl is in many ways a transitional book, but writer Brian K. Vaughan keeps the action taut and the characters fully fleshed throughout. There's the occasional bit of titillation, sure -- you did read the title, right? -- but Y plays more for the politics of gender relations than the more common comic-book cheesecake.

OK, Brian, where's book #7?

by Tom Knapp
15 July 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.