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The Last Man of Honor

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Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra continue to work their magic month after month on Vertigo’s hit series Y-The Last Man, a title that more than deserved to win the Paper Screen Gem Award. After all, it's supposed to honor the best mature comic book of 2004.

This year saw Yorick, Ampersand, Agent 355 and Dr. Mann continue their journey to San Francisco, but as always, there were more than a few bumps in the road, quite literally in fact. In the three-part Widow’s Pass story arc, the cast had to get by the Sons of Arizona, a militia consisting of eight lunatic revolutionaries – women of course, since all the men besides Yorick and his monkey are dead – who were blocking the passage to the West with full force. The solution to get by these pesky females, you ask? Just put a bullet through their heads, done deal.

However, the most noteworthy event of the series this year wasn’t exactly the killing of the Sons of Arizona in like 6.85 seconds. No, something else happened: Yorick finally had sex. You heard that right: the last man on earth finally had sex (issues #24-25) with a hot blonde stewardess named Beth, who, ironically, has the same name as Mr. Brown’s Australian girlfriend.

Even though Yorick’s giving in to the sins of the flesh was enough reasons for many readers out there to keep on reading a series in which the tension doesn’t let down one nanosecond, the one aspect where Y – The Last Man really shines is the humor. One-liners like “Jeez. So much for protecting a lady’s dignity…” (issue #18) uttered by a whispering Yorick when Dr. Mann flashes her boobs nicely display Vaughan’s pure writing genius.

Pia Guerra’s comfortable style suits this title perfectly. There is nothing flashy to her art. While that may be a huge letdown on, say, a superhero book, it works very well on Y for the reason that the art doesn’t take anything away from the dialogue. Since they both accompany each other so splendidly, Vaughan’s strong dialogue and Guerra’s clean art form the perfect example of what a well-oiled creative partnership should look like.

Now you know why this title earned to win the Mature PSGA this year. Heck, if it’s up to me, the book would run away with the award every year it is published. That’s right, Y – The Last Man is my favorite read this month and probably will be next month and the month after. With its lively dialogue, humor, comfortable art and a pace that doesn’t let up, it should top your list as well.

- Frederik Hautain

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