Y: The Last Man
Book 9 - Motherland

Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artists: Pia Guerra and Goran Sudzuka
Titan Books
RRP: 8.99, US $14.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 454 8
ISBN-10: 1 84576 454 4
Available 22 June 2007

Finally reunited, the last two males on Earth - Yorick Brown and his pet monkey Ampersand - are on a slow boat to China, heading for a long-anticipated reunion with Yorick's lost fiancee in Paris. But while the pair are getting ready to cross two more continents with their long-time protector Agent 355, their other travelling companions - biochemist Dr. Allison Mann and her girlfriend Rose - are nearing the end of a different quest: finding out what caused the plague that wiped out every other mammal with a Y chromosome four years before...

Motherland draws a neat line under one of the story arcs as we say goodbye to several of the regular characters. Dr Mann finds out who is responsible (possibly) for the plague that wiped out all the male mammals, and Yorick finds out that he is not the last man on earth. However, it's just Yorick's luck that the one remaining man has a death wish, and wants to take Yorick with him.

As with previous releases in this series, writer Brian K. Vaughan succeeds in cramming more twists and turns in this one collection than most other serials manage over several volumes. The fact that you know that Vaughan puts the story before the characters means that the reader is never sure where the plot will head off to next. As Vaughan is not afraid to kill off, or leave behind, some of the main characters, you can be sure that there are very few predictable moments.

The result is that a fairly basic sci-fi plot is elevated from just "a good idea" to one that is much more than simply the sum of its parts. One of the best comic releases around at the moment.

Darren Rea

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