Friday, 15 April 2011

Y: The Last Man

I have a thousand things to say about this series, and not one of them is good. The only value, indeed the only reason I think it catches anyone's eye, is the eroticism, which they play up to an utterly un-artistic and unprofessional level. But I'll only linger on the main point which makes this the worst thing Vertigo has ever cranked out, which is that it is the most boring comic I have ever read. I'd say the story had been written by a 4-year-old, except Axe Cop is actually entertaining. I was quick to drop $30 on the first two volumes, tentative to pick up the third, and then, fuming, got the rest of the series from a torrent just to see how it ended; even that was a waste of resources.
It has a promising premise. Unoriginal yes; this sort of thing has been done before (there's at least one grindhouse movie with the same setup) but one of the things graphic novels do best is to tackle tough ideas and make an awesome story out of them. From vikings (the Northlanders series) to cyberpunk (the Gibson adaptations), comics are often the first to take a concept and do it right. I  think the writers of Y really half-assed it here. Now that all the men are dead, the strongest military in the world is the Israeli; the strongest navy, Australia. Democrats now hold an overwhelming majority, and food production was hardly affected. Interesting, but hardly revelatory; you're not touching on half the issues you should be if you want to flesh out the storyline, which is bonier than the unengaging protagonist.

Also in this comic book world, every woman is a hottie. Dr. Mann is supposed to be in her 40s, yet she looks 19 and is the center of most of the books' sexy scenes. While the artists are indeed good at drawing cute girls, I think making them all spanking hot just defeats its own purpose. Porn is widely available; I want some depth if I'm going to be paying for this drivel.

And I'll say it again. It's unbearably boring. Eighty-seven storylines, and not one of them really grabs you. It got to the point where I just started skipping the parts about the Israeli woman; they had zero bearing on the main characters, and even if I had read them I think the resolution of that plot-line would still have made zero sense.
Clearly there was potential with this ensemble of creators; they just needed some slapping around by their publisher, whose job it is to keep this nonsense out of the market until its developers have gotten their act together. Vertigo has seen better days.