Y: The Last Man is a dystopian science fiction comic book series by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra. It was published in sixty issues by Vertigo, of DC Comics, beginning in 2002, then published as collected editions in ten paperback volumes, followed by a series of five deluxe hardcover volumes.
On July 17, 2002, all living mammals with a Y chromosome—including embryos and sperm—simultaneously die, with the exception of a young amateur escape artist named Yorick Brown and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand. Many women die from disasters caused by the men's deaths, such as plane crashes. Society is plunged into chaos as infrastructures collapse, and the surviving women everywhere try to cope with the loss of the men, and the belief that, barring a rapid, major scientific breakthrough or other extraordinary happening, humanity is doomed to extinction.
Yorick's mother, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, commissions Agent 355 of the Culper Ring to protect Yorick. The two travel to meet geneticist and cloning expert Dr. Allison Mann, who works to discover why Yorick survived and find a way to save humankind. Due to damage at Mann's laboratory in Boston, the trio first travel across the country to Mann's other lab in San Francisco, then to Australia and Japan.
During the trip, the group is chased by multiple parties who know of Yorick's existence and want to capture or kill him for their own purposes, including an Israeli army commando named Alter, the militant Daughters of the Amazon, and a ninja. They also meet friendly women such as Yorick's sister Hero (who is initially brainwashed to kill her brother), a Russian soldier named Natalya, an astronaut named Ciba, a former flight attendant named Beth who becomes pregnant after a one-night stand with Yorick, and Rose, an Australian sailor.
In China, the group learns Mann's father, Dr. Matsumori, is also still alive and has created many clones of Allison Mann. He also reveals that Ampersand had been one of his lab animals, and that he only ended up in Yorick's care by accident. When Mann learns that Matsumori plans to murder Yorick before committing suicide, she kills him. Armed with the samples and information she needs, Mann stays in China to work on cloning.
Yorick and 355 journey to Paris, France, where Yorick is reunited with his fiancée. After initially celebrating their reconnection, Yorick realizes he actually loves 355. It's not the woman he was looking for that he loved, but the woman walking alongside him. 355 feels the same, but at the moment they finally come together 355 is killed by Alter. When the Israeli commando attempts to capture Yorick, he defeats her and learns her dedicated pursuit of him was actually a roundabout way of suicide. He lets her live, and she is remanded into the custody of the Israelis.
Yorick marries Beth 2, and their daughter becomes President of France. Hero and Yorick's former fiancée, Beth Deville, become lovers, Mann successfully begins cloning humans, and society eventually stabilizes. At least seventeen Yorick clones are produced, and geneticists are able to produce clones of other males. At age 85, Yorick is institutionalized following a joke interpreted as a suicide attempt. After imparting advice to one of his clones, he frees himself from his straitjacket and escapes.
Ten Paperback Volumes
|#||Title||ISBN||Release date||Collected material|
|1||Unmanned||ISBN 1-56389-980-9||January 2, 2003||Y: The Last Man #1–5|
|2||Cycles||ISBN 1-4012-0076-1||September 1, 2003||Y: The Last Man #6–10|
|3||One Small Step||ISBN 1-4012-0201-2||April 1, 2004||Y: The Last Man #11–17|
|4||Safeword||ISBN 1-4012-0232-2||December 1, 2004||Y: The Last Man #18–23|
|5||Ring of Truth||ISBN 1-4012-0487-2||July 13, 2005||Y: The Last Man #24–31|
|6||Girl on Girl||ISBN 1-4012-0501-1||November 23, 2005||Y: The Last Man #32–36|
|7||Paper Dolls||ISBN 1-4012-1009-0||May 1, 2006||Y: The Last Man #37–42|
|8||Kimono Dragons||ISBN 1-4012-1010-4||November 22, 2006||Y: The Last Man #43–48|
|9||Motherland||ISBN 1-4012-1351-0||May 9, 2007||Y: The Last Man #49–54|
|10||Whys and Wherefores||ISBN 1-4012-1813-X||July 1, 2008||Y: The Last Man #55–60|
Five Deluxe Hardcover Volumes
|#||Title||ISBN||Release date||Collected material|
|1||Deluxe Book One||ISBN 1-4012-1921-7||October 28, 2008||Y: The Last Man #1–10|
|2||Deluxe Book Two||ISBN 1-4012-2235-8||May 6, 2009||Y: The Last Man #11–23|
|3||Deluxe Book Three||ISBN 1-4012-2578-0||April 13, 2010||Y: The Last Man #24–36|
|4||Deluxe Book Four||ISBN 1-4012-2888-7||October 12, 2010||Y: The Last Man #37–48|
|5||Deluxe Book Five||ISBN 1-4012-3051-2||May 3, 2011||Y: The Last Man #49–60|
- Alter Tse'elon
- Beth Deville
- Beth II
- Ciba Weber
- Hero Brown
- Representative Jennifer Brown
- Dr. M/Dr. Matsumori
- Rose Copen
- Doctor Matsumori
- Agent 355 (primary)
- Agent 711
- Agent 1033
- Agent 1451
- Anna Strong
- Beth Jr.
- Captain Belleville
- Daughters of the Amazon
- Fish & Bicycle Productions
- Heather and Heidi Hartle
- The Last Girls
- Lucia Ober
- President Margaret Valentine
- Doctor Ming
- Natalya Zamyatin
- Paloma West
- Setauket Ring
- Vladimir and Joe
- Vladimir Jr.