It's not war, or murder, and it might not even be disease--but in the opening pages of Y: The Last Man, every male organism dies. Simultaneously, they all cough up blood, fall over, and that's it--from religious officials dead in the Vatican to corpses littering the floor of the Tokyo Stock Exchange--every being on Earth with a Y chromosome is dead.
Besides being left with one big question and a pretty gruesome cleanup, the women of Earth are faced with nothing less than catastrophe. Governments are decimated, armies confused, schools and prisons full of chaos. Desperate attempts to regain some semblance of civilization develop--from feminist extremists and religious zealots to panicked housewives.
And then there's one severely confused 20-something, Yorick Brown. Yorick--along with his pet monkey, Ampersand--are, inexplicably, the only male organisms left alive on the planet. Teaming up with a shadowy government bodyguard, Agent 355, the geeky, charming, absolutely average Yorick is left to navigate the shambles of a world forever changed, discovering why he and Ampersand survived, and what he's supposed to do about it.
The most amazing thing about Y is its thoroughness--writer Brian K. Vaughan and penciller Pia Guerra have created a wholly believable post-male world. Its authenticity comes in the darkly funny yet likely details: "Worst part is," one ex-model laments as she drags male corpses off the streets, "I spent three grand on my boobs before everything happened. Fat lot of good our tits do us now, right?" Or when it's discovered who's next in the U.S. chain of command--a thoroughly unprepared Secretary of Agriculture. Or when thousands of women flock to the Washington Monument--a fitting location to mourn the dead.
Through it all, we follow the macrocosmic struggles of an entire gender trying to make sense of what's happened, and the philosophically wrenching journey of the hapless Yorick as he attempts to survive. Y: The Last Man is sci-fi at its best: imaginative, believable, funny, relevant, terrifying, and, ultimately, painfully undeniable in its greater repercussions.