Monday, March 28, 2005


After I posted my little rant on Y: The Last Man vol. 1, I didn't intend to think about the series ever again (unless perchance I got some feedback on it, which hasn't happened). But since then, I've read an advance copy of Bambi and Her Pink Gun vol. 1, which also is pulpy and violent and has an unlikeable protagonist and thin characterizations in general. And yet I enjoyed Bambi (which I'll be reviewing eventually) a lot. So I tried to figure out just what had irked me so about Y.

Here's what I came up with: Y's plot is pure trash, but the emotional tone is all wrong for trash. The characters are all dour (as distinct from grieving), and they keep making speeches (when they aren't trading one-liners). All this gives the impression that something real and important is going on. At the same time, the characters, setting and plot are too flimsy to justify this serious tone. As with Daredevil #56, it's basically a question of honesty: the work pretends to a seriousness, and an emotional realism, that it doesn't possess.

Also, Y seems to exist primarily to show off Vaughan's cleverness. This is something I dislike in much of Moore's Image and post-Image work, and in Morrison's work as well; but at least Moore and Morrison really are clever. Vaughan isn't, at least judging from this volume.

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