Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review # 123: "Y: The Last Man - 'Paper Dolls' and 'Kimono Dragons'"

"Y: The Last Man" started to lose some of its momentum in in its sixth volume and - unfortunately - by the end of the seventh it doesn't have it back.

"Paper Dolls" has an artificial quality to it. An early dilemma introduced by a reporter carries no weight going forward; we go across the seas to play little more than catch-up with the less-imposing Hero and the consequences of Yorick's night spent in a church; a character is killed off in what's parlayed as a shocking moment, but isn't at all pivotal; Agent 355 gets a backstory... in which we learn nothing that we didn't already expect. It is easily the worst volume in the series, but that's not to say it's terrible or anything. It's still quite good, just not AS good.

So thank goodness "Kimono Dragons" comes along which helps to recapture the sheer insanity of the first few volumes. Yorick and his party arrive in Japan to find the Yakuza has undergone quite the metamorphosis. With all the men killed off, they've been replaced by a mob of young women. Their boss? A Canadian pop star, idolized now as a crime queen. It's so crazy, yet - for Japan - is a disturbingly believable turn of events.

Through a bizarre sequence of happenings, the pop star ends up in possession of Yorick's pet monkey Ampersand who may hold the key to restoring Earth's male population. The rescue operation begins and... well, it's over pretty quickly. If "Y: The Last Man" becomes a TV series (which I expect it will,) their time in Japan could last an entire season. I feel like there's a lot more to explore. The volume ends with two more spotlight issues, both of which are very good. Combined, it's a solid push forward and just what the series needs as it goes into the home stretch.

Rating(s): 7/10 ("Paper Dolls"), 8/10 ("Kimono Dragons")

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