The Last Man, By Brian K. Vaughan And Pia Guerra Essay

The Last Man, By Brian K. Vaughan And Pia Guerra Essay

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Y: The Last Man is a comic book series by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. In the first issue titled Unmanned, a plague of unknown origin killed every male mammal, fetus, and sperm with a Y chromosome. The only male survivors of this “gendercide” are Yorick and his pet monkey Ampersand. Vaughan combines texts and images to show the representations of masculinity and femininity.

The story opens in a panic with the female police officer saying “All the men are dead” (Vaughan, 4). In the following panel, Yorick Brown, the protagonist of the story, is introduced to the reader. He is the last man left alive. Like many stories, men are mostly the protagonists. They are the active one that forwards the story while the women are there to be looked at. However, male characters are often being controlled by their emotions, whereas women are more attentive, and able to act rationally. For example, Yorick and Agent 355, one who is emotional, and the other who is opposed to Yorick. Agent 355 have the common sense which Yorick is lacking of, and she always plan ahead for every situation. Since Yorick is the only male left alive, it would cause chaos if others see him. For this reason, they have to travel as safely as possible. In a conversation they have in Washington, Yorick tried to make a joke about Agent 355’s name but she did not pay attention to him. She then suggested, “we need motorcycles” (86) to make it to Boston because the roads are a mess and it is impossible to walk on foot. This shows that Agent 355 is well-thought-out, hence women are more rational. The conversation then turned into a fight when Agent 355 asked Yorick to stop talking and “keep (your) [his] voice down” (86). Yorick then driven by his impulse and ask back, “Why d...


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...ity. On the other hand, Guerra draws Agent 355 wearing a black suit and a masculine haircut to show that she is mature. Guerra also draws the panel when she is fighting the assassins to show that she is violence. Altogether, the images provide additional information to the reader of how masculinity and femininity are represented in the story.

Overall, Y: The Last Man shows the representations of masculinity and femininity. The representation is actually opposite in the story, in which the women are becoming more masculine and man is becoming more feminine. Thus, the representations invert as femininity being represented as rational, mature, and masculinity being represented as irrational, emotional. Provided that this is a female dominated story and the fact there is only one male character, it is hard to say that the representation of masculinity is true after all.

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