I can honestly and somewhat ashamedly say that I had one single experience with a comic book before reading Y:The Last Man. I used to go to a comic book store quite often while my brother purchased items, but I was never particularly attracted to them myself. However, that’s not to say that they haven’t touched my life in any way. Superheroes were classic icons while we were growing up – they were seen in action figures, LEGOs, in McDonalds happy meals, Halloween costumes, and in films when they came out. By the way, happy meals were amazing weren’t they?
While I could probably talk about childhood experiences concerning McDonalds for a long time, I’ll try to stick to comics. The only comic I’ve ever opened prior to Y:The Last Man was Watchmen just a few years ago. I eagerly borrowed it from a cousin when I first saw previews and trailers for Watchmen as a film. This means that I was in high-school when I first touched a comic book. Before that, I had thought comic books were childish and even immature. I didn’t fancy it as something I would enjoy reading. However, after reading Watchmen, I found that I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the comic, from the plot, character development, artwork, writing style, metaphors and symbolism, and so on. I thought the movie was also artistically and graphically outstanding, with solid acting and incredible action. It seems that since the Watchmen film has come out, modern film versions of other various comic books have been released. These have generally been met with massive enthusiasm not only from myself but from comic and film enthusiasts around the nation. There are plenty of examples, such as Thor, The Green Lantern, Kick-Ass, Captain America, and Cowboys & Aliens.
After having my thoughts on comics easily and instantly reversed by Watchmen, I was happy to see on the syllabus that I would be reading a comic book in college. My thoughts on Y: The Last Man are varied. I think the ideas behind it are in both fantasy and science fiction categories. It applies to fantasy because the events of the story and the characteristics of Yorick make him out to be a typical action hero that you would find in today’s fiction. I would also place it into the science fiction genre based mostly on the post-apocalyptic setting. I was impressed with how visceral the novel was. Similar to Watchmen, it was incredibly graphic and even disgusting at times. While I did not enjoy it as much as Watchmen, I found the endings to be coincidentally similar. Cliffhangers were employed in each novel. Based on the movies I’ve seen, this style is off the beaten track when it comes to comics, as many end with the world back to normal or the villain or threat eradicated.
Also in the same vein as Watchmen, I was impressed with how thoughtful this comic was. I had originally thought of comics as short stories with limited plot and even more limited character depth. However, each comic exceeded my ignorant expectations in a delightful manner. I was looking forward to reading Y: The Last Man but I had not imagined such a compelling novel that would have everything I would enjoy in a story: action, science, fantasy, romance, tragedy, adventure, animals, epidemic, and lots of women. The violent imagery provided it with a dark feel that added to the obscenity of some portions. However, the darkness is what sells these days. You only have to analyze the Batman films and how much they’ve made to prove that. In the end, it is clear that this novel has much more grit to it than a “childish, immature” picture book. I am glad that I read this and Watchmen, but be warned, they are not for the faint of heart.
After doing research for comics that I would be interested in reading today, I stumbled upon The Avengers. If I could read about multiple superheroes in one graphic novel as opposed to just a single superhero, wouldn’t it just multiply the amount of awesomeness? Those are my thoughts anyway. Comics Avengers vs. New Ultimates looks particularly intriguing, as it depicts pitting superheroes against other superheroes and describing their epic battles. Furthermore, there’s an Avengers film coming out soon and I will definitely be looking forward to that. In conclusion, I am by no means a comic book aficionado. However, I have truly enjoyed the comic books that I have read and I think I can be counted on to read some more in the future, as well as enjoy their film versions.