'Y: The Last Man': How a post-apocalyptic graphic novel inspired the FX show
FX show 'Y: The Last Man' is based on the graphic novel series of the same name written by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra
There has been a massive influx of shows based on graphic novels in recent years. Production giants like HBO, Netflix, Paramount, and more have been investing a lot in such shows to cater to a large section of society who loves to see their favorite novels getting a live-action adaptation.
Shows like ‘Watchmen’, ‘Lucifer’, and ‘Wynonna Earp’ have done amazingly well for their respective production houses and created a massive fan base. It seems FOX also doesn’t want to stay behind and is foraying into the genre with the upcoming series ‘Y: The Last Man’. The story revolves around a phenomenon that has occurred and killed every person with the Y chromosome. Only two people have managed to survive the apocalypse: a magician called Yorick Brown (Ben Schnetzer) and his pet monkey, Ampersand.
Do the story and characters sound familiar to you? Let’s find out if the show is based on a graphic novel or not.
Is ‘Y: The Last Man’ based on a graphic novel?
The answer to that question is YES. The FX show is based on the graphic novel of the same name written by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. The comic book series was published by Vertigo from 2002 to 2008. The graphic novel starts on July 17, 2002, all living mammals with a Y chromosome—including embryos and sperm—simultaneously die, with the exception of a young amateur escape artist named Yorick Brown and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand. Additionally, many women die from disasters caused by the men’s deaths, such as plane crashes.
Women believe that humanity is doomed to extinction. Meanwhile, Yorick’s mother, who is a member of the US House of Representatives, tells one of her agents to protect Yorick at any cost. The duo travel to meet geneticist and cloning expert Dr. Allison Mann, who works to discover why Yorick survived and find a way to save humankind. Due to damage at Mann's laboratory in Boston, the trio first travels across the country to Mann's other lab in San Francisco, then to Australia and Japan.
During the course of the series, there are a lot of explanations given on how every being with the Y chromosome suddenly died. But a definite answer is never given. According to Vaughan, it is up to the readers to decide how the apocalypse took place.
Here are the important characters in the comic-book series:
- Yorick Brown, a young amateur escape artist, and our protagonist
- Agent 355, Yorick’s bodyguard who works for Culper Ring, a mysterious US organization
- Dr. Allison Mann, a geneticist trying to know the cause of plague and why Yorick survived
- Ampersand, Yorick’s Capuchin monkey and the only other male mammal to survive the plague
- Beth Deville, Yorick’s girlfriend
- Beth 2, Yorick’s one-night stand and mother of his daughter
- Alter Tse’elon, the new chief of the general staff for Israel
A total of 60 issues have been published in the ‘Y: The Last Man’ franchise. Here are the titles of these issues:
‘Unmanned’ (Issue 1-5)
‘Cycles’ (Issue 6-10)
‘One Small Step’ (Issue 11-17)
‘Safeword’ (Issue 18-23)
‘Ring of Truth’ (Issue 24-31)
‘Girl on Girl’ (Issue 32-36)
‘Paper Dolls’ (Issue 37-42)
‘Kimono Dragons’ (Issue 43-48)
‘Motherland’ (Issue 49-54)
‘Whys and Wherefoes’ (Issue 55-60)
Awards and Recognitions
In 2003, ‘Y: The Last Man’ won the National Comic Award for Best New Comic. In 2009, ‘Y: The Last Man, Volume 10: Whys and Wherefores’ was nominated for the first Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story.
‘Y: The Last Man’ airs on FX on Hulu on Sunday, September 12, at 12 am EST.