Throwback Thursday: Y: The Last Man: Vol. 4: Safeword

Y the last man vol 4


Publisher: Vertigo
Released: December 1st 2004
Received: Own
Issues: 18-23
Warnings: Death, sexual assault, suicidal talk
Rating: 4 kitty rating

We’re almost at the halfway point for Y: The Last Man, and it still manages to hit me in the feels. Yorick is the last man alive (that we know of) and it’s safe to say he isn’t happy about it. Neither is anybody else, when you get right down to it. The team behind Y have done such a fantastic job building and maintaining this world, it’s hard not to get invested in the characters and their well-being.

Spoiler Warning

Warnings first: This is a pretty heavy volume, which is saying something. Yorick is sexually assaulted (I think that’s the correct term? Yes?), where he confesses his past sexual assault, and then is forced to confront the very serious levels of survivor’s guilt that he’s feeling. Naturally this involves a discussion about suicide. And being that this is Y, there are character deaths. I feel like I shouldn’t even bother stating that at this point.

Every time I think I’m used to things, that I’ve seen the worst of it, I’m proven wrong. This volume hit me pretty hard, to say the least. Poor little Ampersand is still hurt, and worse, he’s getting sick because the injury has become infected. I was sincerely very worried about his health, and wasn’t sure if he was going to make it (I didn’t think they’d kill him off so early, but I’ve learned not to make assumptions in this series). Between you and me, (spoiler warning) I actually made my husband swear up and down that Ampersand made it through this volume, I was so worried.

There are really two major plots in this volume; the first one is Yorick being left behind with another agent (711) while 355 and the Doctor go get help for Ampersand. The second is more about their travels together; remember they’re still trying to get to San Francisco. Not exactly an easy trip, considering everything they’ve come up against.

I’m honestly still a bit shocked about what happened to Yorick while he was away from his friends. I never really thought 711 was trying to hurt him (355 is a better judge of character than that – at least I think she is) but it was still insanely freaky. Plus her word choice, however intentional, was pretty off-putting. What was more disturbing were the revelations about Yorick and his past during this volume. Suddenly I understand why he’s been so pious this whole time (again, I think there are ways around this issue, but Yorick just isn’t thinking like that). He’s got a lot of pent up issues about sex, bordering on repression (I say mostly because I think he wants to be with his fiancée like that, so he hasn’t completely shut it off?).

I’m glad they covered that Yorick has survivor’s guilt. It didn’t occur to me until that moment, but it absolutely makes sense that he would be suffering from it. It also explains his erratic and dangerous behavior – part of him didn’t think he deserved to keep on living. Poor guy. As if he doesn’t have enough going on right now.

As for the other plot…well…I need to keep reminding myself not to get attached to newly introduced characters. Not only do a lot of people seem to get caught in the crossfire, but 355 has proven to be exceptionally talented and killing people that are in their way.

Once again I find myself happy that I’m so far behind in this series, as I can happily go and pick up the fifth volume next. Granted, I may need some time to sit and absorb everything that just happened here…

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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