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Aftermath
Chuck Wendig
Dhalgren
Samuel R. Delany
Jackals
Charles L. Grant

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 2: Cycles

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 2: Cycles - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, José Marzán Jr. As I mentioned after reading Unmanned, I gave volume two of this series a go to make sure I wasn't missing anything about it. It didn't really improve, so I feel okay in not going any further into the story. There's a very interesting premise here, which is different enough from the other "Last Man on Earth" stories I've read to pique my interest, but the final product is a bit too juvenile and ridiculous to keep it.
In this volume, Yorick has made it a bit further into his journeys, accompanied by a doctor and a government agent, and he stumbles across a town that seems to be doing very well for itself. They have power and water, and even a hydroponic garden, and when he and the agent need some medical assistance, that's where they wind up. The Amazons (including Yorick's sister, Hope) catch up with them and a showdown takes place, and that's really the main plot of this particular story arc. It's okay, but nothing special.

What really bothers me about it, though, is the blasé attitude that the author seems to take to portraying the women. through themselves and through Yorick. Yorick has a bad habit of referring to them as "ladies," and at one point is pretty surprised that they managed to figure out how to get the electricity running. The Amazons are a summation of every man-hating cliché you've ever heard, wrapped up in a bunch of violence and anti-male dogma. At one point, the leader of the Amazons expresses regret over the use of violence, but then states that "so long as one of those men runs free, it's what we have to do," or some such nonsense. It's a bit stupid and ridiculous. Add to the mix a bit of an "I'm the last man on Earth, so every woman must want me" vibe, and it gets almost offensive.

In the hands of a better writer, I think the premise could have held up to the promise and expectations I had for the series. As it is, though, it's hard to stay interested in the series. Now that I've read that the cause of the deaths is never really explained, there's not much left here to make me want to read any more of it.