Spoilers Y The Last Man

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Skipper, Aug 6, 2021.

  1. Sylvie

    Sylvie Goddess of Mischief Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2001
    Location:
    Known Alias: Awesome Possum
    It depends on how the disease or whatever kills men works. Plus given the large number of intersex people, it would interesting to see how this affects them.
     
    Markonian, Jinn and Wednesday Addams like this.
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2016
    Just for the sake of curiosity I looked up for other examples of Gendercide in fiction and this is the most comprensive list that I have found:
    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Gendercide

    At first glance it seem what differentiate Y from them is:

    1. In Y we don't know what killed all the men. In other fiction works usually is a virus or a war.
    2. In Y all the men are instantly killed
    3. Y is set during and immediately after the plague. Other works are usually set years (or centuries) after the death of the last man.
    And last but not least, the works of fiction which deal with disappearance of men usually are some kind of feminist manifesto. Nothing wrong with that, but it seems that Y is the first work that is concerned with what would happen on a practical level in such a case.
     
  3. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2017
    Doesn’t it kill everyone with a Y chromosome? I think only a very small group of men survive it.
     
  4. Sylvie

    Sylvie Goddess of Mischief Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2001
    Location:
    Known Alias: Awesome Possum
    I don’t recall the comic ever saying exactly what happened.
     
    Skipper and Wednesday Addams like this.
  5. Evil Headhunter

    Evil Headhunter Scarecrow Keeper Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Location:
    Scratchman's Land
    The comic never explicitly says what killed all of the men. Several ideas are explored throughout the series but none of them are definitive answers and author Brian K. Vaughan has avoided ever stating the reason when asked.
     
    Skipper and Wednesday Addams like this.
  6. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2017
    Really? That’s annoying. I’m not a fan of stories like that. That’s what really bugs me in the Walking Dead.
     
  7. Evil Headhunter

    Evil Headhunter Scarecrow Keeper Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Location:
    Scratchman's Land
    The ambiguity is part of the appeal for me.

    Besides, what caused the plague isn't the point of the series.
     
  8. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    The cause isn't important to the story.
     
  9. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2016
    They did a lot of stories about gendercide, and the reason why it happened is always just a plot device. Virus, wars, radiation, sometimes even aliens (!). But usually the "why" is never the subject of the story. The authors are just interested in depicting what would happen in a world where a particular gender disappeared.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
    crookeddy and Evil Headhunter like this.
  10. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2016
    By the way, an anime about this particular subject is ICE, and this is one of the most depressing and nihilistic anime I ever saw. And I saw of lot of them.

     
  11. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    Exactly. Disaster stories (the good ones at least) are never really about the how and the why of the disaster itself, but how it affects people, how people cope with and are changed by it, and perhaps most importantly it's a new lens with which to view human society as a whole.

    'Y The Last Man' isn't really about a world in which all the men died, or a world "ruled" entirely by women, or even about the adventures of the last living man and his pet monkey. It's about examining our selves and our societies and asking questions about why things are the way they are, how they might change, and at least thinking about how they *should* change.
     
  12. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2016
    To tell the truth, even if the comics isn't about the "why" and "how", they spent a lot of pages about investigating the causes of the plague. Yes, we don't learn what really caused the death of all men, but it isn't like the author completely put aside the subject to focus only on a sociological study.
     
  13. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    I didn't say they ignore it entirely as part of the plot, just that it's not the central focus, let alone the point of the story.
     
  14. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2016
    I read some old 70s scifi novel with a similar subject (Houston, Houston, Do You Read? still haunts me...) and there the cause of the gendercide was really just a pretext. In comparison with them, Y spend a lot of time on trying to find what happened. It really seem a major plot point.
     
  15. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    More like several plot points as in an exact cause was never pinned down, despite multiple seemingly mutually exclusive possibilities. It's not discarding the cause from the narrative (because the idea that nobody in this situation would seek for such answers would have been utterly unbelievable), but it does make it clear that ultimately it doesn't actually matter.
    Again. Finding the cause was never the driving force of the narrative. If anything was the end goal, it was in finding a way to continue...but even then as with a lot of storytelling journeys, the point was the journey itself, not the destination.
     
    Wednesday Addams likes this.
  16. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    It's all but said that if you were born with a y chromosome, you were dead. Vaughn said the book does give us the real answer, he's just not saying which one it is.

    "I feel that there is a definitive explanation, but I like that people don't necessarily know what it is. In interviews we always said that we would tell people exactly what caused the plague. The thing was, we never said when we were going to tell. We weren't going to tell you when we were telling you, I should say. We might have told you in issue #3. There might have been something in the background that only a couple people caught. It might have been Dr. Mann's father's very detailed, scientific explanation. It might have been Alter's off-the-wall conspiracy theory. The real answer is somewhere in those 60 issues, but I prefer to let the reader decide which one they like rather than pushing it on them."
     
    Wednesday Addams likes this.
  17. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    The "but" part is rather crucial though, no? That's kinda the whole point of ambiguity.
    Also: correlation does not imply causation etc. etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
  18. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    It's not crucial at all for this story, actually. Besides, when the book is titled "Y", and most chapters end with some form of graphic representation of "Y" visually, and every character keeps mentioning Y chromosomes, it's PRETTY easy to see that, yeah, that's what did them in. Why fight occam's razor other than for the fight itself?

    Again, not that it matters, the point of the story is everything BUT the why.
     
    Gaith and Wednesday Addams like this.
  19. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Sure, but what people want to see addressed are the questions like what do they do to survivor or how they are treated by the women who survived.
     
    Sylvie, Wednesday Addams and Skipper like this.
  20. Sylvie

    Sylvie Goddess of Mischief Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2001
    Location:
    Known Alias: Awesome Possum
    It’s weird that anyone would want to limit a story by ignoring an entire kind of people. Especially a story about gender.
     
    YLu, Jinn and Evil Headhunter like this.