Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
The final issue of Y came out this week, and it was a nice send-off to the characters. It’s no Suicide Squad #66 or Preacher #66 (what’s up with good final issues being #66?), but it’s probably as good, if not better, than Lucifer #75 or Starman #80.
Now that I’ve set up some context for the issue, on to the issue itself!
First off, as Brian K. Vaughan does in his column in the issue, let us give a nice nod to Jose Marzan, Jr., who inked every issue of Y. The pencilers may not have stayed the same (although Pia Guerra started and finished the series) throughout, but Marzan was an artistic constant.
Anyhow, the issue takes place about fifty years in the future, and it is about a clone of Yorick Brown coming to visit the mid-80s original Yorick Brown, who is nearing death. The two talk, and we get to see what happened to everyone else, via flashbacks.
Some of the flashbacks are utterly devastating, such as the one with Ampersand’s death. Such a well-written scene by Vaughan, and well executed by Guerra.
Some of them are a bit hackneyed, with Beth/Hero being the biggest perpetrator. Beth/Hero? It is like those shows where cast members just end up together because, well, they’re both cast members, so why not? (See Friends, ER, et al) And you get a bit of the cheap thrill out of seeing two characters you know with each other. Like I said, a bit hackneyed.
I’m a bit torn on Other Beth. I would have liked to have seen a flashback where we see Yorick choose Other Beth, or at least show them together in a flashback, but I suppose you could make the very real argument (and I presume it is Vaughan’s intent, as Yorick and Other Beth’s daughter points it out) that it really doesn’t matter WHO he ended up with once Agent 355 died. And that’s a fair enough argument, but I still miss getting a chance of seeing Yorick and Other Beth together.
It was great to see Rose again, and the sight of all the Doctor Mann clones was quite impressive. Equally impressive was the introduction of the comic, where we meet Yorick’s clone in a nice scene where the clone flirts a bit with a young woman who had never met a man before.
Vaughan goes with the cliche a bit by having a flashback to when Yorick was just beginning his journey with Agent 355 and Doctor Mann, but you know what, like some other instances, cliches are cliches because they WORK, darnit – and this one worked beautifully.
This all led to the fantastic ending of the issue, which was also quite beautiful. And the title of the story? How wonderful of a title was that?
Great job by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra.
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