Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Y: The Last Man.
People are already buzzing about the new FX series, Y: The Last Man. The show is based on a comic book series of the same name that ran from 2002 – 2008. The comic books could give us some hints as to how the television show ends. At the same time, however, there’s a major difference between the show and its source material’s underlying themes.
The comic book series written by Brian K. Vaughn suffers due to its male perspective, according to many reviewers. Rather than being an empowering feminist tale, it turns is a story about society’s need for men.
On the other hand, the FX series adapted by Eliza Clark is engaging in its plots revolving around women. The television and comic book series could, however, end the same way. So how does the comic book series end?
The end of ‘Y: The Last Man’ comic book series is incredibly tragic.
It’s honestly about time that Y: The Last Man was adapted into a television series — from the beginning to the end, the story is extremely cinematic. It’s impossible not to imagine it on the silver screen while reading about the post-apocalyptic life of Yorick (the last man).
In the comic books, we get to see Yorick from the moment the apocalypse happens all the way to his own end, even though that doesn’t mark the true end of the world.
In “Whys and Wherefores,” the penultimate four issues of the comic book series, we learn how the stories of our favorite characters end. As we know from the pilot of Y: The Last Man, Yorick becomes so obsessed with finding his Beth that he loses sight of everything else going on in the world.
In the end, Yorick finds her. But when Beth reveals that she was going to break up with him pre-Plague (surprise), he leaves to get some air.
Yorick realizes that this entire time, he actually loved Agent 355, who helped him find Beth. But their relationship is short-lived; Agent 355 is shot dead by a character named Atlas, who reveals to Yorick that Agent 355 was involved in the inception of the Plague.
She and her group, the Culper Ring, created a chemical agent to stop women from giving birth to men and passed this to China as a weapon. However, it went wrong, and killed all people with a Y-chromosome.
Yorick reunites with his sister, Hero, and the Beths (Beth, Second Beth, and Beth Jr.) to share the devastating news of Agent 355’s death. Plus, he doesn’t give Atlas the death she wanted — whether she was telling the truth about the inception of the Plague or not — and gives her to the troops instead.
There’s a time jump in the final book in the ‘Y: The Last Man’ series, which is how it truly ends.
Although we know most of how Yorick and Agent 355’s story ends, there’s one final installment in the comic book series that jumps forward in time to show us what becomes of Yorick, Hero, and the three Beths.
The original Beth and Hero end up together in an unexpected (and to many fans, contrived) twist. To keep the human race alive, there are many clones of 22-year-old Yorick walking the earth. The 17th clone visits the original Yorick to find out what happened to him.
The original Yorick, now 85 years old, is in an asylum after trying to take his own life. He was placed there by his daughter, Beth Jr. after he married her mother, Beth II. We also see him end Ampersand, his pet capuchin’s suffering, in an emotional sequence (there really should have been a warning for that).
It becomes clear that old Yorick is still unhappy, and he distracts Yorick XVII long enough to escape out of his second-story window and free himself from his straitjacket. The only word on the final page of the comics is “Alas,” referencing the line in Hamlet, “Alas, poor Yorick.” What will become of Yorick in the television show, and will it end similarly to the comics?
The first six episodes of Y: The Last Man are now available to stream on Hulu.