You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share
Jewesses with Attitude

Since we’re talking about comic books…

Those of you whose lives don't involve a weekly update on what new comics have come out this Wednesday might not be familiar with Y The Last Man, a 60-issue comic book (10 volume graphic novel), whose much anticipated final issue just came out last month.  The premise of Y The Last Man is that a mystery plague instantaneously wipes out every man and male mammal on planet Earth except for Yorick Brown, a 22 year old magician/slacker, and his capuchin monkey, Ampersand.  Chaos ensues and Yorick, along with a mini-entourage of government bodyguard Agent 355 and super-geneticist Dr. Alison Mann, heads west across the decimated United States (and later the globe) to a) find out what caused the plague and b) look for Yorick's beloved girlfriend Beth, who was in Australia when the plague hit.  You can begin to imagine what kind of craziness they find (and get themselves into) along the way.

"A comic book about a world populated entirely by women?" you say.  "Cool!"  So, it is and it isn't.  I mean, it is cool, but the main character is still a man, which is sort of funny in a world full of women.  What this comic highlights is all the places that the world falls down because of enduring gender discrimination.  There are few female pilots, so when the plague strikes, virtually all airplanes fall from the skies; with only 16% of congressional seats held by women, there is a void in government; with virtually no female plumbers, electricians, or construction workers, the entire national infrastructure begins to fall apart. 

The societies that fare best in these semi-apocalyptic times are those in which women already hold the most positions of power - notably the Israeli military, which had the highest ranking female officers in the world.  Alter, the primary Jewess of Y the Last Man, and her comrade/nemesis Sadie (who becomes a judge) are totally fierce, though ultimately Alter comes off as a semi-psycho with a death wish.  On the other hand, how often do Jewish women (aside from Kitty Pryde of the X-Men) appear in comic books?  Making an appearance in one of the largest and most successful comics to have been drawn by a woman (the amazing Pia Guerra) is exciting, and to me a logical next step in the long tradition of Jews and comics.

To read more about feminism and comic books, check out When Fangirls Attack.   

More on: Art, Fiction, Comics

How to cite this page

Rabinoff-Goldman, Lily. "Since we’re talking about comic books…." 1 August 2008. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 27, 2016) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now


Which topics pique your interest on the JWA blog?

Sign Up for JWA eNews



21 hr
"If the tables were turned and Donald Trump worked for his daughter, he would have been fired long, long ago.”
1 day
After decades of waiting—and months of lobbying—female air force pilots of WWII will finally get their hero's burial
1 day
"...I decided to interview and profile Yael Marans, a childhood friend and overall mensch."