Y: The Last Man Vol. 7: Paper Dolls

Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Year: 2007
Genre: Action/Adventure

I was an avid Y reader through the sixth collection, but I put off buying #7 because I had heard a lot of disappointed reviews. Specifically, I heard complaints that nothing happened in Paper Dolls, that the story had lost its way.

Now, it's true that the plot doesn't advance a great deal in this story arc. There's a lot of backstory and a few subplots are updated, but we're no closer to any answers to the Great Central Questions. Readers who were once burned by The X-Files may now be feeling a little shy.

That said, I don't count myself among them. I felt that Paper Dolls was putting the pieces in order for an upcoming Big Event (our heroes' arrival in Japan). I have faith in Vaughan, at least for the time being, that he does know where the story is going.

Most important, I'm still enjoying the story. Vaughan, much like my other favorite comics writer of the moment, Joss Whedon, writes characters who feel like individuals. The writer/artist John Byrne once wrote that characters need to look different from one another, targeting comics where you can only distinguish them by the color of their hair or the logo on their costume. Characters in Vaughan (and Whedon) not only look different -- they talk different. That sort of writing can keep my interest through a serial's inevitable lulls.

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