A TV series based on Y: The Last Man, the award-winning Vertigo comic series about a sex-specific apocalypse, has always seemed inevitable, but ever since the comic series wrapped in 2008, plans for a live-action adaptation have lingered in apparent development hell. That all changes next month with a TV series finally launching on Hulu, and the news came in the form of a trailer showing off its stars while explaining the series’ peculiar twist on a society-crushing disease.
The original comics, as written by former Lost writer/producer Brian K. Vaughan (also involved with beloved comic series like Saga and Paper Girls), revolved around the simultaneous death of everything on Earth with a Y chromosome, humans and animals alike. Thursday’s new trailer recaps the same premise by focusing its lens on the president of the United States succumbing to a bloody collapse, followed by apparently every man on the planet… save one.
That man, Yorick Brown (played by Ben Schnetzer), begins making his way across a decimated United States, and this TV version matches the comics by including his pet monkey named Ampersand (who also has a Y chromosome). Meanwhile, his mother, Senator Jennifer Brown (played by Diane Lane), apparently assumes control as president of the United States. That’s a twist on the original comics, which had Yorick’s mother in Congress but not necessarily promoted to the top of the pecking order.
The rest of the series’ premiere trailer requires reading between the lines based on what we know of the original comics. The easiest connection to draw comes from the character of Agent 355 (played by Ashley Romans), a member of a clandestine American military group assigned to protect Yorick, and we see 355 kick butt and activate explosives on Yorick’s behalf. We also see a hint of rival factions among the surviving women, though the trailer doesn’t clarify whether they’re a one-for-one match for the apocalyptic Daughters of the Amazon. There are also brief flashes of original series characters like Dr. Allison Mann (played by Diana Bang) and Yorick’s sister Hero Brown (played by Olivia Thirlby).
A live-action take of Y: The Last Man has bounced around in terms of possible projects for over a decade and included a feature-length movie that never moved into production, a 2018 TV pilot that was scrapped, a change of showrunners, and a recasting of the lead role of Yorick. It’s unclear whether the series’ exclusive home on Hulu will be a boon for whatever shape the series turns out to be, though we’re hopeful that the plot’s emphasis on a predominately female cast (and FX’s insistence that the whole first season is directed by women) will offer a breath of fresh air on TV screens starting September 13.
Listing image by FX