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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Cover image of Fray

I don't read many comic books, but I am a big enough fan of Joss Whedon's work in other media that I thought it was worth giving Fray a try-- and it is well-worth the time. It doesn't take a long time to read, but it may take longer to process and think through the fascinating world and characters that Whedon (with the help of the visual artists, of course) have created here.

Melaka Fray is a street-savvy "grabber" who fetches (steals) things for a price. She lives in the darker part of the city, where the poor people live, and where mutated or deformed humans are common. There are vampires around ("lurks", in the street slang-- Fray doesn't even know them by the term "vampire"), but there hasn't been a Slayer for centuries-- so when the need for a new slayer arises and Fray is the chosen one, she doesn't get a lot of help. As was often the case for Buffy, there are always personal complications in the fight against vampires, and this story is no exception to that rule. I like that Fray is drawn fairly realistically (and not as some juvenile fantasy of what a woman might look like), and I also like the fact that she has a very particular and distinct style (there are some pencil sketches reproduced at the end of the book, and it is fun to see Fray next to Buffy).

One thing I wondered about is how Fray's world fits in with the end of the Buffy TV series, because at the end of the series they changed the rules about slayers-- and this seems to predate that rule-change, in a way. The story does reference a huge battle involving the last slayer, which banished all the demons (although if that is the case, why are there still vampires in the slums?). I suppose if it has been centuries since there have been any slayers, and even the watchers are a little bit crazy, there is a little bit of leeway for how the rules might apply to Fray-- after all, she doesn't seem like the type to follow them, anyway.

Author:Joss Whedon
Date published:2003
Genre:Science Fiction / Horror
Series:part of the Slayerverse
Number of pages:216
Notes:This is a graphic novel.


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