Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fray by Joss Whedon

Title: Fray
Author: Joss Whedon
Artists: Karl Moline (Penciller), Andy Owens (Inker), Dave Stewart (Colourist), Michelle Madsen (Colourist), and Michelle Madsen (Letterer)
Publication Date: November 2003
Length: 216 pages (paperback)

I read Fray last year, but decided to give it a reread before starting Buffy Season 8 Volume 4, because it has a connection to Fray and I wanted to refresh my memory. It was every bit as good as I remembered.

The book takes place hundreds of years in the future, when the Slayer line has ended and been more or less forgotten. But now, vampires have started coming back into the world, so another Slayer has been called: Melaka Fray. But Fray hasn't had the dreams that Slayers normally have, giving them a sense of their purpose and heritage.

Fray is a great character. Joss Whedon imbued with aspects of both Buffy and Faith, creating a young woman who's strong, clever, witty, and doesn't take crap from anybody. Most of the other characters are either bad guys, or good guys that I just don't feel a strong attachment to, with the exception of Loo. This is Loo:

She is the most delightful character ever. Fray calls her "Rocketmouth" because she talks in long incoherent string of often unrelated topics. This is Loo meeting Urkonn for the first time:

The one problem I've had both times I've read this book is that I tend to get a bit confused about people's intentions. That's probably just a fault of my own, but I find it hard to know at times what people's motivations are, and where they sit on the spectrum between good and evil. This also might be because I don't read a whole lot of comics, so I sometimes find them a bit harder to follow than novels.

As for the art, I have nothing but praise. Fray is what I wish every female superhero was. She's tough and beautiful, while having a realistically shaped body, and wearing clothes that actually make sense for her profession. No impractical high heels for Fray! Also no unrealistically big boobs. This is one of the things Joss Whedon insisted on, which is just one of the many things I love about Joss Whedon.

Overall I give Fray 4 out of 5 stars. It only lost one because it occasionally confused me. Highly recommended for any Buffyverse fan, but it's accessible to people who aren't familiar with the Buffyverse, too.

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