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Joss Whedon

Fray The Vampire Slayer Comics Book - Ign.com Review

By Hilary Goldstein

Saturday 24 September 2005, by Webmaster

Fray Review - The Slayer of the future should be in your hands now

September 23, 2005 - Before he dazzled comics fans with Astonishing X-Men, Joss Whedon made a notable mark on the industry with Fray. Set in the far future, 200 years after the vampires had been assumed extinguished, Fray follows the arrival of the newest slayer. Melaka Fray is a grabber, a thief without much conscience, who lives in the slums and has no clue about her destiny. There has been no need for a slayer in two centuries, but, as a crazed faction of remnant Watchers predicted, the vampires have returned.

Not only does Fray not believe in vampires, she doesn’t even know what one is. As her demon tutor attempts to teach her the proper ways of a slayer, Fray continually heads off in head-strong fashion. She doesn’t take orders and she has no cares for the problems of the world. That is until the vampires come banging at her door.

Fray is not Buffy set in the future. There’s no gang of Scoobies, not high school love drama, no Wiccan best friend. Fray’s a loner who can handle herself just fine in combat, but Whedon has deftly avoided any obvious comparisons between his new creation and everyone’s favorite blonde slayer.

As with most sci-fi tales, the future is a crappy place to live. It’s made all the worse by the impending vampire infestation. In the future, radiation has mutated a number of citizens, making a giant horned demon seem almost in-place with society. Vampires aren’t even called vampires anymore. They’re known as lurkers and they are more often the subject of open mockery than shrill screams in the night. With Buffy Whedon made evil almost impossible to distinguish, because the vamps could look just like us. In Fray, he keeps the vamps grey and ugly, but changes the population to match. Once again, evil can hide in plain sight.

The lurkers aren’t a particular problem for Fray, she’s been going toe-to-toe with the nefarious human element for years and can handle herself just fine. So why does this slayer fear the vamps so much? And what business does a demon have acting as Watcher? Fray has sufficient mystery to make each page-turn worthwhile and sustain the action through all nine issues. And when it’s over, more questions remain and the door is left wide open for a sequel.

Whedon has a great sense of dialogue and timing. He infuses the most horrific or tense moments with levity. There are moments where it seems Whedon is about to tread down familiar ground — reluctant slayer, stubborn mentor, all-powerful vampire — but takes sudden turns to keep Fray from predictability.


Written by: Joss Whedon

Art by: Karl Moline

Publisher: Dark Horse

Genre: Action

Price: $19.95

Suggested Age: 14+

Release Date: Now Available Rating: Must Read

You don’t have to be a Buffy fan to enjoy Fray. As long as you’re looking for an entertaining romp through the future, you really can’t go wrong here. The only downside is that when you reach the last page, you won’t want the story to end. Prepare yourself; It could be a bit of a wait.