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Posted August 8, 2006
Slayer worthy of reading
You don't need to be a 'Buffy' fan to enjoy 'Fray.' Joss Whedon delivers what you'd come to expect if he did a comic book, action-packed, funny and dark with a cool heroine who isn't at all 'cheesecake' like other comic book heroines. The story is set supposedly in a futuristic slum of Manhattan, really it could be any metro-area. Melaka Fray isn't ordinary, she's a theif or a 'grabber' as it's called and works for a fish boss. It gets even more complicated when her big sister, who's a cop or a 'law' catches her in the act of theivery. Oh and a large goat-like monster shows up and says she's 'the slayer' and demands that she slays 'vampires.' (AKA 'Lurks') 'Fray' is a quick read, full of stunning artwork. There are funny parts as well as dramatic scenes. I only have two complaints, one is about the slang, 'That's so rocketship' would never catch on and doesn't work. The other is that 'Fray' leaves the story wide open, which would be fine if there were a sequel! It leaves you way too hungry for more at the end. That being said, 'Fray' is still really, really enjoyable.
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Posted August 15, 2012
My first review of "Fray" was not posted. I will try again.
"Fray" is set around the poor section of a big city with a strong female character and her mentor. (Chronologically, it occurs many generations after "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is gone.)
Mel Fray is a thief (a.k.a. grabber) for an unusual boss. Eventually, she becomes, yet another, reluctant vampire slayer. (Remember Buffy Summers?) Instead of an assigned Watcher from the Council, Mel ends up with an oversized-red-half-goat-demon of dubious origin to train her. It seems that everyone has their own agendas, and many include Mel whether she likes it or not. The ending was good, but I wanted more of an epilogue.
My issues with this graphic novel include the awkward slang, and the use of an alternative world as the setting. First, the slang is so strange and lengthy, that it is difficult to imagine it in our everyday vocabulary. Second, how did the world get so messed up? Why are there children with missing limbs, eyes, etc. What about the multitude of creature mutations? There are scant fragments of info in the book, but it is never satisfactorily explained.
Additionally, the vampires (a.k.a. Lurks) are considered to be hopelessly unintelligent and diseased humans. They warrant only pity and are avoided by the general population. Even the police do not bother with them. It bothers me that not until much later, do they become the fearsome and cunning denizens of the underworld that we know and love. I would like to get back to the traditionally scary beasts that we can fear and appreciate from afar, preferrably.
The illustrations are well drawn, and in full color. The dialogue could have been better. But, the overall storyline and subplots twisted and turned in some very enjoyable ways.
"Fray" is a self-contained story arc that can be read alone or in combination with the "Buffy/ Angel" series. This short, but interesting comic book is a welcome addition to the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" universe. I would definitely read a sequel to this graphic novel.
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Posted July 6, 2010
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