One of the interesting recent developments in the world of comics is the influx of writers from other media. Think about the likes of Kevin Smith or the Wachowski brothers, both better known for their film work, and you get an idea of what we're talking about. Now it looks like TV folk are also getting in on the act, with Buffy the Vampire Slayer's creator Joss Whedon leaping aboard.
Fray is a further extrapolation of the chaotic world of vampires and demons Whedon whipped up for Buffy. However, instead of occurring in the present day, Melaka Fray is a vampire slayer from the future, destined to save the world from a demonic insurgence - she just doesn't realise it when we first meet her.
The differences between Buffy and Fray are minimal. Dye Buffy's hair a different colour, scar her lip and stick in a nose stud, and you won't be far from Fray. Fray may start on the wrong side of the law and have a demon as a mentor, but she's still as sassy, cocky and independent as her predecessor.
Where the main changes occur are in the scale of the piece. Whedon has moved into the magic of comics well, and made the most of his artists' abilities to create future worlds with flying cars and armies of vampires, without having to worry about televisual budget constraints. While on the subject, the art is dynamic and emotive, with great looking characters and backdrops. Fray lives in a slum area, which all looks suitably brown and crappy, though she seems to maintain a brightly coloured wardrobe of crop tops and low-slung combat trousers when all around her wear grey or brown. Oh well, if you're born to follow in Buffy's footsteps.
The plot is above average, with a few surprises and twists as we travel through. The dialogue felt forced in places, though it might have been partly to do with the use of slang, which travels down that horrendous sci-fi cliché of replacing swearing with similar if less offensive alternatives, but just ends up sounding about as inoffensive as 'drat' or 'darn'.
But then realism isn't what all this is about. This is the story of how a kick-ass, attitude laden, petty criminal from the future becomes a kick-ass, attitude laden, vampire killer from the future. Read it if you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ignore it if you don't.
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