Tuesday, February 7, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] Fray by Joss Whedon

Title:  Fray

Author: Joss Whedon

Artists: Karl Moline and Andy Owens

Genre: Horror / Superheroes

Year Published: 2003

Year Read: 2012

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 15+ (Death, Gory Violence and Mature Themes)


* 2 cups of Joss Whedon’s writing

* 2 tablespoons of one tough heroine

* 2/4 teaspoons of demons and vampires

* 1 cup of pure action-packed fun!

And what do you get?  BUFFY!

Well actually, you get “Fray” this time, same premise but different character.

What is this story about?

One hundred years in the future, Manhattan has become a dark and crime ridden place and while various monsters run the streets under the notice of the police, there lives a young girl named Melaka Fray who happens to be a street thief stealing things for money.  One day however, a demon named Urkonn visits Melaka and tells her that she comes from a long line of forgotten slayers and that she is destined to save Manhattan from the invasion of demons.  Can Melaka save Manhattan from the demon invasion?

What I loved about this story:

Joss Whedon’s writing: Well, aside from the fact that this story is strongly related to one of my most favorite TV shows, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Joss Whedon’s writing was extremely strong and even though there were too many elements relating to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (tough heroine fighting vampires to save the world), the story felt like it was set in its own universe, even distancing itself from the world of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as this story is set in a dystopian world where criminals rule the streets.  Joss Whedon has done an excellent job at setting this world in a dark futuristic world where crimes rule the street, sort of like how criminals rule the streets of Gotham City in the “Batman” comics. 
Melaka Fray: I just loved the portrayal that Joss Whedon has given the main heroine of this story, Melaka Fray!  Melaka Fray is like Buffy Summers from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” except she is a grittier version of Buffy since she is a thief and she loves to fight anyone for the thrill of it while Buffy Summers is tough but she always has a sweet personality that makes her a really likable person.  I loved the way that Joss Whedon unfolded her character throughout this book as she is not shown as an unsympathetic street thief since she became a thief because of the death of her brother where she constantly blames herself for his death, which provides more depth to her character.  Also, her estranged relationship with her law-abiding sister Erin, who happens to be a cop, also adds more depth to Melaka’s character.  Also, it was awesome seeing Melaka fighting vampires as she has some really impressive moves that rival Buffy’s moves when she is fighting vampires!

Karl Moline’s and Andy Owens’ artwork: Karl Moline and Andy Owens’ artwork is extremely phenomenal in this book!  I loved the way that Melaka Fray is drawn as she looks like a punk girl with blue hair that has pink tips at the ends and has purple lipstick which made her look extremely impressive and tough!  I also loved the images of the demons and vampires themselves as they are really creepy looking as they are pale and have sharp teeth and yellow eyes and since I am a huge fan of gory images, there are plenty of gory images of vampires getting their heads sliced off that drawn me in this book.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

Since this book is about vampire slaying, there are many gory scenes where vampires are getting their heads cut off and also there are scenes of innocent people getting bitten by vampires that might make readers who are uncomfortable with blood and gore feel a bit disturbed.  Also, even though this does not become an issue for me after I finished reading this story, there are a lot of similarities to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” that might make you think too much about “Buffy” throughout this book:

* Melaka Fray fights vampires (Buffy)
* There are demons and vampires terrorizing the town (Buffy)
* The heroine comes to terms with her destiny as a Slayer (Buffy)

But despite these similarities, I still think that this story stood out extremely well and I found myself being invested in the characters and the story itself!

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Fray” was an awesome read for me and I would definitely read this book over and over again in the near future.  Unfortunately, there are no more books about “Fray” being made at this moment and after reading the ending of this book; I really wanted to see more of the book “Fray” and Melaka Fray’s endless battles with the vampires. I hope that Joss Whedon writes more stories about “Fray” in the future!


  1. If you haven't checked out Buffy Season 8, then you might want to do that because Fray does come up in that season. I won't say more. :)

    1. That's great Satia! I was planning on reading Buffy Season 8. I can't wait to see what happens that season! :D