Monday, May 4, 2009

Book Review: Fray by Joss Whedon

Melaka Fray is just another street kid, earning her living grabbing for Gunther, a mutant crime lord. Her big sis, Erin, is a cop who keeps trying to save Mel from herself, but Mel hasn't wanted anything to do with Erin since their little brother, and Mel's twin, was murdered by a Lurk when he and Mel were on a grab for food together. Just trying to survive, Mel doesn't see any reason to question her unusual strength- until the day a huge dude with really big horns shows up in her apartment and announces that she is the Chosen One, the first Slayer to come into her power since the 21st century.

Yep, that's right, this is Joss, and Mel is the vampire Slayer of the future. This is Buffy set in the world of Firefly, and it's pretty much awesome.

It's hundreds of years in the future, and Manhattan is a slum destroyed by radiation and war, the poor living in the warrens below and the wealthy living in the Uppers (oh yeah, there's totally flying cars in the future!). Though the demons were all banished from the Earth in the 21st century by a past Slayer, they've slowly been seeping back into our world. Vampires are known as Lurks now, but with all the crime lords and radiation mutations (Gunther is a creeptastic fish-man), nobody really pays too much attention. Which is what the vamps are counting on, since they've got a new leader and are about to make a comeback in a big way- unless Mel accepts her destiny, defeats her past, and saves the world in an apocalyptic, Slayer-style battle.

Joss really makes a big splash in his first graphic novel (he's got tons more now- if you like this one, check out Astonishing X-Men and the eighth season of Buffy). You thought Buffy packed a lot of punch? Check out Melaka as she battles crime lords, mutants, demons, vampires, and even her own family in this awesome story of one tough girl's fight to stay ordinary when she's anything but.

(currently catching up on the gap in my Joss fandom by watching Firefly!)

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