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Fray (Re)Read

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Black Thorn
#1
@dcai0830 and I are planning to start reading Fray soon if anyone wants to join us to discuss the series and its implications for Buffy Season 12.

Here's our planned schedule:
Week One (March 18): Fray #1-#4
Week Two (March 25): Fray #5-#8
Week Three (April 1): Buffy Season 8 #16-19 Time of Your Life arc

I'm posting this early so you have time to get the issues if you're interested.

Read along with us or just jump in to share your thoughts as we go!
 

Mrs Gordo

(She's not even a vampire.) No, I'm an attorney.
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Black Thorn
#2
This reminds me stylistically of Angel IDW stuff. After The Fall to be precise.
 
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Black Thorn
#3
But less cheesecake!
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Fray #1-4

I know that this is really working for me because I was totally spoiled about Harth being a vampire and I still gasped at the big reveal at the end of #4.

After reading quite a few Buffyverse comics, it's kind of nice to be working with characters who are not from the TV universe, so I'm not constantly comparing them to their real-life counterpoints on some level. I like Mel. I like the world-building and the way everything looks. My favorite so far is Erin. She's hurtful, but the rule-following big sister is a type that's always going to call to me. I like the sort of id, ego, superego structure with the siblings, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.
 
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Mrs Gordo

(She's not even a vampire.) No, I'm an attorney.
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#4
I’m still making my way through but coincidently idkbybffjill is going to be doing a Fray review too.


He hasn’t started his review yet.

Fray #1

I liked the reveal that the police was Fray’s sister. Gunther is creepy AF. I’m interested in seeing where it goes. I’ll be honest for me it’s hard to get invested in stories that don’t involve the main Buffyverse cast so it’s not s page turner for me but I’m trying to remind myself that this all might be relevant and so we’ll see what I learn.
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Ok @EarthLogic tell me again about what you think the connection might have been between Urkonn and Angel? Bc idk if I’m making this up or not but his dialogue kinda reminds me of Angel.
 
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#5
Fray #5-8

The second half of Fray was pretty fast-paced and interesting. I was spoiled for what happened to Loo, but it still hit hard. I was glad that Mel figured it out.

I thought it was a great touch that Harth's slayer dreams were what allowed him to know enough to become a vampire in the first place, and then to lead them. It's that concept of the universe seeking a balance -- if there's a slayer, there need to be vampires, and vice versa. And it's interesting that Harth himself is something of a slayer/vampire hybrid.

Erin remains my favorite character. I loved that panel of her bringing in the "cavalry."

Is the big demon at the end supposed to be a dragon? Any theories or symbolism tying together the dragons of the Buffyverse? The dragons we saw in After the Fall and Buffy S11 turned out to not really be bad, if I'm remembering right. I wonder if there will be any dragons involved in Season 12...

I don't remember much about the Time of Your Life arc except for the existence of Future Dark Willow, so I'm looking to revisiting that!
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I also liked Karl Moline's side-by-side sketches of Mel and Buffy:

 
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Mrs Gordo

(She's not even a vampire.) No, I'm an attorney.
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#6
I like the sort of id, ego, superego structure with the siblings, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.
Oh see this is an interesting concept, I hadn't really thought of the breakdown. I tend to like Erin too. She is driven by duty and doing what she feels is right. Melaka has a good heart. I kinda like the call back at first to her hesitation at being called, like Buffy. I'm interested in getting through 5-8!
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Ok I had NOT been spoiled on the twin/Slayer essence thing... this is very interesting! I just finished 6, why does Harth says, he loved the girls (former slayers) he dreamed of?
 
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WillowFromBuffy

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#7
Untitled.jpg
This seemed familiar.

I found it less silly than the rest of the comics, but apart from the art, it all felt cliche and uninspired.
 

Mrs Gordo

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#8
Alright done. Didn’t hate it. Didn’t love it. The Urkonn thing was a very nice Jossy twist. It made me incredibly sad.

She never invited Urkonn in right? So we know he isn’t a vampire. It was interesting that she calls him a “great warrior” and that Urkonn is afraid of water.... hmm.

I like Mel. I think it’s funny that Harth is basically some emo kid. I like this idea of the Slayer essence being able to be split off...

Mostly I just hope that at some point in her life Fray can buy herself an unripped shirt. :)
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I want to share idkmybffjill’s video on 1-8.


It’s loooong but he brings up some interesting points. He talks about how the two demons COULD be what are left from the senior partners which I find intriguing.

Also like his discussions about how this story really is about family dynamics and the title isn’t Fray the vampire slayer but “Fray” and so it’s about the full family dynamic. I recall we get some more of Harth in time of your life. I look forward to that. Interesting that he compares Harth to Angelus and discusses how his feelings of love for Fray are once again a demonstration of the way vampires percibe love.
 
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Grace
Grace
Lol, she really loves those half-shirts!

WillowFromBuffy

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#9
Mostly I just hope that at some point in her life Fray can buy herself an unripped shirt. :)
The version I read had a preface by Joss. He talks about how he hates comic book heroines with big breast, standing in weird poses with their panties showing above the waist line. Then the book opens with a groin shot of Mel wearing a loose fitting, thorn, mid-riffbaring shirt.
 
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#10
I decided to switch things up a bit and got the motion comics for the Season 8 Time of Your Life arc. I've watched a little bit of one and they will definitely take some getting used to, but it seems like a fun experiment to watch them. If anyone else is interested, I could stream them in a Rabb.it room like we did for the End of Days/Chosen rewatch.

I'm thinking maybe 9 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, April 1? If you are interested but that's a bad time for you, let me know. I'm open to finding a time that works! Streaming the four episodes/issues will take about 45 minutes.
 
Mrs Gordo
Mrs Gordo
I'm in!
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#11
Time of Your Life

OK, where to start? I had a lot of fun revisiting this arc. I don't remember my thoughts about it the first time, but having not read Fray, I know I definitely didn't get it then (though I do remember doing a lot of googling to understand the basics). And I still don't get it now, really! Too many unanswered questions.

It's such a treat to get Joss-written scripts, though. I wish so much he was actually writing Season 12. Christos is serviceable as a writer but lacks that Jossian flair. I thought it was funny that I had a much easier time following the Fray-era dialogue than the dialogue in the Giles mini, which is self-consciously witty but feels so crowded and heavy that it should be sinking right out of the speech balloons.

Time travel stories are so hard to make sense of! I still have zero clue how Joss and Christos can tie together the two worlds again (and explain Future Dark Willow) without a cataclysmic ending to the Buffyverse (as it seems we won't get, based on Dark Horse's promises that the Buffy comics will continue outside of the season format).

Some of the elements that stood out to me as I watched/read:



But, Willow continues, it's deadlocked spatially. So unless Xander and Dawn moved to Manhattan from SF, then it's unlikely it'll be the same temporal event that causes the problems in Season 12. It's also interesting that the promos have said that Buffy will be caught in a time warp, which is, I think, different from this anomaly. Based on what's said in the issue and some analyses I've read, it seems pretty likely that the temporal anomaly that's deadlocked at the building at 53rd and Lex is caused by Buffy killing Future Dark Willow, though, so it seems possible that we will revisit it in some form.



It's made clear in the arc that FDW could be lying to Harth here, because:



But, since the Fray world *didn't* end when Buffy went back through the portal, it's possible that FDW was lying to Mel, not Harth. Buffy seeing the Frayverse could be what makes it happen, and we just don't know why yet. Or Buffy could have still messed up the Fray timeline somehow and we just don't know it yet. Maybe one of the precipitating events of Harth's return to the past in Season 12 will be wanting to re-establish his world as the future of Buffy's world instead of being in what is now an alternate universe/timeline. Or, maybe the Frayverse can't happen without Harth coming back to Buffy's time and he only knows how to find her because Future Dark Willow brought her into the future to begin with, or something.

It would be interesting if Urkonn and the Fray-era sources have been wrong about what caused the end of magic in (presumably) Buffy's time. Maybe Buffy destroying the seed was conflated with this upcoming demon battle, and it's actually an entirely different explanation. I'm on board with the theory out there that Gates the spider-monkey demon is named after Giles, and the "Battle of Starbucks" at which he sacrificed himself is the Twilight battle, so I think there's at least some possible evidence of the two being conflated.

Also, unless someone tells me it's been directly contradicted, I'm going to assume that Buffy is actually talking about Twilight as the one that's "too ridiculous to comprehend" here, since a) c'mon, that's always the true one, and b) I personally cannot comprehend it, either.



I've only read each of the comics seasons once, so I could be majorly forgetting other clues or misinterpreting stuff, so please clue me in if I'm clueless.

I can't wait to find out why Dark Willow is so sad...



I loved getting to see the bigger cast of Season 8 again as well -- Vi especially. Also, sue me, but I love Centaur Dawn and the Xander/Dawn banter. I also liked Erin and Buffy's big-sister bonding.