Today’s Super Comic — Fray #1 (2001)

Fray 1Catch-up post!

Adaptations are tricky. I’ve read some fun Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics, but no matter how talented an artist is, he or she will never be able to capture the full breadth of an actor’s mannerisms. Something always feels like it’s missing.

But with the miniseries Fray, Joss Whedon sidesteps the adaptation problem by creating something entirely new within the Buffy universe…just set many years in the future. It’s a spinoff where the only element that carries over is the concept of a vampire slayer, but everything else is different, fresh, and ideally suited for the comic book medium.

Melaka Fray is no Buffy clone. She’s got her own distinct personality and motivations in a distinct setting with a distinct supporting cast. Not a piece of source-material baggage to be found. But like Buffy, she comes across as an engaging, flawed heroine right from the start.

And, thanks to a solid script by Whedon and great layouts by Karl Moline, the result is a fantastic read—whether you’ve ever watched an episode of Buffy or not. The first issue succeeds in setting the stage for a compelling story, particularly because it does so without burdening the reader with an onslaught of exposition.

If you read one Buffy-related comic, this should be it.

Writer: Joss Whedon

Penciler: Karl Moline

Inker: Andy Owens

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; Fray (TPB)

Appropriate For: 14 and up