This is a continuation of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer thread I started over on the “old board” last April. Alan and Mike convinced me that the show’s move from the WB to the UPN and the start of season six is a logical time to move this discussion to the board’s new home. For those of you who might be new to the discussion, I am in the process of watching this series, start to finish, for the first time. I don’t provide much in the way of recap because I’m working under the assumption that most of you reading this thread have at least a passing familiarity with the series. The ground rules of this discussion are simple: I can (and will) spoil anything I want to, but you can’t spoil anything I haven’t seen yet. Ready? Okay, let’s begin.

SEASON SIX: EPISODES 1/2: “BARGAINING—PARTS 1/2”

I actually don’t have much to say about the two-part season opener. Most of it was spent resetting Buffy’s apparent death at the end of season five. Shouldn’t her death have triggered a new Slayer to have been called up? Judging from the opening credits it looks as if Giles is going to be out of the cast on a permanent (or at least semi-permanent) basis. I’m really enjoying the development of the “relationship” between Buffy and Spike thoughout last season and into this one. Apparently even vampires are subject to classical conditioning!

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I really would encourage you to re-think your strategy re: Fray. It's the next storyline, "Time of Your Life", that crosses over with it, and there are sufficiently twist-y, Whedon-y surprises in Fray that will be spoiled in "ToYL" that I think it would be a good idea to read them in that order.
Honestly some things might not make as much sense for you without reading Fray...

Alan M. said:
I really would encourage you to re-think your strategy re: Fray. It's the next storyline, "Time of Your Life", that crosses over with it, and there are sufficiently twist-y, Whedon-y surprises in Fray that will be spoiled in "ToYL" that I think it would be a good idea to read them in that order.
Oh, very well! Geez! :)

(It's just that i don't know anything about Fray.)
Okay...Fray...is about a Slayer in the far future...drawn by Karl Moline.

Basically it is a future where Vampires and Slayers have long ago gone extinct except that well maybe both are coming back, since Melaka Fray find herself chosen.

There are 8 issues.



Jeff of Earth-J said:
Oh, very well! Geez! :)
(It's just that i don't know anything about Fray.)
And I think it might be a better comic series than Buffy Season 8 too...
Oh...no I don't believe that...It was cool, but um no.

Figserello said:
And I think it might be a better comic series than Buffy Season 8 too...
Um yes.

Fresher, Tighter, more believable within its own conceits.

For starters.
Hey, I’ll be the judge of which is better, thank-you-very-much! :P

I know something about Fray, now: Hundreds of years in the future, Manhattan has become a deadly slum, run by mutant crime lords and disinterested cops. Stuck in the middle is a young girl who thought she had no future until she learns she has a great destiny. In a world so poisoned that it doesn’t notice the monsters on its streets, how can a street kid like Fray unite a fallen city against a demonic plot to consume mankind?

The reason for my seeming reluctance to read Fray was that, because it crossed over with issues of BS8 that are fairly recent, my thought was that it might not have been collected in tpb yet and I didn’t want to buy the individual backissues. I needn’t have worried on that score, though, because the Fray mini came out in 2001 and has been collected since 2003! And it didn’t even cost me anything up front because I have trade credit. So I’ll be reading Fray next and moving on to the fourth BS8 tpb immediately after that. I imagine that, somehow, either Fray is transported to the past or that Buffy travels to the future, but in either case the story must occur after the events on the mini from Fray’s POV.

I was also concerned that my participation on this thread would soon be coming to an (albeit temporary) end as I intend to continue tradewaiting this series, but I received a brief stay of execution when my LCS owner told me that BS8 tpb5 is scheduled to ship next week!
FRAY

If reading a four-issue BS8 story is equivalent to watching a TV episode (and I think it is), then the eight issue Fray limited series is like a Joss Whedon movie, especially when read in a single sitting. Those of you who have already read Fray don’t need me to tell you what’s good about it, and those of you who are Buffy fans and haven’t read it really should. It reminds me very much of GrimJack, one of my all-time favorite comic book series. Joss Whedon’s view of Hell and of demons and of vampires is very similar to John Ostrander’s in the first place, but another similarity is that the GrimJack storyline once took a leap a couple of hundred years into the future, too. GrimJack, like Buffy, was known for its supporting cast, yet when it leapt into the future lightning struck twice and John Ostrander was able to establish an equally interesting and diverse supporting cast. With Melaka and Erin, Urkonn and Gunther, Icarus and Harth, and Loo, Whedon created supporting characters as captivating as Willow, Xander, Giles, et al.

I wouldn’t say I like Fray better than BS8, but I am very interested to learn how Whedon is going to tie them together.
You may have figured this out from the publishing timeline, but Buffy's "scythe" actually made its first appearance in Fray, with no intention of it ever playing into the Buffy series. But when they were doing season 7, Joss decided, "Y'know what I would love to see...", and so it became part of the modern continuity, too. :)
For a very long time, Fray was all we knew about what happened after Season 7.

Fray did have a very well-realised world worked out and the plotting/storytelling by Whedon seemed masterful when I read it first.

We had the best of both worlds with Fray. A fresh new world and character and a story that could possibly go anywhere (like an indie comic), but the comfort of a familiar property too (like the big brands we all love).

I didn't give it much thought before this thread, but there are a few factors leading me to place Fray above S8 with the objective aesthetic qualities of each series not nessecarily being the main consideration.

First of all, I read Fray as a TPB whereas I've been reading S8 on a monthly basis, with very little rereading. I'm not sure it stands up like this. To take your '4 issues = a programme' theory, its like watching ten minutes of a show each month! Buffy's emphasis on character and dialogue works great on TV, but it slows down the forward motion of a monthly comic.

I wanted to reread from the start along with this thread, but I've misplaced my first 10 issues somehow. Bah!

Secondly, I'm sure Joss would be the first to admit that much of the charm and humour of his show had a lot to do with the skills of his talented and charismatic cast and it wasn't just his script. Comics obviously lose out there.

Thirdly, after 7 series, at the end of which Buffy defeated the ultimate evil forever*, she is still getting it hard. Buffy the character seemed very tired and weary by the end of season 7 (possibly a reflection of Sarah Michelle Geller's gruelling work schedule), but that seems to have carried over into S8. The character's weariness seems to be leaking into the comic as a whole by my reading. Notwithstanding all the big things Chris mentioned in his blog that couldn't have fitted into the budget of the TV show, there just seems to be some spark missing. This from someone who appreciated each of the TV seasons on their own merits.

Finally there are more recent elements that are dampening my passion for the Buff one's current series overall, but we'll get to them when you do on this thread.

I was shocked a while ago when Doc Beechler declared he had dropped the Buffy comic. I knew he was a big fan of the TV show. Although he didn't specify why he was bailing, perhaps it planted a seed in my mind.

A seed of doubt!




*I know, I know!
I hadn’t really “done the math” regarding the first appearance of the scythe. When I was watching Buffy on DVD, I didn’t try to mentally place them in the years they were first broadcast, but thought of them as happening “now.” That’s kinda cool, really. Thanks for pointing it out!

There is a lot to your analogy about “watching” BS8 in 10 minute increments, Figs. I also agree that much of the charm and humor of the dialogue is lost by simply reading it rather than hearing it performed.

SEASON EIGHT: ISSUES #16-19: “TIME OF YOUR LIFE”

I see now why Alan and Ana insisted that I read Fray before continuing on. Whereas I think it would have been possible to follow “Time of You Life” without having read Fray, I certainly got a lot more out of the former having read the latter first. It probably would have been best to have read Fray before starting BS8 in the first place so that it wouldn’t have been so much of an interruption, but you’d’ve never convinced me to do that!

There were so many reversals (not to mention outright lies) that I’m not quite sure who to believe of which timeline is “true” but I’ve decided to just go with it for now in the hope that it will be revisited in the future. I will that I hope Fray’s future isn’t the world Buffy fought so hard for and sacrificed so much to bring into being.

Am I crazy or is Whedon setting up a romantic relationship between Xander and Dawn? I got that vibe earlier in the series but I really got it in this story. And who was that guy with the “Twilight” scar who showed up at the end? Was that Riley?

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