Author: Joss Whedon
Artists: Karl Moline and Andy Owens
Titan Books
RRP: £14.99
ISBN 1 84023 448 2
Available now

Meet Melaka Fray - street thief and hustler. Born hundreds of years after Buffy Summers, Fray must take on the mantle of the Slayer and, guided by her demon ally, Urkon, face a threat for which she is totally unprepared. The monstrous undead - long thought destroyed - have come back to prey on mankind once more...

When your empire is crashing down around your ears... when only one of your TV shows is still going, and not that strong... then it's time to cash in on what you know sells. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was Joss Whedon's strongest show - Angel keeps trying to reinvent itself every year and Firefly disappeared with a whimper.

So, for Whedon's first graphic novel he embarks on familiar territory... that of the Slayer. Fray is a Buffy of the future... a future in which the "V" word is unknown - they just don't exist. Instead, the local population and the police force call them "lurks", but they are unaware of their blood drinking antics.

This first collection sees Melaka Fray discovering her destiny to save mankind from the horrors of the latest big bad and his attempts to bring Hell to earth (although some would argue it is already here).

I was expecting a Buffy remake, set in the distant future. But thankfully Whedon surprised me by reinventing his own universe to the point where it is unrecognisable. Sure, it's still Buffy in the future, but it also works as a stand alone project.

The trademark Whedon humour is present and correct, thankfully, as is the knack of constantly surprising the reader. This vampire universe is soooo old hat now that you'd think there would be few shocks and surprises you could throw at your audience. Yet, I was genuinely surprised by no less than three revelations in this collection - things I should have spotted coming a mile off.

The artwork is also worthy of note. There is a real dark and claustrophobic feel to Fray's environment - not quite as depressing and gothic as Batman's - which gives it an edge.

Joss Whedon's first real attempt at comicbook writing is a resounding success. To all of those who still think he is a one trick pony... well... er... that argument has still to be disproved, but this is still a mighty fine collection.

Darren Rea

Buy this item online
We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal!
(Please note all prices exclude P&P - although Streets Online charge a flat £1 fee regardless of the number of items ordered). Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£10.49 (
£14.99 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.