One avid Buffy fan takes a look back at the four-year, forty-three-issue comic book “season” of his favorite television show…
PLOT: Willow channels her inner Star Trek-er and senses a temporal anomaly, sending her and Buffy to New York to meet up with Kennedy and Vi. Then, switching to Star Wars in order to have Admiral Ackbar be able to say “It’s a Trap!”, Buffy is zapped a few hundred years into the future where she encounters one Melaka Fray, future Slayer [and eponymous heroine of Whedon’s first Buffy-verse comic foray, the 2001-2003 best-selling mini-series Fray – Ed.]. Futuristic hijinks and mayhem ensue, during which we discover that Willow is a) still alive, b) evil, c) killed by Buffy. And Buffy is perturbed to learn that there is no record of the Slayer army she leads in the history books of Fray’s time. Back in normal time, techno-geek Warren and witch Amy (oooh, those meddling kids!) team up to build a large magic-laden missile to blow up the slayer’s Scottish castle. Also, Dawn has progressed into the next phase of her curse, going from giant to centaur.
FAMILIAR FACES: Fray! (and other characters associated with Fray!) Kennedy and Vi in actual comic form (instead of in comic-vision or comic-TV-commercial forms), Riley.
WHAT WORKS: Since Fray was first introduced, fans everywhere (I’m assuming… I didn’t actually take a poll or anything) wanted a Fray/Buffy crossover, and we finally get that. Woo! Battle of the axe-looking scythes! Buffy’s realization that she should have treated the English language better herself as she tries to understand what Fray is saying is quite amusing.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK: I must admit that I feel like I’ve missed something with this series. Willlow is evil, still alive centuries hence, mostly power drained, and wants Fray to kill Buffy in order to save the world. Why, however, is not well explained. Maybe I missed it, maybe I’m an idiot… or maybe it just isn’t well explained. So while it was cool and all to see the Fray/Buffy cross-over, it’s also a bit of a head-scratcher to me. I, for one, prefer to understand what is going on rather than… well… not.
REVELATIONS WITHIN: Dawn’s a centaur! Willow is evil in the future! Felicia Day is still hot even in comic form! Riley’s working for Twilight!
XANDER: How’re you feeling?
DAWN: Like I was ridden hard and put away wet.
XANDER: Agh! Dawn that’s dis — oh. No. It’s just true.
BUFFY-NESS FACTOR: Moderate. Comic form is really the only way this could have worked, and some of the character interaction was good, but it was a little too far out there to really feel like Buffy.