|Cover art for Buffy #17|
“Buffy” fans recognized the weapon that was stolen from the vampire slayer in the pages of “Buffy: Season 8” #12 as the slayer scythe that was bequeathed to her at the end of season seven of the TV series. Die-hard “Buffy” fans recognized it as the scythe wielded by future slayer Melaka Fray in the pages of the Joss Whedon penned “Fray” comic book mini series published by Dark Horse in 2001. And where the slayer scythe goes, Fray is not far behind. CBR News spoke with “Buffy: Season 8” assistant editor Sierra Hahn about the upcoming Buffy/Fray crossover.
It all begins with “Buffy” #16, the first installment of Joss Whedon’s four issue arc entitled “Time of Your Life.” “Willow’s been given some intriguing information that involves Buffy, the Scythe, and New York City,” Hahn said. “Adventure and chaos ensue and Buffy finds herself in the presence of one Melaka Fray.” Hahn wasn’t allowed to say much more than that, but she did reveal that Season 8 regulars Kennedy and Violet are featured prominently in the story, as are familiar faces from the “Fray” comics.
The events in the “Fray” comics take place hundreds of years after Buffy Summers’ turn as the slayer. One of the major threats in “Buffy: Season 8” is a future without magic, and come Fray’s time, that future has come to pass. “‘Time of Your Life’ will get closer to figuring out what happened in the past that created Fray’s future,” Hahn said. “The death of magic would not only put an end to multiple Slayers, but all Slayers.” Indeed, when Fray takes the mantle as slayer, no one had held that title for hundreds of years.
At the heart of “Fray” is the dysfunctional relationship between Melaka Fray, her twin brother Harth, and their sister Erin. To begin with, Melaka and Erin are on different sides of the law: Erin is a police officer and Melaka is a petty thief. On top of that, Erin has harbored resentment against Melaka for years for her part in the death of their brother. But Erin and Melaka come to realize that Harth had not been murdered as they had long believed: Harth had, in fact, been turned, by a lurk (more commonly known as a vampire). From Fray’s perspective, the events in “Time of Your Life” take place after those of the “Fray” mini-series. “In this arc, Fray knows she’s the Slayer, who or what her brother, Harth, has become, and has a much more functional relationship with her big sis, Erin,” Hahn confirmed.
Ever since Whedon and artist Karl Moline co-created the character of Melaka Fray, the pair have been chomping at the bit to return to her world. “Returning to ‘Fray’ was something both Joss and Karl wanted to do, but it needed to be the right time,” Hahn said. “When Joss and series editor, Scott Allie, first began discussing the series they knew Fray would play an important part in Season 8. Then they had to determine when in the storyline Buffy and Fray would meet and how much would need to happen in Buffy’s world before we could really get the two together. We’ve been working on this arc since September, but it was planned out long before issue #1 went on sale.”
Hahn said there are many layers to being an assistant editor. “You’re constantly having to change gears according to the work coming in, and the work going out,” Hahn said. Hahn’s duties include, but are not limited to, proofreading, continuity, deadline management, and word-balloon layout. “In the midst of all of that, I’m also writing solicitation copy, mapping out collected editions of the comics, and writing back-jacket copy. Then it begins all over again. It can be hard work, but also a ton of fun. I mean, hello, I get to work on ‘Buffy’ comics!”
“We’re all psyched to be re-visiting Fray,” Hahn said. “Getting to see her and Buffy duke it out is weirdly thrilling. They’re both so tough, so smart, and just… cool. Fray is such a fun character with her own unique style and way of speaking that she leaves a lot of room for both Joss and Karl to play.” Hahn said there aren’t currently any plans in place for Fray stories after “Time of Your Life,” but she suspects this won’t be the last fans see of the future slayer. “Buffy: Season 8” #16 his stands on July 2nd.
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