Move Over Buffy — Here Comes Fray

From E! Online
By Chuck Kim

So what would happen if Buffy the Vampire Slayer were renewed for 300 seasons?

Get ready to meet Fray.
Buffy creator Joss Whedon is ready to unveil his next vampire-slaying spinoff–only this one won’t be on the WB or UPN.

No, Fray is an eight-issue comic book from Dark Horse Comics in which teen angst and high school take a back seat to action.

Cast in a far-flung future of flying cars, half-fish humanoids and ray guns, the comic chronicles the adventures of a new slayer, Melaka Fray. While Fray will possess the basic attributes of a slayer (a teenage girl with superhuman strength, speed and fighting prowess), there will be few other similarities between the TV series and the comic.

“I didn’t want to write a Buffy comic, because, well, that’s my day job, but at the same time, I wasn’t comfortable with launching some completely new thing,” says Whedon.

“I wanted to do something based on the mythology of the Slayer. There has been no magic–no demons or vampires or magical creatures–on the Earth for a few hundred years…and a bit of vampirism has sort of resurfaced, but nobody knows what it is. Nobody even knows they ever existed or has heard stories of vampires-that eradication has really did them in.”

While the TV slayer can rest assured that anyone with red eyes and razor-sharp fangs was fair game for a stake in the heart, Fray’s world will be a very different place indeed. Widespread radiation poisoning has led to genetic mutation, causing much of the lower income bracket to sport extra limbs or gills instead of lungs.

“Nobody knows what a demon is. And life is strange enough that they don’t even think twice, really. They’ve got mutations to deal with, and that’s weirder than anything, almost,” explains Whedon.

There’s also a big difference between the heroines themselves. While Buffy is a college student and former cheerleader, Melaka is a streetwise thief with few friends.

“She’s more hard-edged than Buffy,” Whedon notes. “She’s down and dirty, lives in a very poor district and has been a professional criminal for a long while.”

So how does Whedon, a professed comic book fan, feel about penning his first four-color experience?

“It was very weird and fun, liberating and scary to actually sit down and write a comic script the first time. At the same time, a lot of how I can write movies comes from what I have seen written in comics…Movies and comics are very different mediums, but they each have their strengths.”

Look for the new slayer to begin stabbing at comic stands on Wednesday.

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