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Buffy Season Eight: Time of Your Life, Part 2

Buffy: "We both have scythes. We both have awesome kung-fu moves. Turn-offs include smokers, insensitive men, and vampires. You with me?"


In the future, Fray and a blonde woman with a ponytail that she calls "sis" (who I at first thought was Buffy, but no) are in a flying car, pursuing a flying van full of vampires. Fray takes down the van and interrogates a vamp about her brother, Harth. Before she takes him out with the pointy end of the Scythe, the vamp tells Fray about a Madwoman with dark hair who has lived for centuries. Fray and the blonde woman return to Fray's antique-filled, shabby home, where she lives with a four-armed monkey-like creature named Gates, named for the last of the Watchers who sacrificed himself at the battle of Starbucks.

Meanwhile, somewhere else, Harth and the Madwoman are talking. The Madwoman's face is in shadow, always a big clue that it's someone we know. Harth, a vamp supervillain who wears glasses and looks a bit like a young nerd, has the slayer memories that should have been Fray's. He remembers fighting the Madwoman back when he was the Slayer of Slayers (Buffy, I assume), and says the Slayer of Slayers is coming. Harth thinks Buffy and Fray are more trouble together than apart, while the Madwoman thinks the two slayers are more likely to cancel each other out.

Back to present day New York, where Kennedy is injured but will survive (darn). Willow has figured out what happened to Buffy, and is blaming herself. She has no idea how to retrieve Buffy from the future.

Back to present day Scotland, where there are bright green mystical flames of destruction, cobra-faced monsters on the attack, and seven slayers dead. Xander, injured, orders Rowena to get the rest of the slayers out of the castle and leave him behind. He is rescued by Dawn the centaur, whom he rides to safety. Yes, I just said that.

We finally get to the previous issue's cliffhanger, with Buffy and Melaka Fray facing off. They realize that they're both slayers (the scythes and the moves are a big clue) and start talking. Buffy discovers she's been dead for "two cen" and that there are no longer thousands of slayers; there is just one, or more accurately, one half -- Fray, whose twin brother Harth the vampire has her slayer memories, and is using them against her.

Back to Harth and the Madwoman, and the final panel reveals the Madwoman's face. It's a black-haired, veiny-faced, immortal Willow.


Sorry about the late-itude. Real life issues and the new fall television season. Not that there's really an excuse. Except that maybe I'm not much of a comic person and I'm making an exception for Buffy and there you go.

The fact that I know nothing about Fray made a lot of this issue hard to follow. Plus Joss Whedon wrote it, which apparently made it more dense. But essentially, we learned that there is no future for all of these potentials who just became slayers; there will be no more until Fray. What happened?

It must have something to do with why Willow is still alive. (I wasn't surprised that the Madwoman was Willow; all roads lead to Willow, eventually.) Fray said, "The books talk about this place. The last girl came here and was transformed, they says. They say the Madwoman's power reached through the ages and changed her." Was this a reference to the potentials and Buffy? They weren't anywhere near Sunnydale, after all; they were still in Manhattan. It's all very confusing.

Bits and pieces:

-- Fray and Buffy consulted Gunther, a water-breathing merman-ish creature who lived under a glass floor. Which freaked Buffy out about what he might have seen under her dress. The cover showed Buffy and Fray standing above Gunther, but Buffy is wearing khaki pants, not a dress.

-- Fray apparently does some leaping that is more powerful than Buffy's.

-- Fray has the Watcher diaries, but no Watcher.

-- Future Willow is a lot more powerful than present day Willow.

-- I am still enjoying Dawn. Who knew.

-- And I am still waiting for Tara. Joss had the perfect opportunity to write Kennedy out. Why why why didn't he?


Xander: "Snakes... green... fire... I can't believe I don't have a pun."

Dawn: "How bad?"
Xander: "Unless I can fall down and throw up my way out of here, I got nothin'."

Dawn: "You're pulling my hair!"
Xander: "I'm holding your mane!"
Dawn: "My mane *is* my hair!"

Willow: "We were played. We're all pasties."
Violet: "Or possibly patsies?"

Fray: "Buffy Summers."
Buffy: "Present."
Fray: "Buffy Summers is dead."
Buffy: "Occasionally."

Buffy: "Vampires are lurks. A spin is a lie. Toy is bad, but spled is good. Boy, the English language is just losing it. I should have treated it better."

Buffy: "How long has he been down there?"
Gunther: "Orange polka dots."
Buffy: "Ack! Mer-sleaze."

No rating this time. I'm not sure where this is going, and I wish it hadn't taken me three readings to understand this issue. (Feel free to post a comment that might enlighten me. I'm not a comic book person! I need help!)

Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.


  1. Hi.
    I thought the blonde in the car with Fray was Buffy too..I'm having a hard time with this arc and I'm a long-time comics reader..
    I'll keep reading and hoping the next story makes more sense.

  2. I think the best way to help you and other to understand this arc is a brief summery of the events that occurred in Fray (the series). Joss Whedon wrote Fray while the seventh season was airing and tied together in some ways. The scythe was first shown in the comics.

    In the comics, one of the first things we learn is that all demons and magic have been extinct for hundreds of years. The slayer banished the last demon from the earth, and then no more slayers were called. Only recently have demons been able to reenter the earth, and only the weakest, such as vampires which are half human. The watchers council contains only those insane enough to believe in those stories without any evidence. One actually lights himself on fire when he sees Melaka "Mel" Fray for the first time. By the way, Fray is actually her last name, so its worth noting that she has a brother Harth Fray and a sister Erin Fray. With her watcher dead, she is instead taught by a demon named Urkonn (dead now after betraying Mel).

    Harth is her twin brother. It's mentioned that a slayer has never had a twin before. Mel got the powers while Harth got the memories. When he was turned into a vampire he was able to use the centuries of knowledge to take control of every group of vampires, and create hundreds more, since none were more than a few years turned. He attempted to open a gateway to Hell but was stopped by Mel in the final issue.

    Mel's sister, Erin, is the blond woman. She is a cop and the responsible one in the family. Mel spent years living as a thief in the slums before finding her power. Erin has tried to make her more responsible.

    Gunther is not a demon but instead a mutant. There are many living in the slums, but Gunther is one of the only successful ones, and is the major source of information for anybody. He plays both sides against each other and only looks out for himself.

    Willow being alive is actually a major surprise especially considering that all magic was banished. I'm stumped as to how she could survive so long without magic to sustain her. It must tie into the final battle that they've thrown so many hints about.

    So to some things up, the army of slayers will fight an army of demons and win banishing them for hundred of years, but with all of them dying in the process. But because Buffy has seen this now, she may be able to change it.

  3. Joseph,

    This was incredibly, incredibly helpful. Thank you *SO* much. Please feel free to post stuff like this anytime.

  4. You should really try to get the Fray miniseries and the Tales of the Slayers comic (this one has the story in which Fray finds the Watcher diaries).

    I think most of the buffy comics are not very good, but Fray was really different and joss whedon made a great story. Also finding new things from that future in this new buffy season was a great gift from Joss Whedon to his Fray fans :)

  5. Is it wrong to find cartoon centaur Dawn really hot? I wish we'd seen this live-action.


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