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Wilowy

Fray: Future Slayer

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So let's talka Melaka! What did you all think? I liked it even better than the first couple of times I read it. I went really slow, which usually isn't my modus operandi for comic books, and savored the storytelling, the facial expressions, the action - and here this time I had to keep reminding myself that she was a Slayer so speedy healing powers - and the humor. Oh, the funny. I was reading in Kerbey Lane diner yesterday and burst out laughing a couple of times. Rocketship!

 

But isn't it just like Joss to have me laughing one second and gutshot the next. Because Loo. Poor, sweet child. And frankly I was disappointed that she didn't kick Urkonn's ass at least somewhat for that. Oh, my feels. 

 

And Harth! Damn you Harth why do I love you? Fucker.

 

I love the three panels where she's going to fight Icarus and her hand isn't shaking. I love how she slowly drops the scythe and says "Faith" (YEAH, 5x5!), then FWOOMP!! The ship drops right on top of his toothy ass! HAHAHA!!

 

The pages feel good, the colors are vivid and completely right for the story and characters, and the renderings are magnificent. 

 

It's just a beautiful book.

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I read on a tablet, so I can't comment on how the pages feel. :)

My reaction is basically: I liked it. It's a good origin story. It feels like Whedon: there's some funny lines, a few affecting moments, and a giant snake.

But, compared to Buffy (for the record: only started watching last year, currently in S5) or whatever else: it suffers some from the short-form. The wow-the-whole-town-is-getting-behind-her moment doesn't really feel earned, because we've seen so little of them. Especially the dude who's an asshole and who makes fun of the little girl but then helps with the fight — in a longer-running form, that could be a really nice moment (if a little clichéd). Here, it feels like they were reaching for that trope and not really earning it, just from a lack of space.

The hand-not-shaking/FWOOMP scene was also good, but it felt a lot like one of Whedon's standard techniques and it didn't really feel surprising (the way the similar scenes did the first time I watched Firefly, for example).

Urkonn also — I just didn't feel like I had known him long enough for the betrayal to really pack a punch. Maybe if I were reading the issues a month apart and he'd had time to seep into my background understanding of the world, instead of just reading them all at once.

Harth did totally work for me (though the kiss was weird). The world was cool, even if not all that fully realized. Love the idea of the Watchers just becoming crazy fanatics over time.

The art was also good; some of the big folds of the city were pretty great, as was the reveal of the snake. Melaka sure shows a lot of skin; I love her hair, though.

Basically, this feels great as the first chapter of something more, but...nope. (Though I guess she's in the season 8+ comics some?) As a standalone: yeah, I liked it, but it just felt like it needed a little more time to get us settled into the world and the characters before the epic battles.

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I do hear you and I agree on a lot of points. I don't get though why you expected this to be a long, drawn out epic. It's one trade, it's six issues.

 

I DO think she earned her scythe. She grew, became smarter, more agile, more clever and definitely a better fighter with each issue. She... became... the Slayer, even though she was one all along.

 

It WAS short. A lot of stuff packed in there. But the stuff I want to know is:

 

What did you think of Gunther?

Did you feel anything at Loo's demise? Was she just a device?

Urkonn? Inevitable foe?

Harth!? What next for him?

Sister. Is she fodder?

The language to me was skillfully done. We knew what they meant, maybe not enough evolution?

LOVE the 'falling slowly' thing?

 

Melaka was a part of that community. Her sacrifice, to get on board and fight lurks... did it ring true?

 

Also yes, we see her in 8. It's great, just wait. ;)

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Three issues in, I kind of wish it wasn't a Buffy tie-in. The world is neat, she's a fun character, I don't really need vampire-fighting to be added.

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Okay, now I'm done. I enjoyed it! But I still think I'd rather read more of Melaka's story that happened before this started.

 

Did you feel anything at Loo's demise? Was she just a device?

I liked Loo a lot, but her death felt like it cheapened the character in retrospect. Really, we had to have a disabled spunky orphan die so that the hero could be motivated? Who's Melaka saving the city for now that the only nice character is gone?

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Her sister. Loo's parents. Innocent folk just trying to scrounge by? 

 

That last line of yours made me stop and think, and then I remembered how unique Buffy's situation was, how unusual it was for The Slayer to have family and friends. So most of them fought because it was their destiny and to be on the side of good, not on behalf of any loved ones. Also there's that whole "Harth wants to open up Hell" thing (which yes we've seen before, on Buffy with Acathla, Glory, and The Master, and on Angel with Angelus and Illyria).

 

It's not just the city she's trying to save, but the whole Earthly dimension they got goin' on there. If Harth was successful, the demons would overrun them all.  

 

I too would like to read more of Melaka's backstory. Further adventures would be great, too. Hell, I just want more. :)

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I do hear you and I agree on a lot of points. I don't get though why you expected this to be a long, drawn out epic. It's one trade, it's six issues.

Well, yeah. (Though isn't it eight?) My point was not that going in I was expecting a setup to a big sweeping series – more that the plot arc feels like the overall plot arc for a season of TV or maybe for a movie, and I didn't really feel like it earned the whole-town-comes-together aspect in that respect (just because of lack of time).

 

What did you think of Gunther?

Liked him. The concept of a big crime boss who lives in a (big) fish tank is neat.

 

 

Did you feel anything at Loo's demise? Was she just a device?

I liked Loo a lot, but her death felt like it cheapened the character in retrospect. Really, we had to have a disabled spunky orphan die so that the hero could be motivated? Who's Melaka saving the city for now that the only nice character is gone?
Mostly agree with Monty here. Loo was adorable and I liked her a lot through the first few issues. And yeah, when they did the reveal of her body it was affecting. But it just felt like such an established trope that even the twist about it doesn't entirely redeem it for me.

 

The language to me was skillfully done. We knew what they meant, maybe not enough evolution?

See, I didn't like that so much. It didn't feel natural at all to me: just a few abbreviations that were mostly pretty transparent (though I didn't realize Haddyn was (Man)Hattan until I just looked up the tvtropes link above; I was pronouncing it Hayden in my head...). Felt like Firefly-speak with "rocketship" instead of "shiny", more or less (and without Chinese). Which, fine, that makes sense. Doing something more drastic would be hard to understand, but could possibly be pulled off really well: see, say, A Clockwork Orange, which wasn't necessarily realistic but where the language is a big part of that world.

 

As an example, of that, when I read this:

Rv2tWNc.png

I thought she was making fun of him using "am", and I thought oh cool, do they not conjugate "be" anymore? But no, they totally do. I guess it was just his general affect.

 

LOVE the 'falling slowly' thing?

Yeah, that was great. A really good way to start.

 

Melaka was a part of that community. Her sacrifice, to get on board and fight lurks... did it ring true?

This is basically the same thing as my first point / also the bit about Loo: it's not like it didn't work at all. It just didn't quite connect for me, in the same way that it probably wouldn't quite connect in a non-excellently-done movie but might in a well-done TV show, just for lack of time in getting to know the world.

 

Also yes, we see her in 8. It's great, just wait. ;)

Okay, cool. I have a few seasons of TV first before I get there. :)

Also, this was great:

KShfnZC.png

but was slightly cheapened by Urkonn then just saying "lurks" and she knew exactly what that meant.

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I thought it was interesting that the Slayer is supposed to have dreams about previous Slayers, because as far as I remember, that doesn't happen a lot on the show. Maybe when the First Slayer showed up. But it's an important plot element in the movie, and I'm pleased anytime the movie gets any credit or attention at all. It's not THAT bad!

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Dougal, I loved that part too, and wow don't those panels look gorgeous here? I like the *beat* panel in the midst. VERY Whedon. Urkonn's truncated version of Giles' speech ("She alone..."), was great too, it would've been boring if he'd said the whole thing. 

 

One of my favorite pages is when she tells Urkonn "I feel good. I feel like I'm beginning." Cut to: Harth saying "She did what?", and the very next panel is Mel with her legs wrapped around one lurk's neck while impaling the one behind him with the scythe's stake - and oh yeah - upside down. HA! 

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