“Hey, Baby, there’s no need to curse like a nerd.” -Kennedy to Willow, who just said, “Frak!”
“What’s your deal, anyway? With the fire and the branches and the sword — did you get caught in a legend blender?” – Dawn, to the Forest Souls
A few minutes ago, I started to write, “If ‘Time of Your Life’ was a song, then this issue would definitely be the bridge.” Meaning the plot arc. And then I realized that “Time of Your Life” IS a song. By Green Day. And then it occurred to me that unless Whedon is referencing the short-lived Jennifer Love Hewitt Party of Five spin-off of the same name, the lyrics to that song might be relevant.
“Another turning point / A fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist / Directs you where to go
So make the best of this test / And don’t ask why
It’s not a question / But a lesson learned in time
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life.”
“We were played. We’re all pasties.” – Willow
“You are talking crazy-person talk. Put your words in word places, please.” – Buffy
“Vampires are lurks. A spin is a lie. Toy is bad, but spled is good.” And thus begins Fray 101. Joss does a bit of catch-up in this issue, for those who are silly enough not to have read the Fray TPB already. Other critical bits of info include the fact that Melaka Fray has a twin brother named Harth. Mel has the physical powers of a Slayer, but Harth holds the prophetic memories of past Slayers in his mind. Unfortunately, he’s a vamp — er, that is, he’s a lurk. Mel also has an older sister, Erin Fray, who’s a cop. And a pet spider monkey demon named Gates, which she acquired in a story from “Tales of the Slayers” … which is also when she found the Watcher Library that she currently lives in. And she has a merman associate named Gunther, who sometimes sends her out on thieving jobs.
And that’s the Fray universe that Buffy is introduced to in this second installment of the Whedon/Moline “Time of Your Life” arc. As for what actually happens …
“Man, you really haven’t lived until you’ve had Scottish Chinese take-out. Anybody want some more sweet and sour haggis?” – Xander
“Great. Three magic enchantments wherein my ass is huge.” – Dawn
This issue begins the four-part “Time of Your Life” arc, which features — as the cover tells us — “The Return of Fray”. In fact, the entire Fray team is back for this arc: Joss Whedon writing, Karl Moline on pencils, Andy Owens on inks, and Michelle Madsen on colors. So everything looks beautiful and reads undeniably Buffy-ful. In fact, I think I’ve re-read page 5 a few dozen times already, because I don’t think I’ve ever read something that makes me hear the voices of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, and Nicholas Brendan in my head as strongly as the dialogue on that page.
When Willow says, “Ah, quitcher grousin’,” and, “No no, you’re making up made-up things,” Joss is not only writing in the voice of a character he created, but also in the voice of the actress who portrayed her. And that’s just all kinds of awesome to me. And a little saddening too, because of course it makes me miss the TV show. Continue reading