The groundwork has been laid out for the current story arc in which Buffy meets future slayer Meleka Fray, but that doesn’t mean this issue isn’t still ripe with action, Whedon’s customary snappy dialogue and damned good characterization.
- The covers by Jo Chen and Georges Jeanty. One is a glimpse into Dawn’s latest transformation and the other is a fun snapshot of Buffy behind the wheel in a universe that is completely foreign to her.
- Xander’s and Dawn’s interactions with Lorelahn in the forest is reminiscent of some of the strange creatures encountered by the Scoobies in season seven of the TV series.
- SPOILER ALERT: Evil Willow. Perhaps it’s not such a spoiler to mention that the mad woman who has been hinted at is none other than Willow in her Evil persona. Don’t worry though, Joss excels at those jaw dropping moments, and Willow’s machinations in this timeline are positively intriguing.
- Moline’s artwork. I wasn’t very familiar with it because I wasn’t reading Fray regularly when it came out, but it’s very fluid and adds a lot to the sense of motion throughout this arc, especially the wide panoramic panels depicting a futuristic Manhattan in Fray’s timeline.
- Willow’s tryst with powerful magical beings. It seems that Willow is always getting in over her head when it comes to her use of magic, and it may be happening again, but considering the consequences, you’d think she would learn. Being infallible has never been a quality of any Buffyverse character though.
- The only bad thing I can find about this comic is that it isn’t a very new reader
friendly issue. I imagine a newbie picking it up for the first time and being completely lost since time travel stories aren’t particularly easy to follow in the first place.
Final word: This was a typical Whedon penned comic that’s par for the course for this series. This comic knows how a story should be paced, and it’s organically being developed. It’s a refreshing pace from a lot of the books that are being written for the trade or decompressed to death.