- Time of Your Life (comics)
title = Time of Your Life
schedule = Monthly
Dark Horse Comics
date = July 02 2008 (Part I)
August 06 2008 (Part II)
September 03 2008 (Part III)
November 12 2008 (Part IV)
issues = 4, #16 through #19
Buffy SummersMelaka Fray Willow Rosenberg Dawn Summers Xander Harris
"Time of Your Life" is the fourth story arc that spreads from the sixteenth to the nineteenth issue of the "
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight" series of comic books, a continuation of the television series of the same name. It is written by Joss Whedon. A crossover with Whedon's earlier "Buffy" spin-off, the graphic novel " Fray" (2001-2003), "Time of Your life" will feature artwork by Karl Moline, co-creator of "Fray".
Part I (Issue #16)
"Bad day. Started bad, stayed that way." The initial splash page features Buffy fighting future slayer
Melaka Fray, in midair in the future New York City. Flashing back to the past, Xander, Willow, and Buffy eat Chinese food and discuss what Willow saw during her encounter with Kumiko. Willow believes that she received the message for a reason, and that they must act before they lose another slayer. Her reference to the death of Renee forces Xander to tell the girls that he is dealing with it, and they needn't tip-toe around the issue for his sake. While Xander is speaking, Leah bursts into the room to inform them that something is going on with Dawn in the orchard. Buffy and Xander run for it, with Willow flying ahead of them. When the three of them arrive, they find that Dawn has finally shrunk . . . into a centaur.
Meanwhile, somewhere in a lab, Twilight and Warren are arguing about what Warren says they busted their asses to complete. Twilight says it'll do, but is only a small part in a big scheme. The next panel reveals the object in question: a giant rune-covered missile.
Back in Scotland, Xander has prepared a helicopter to fly Buffy and Willow to an airport, where they catch a private plane. They soon arrive in New York City where Willow's advance team -- including her girlfriend Kennedy -- are waiting to begin the operation. Buffy -- who, according to Willow, has never been to New York or ridden in a limo -- is exalted. They quickly meet up with the Manhattan Squad, which is led by Vi. Vi explains that the problem with Willow's vision is that it's hard to pin down anything mystical since so many mystical things are happening in New York.
Willow clarifies things as much as possible by drawing a diagram on the board and explaining that something is causing a disruption of the time frame. The event she's tracking, she explains, happens in only one "place", but in multiple "times". There's a ripple effect. Willow's lecture inspires Kennedy to say she's "hot for teacher" (Willow), and Buffy affectionately recalls the time that "my Will" took over their computer class (Season Two of the TV series). Kennedy does not seem amused by Buffy's recollection, calls her a "lez-faux" (alluding to her recent involvement with Satsu), and tells Buffy that if she hits on Willow, Kennedy will "kill [her] like a chicken."
Back in Scotland, Xander and Dawn are talking about her transformation into a Centaur. Xander is sure that the curse comes in threes: the first stage was a giant Dawn, the second stage is a Centaur Dawn, with the third and (hopefully) final stage yet to happen. Dawn is upset, feels like a freak, and doesn't want to be a centaur, so Xander tries to make her feel better about herself by admitting that he's actually jealous. But he puts his foot in his mouth when he suggests that there must be a "non-whiney" way to solve her problem. Dawn takes offense and storms off into the orchard. While walking back to the castle, Xander notices something headed right for it: the missile that Warren built. He can only watch helplessly helplessly as it hits the castle, and the bright green blast blows him off his feet.
Back in New York, Kennedy, Willow and a few slayers are at the scene of the temporal shift: a high-rise building at the corner of 53rd and Lexington. Moments later, Buffy joins the girls wearing a short dress and boots, similar to an outfit she wore in "
Welcome to the Hellmouth". Buffy says that they weren't "expecting something fighty", and says that she "can change." A sudden flash of light zaps Buffy away and replaces her with a demon. A baffled Kennedy says "the other look was fine", but manages to quickly rally her fellow slayers for battle.
Finding herself in the demon's place in the future, Buffy is twice punched in the face. Her assailant is revealed to be Fray, who was fighting the demon that took Buffy's place, and thinks it has shape-shifted itself to look like the long-dead Slayer. Fray uses a lot of futuristic slang as she rains the blows on Buffy and finally succeeds in knocking her down. "You're lower than a lurk," Fray says, as she looks down upon Buffy with disgust. A beyond confused Buffy replies, "Uh . . . English?"
Part II (Issue #17)
Fray and her sister Erin follow a flying vehicle harboring numerous vampires. Fray captures one in mid-air amongst the skyscrappers. She demands from him the whereabouts of her vampire twin brother Harth. The vampire claims that Harth has allied himself with a mysterious, powerful woman with dark powers. Satisfied with his confession, Fray stakes him. She and Erin shelter themselves at Fray's flat. The floor reveals a spread of the Scythe. Fray informs her sister that she read in the Watcher's diaries of the woman in question, however she is unable to put her finger on who exactly. She also mentions the death of the last true Watcher who sacrificed himself at the Battle of Starbucks.
At a docking site, Harth and the mysterious figure, who clouds herself in the shadow, supervise a number of vampires transporting helpless victims in and out of trucks. The woman explains to Harth that her menacing plans will ripple to the present: "what happens in your time will cause your time to come, do you see?"
Meanwhile back in the present, Willow comforts a wounded Kennedy. When asked as to why Willow has tamed the beast and not killed it, she explains that she believes that it and Buffy switched places in time. For that matter, Willow blames herself. At the castle, Xander bursts into the command central where it wreaths in green flames. Rowena reports to him that most of the Slayers have escaped through the tunnels, however the West Tower has collapsed. Suddenly, medieval Cobra-faced foot soldiers appear and shoot an arrow in Xander's shoulder. Dawn arrives on the scene and attacks the soldiers with her hooves. She then picks up the wounded Xander and carries him out of the castle.
Back to the future, Fray arrives on a rooftop and battles a beast. The beast exchanges places with Buffy, igniting a fight between both Slayers. Buffy finally manages to calm Fray down. She wonders how many Slayers there are in Fray's time, to which Melaka replies: "One. Half." She explains that she is the only Slayer in a long time, and that her brother Harth carries the prophecies and the collective Slayer memories that should've been imbued in Fray. The future Slayer takes Buffy to her employer, Gunther, a fish-like mutant who resides in a aquarium. They question him about who the mysterious woman is.
At the dock, the woman asks Harth why he wants to kill Fray. He justifies that Fray is the only thing he ever loved; her pain is his joy. He claims: "What in this world is stronger than love?" The mysterious woman pulls herself from the shadows. "Time," claims Dark Willow. "Only time."
Part III (Issue #18)
Buffy searches through the Watchers' diaries and is completely befuddled that there are a few ambiguous references to her and absolutely nothing recorded about the Slayer army she created. Fray walks in while Buffy is crying and reports that there's been some activity in the Uppers, where vampires don't often populate.
In the present, Willow is in her bedroom flipping through a series of books herself. She hopes to find a means to retrieve Buffy from the future. Kennedy asks if she can contact her source, to which Willow replies by saying that maybe she can. Willow then asks if Kennedy truly trusts her and if she believes that whatever they do is for the greater good. Kennedy says yes and asks what they have to do, but Willow simply replies by saying "
In the woods after the main Castle exploded, we see Xander on Dawn's back (because she is now a centaur) running through the woods. Xander falls off Dawn's back and the two stop and rest in the woods. A hoard of tree-demons threaten them to leave their woods only to get distracted when Dawn tells them they aren't so scary.
We switch to the future and see Gunther swimming through his pool apparently in the search for a source of tapping. He turns on the lights to see Harth and other vampires above his tank covered in blood. Harth tells Gunther that he knows Gunther has been telling Fray about him and he is upset. After the two argue, Harth and the vampire gang leaves the room, leaving vampires swimming inside Gunther's tank ready to attack. Meanwhile, Buffy and Fray find a group of vampires attacking defenseless humans screaming for their lives. Fray is ready to go and slay the vampires but Buffy tells her not to. Fray gets mad and Buffy tells her that Gunther told the two of them that Harth sends out hunting parties of vampires and they need to wait to see where the parties are coming from. Fray refuses to listen and slays the vampires leaving Buffy to drive the flying car. Fray finishes off all the vamps and Dark Willow approaches behind her and says "if you hate Buffy, she'll be harder to kill."
We flip back to the present and find Willow in the throes of pleasure with Kennedy. When she reaches her peak, she contacts Saga Vasuki and asks her how to get Buffy back to the present. Saga tells Willow that the time rift will reopen that night and she only wants Willow to reach inside and take Buffy out without looking inside. Willow obeys and bids farewell for now to Saga.
Re-enter the future and we see Dark Willow telling Fray that she hasn't been human for "quite some time now." She tells Fray that her concerns are more personal than just getting rid of the lurks. Willow creates a little green slit out of magic and says that that's all the magic she can create and that she wants to show Fray something. We switch to Buffy who has been told to "stand down" by Fray's sister, Erin. Buffy tells her that she looking for Fray and thought that the building they are in was her home. Erin apologizes and the two talk about the recent events. How Fray ran off and Buffy didn't agree, and how Buffy is a slayer from a different time period. In the middle of conversation, Buffy is zapped with a ray gun and thrown to the floor in pain. Erin is kneeling over Buffy's unconscious body and asks, "Mel...are you sure about this?" to which Fray responds, "I'm sure. We're saving the world."
Part IV (Issue #19)
Buffy and Fray take on a powerful foe, who's lasted hundreds of years just so she can bring down the last two Slayers.
Production and writing
This story arc is written by series creator
Joss Whedon. The first issue will be the eighth issue of the series to be written by Whedon. Penciller Karl Moline has previously worked with Whedon on the Buffy spin-off graphic novel Fray. Fray will feature as one of the main characters in this arc. This will be the first time that Fray has crossed over into another part of the Buffyverse.
Whedon felt that by having Buffy interact with Fray and Haddyn's future dialect, he could comment upon his own distinctive use of language in "Buffy", stating "Buffy blames herself for what's happened to the
English language, and there's a lot of hubrisin that joke. I like to think that adding Y's to words that don't usually have Y's is going to destroy the whole fabric of our society." [http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1590279/story.jhtml]
This series has been described as 'canon' by both Whedon and various commentators. As the creator of "Buffy", Joss Whedon's association with Buffyverse story is often linked to how canonical the various stories are. Since Whedon is writing this story, it will be seen as a continuation of the official continuity established by "Buffy" and "Angel".
"Season Eight" contradicts and supersedes information given in the paperback novels set after Season Seven, such as "
Queen of the Slayers" and "Dark Congress", which are described as being set in an unofficial "parallel continuity".Mata, Shiai, " [http://www.slayerlit.us/interviews/interview6.htm CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN INTERVIEW 2] ", "SlayerLit.us" (2007).]
*The exchange portal in issue 16 is similar to the one used in "Get It Done" in which a large demon appears when Buffy is transported to the
the First Slayer.
*Willow states that Buffy has apparently never been in a limo, which is not true. She and Cordelia rode in a limo that they thought was going to deliver them to the Homecoming Dance in the third season episode, Homecoming. In context, it's possible that Willow was merely making fun of Buffy. Another explanation is that Willow simply forgot this minor detail from over five years ago, since she never actually saw Buffy in said limo.
*There is a misprint in #17 stating that Part Three (#18) will be made available to sale on August 6 2008 rather than the correct September release date.
*Also, in issue #18 it was stated that Part Four (#19) would be released on October 1st 2008. But official date was changed by Dark Horse (on its official site) to November 12th 2008 due to holidays.
*In issue 18, while Buffy is (horribly) driving a flying car, Fray tells her "Summers, you drive like a spaz," which is exactly what Principal Snyder tells Buffy in
*Intended to be set after BtVS's seventh season. The precise timing of this arc is currently uncertain.
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