Comic Issue
Big City Girl
Publication date June 06, 2001
Pages 22
Fray #1
first issue in series
The Calling
Creative Team
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Writer(s) Joss Whedon
Penciller(s) Karl Moline
Editor(s) Scott Allie
Cover artist(s) Karl Moline
Inker(s) Andy Owens
Colorist(s) Dave Stewart
Letterer(s) Michelle Madsen

Big City Girl is the first issue of the Fray comic book series. It was written by Joss Whedon and illustrated by Karl Moline.


You've never seen a world like this, and neither has she. She's Melaka Fray, a beautiful, young girl that's about to meet her destiny, whether she wants to or not. In the future, the world is a manmade, hopeless hell. Add to that vampires, demons and other grim, supernatural threats that cower in shadows and skulk late-night streets. When the forces of darkness come calling, Fray will be transformed from street urchin of a disposable society to its only savior. And, heaven help her if she fails.[1]


Two unidentified voices are discussing the awakening of the Slayer. Her name is Melaka Fray. They dispatch Urkonn to deal with her and worry that he won't be able to overcome her. They point out that the Slayer is but a mortal.

Elsewhere, in Haddyn, Melaka Fray falls off a roof, having stolen an amulet for her boss, Gunther. She's being pursued by Ruebrin’s boys, who she swiftly defeat. She takes the amulet and reports to her boss, who is a human that had been mutated by the sun’s radiation and requires to stay underwater to live. He offers her a big reward for her theft of the amulet. Melaka suspects the overpayment, but continues on her way without a second thought.

Walking home to the district of Versi, she's approached by lurks. Before they could attack her, the police shows up and an officer named Erin approaches Melaka to question her about the amulet. Melaka claims that she hasn't seen it and has nothing to do with it, even though Erin has a description of Melaka falling from the roof. A heated argument begin, with Erin pointing out she's only trying to help and Melaka electing that she doesn't want any help. They both leave the place upset, focusing on an incident involving a boy from their past.

Finally arriving in Versi, Melaka meets a child named Loo. The child seems to admire Mel a great deal, and has an important message to give her, however she becomes distracted. She claims that a man came looking for Fray, and suddenly the man appears behind her, dripping in fluid. He claims Mel the Chosen One and that only she alone could stop the demons and the vampires. Before Mel could respond, he lit a match and lit the fluid he had been doused in. As he burns, Mel tackles him into a river as Loo watches. She gives up and elects to go home, exhausted. Returning to her apartment, she finally thinks that her bad day is over, but a demon towers right behind her.




Organizations and Titles



Death Count

Behind the Scenes


  • This issue marks Joss Whedon's debut as a comic writer.
  • This issue had an additional second printing, as well as a gold foil exclusive cover for Dynamic Forces.
  • The story's opening scene with Fray's jump and the quote "Bad day. Started bad, stayed that way." is mirrored in Buffy Season 8 crossover issue Time of Your Life, Part One.



  • Big City Girl was the 98º best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 18,247 sales in June 2001 at comic specialty stores.[2]


Additional Covers

Cover Artwork


Melaka Fray - "Versi. Biggest warren in Haddyn. If you're down on your luck, or looking to hide, this is the place. A lot of drifters — guys in an and out in a week, on their way to somewhere better. As, for example, the grave. Versi is the kind of place the kids in the uppers have never even read about. It isn't safe, and it isn't clean. It's home."


  1. "Joss Whedon's Fray #1 (of 8) (Second Printing)". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  2. "Top 300 Comics--June 2001". ICv2, June 06, 2001. Retrieved January 15, 2018.