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Ready, Steady... is the third issue of the Fray comic book series. Written by Joss Whedon and illustrated by Karl Moline, it was originally published on August 1, 2001, by Dark Horse Comics.


As a professional thief, Melaka Fray has seen her share of danger and excitement. But is she ready for the challenges facing a Slayer? This issue, Melaka learns some of the history of the Slayers and comes to understand a little about what it means to her. Ready or not, here she comes! She's taking on the forces of darkness like no one else can.[1]


Mel and the boy named Harth run from a vendor from whom they had stolen. They climb a roof, but Harth loses his footing and falls, screaming Mel's name. She saves him and, as they climb to the top, they are delighted at their theft, which would feed them and their sister Erin. Suddenly, Icarus appears and claims that they were the food.

Mel wakes up from the nightmare and Urkonn tells her it's time to train. Mel isn't concerned; she takes her most recent grab and intends to take it to Gunther. Urkonn accompanies her and is unimpressed. He tries to get her to see sense, and, as they land on a moving transport, Mel asks him to explain her lack of dreams and the Slayer's legacy.

Urkonn begins by telling her of magic and the Old Ones. He tells her of the dawn of men and the expulsion of the demons from this reality. He claims that some demons remained on Earth, and some bred in the human community, infecting and transforming them. In order to conquer this threat, elders from various communities harnessed the power of the demons and implanted it in a girl: the First Slayer.

Before he could finish his tale, Mel realizes that they almost missed their stop and leaps from the transport. They arrive at Gunther's place, who is unimpressed to find a demon with Mel. Outside the building, the police has identified Mel, and Erin is upset to learn that her sister was dealing with the bad guys.

After dealing with Gunther, who takes the totem and elects to send it to his latest mysterious client, Mel takes Urkonn to an abandoned area and asks to train. She doesn't do remarkably well, so Urkonn decides to continue his history lesson. He tells her about the Slayers and the Watchers — also claiming that he isn't her Watcher. He describes the final Slayer in the 21st century, who fought a battle with mystical allies and banished all demons and magic from Earth; with no more demons, she was the last Slayer to be called.

Elsewhere, Icarus arrives at his leader's hideaway with the totem. Concerned with Urkonn being with Melaka, he asks his master what to do.

At her apartment, Fray finds Loo upset. She says that Kettie Rawls called her a freak, and Mel decides to kick his ass. She explains to Urkonn that Loo's parents run the tavern, and herself has a sister named Erin. She also claims she had a brother. At the tavern, Rawls approaches Mel and makes a crude joke at her expense. She swing at him and starts a fight, which ends with her being ejected from the tavern. As she lays outside on the pavement, Mel chooses to return inside. Before she can stand up, she looks up in horror, finding Icarus standing over her.


  • Urkonn describes the Primordium Age, the expulsion of the Old Ones from Earth, and the creation of vampires and demons, a tale first mentioned in "Welcome to the Hellmouth" but more explored in The Core, Part One.
  • This issue introduces the origin of the Slayer as well as the existence of the Shadowmen, to be explored in the episode "Get It Done".
  • Urkonn, in the dark at Gunther's place, comments already disliking it and feeling something was wrong with it; this is likely a reference to his inability to swim, as revealed in All Hell.
  • Urkonn describes the event of the Reckoning, which will take place in Finale.
  • Urkonn reveals that the man who set himself on fire in Big City Girl was in fact Melaka Fray's Watcher.
  • It's revealed that Mel's amulet and totem grabs (Big City Girl, The Calling) are being collected for Icarus' master.
  • Urkonn tells Melaka how to kill a lurk, as she didn't know while confronting one at the museum (The Calling). She'll dust her first lurks in Alarums.



Organizations and titles[]





Death count[]

  • Unidentified woman, blood drained by Icarus.
  • Unidentified vampire, beheaded by a Slayer (in flashback).

Behind the scenes[]


  • Ready, Steady... was the 95th best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 19,647 sales in August 2001 at comic specialty stores.[2] It was also among the 300 best selling of October 2001.[3]



Cover artwork[]


Urkonn: "The elders of several villages met, calling for action. They invoked the strongest and most dangerous magicks they could summon, to create a power. A power that could fight the vampires. A power that lived… in the body of a girl."


  1. "Joss Whedon's Fray #3 (of 8)." Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved on March 6, 2018.
  2. "Top 300 Comics--August 2001." ICv2, July 31, 2001.
  3. "Top 300 Comics--October 2001." ICv2, October 03, 2001.