Between The Cabin In The Woods and The Avengers, you might feel like you’re swimming in Whedon lately. (And if you’ve read my GeekMom posts, you know I’m a fan of that pool!) But if you can’t get enough Whedon, there’s a little more to love in Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion.
This self-described “essential guide to the Whedonverse” is 496 pages of essays compiled by PopMatters on nearly every aspect of Whedon’s work. About half of the book is devoted to Buffy and Angel, followed by smaller sections on Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible, Firefly, and his work in comics and other films. The introduction is slightly out of date as of the book’s release date, referring to the “future” releases of The Cabin In The Woods and The Avengers (released three days after the book in the US and weeks earlier in the UK), but the final chapter does include essays on these two movies. And of course, we hope the title itself will quickly be out of date as well, making the book no longer a “complete” companion, as Whedon’s career is far from finished.
Note that this is absolutely not a book like The Cabin In The Woods Visual Companion. There are no pictures, no scripts, no reflections on the joy of washing down gallons of blood with boiling water. Most of the essays are written with an academic slant, with titles like “Pedagogy of the Possessed” and “The Ethics of Malcolm Reynolds.” If you prefer to sit back and enjoy the entertainment value of vampires and apocalypses, it might not be the book for you. On the other hand, if you’re interested in things like humanism, free will, and feminism through the lens of Whedon’s work, you’ll be quite pleased. But as the editor points out in his introductory note, “it’s different all the way through.” There are plenty of interviews with actors and writers from the shows, and nobody says you have to read every page. You can skip about to the parts that interest you. And if by chance Cabin or The Avengers was your introduction to Whedon and you’re ready for more, several chapters introduce you to pieces of his work. The first few chapters made me want to watch Buffy from the beginning.
The essays admire Whedon’s work, but they don’t treat him or his work as flawless. The book is not a loving, uncritical, rave review. Rather it’s an in-depth examination of an already wide body of work, the themes that pervade them, and the mind behind them. Dive into more Whedon–grab a copy of Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion.
1 thought on “Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion: Must-Have for Whedon Fans”
He is wonderful Just watched the Avengers yesterday and what a good job. Great movie!
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