Book Review: Joss Whedon The Complete Companion - The TV Series, The Movies, The Comic Books And More / Author: Various / Format: Paperback / Publisher: Titan Books / Release Date: Out Now
As The Avengers continues its juggernaut-like steamrollering of box office records, it’s only natural to assume and expect that as well as the authorised books, magazines, toys, comics and other paraphernalia, there would be several exploitive cash-ins trying to attract our attention.
Let us make it clear from the outset that Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion is NOT among them. In fact, let us make it clear that Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion, despite being in no way authorised by Whedon himself, is as close to required geek reading as it gets.
This continually surprising book is not what it seems. It isn’t an unauthorised hack-job biography seeking to scandalise Hollywood’s hottest director of the 2012 blockbuster season - in fact there isn’t a biography included in anywhere in the book, save for the occasional pertinent mention here and there to something from Whedon’s past which helped forge his present. The book literally is what is says on the cover, a companion to the TV series, movies, comics, his internet show and more.
It’s a staggering collection of essays, which range in tone from fun and fan oriented (Anthropology of a Lapsed Fan) to deeply analytical thought provoking academic pieces examining various aspects of the Whedonverse from Willow’s sexuality and empowerment in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, heroism and masculinity in Angel, to the ethics of Firefly and the cultural fragmentation of Dollhouse. There are insightful interviews with Whedon collaborators Jane Espenson and actors who have appeared in his shows which neatly round off the reader’s experience.
Full attention is given to his works on Marvel’s X-Men, as well as his foray into continuing the canon Buffy and Angel continuities in comics published by Dark Horse.
The book is concluded with a timely Six Reasons Why Joss Whedon is the Perfect Director for The Avengers.
All in all, a perfect book that will stir debate, well deserving of space on your book shelf covering the glittering career of a true icon of every aspect of our favourite genre.