Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion: The TV Series, the Movies, the Comic Books and More: The Essential Guide to the Whedonverse

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Joss Whedon’s importance in contemporary pop culture can hardly be overstated, but there has never been a book providing a comprehensive survey of his career as a whole – until now. The Complete Companion covers every aspect of the Whedonverse through insightful essays and interviews, including fascinating conversations with key collaborators Jane Espenson and Tim Minear.

Over 40 contributors ...

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Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion

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Joss Whedon’s importance in contemporary pop culture can hardly be overstated, but there has never been a book providing a comprehensive survey of his career as a whole – until now. The Complete Companion covers every aspect of the Whedonverse through insightful essays and interviews, including fascinating conversations with key collaborators Jane Espenson and Tim Minear.

Over 40 contributors have been brought together by PopMatters, the acclaimed international magazine of cultural criticism, to provide an irresistible mix of analysis, interpretation and sheer celebration. Whether you’re a student looking for critical approaches to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or a Browncoat who follows Nathan Fillion on Twitter (or, let’s face it, both) there is plenty here to enjoy.

Covers all the TV series, movies, and comic books, including:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Fray, Astonishing X-Men, The Avengers... and more!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"English/Film/Media Studies majors, take note: If you're planning on writing a paper on anything related to Joss Whedon, this is the book you want." -

"A wonderful in-depth look at the entirety of Whedon's work in pop culture." - Clique Clack

"Some of the best essays you’ll ever read on the man and his works." - Geek Dad

"Essential for fans of the Whedonverse." - Vent Vox

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780857689863
  • Publisher: Titan
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 536,603
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

PopMatters has been providing readers with sharp, entertaining writing on pop culture since 1999. It has one million unique visitors a month. 

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Table of Contents

A Note from the Editor 9

0.01 Introduction: Why Cast a Spotlight on Joss Whedon? Robert Moore 11

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

1.01 Joss Whedon 101: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Robert Moore 25

1.02 "Raise Your Hand If You're Invulnerable!": An Interview with Harry Groener Tanya R. Cochran 29

1.03 "Note to Self, Religion Freaky": When Buffy Met Biblical Studies Ronald Helfrich 37

1.04 You're Strong. I'm Stronger: Vampires, Masculinity & Language in Buffy Malgorzata Drewniok 49

1.05 Failure of the Everyman: The Lost Character That Was Xander Harris Kyle Garret 56

1.06 Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the Fantasy Canon Nathan Pensky 60

1.07 Pedagogy of the Possessed: Teaching and Learning in Buffy Michael Curtis Nelson 69

1.08 The Big Bad Universe: Good and Evil According to Joss Whedon Nandini Ramachandran 75

1.09 Women Who Hate Women: Female Competition in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Faye Murray Holly Golding 83

1.10 Coming Out of the Broom Closet: Willow's Sexuality and Empowerment in 'Buffy Jessica Ford 94

1.11 The Darkness of "Passion": Visuals and Voiceovers, Sound and Shadow Rhonda V. Wilcox 102

1.12 Returning to the Basement: Excavating the Unconscious in Buffy's "Restless" Laura Berger Keri Ferencz 112

1.13 "I'd Very Still": Anthropology of a Lapsed Fan Lily Rothman 126

1.14 Interview with Jane Espenson Dr. Shathley Q 134

1.15 How Buffy Changed Television Robert Moore 140

1.16 TV's Grim Reaper: Why Joss Whedon Continually Kills the Characters We Love Kristin M. Barton 153


2.01 Joss Whedon 101: Angel Stacey Abbott 161

2.02 Lindsey and Angel: Reflecting Masculinity Lorna Jowett 168

2.03 "The Shell I'm In": Illyria and Monstrous Embodiment Bronwen Calvert 181

2.04 The Three Faces of Anne: Identity Formation in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Don Tresca 191

2.05 "Touch Me and Die, Vermin!": The Psychoanalysis of Illyria Nikki Faith Fuller 199

2.06 Interview with Alexis Denisof Laura Berger 205

2.07 "The Strength and Conviction to Lose So Relentlessly": Heroism in Angel Ian Mathers 213

Firefly and Serenity

3.01 Joss Whedon 101: Firefly Ian Chant 223

3.02 Still Flying: An Interview with Tim Minera Tanya R. Cochran 225

3.03 Joss Whedon 101: Serenity Kristin M. Barton 239

3.04 A Postcolonial Provocation: Serenity Leanne McRae 243

3.05 The Death of Utopia: Firefly and the Return to Human Realism in TV Sci-Fi Chris Colgan 253

3.06 Can't Stop the Serenity: Joss Whedon's Shows and Fan Activism Lisa Anderson 258

3.07 The Ethics of Malcolm Reynolds Mike Bailey 261

3.08 Heroic Humanism and Humanistic Heroism in Joss Whedon's Shows Candace E. West 264

3.09 The Power of Fandom in the Whedonverse Jack Milson 270

3.10 Zombies, Reavers, Butchers, and Actuals in Joss Whedon's Work Gerry Canavan 285

3.11 Nathan Fillion Misbehaves All Across the Whedonverse Lynnette Porter 298


4.01 Joss Whedon 101: Fray Patrick Shand 307

4.02 Joss Whedon 101: Astonishing X-Men Cesar R. Bustamante, Jr. 310

4.03 Tom Brokaw's Coat: Joss Whedon, Astonishing X-Men and the Accessibility of History Dr. Shathley Q 313

4.04 Joss Whedon 101: Runaways Kevin Chiat 320

4.05 Joss Whedon 101: Angel: After the Fall Patrick Shand 324

4.06 IDW Retrospect: A Look Back At IDW's Angel with Brain Lynch and Scott Tipton Patrick Shand 329

4.07 Joss Whedon 101: Sugarshock! Jack Milson 334

4.08 Joss Whedon 101: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight Nick Bridwell 337

4.09 Giant Dawn and Mutant Superheroes: Joss Whedon in Comics Kevin Chiat 341

4.10 Joss Whedon 101: Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope Dr. Shathley Q 352

4.11 Chronological Bibliography of Print Comics Written by Joss Whedon Dr. Shathley Q 359

4.12 Much with the Moral Ambiguity: An Examination of the Fallen Heroes and Redeemed Villains in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight and Angel: After the Fall Patrick Shand 361

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

5.01 Joss Whedon 101: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog Lynnette Porter 371

5.02 The Night Billy Buddy Died: Dr. Horrible's Tragicomic Inversion of Spider-Man Kevin M. Brettauer 375

5.03 "What a Crazy Random Happenstance": Destiny and Free Will in Dr. Horrible Cynthea Masson 380


6.01 Joss Whedon 101: Dollhouse Ian Mathers 389

6.02 Identity and Memory in Dollhouse Ryan Jawetz 393

6.03 The Dystopian Future in Joss Whedon's Work Erin Casey 398

6.04 Buffy and Dollhouse: Visions of Female Empowerment and Disempowerment Angela Zhang 401

6.05 Dollhouse, Fox Television, and Cultural Fragmentation Rana Emerson 407

6.06 Fantasy Is Their Business, But It Is Not Their Purpose": The Metaphor of Dollhouse Don Tresca 411


7.01 Joss Whedon 101: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (The Movie) Laura Berger 429

7.02 Alien Resurrection, the Script That Shaped Joss Whedon's Career Raz Greenberg 431

7.03 Joss Whedon 101: The Cabin in the Woods Christopher Conaton 440

7.04 Joss Whedon 101: The Avengers Kristin M. Barton 443

7.05 Six Reasons Why Joss Whedon Is the Perfect Director for The Avengers Matthew Hurd 447


A.01 Mapping the Whedonverses: Whedon Studies 1999 and Beyond Alysa Hornick 457

A.02 Buffy the Vampire Stayer Episode List 465

A.03 Angel Episode List 470

A.04 Firefly Episode List 473

A.05 Dollhouse Episode List 474

A.06 Author Biographies 477

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

    Great for fans

    Very readable book of essays, essential reading for Whedon fans.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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