Joss Whedon The Complete Companion by POP matters is not complete, as Whedon’s career does not seem to be anywhere near over. That said I cannot imagine a more thorough collection of thoughts on the man. With over 40 authors the book covers Whedon’s overarching themes with technical comparisons of his scripts versus the finished products. TV, webisodes, comics and films are all covered in detail. Some of the material is examined with an eye for storytelling tones, braking it down to a philosophical degree. Other essays cover insider technical deatails of how the shows and films came to light. Whatever your mood, if it involves Whedon you will be covered.
This book however is not simple hero worship. One aspect I found very interesting as an Alien fan is the chapter ‘Alien Resurrection, the Script that Shaped Joss Whedon’s career.’ This is generally accepted to be the weakest film in the series, and Whedon does not get a pass. As an avid geek is interesting finding a source with new insight and information on an older film.
In full disclosure I am a big fan of Whedon, except Buffy. I loathe to an unfair degree stories surrounding high schools. That being said I still found incite to appreciate in the essays provided. I am however a huge Angel fan. The essay, ‘The Strength and Conviction to lose So Relentlessly,’ summed up perfectly everything I found so appealing about Angel. Included is this enclosed quote from Angel in episode 2:16 Epiphany. “Well, I guess I kinda…worked it out. If there’s no great, glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do, because that’s all there is, what we do. Now today.”
POP Matter’s book is cited to a meticulous degree, allowing you to easily find the episodes or comics you seek, because despite the acknowledged flaws and weaknesses in his work. This book will make you want to revisit old stories told by Joss Whedon. Now if you’ll excuse me I feel the need to watch my old Angel DVD’s.
If you seek an examination of Joss Whedon’s career I would be shocked if you could do better.
Personal Note;This review feels incomplete to me, because there is so much information contained within its pages.