The Avengers

Everything I Need to Know in Life I Learned from Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon has much to teach his fans, as he unfurls epics of sacrifice and heroism for superheroes and ordinary people.

Firefly, like Alien: Resurrection, was his anti-authoritarian dystopia, while Buffy the Vampire Slayer emphasized girl power and individuality in a world of monsters. Dollhouse tackled identity, memory and the soul, reaching from fantasy into philosophy, just as The Cabin in the Woods satirized the nebulous “Greater Good.” Now, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Avengers explore heroism, teamwork, and personal responsibility. Whedon has independent works too, all explored from the paranormal romance film In Your Eyes to his feminist skits for Equality Now. In comics, such as X-Men, Runaways, Sugarshock, and Buffy, he explores unconventional teams and chosen families.

From Angel’s quest for faith and redemption in a world of nihilism to the smaller stories of family and friendships in The Office, Glee, Parenthood, and Roseanne, not to mention Much Ado About Nothing, Whedon offers lessons to improve the world and our roles within it.

This book compares themes, motifs, and archetypes across all his works, teasing out the common threads and the messages within.

Hopefully, once I murder every living thing in existence, the female manifestation of Death might finally show me some affection. I’m also thinking about going back to grad school to get my PhD.

I assembled a team of high school dropouts to tell me what would shake them out of their literary apathy and convince them to buy an actual book with words in it. Almost every person responded with ‘a sweet car chase.’ The results of this very scientific poll led me to believe that there will be a taut, tense car chase in the middle of the book.