Ryan Thomason

You Liked The Avengers Movie? Welcome to the Altar of Whedon

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Assuming you weren’t already a follower. Some people call worshippers Whedonites, or whatever variation of his name that can be contrived. There is no one gospel of Whedon, just various sects that intermingle with each other, all co-existing in a sort of cult following. One member may hold themselves true to a single piece of work, others find themselves diving into each faction and consuming them all, absorbing all of the encompassing works until they have become a full fledged follower of all things Whedon.

Then, there are those like myself who merely stood against the wall, observed, and nodded in appreciation and then signed the guestbook on their way out.

The Avengers movie smashed records, like, well that that pun would have been too obvious. My friends that have seen it have been gushing about the multiple geekgasms that have coursed through their bodies as they watched, the tales of watching in misty eyed wonder as I reflected on my weekend of changing poop filled diapers and the highlight of mowing the lawn. Then there are my friends who claim to have seen it a full three times since Friday. Three times. Those people have no responsibilities, and are single. Go figure.

While I can’t go on and on about the movie other than hearsay, I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers, which is going to be harder as I continue to wait and get my ass into the theater. If you enjoyed The Avengers, and you’ve never dived into Whedon’s other projects that have given him notoriety then let me get you started.

Slight updates because Reddit comments makes me remember how trying to write something on a lunch break cuts out things I forgot about. Yes I know, articles shouldn’t be a work in progress.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No, not the 1992 Kristy Swanson/Luke Perry movie though, he did have his hand in that as the writer. I’m talking about the show that was created five years later in 1997 and starred Sarah Michelle Gellar. Ok, that’s all I know about that show. Hot chick killing vampires and more notably, giving geeks a hot redhead to dream about. Really, that’s all I know about Buffy, you’re better served using Netflix to watch old episodes or clicking the wiki links I provided. Also, I’m lumping that whole Angel show with this one, regardless of how many people might scream about it. It’s a spin-off of Buffy from all my research, and I know just about as much about it. Buffy is from all the word of mouth I hear from fans excellently written and blends the whole kicking vampire ass with great storytelling. Why the hell didn’t this show stake the whole Twilight series? You can catch Buffy and Angel on Netflix which is what I highly suggest you do. Moving On.

Firefly (and the Serenity movie): Oh Captain Mal and your browncoat, when Firefly aired originally I didn’t watch it. Yes, I’m admitting that. The reason is that I saw THIS and for some reason, though they only shared the “Fire” part of the name, I thought they were one and the same. Fire in the Sky gave me that kind of intense alien abduction nightmares. It wasn’t until after I graduated college that I realized that the show that was on TV all those years ago was something separate and all available as a complete series in one little box. Yes, Firefly didn’t last that long before being canned. It was a mixture of Sci-fi and Western, but that seems to be cutting it short. It came together in a way that just, well, worked. Even my wife, who shuns nearly every geeky thing I have gotten or get into has nodded in approval after watching a couple of episodes. Firefly has a devoted following at the Altar of Whedon, fans who dream of new episodes (never going to happen) and movies (more likely, but probably never going to happen). Whedon has said recently that in order to bring back anything Firefly, he has to kill the careers of people like Nathan Fillion (Castle) and the others who have moved onto new stages in their careers. While the longing of what could have been will always remain, this part of the Whedon cannon is best learned, loved, and then like all things, you have to move on from the great experience you had with it. Not even seeing the image of Nathan Fillion in Jorts could kill the memories of Firefly to me.

Dollhouse: OK, Another Whedon show that I never got into. SO yeah, it had hot chicks kicking ass…I assume? Lets see, it starred Eliza Dushku, I’m going that route I came up with. I can at least provide you with a summary, then once again, hit up Netflix to watch the whole thing:

The show revolves around a corporation running numerous underground establishments (known as “Dollhouses”) across the globe which program individuals referred to as Actives (or Dolls) with temporary personalities and skills. Wealthy clients hire Actives from Dollhouses at great expense for various purposes. The series primarily follows the Active known as Echo, played by Eliza Dushku, on her journey towards self-awareness.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: NEIL PATRICK HARRIS. NATHAN FILLION. FELICIA DAY. This combination of actors, and muscial….awesomeness is that the best way to put it? Took womens panties and oh hell, plenty of guys under-roo’s too. I think the debate of if Fillion or NPH received more is still up in the air. It’s Dr. Horrible having a video blog and trying to gain entrance into the Evil League of Evil. Yes, you can see where this is going already. It is awesome. Just, watch the damn thing already.

You can’t really forget that Whedon is a writer at heart, the guy even has his imprint on the comic book world starting with Dark Horse and Fray in 1994, he went on to work on Buffy The Vampire Slayer comics and even continued the storylines of Firefly and Serenity in comic book form. Most notably is his praise for Astonishing X-Men that he did for Marvel. While I missed the whole thing entirely, just looking at the accolades and awards, I sure as hell missed out on something that I’m now finding myself looking for in old Trades.

Movies other than The Avengers? He’s credited in the Toy Story screenplay and Titan A.E. while both of those movies have HUGE supporters (my 4 year old has watched Toy Story a million times) They aren’t SOLELY his work or initial creations, but perhaps you can see his influence in the stories. He was the co-writer for the recently released (in April if I remember right) Cabin in the Woods which still carries a 90% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Yes, I’m sure I missed out on a whole hell of a lot of things Whedon has contributed to or worked on in some form, I’m here for those of you that saw The Avengers movie, and wanted to start getting into past work from the director of the movie. Just remember that no matter where you end up, in the Buffyverse or finding yourself buying a Browncoat, to dancing and singing Dr. Horrible tunes there are diehard fans. DIEHARD FANS. I recommend my approach, enter the room, consume the media, nod your head in appreciation and sign the guestbook.

Welcome to the Altar of Whedon, I hope you enjoy your stay.

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