Joss Whedon recommends…

One of the greatest things about Joss’s work is its intertextuality. It is constantly referencing and commenting upon other work. As a librarian, I (Kiba) find this immensely interesting. Add to that, people a lot of times like to know what kinds of things their favorite artists enjoy… So I’m working on putting together a list of media (comics, books, movies, etc) that Joss specifically references in interviews in a positive light, or refers to as influences or inspiration. This is an evolving list so please don’t consider it comprehensive or complete. Please note as well that some of these will be annotated further at a later date.

TV Shows

Spider-ManWarlock_9 Daredevil168Preacher56

Spiderman – in particular, Ross Andru’s run on The Amazing Spider-Man, which includes issues #125-131, 133-149, 151-153, 156-180, 182-185 (1973–78); Giant-Size #1-5 (1974–75). You can find these in Essential Spider-Man Volumes 6, 7, and 8.

Warlock – Written by Jim Starlin. Available in Marvel Masterworks Warlock Volumes 1 and 2.

Daredevil – Frank Miller’s run, collected in Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Jansun Omnibus (see also Frank Miller’s other work for Marvel)

Preacher by Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon

Sin City by Frank Miller

X-Men – in particular, John Byrne’s run starting with Uncanny X-Men #108, which is collected in Essential X-Men Volumes 1 and 2. [Note from Kiba: Essential X-Men 1 & 2 were probably the first comics I ever read carefully. John Byrne and Chris Claremont worked on this run together and I tend to think of it as the Claremont run; this is when Kitty Pryde, my favorite comic book character, first appeared. I remember I was so excited reading Joss’s Astonishing X-Men because it felt like the Byrne/Claremont run in spirit somehow. If you like Astonishing, be sure to pick these up at your library or bookstore.]

Planetary by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday

Top 10 by Alan Moore, Gene Ha, and Zander Cannon

Fantastic Four

New X-Men

Anything by:
Brian Michael Bendis
Warren Ellis
Mike Moore




Influences for The Avengers 2:
The Godfather Part II
The Empire Strikes Back[Note from Kiba: I think the message Joss is trying to send us here is that this will be an AWESOME sequel, not a lame sequel/prequel. More Empire, less Temple of Doom.]
Influences for Firefly/Serenity:
Rio Grande
Ulzana’s Raid
The Searchers
McCabe & Mrs. Miller
Other movies to enjoy:
The Matrix
Cannibal: The Musical [Note from Kiba: In an interview from June 2002, Joss confessed the he didn’t consume a lot of DVD extras due to time constraints or not wanting to have the illusion of the movie broken. He mentioned Cannibal as an exception to this. If you haven’t seen Cannibal, do; then watch with the commentary, in which Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and their friends get drunker and drunker. Cannibal is the source of the word “shpadoinkle,” which Xander utters in the Buffy episode, “The Gift.”]
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Star Wars Trilogy
Once Upon a Time in the West
The films of Alfred Hitchcock
Red Planet
Johnny Guitar
Day of the Outlaw
Deep Rising
Night of the Comet
Fort Apache
Resident Evil
Pirates of the Caribbean
Gangs of New York
The Bad and the Beautiful
Minority Report
Catch Me if You Can
The Incredibles
Shaun of the Dead


The Killer Angels [Note from Kiba: This historical novel about the Battle of Gettysburg was one of the influences that sparked Joss to create Firefly.]
Nausea (Sartre)
The works of Charles Dickens.
The works of Ray Bradbury.
Abe by Richard Slotkin

TV Shows
Hill Street Blues
Law & Order
The West Wing
Wise Guy
Twin Peaks
The X-Files (first 5 seasons in particular)
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Golden Girls
Miami Vice
Batman: The Animated Series
Masterpiece Theater
The Electric Company
Without a Trace


The Bandwagon
A Little Night Music
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Van Gogh

Decade, the Neil Young compilation
Frank Sinatra
Jill Sobula
Darling Violetta

Henry IV
A Midsummer Night’s Dream


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Current Projects

The Avengers 2 (Movie)
Scheduled for release May 1, 2015
Joss Whedon is writing and directing this sequel to the Marvel film, The Avengers.
Information | IMDb

Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog 2 (Web)
Joss Whedon will collaborate with the team from the first Dr. Horrible to bring us this sequel. Someday.
Information | Official Site

Wastelanders (Web)
Joss Whedon is collaborating with Warren Ellis to create this apocalyptic web short.


May 1, 2015 - The Avengers 2 US Release

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