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September 29 2008

(SPOILER) Best Rogues Galleries In Comics: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I've been enjoying these lists for weeks now, but I never thought the evil of Sunnydale would get their own list. See which villains from the show and comics made the author's list and which issues "spotlight" them. Spoilers for anyone who hasn't read up to issue 18 of Season Eight.

The First, Dark Willow, Adam, and D'Hoffryn seem most comic-booky of Buffy villains. Would like to see D'Hoff return in comic form, but that's probably a dead issue because of the Anya no-show so far.

I quit reading when they called Glory a "demon lord".
I quit reading when they listed Adam...
I actually liked Adam. True, he wasn't the best of the big bads, but I enjoyed him. I also feel that season 4, as a whole, is extremely underrated. It was a story of Freshman Year of college, definitely a stressful and scary time, filled with changes that must be faced. Perfect setting for Buffy.

I didn't, however, enjoy this article. It just seemed like a recap, and not a very good one at that. It didn't add anything of its own, and was inaccurate in several places.

[ edited by Giles_314 on 2008-09-29 05:32 ]
Good list! Buffy does indeed have really cool villains. And I agree: Season 4 is underrated.
S4 minus the Initiative is underrated. It's the Initiative stuff that bogs it down for many people, I think (it does for me). Maybe, if Prof. Walsh had lived on and she, with Adam as her brawn, had been the real Big Bad of the season...
I quite enjoyed this list. But you know, it brought back a question that always bothered me. When the Gypsies cursed Angel with a soul he would lost after a moment of true happiness, they also returned an extremely evil person back into the world, one who could go on to kill many others. Does that, um, actually make sense? Wouldn't you want to rid the world of evil, rather than add to it? Just had to ask.

S4 is the best!
I am in the few who actually prefers Adam's storyline over the mayor storyline, and the same applies to their stance as season "big bads".

S4 - and at some extent S6, also - for their weirdness tend to be the underrated seasons for the whole series.

I'm so glad that The First is in the list. I do wonder if we'll ever see "it" have another resurgence, since the events from "Chosen" simply hindered its plans.
The Master is "arguably the scariest"? Hmm. On the other hand, I have to agree with "In true Shakespearian (or Whedon) fashion". Heh.

S4 and S6 both have their strong points for me. It was 5 and 7 I struggled with...
Shameless plug time (is it allowed?): in response to Dana5140's question, my mother wrote an essay in the book
Five Seasons of Angel
called "It's a Stupid Curse" about that very topic. I think it boils down to the idea that the gypsies were out for revenge and not really thinking about the overall welfare of society, and didn't even really think out their revenge scheme terribly well... but it sure does result in some great stories for us viewers/readers...


And back on topic, I agree that the Rogue's Gallery was more of a nice shallow stroll down memory lane as opposed to a deep analysis. Adam was never particularly interesting to me (too dispassionate, perhaps, to make his motivations engaging?), but defeating him led to "Restless," which I wouldn't give up for anything :)
Am I the only one who wishes Ethan Rayne would get more than just an 'Honorable Mention'? I know he wasn't truly evil, but he was always entertaining!
my mother wrote an essay in the book Five Seasons of Angel called "It's a Stupid Curse" about that very topic


Kudos to your mum.
When the Gypsies cursed Angel with a soul he would lost after a moment of true happiness, they also returned an extremely evil person back into the world, one who could go on to kill many others.

My understanding was always that the perfect happiness clause was not an intended thing. They cursed him to be miserable all of his life, then later realized that if someone with this curse were to find one moment of not being miserable, it'd break the spell. This doesn't rule out the "they just wanted revenge and were thoughtless," line of attack, since obviously they could've figured out the loophole before cursing him, or something. But I don't think that, when they cursed him, it was ever intended to be breakable with happiness.

If that makes any sense at all.
Yeah... I have similar thoughts myself. I mean, how likely is it that they'd consider he was going to turn into a good guy and thus it would be a Bad Thing if he lost his soul again? So yes, I kind of think they just wanted revenge, pure and simple - to make him feel the pain they were feeling.

Of course, on the wrong vampire that could have been less successful - Spike and Darla both find it noticeably easier to ignore the centuries of carnage (and even Angel has his decades of hanging with the Rat Pack). Hmm.

And indeed, kudos to miri47's mother - I own that book. Actually I was sent it by my best friend a few years ago, and it was accompanied by a letter she wrote after seeing Serenity for the first time. Random but nice memory there...
I dunno, I always got the impression that that was the actual curse. It more or less makes sense to me that they'd restore his soul and then make sure he knew that he could never be happy if he wanted to keep it. So he'd spend eternity effectively caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

The problems with it are, as skittledog points out, it assumes he'd feel guilty about what Angelus did (as i've said before, i'm not sure he should and even if so that's no guarantee that Liam would - he wasn't exactly the most selfless of individuals as a human) and also that his will to survive would outweigh his urge to not be perpetually miserable (he could always "end it" the same way anyone else that commits suicide does - only for Angel it'd presumably be even more selfish because he'd know what he was unleashing on the world. Actually, would he ? Did Angel know about the "get-out clause" himself ? Maybe not or why sleep with Buffy ? If he didn't know then it makes a lot less sense).

(I was gonna check out miri47's mum's essay but the one i've got waiting on my TBR pile is actually "Reading Angel". Kudos nonetheless though ;)
I like your mom's essay, miri47! I am proud to have that book adorning my shelf.

I kind of liked this little list, it was fun, even though, yeah, the Master wasn't exactly the scariest of Buffy's villains. Also, of the many comics they recommended, the only ones worth reading are S8, Fray, Tales of the Slayers, Ring of Fire, Past Lives, Haunted, and the Spike/Dru books. The rest are really, really bad for the most part. Kind of strange they didn't list the excellent Tales of the Vampires as well, since it's actually canonical like the first three I mentioned.

S4 is definitely underrated. I love that season.

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2008-09-29 22:14 ]
Saje - yeah, see, I don't think Angel knew. It makes really no sense at all for him to sleep with Buffy if he does (unless he's just thinking he's so miserable about everything he could never be perfectly happy but... nah, that would be advanced thinking for Angel at that point). And it seems like Jenny & her ancestors have been keeping watch on him ever since cursing him, knowing he mustn't be allowed to get too happy... why bother, if he knows and that's the reason you cursed him in the first place?

I guess in the end I think the curse was even more effective than they planned it to be. Nobody curses an evil murdering vampire with the thought that one day he might actually deserve a little happiness.

(That said, may I just say it annoys me how in later seasons the perfect-happiness thing is referred to as the curse, when the curse is actually the thing keeping him, you know, not eating everybody?)
Acts of Vengence usually DON'T make sense.

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