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August 06 2012

Top ten Joss Whedon villains. It's a follow-up piece to House of Geekery's "Top ten Joss Whedon characters" feature.

Yeah... I love the Mayor. But he doesn't trump Angelus. I'm surprised Ethan made the cut, because I thought of him more as an annoying fly than a viable threat. And where is Dark Willow?
Hmm..... Love the Mayor, but Angelus is definitely my #1.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say this list is ideosyncratic.
I like this list a lot more than the top Joss Whedon characters, but Angelus should be first...
This quote made me a little upset: "We also learned that there’s a number of people with an almost fetishistic love for Wesley Wyndam-Price, but let’s try not to think about that."
They left off one of the best and most beloved characters on the last list, and their response was to dismiss it because those fans are apparently crazy.
Also: Drusilla and Darla should be separated, they should be higher on the list (I'm sorry, they're better than the Saffron), and if Faith is on the list, Spike should be also...
Mayor? Hell no.
Two words: No. GLORY. I am not satisfied.
For the most part I agree with this, but as great as the Gentlemen were, they were just a throw-away villain of the week and don't belong here. Especially when you leave Lilah off.
I don't mind Ethan Rayne at all, but a list WITH Ethan and WITHOUT Jubal Early? Tsk.
Angelus should be #1, definitely.

I'm fine with the lack of Spike. Even when he was a villain, he was pretty bad at it. I feel the same way about Faith, I don't truly think of her as a villain.

The lack of Holtz, Lilah, and Dark Willow for the inclusion of The Gentlemen, Ethan Rayne, the high-ranking of Alpha, and Saffron is absurd. If we're picking from The Verse, The Operative and Jubal Early are certainly more interesting.
I think Alpha would be a perfect choice for #1. He was scary!

I also though Caleb was a bigger baddie and "better villain" than some that made the list. "And how is poor, sweet Xander? Let him know he's in my prayers, and any time he's willin', I'm ready to... finish the job."
Dark Willow sucked.
I'm thrilled they included Alpha, because I LOVED that character. Basically the list works fine for me (although actually Faith was never a villain for me, and I thought that Lilah was scarier than Lindsay...).
It was a little confusing to me as to why they'd put Faith as a "villian" and Saffron but no Glory? It wouldn't have sucked to include The First IMO, I'm also with embers, Lilah was deinitely scarier than Lindsey.
This is the first I've heard that Katie Holmes was anywhere near the role of Buffy.

And personally I'd almost have Angelus and the Mayor tied at 1st. Both of 'em are just too darn good.
It seems to me that if they're excluding Dark Willow because they see her as part of Willow's character arc, you could make an argument that Angelus and possibly Faith could also be taken off the list. I second Carnelionne's nomination of Jubal Early. And while I find the ATS S3-4 arc as a whole somewhat problematic, I personally think Daniel Holtz is the best villain in the show's five seasons.
Interesting that most of the villains are also sympathetic characters (not the Gentlemen). There's even debate on whether some could be classified as villains. Another thing I love about Joss' work.
I love the mayor. He is my favorite big bad in the Whedonverse, even though he is nowhere near the scariest or most threatening villain. I mostly just love him because he is the funniest villain (IMO).

I don't see Faith or Lindsey as villains. Yes, they were antagonists at certain times on their shows, but they both started out as morally ambiguous, went back and forth a lot, and ended up siding with the good guys. They are both great characters, but they can't be the best villains if they were only occasionally classifiable as villains.
Should have been Angelus #1, Niska #2.
Why the HELL did Glory not make the list!?!
Off the top of my head some of my favorites who weren't on the list.
Dark Willow, Early, Spike, Glory/Ben, Lilah, Holtz, Snyder, Dominic, Reavers, First Slayer, Tracey, Gnarl, Puppet Demons, Rossum in general, Connor in season 3, Wesley when he was villainous, Gachnar, Holland Manners, Hands of Blue,Arcane/Clyde, Clyde 2.0, The Operative, Boyd, Badger, Warren, Knox, and Bad Horse.

[ edited by wasabi17 on 2012-08-07 03:23 ]
Holland Manners would have to go on my list.
I'm okay with the Mayor in first place--not sure if he's the best Whedon villain ever, but he is my favorite Big Bad from BtVS. The mixture of politeness, weird quirks, and cold-blooded evil was pure genius--and when you combine that with his genuine, fatherly affection for Faith, you've got a villain unlike any other.

I'm surprised Holtz didn't make the cut, though. He's my absolute favorite Big Bad from Angel--because his hatred for Angel is entirely justified, and he genuinely believes he's the good guy ... yet he's manipulative, sees people as nothing but a means to an end, discards them without a thought when he's through with them, and does immeasurable harm to an innocent infant, all in the name of revenge. Again, a brilliant character.

Glory should also be on the list, unquestionably.

And if we're going to have someone from Firefly/Serenity--where's the Operative?? Brilliant acting from Chiwetel Eijofer, and a mesmerizing, chilling portrayal of a man happy to do evil things because he genuinely believes it will make a better world.

Oh, and if I was going to give a spot to villains who only appeared in one episode ... I'd go with the Hands of Blue guys over The Gentlemen. I realize I'm probably the only person in the world who feels this way ... but The Gentlemen never scared me. "Hush" wouldn't even feature on my list of scariest Buffy episodes. Forever totally freaked me out the first time I saw it, as did Conversations with Dead People. But Hush? Not even a little bit.
another vote for Jubal Early, easily one of the most disconcerting characters Joss has ever created.

also, IMHO I think that Ethan Rayne was one of the more underutilized characters in the buffyverse (if not the whole whedonverse)...the actor was great, the character had a good backstory, he was arguably as smart as Giles (or if not, he made up for it with cunning), but it always felt like they were holding back with him. He was always caught a little too easily, his plans were just about diabolical but nothing that made you drop your jaw. I think they could have really used him more, perhaps in Willow's descent into dark magic, or in mentoring the trio and taking them (especially Warren, who strikes me as having some commonalities with Ethan) to the next level.
Love the choice of the Mayor. I still think Harry Groener should've been nominated for a Best Supporting Character Emmy.
Billy and Ryan from Angel. They always creep me out. Also Der Kindestod from Buffy.
Der Kindestod was great too. And I completely agree with nswebb about Ethan and Willow's magic addiction.

[ edited by wasabi17 on 2012-08-07 17:32 ]
I'd heard about KAtie Holmes, but I've only heard SMG was psuhing to be Cordleia when she thought she wouldn't get buffy. Maybe there was an intermediate period after Bianca had to drop out as Cordy but beofre KAtie dropped out of Buffy where Sarah was ahead of Charisma as a Cordy candidate.
I do think that Angelus was the greatest Buffy or Angel villain, hands down.

"To kill this girl, you have to love her."

He was just such a total mind f**k. With him it was personal, emotional...I still get chills.

"Everyone knew that eventually Angelus would emerge – it was too good a concept not to use it – so it became a matter of when, and what will he do when it happens."

Really?! I'm the dip, apparently. I wasn't expecting it at all. How many people that watched the original run (or who weren't spoiled at all) expected to see Angelus show up?

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