Lets start off the written content part of my Buffyverse month with the top 10 villains list!
10 – Drusilla & Darla
Honestly I was really struggling to find a 10th villain for this list. While both Buffy and Angel have a ton of villains throughout their combined 12 years on the air, I did find that most were just one off characters that showed up for one episode and had very little effect on the show or characters in general. So for my 10th pick, I cheated a little and put BOTH Drusilla and Darla together! Darla was around in the first season of Buffy, but her character wasn’t fleshed out until her return on Angel, and thanks to her time there plus a bunch of flashbacks, she ended up becoming a huge villain and was an integral part of Angel’s character. Drusilla was also a big part of Angel’s character, as she was “some of his best work” as Angelus, driving her insane before turning her into a Vampire. As a result, Drusilla is one of the most weird but deadly vampires going. Her relationship with Spike brought her into the show, where she even managed to kill a slayer, but her time teaming with Darla over on Angel, and their Lawyer Massacre is what makes me put the two of them on this list.
09 – The Beast
While only being in a handful of episodes of Angel during season 4, THE BEAST was one hell of a villain. A giant monster with a body seemingly made out of rock, The Beast could handle just about anything you threw at him. His appearance was pretty Apocalyptic, with dead bodies everywhere, fire, things falling from the sky, devastation everywhere he went, and of course the whole “blotting out the sun”. His fight against Angel and friends was a brutal beat down that I don’t think we’ve seen before or since in either Buffy or Angel. Then he even got the chance to absolutely destroy Faith, and would have killed her had it not been for Angelus. While he might have only been the “flunky” as Angelus put it, he was a true force to be reckoned with, and the fact he appeared from underneath the street where Conor was born, he also had a hand in creating a ton of mistrust with the gang.
08 – The First Evil
The first evil mainly took the form of Buffy Summers in the show, but the above pic is one of the rare occasions where we saw its true form. First appearing Season 3, while trying to convince Angel to kill himself, The First Evil is the main BIG BAD for the final season of the show, creating an army to try and overtake the world, as well as trying to eliminate every potential slayer, so prevent any more from rising up. Despite not being corporeal at any time, it took on many forms and managed to haunt many of the main cast with conversations as people they knew (the first evil could only take on the form of people who had died). It even infiltrated Buffy’s home for a number of days, pretending to be a potential slayer who had already been killed. Knowing that the first evil could be anyone at any time is a truly frighting thing, and its huge plans for world domination would have come true had Buffy not come up with the idea of making every potential slayer a genuine slayer.
07 – Faith
Perhaps the very definition of “deadly beauty”. Faith is a slayer, and originally started out as a goodie. However, after accidentally murdering a human, Faith closes herself off from the rest of the Scooby Gang, and eventually falls in with The Mayor, the big bad for Season 3. She tries to turn Angel back to the dark side, and when that fails she tries to kill him, which results in one hell of a fight between her and Buffy, resulting in Faith being put in a coma. When she comes out of the coma a year later, she switches bodies with Buffy to cause more chaos, before being run out of town and going to LA to take on Angel. While she did redeem herself, her time as a villain was memorable and epic.
06 – Holtz
One of the more interesting characters on this list. Unlike Faith, who started as a goodie, turned even and redeemed herself, Holtz WAS technically a good guy the entire time. During the 18th century, he hunted down Angelus and Darla, almost killing them numerous times. As revenge, Angelus and Darla killed his family, and Holtz was never the same. A demon came along and offered to take Holtz into the future, so he can confront Angelus once again. When he gets there though, Angelus is long gone, and Angel is all that is left, as well as his newly born son Conor! Holtz however doesn’t see the good man in front of him, instead is fuelled by revenge against Angelus, and in the end kidnaps Conor and takes him to a hell dimension. When Conor breaks free to meet/confront his real dad, Holtz realises that he might lose Conor to Angel. So with the help of Justine, a follower of his, he kills himself and makes it look like a vampire bite, in hopes that Conor would avenge him (which he would, by sending Angel to the bottom of the Ocean in a box).
05 – Glory
Doesn’t exactly look like a big bad, does she? Well, Glory was more than just a pretty face. She was a GOD, expelled from her home dimension when the other gods began to fear her. Now, all she wants is to get back home. However, in order to do so, she needs to use “the key” to open up a portal. The key happens to be Dawn, Buffy’s little sister, and opening the portal means draining her of her blood. And while the portal is open, ALL dimensions merge into one, unleashing hell on earth. Yeah, not what you want to happen!!! Despite being in human form and not having most of her powers or strength, Glory is still more than a match for Buffy and any demon we’ve come across before. She destroys Buffy in numerous fights, and even shrugs off attacks from a pissed off Willow using dark magic. Out of all the villains to come along, Glory is the only one to really break Buffy, first making her run away (literally, Buffy gathers everyone and tries to leave town), and then causing her to have some sort of mental break down when Dawn is kidnapped. In the end, she almost succeeds, even managing to open her portal. This leads to Buffy sacrificing herself, and Giles committing murder. Not sure what I mean? Watch the show and find out!
04 – Wolfram & Hart
While Buffy had plenty of “demons of the week” villains, and an over arching villain per season, Angel had those PLUS an over arching villain for the entire run of the show. Wolfram & Hart on the surface are a law firm, but they also happen to be the most evil organisation on the planet, working behind the scenes to prepare for the upcoming apocalypse! The Wolf, Ram and Hart are ancient beings who have built up their power over the many thousands of years and are now mainly known as the “senior partners”. They watch on as their many law firms around the world help out the most evil of clients out of trouble and orchestrating that whole apocalypse thing I mentioned. Almost everything that happens on the Angel show involves this evil corporation, from them bringing back Darla from the dead, turning her into a Vampire again, trying to make Angel kill his own son and more. We also get some great characters such as Holland Manners, Lindsay McDonald and Lilah Morgan. In Season 5 of the show, Angel and his gang were given the LA branch t do with as they pleased, planting seeds of potential corruption and more.
03 – Mayor Wilkins
Mayor Richard Wilkins III on the surface is a well spoken individual with nothing but the best interests of Sunnydale at heart. After all, his “grandfather” founded Sunnydale! Except it wasn’t his grandfather. It was him. The Mayor has lived for a very long time, and his life has been building to one thing and one thing only; his ascension! For the first 2 season of Buffy, we hear people bring up “The Mayor” every now and then… and often with fear in their voice. It isn’t until the third season that we finally meet this man. Being the man he is, against bad language, obsessed with cleanliness and seeming to genuinely care about the people in his employment (such as Faith, for example), the fact that he’s an insane villain trying to become a giant snake just puts him over the edge for me, hence his high placement on this list. I only wish we could have gotten more of him, perhaps in the first 2 seasons, but I suppose the suspense of not seeing him for 2 years was just as good.
02 – Spike
From bad poet to bad ass, William the Bloody Awful was turned into a vampire by Drusilla and became Spike, the second most notorious vampire behind his mentor at the time, Angelus. Not known for being the smarted guy around, Spike made up for this with sheer brutality, earning the name Spike by killing people with rail road spikes. As well as being pure evil, he also deeply loved (or as much as possible for a soulless monster…) Drusilla. He would go to the ends of the earth for her, literally on occasion, to make her happy. After killing a couple of slayers, Spike and Drusilla made their way to Sunnydale to take out Buffy… and Spike’s life changed from that moment on. Drusilla left him, and he ended up falling for Buffy, turning into (mostly) a good guy to try and be with her. After nearly raping her, Spike left, and returned with a soul! So much character development for Spike, who was originally meant to be a one off villain, but ended up being so popular he was kept around. He’s a wisecracking ass who loves to fight, and while not being the smarted guy around, he can still formulate plans and is very well versed in manipulation. Whether he was helping Buffy or trying to kill her, Spike was a fantastic villain and character in general!
01 – Angelus
The face of an Angel. And the passion for killing. A deadly mix. While the character of Angel is one of the ultimate good guys in the Buffyverse, his soulless alter ego Angelus is without a doubt the most vicious, intelligent villain that either show ever saw. He spent 150 years causing destruction and mayhem all around the world with Darla, then Drucilla and Spike. After being cursed and gaining back his soul, he spent nearly 100 years wandering around aimlessly until he met Buffy, and dedicated his life to good. However, after achieving one moment of pure happiness, his soul was lost again and Angelus was free. During his time on Buffy, Angelus murdered many, including Jenny Calendar, a close friend to Giles and teacher to Buffy and the gang. Then he tried to destroy the world, leading to Buffy sending him to hell. He returned, soul in tact, and realised he had to leave Buffy. So, getting his own show, Angel continued to be the good guy… until his friends willingly removed his soul, locked him in a cage and questioned him about THE BEAST (previously on this list). The episodes with Angelus locked in a cage yet being calm and cunning are eerily reminiscent of the scenes in Silence of the Lambs, and in many ways the character of Angelus IS Hannibal Lecter. More intelligent than those he goes up against, eats people, and his violence is done in almost an artistic way. He gets inside the head of his opponents, beating them before even beginning the fight, using Angel’s knowledge of his friends to his advantage. While he probably only had around… 10 episodes in total over Buffy and Angel, he is still THE most memorable, and best, villain ever in the Buffyverse imo. I only wish we had more of him.