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Angel is a fictional character created by Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt for the television programs Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. He is played by actor David Boreanaz. Angel is a vampire who is cursed with a soul, a punishment designed to make him suffer for his past crimes committed under the name Angelus. Like many characters in the Buffyverse, Angel goes through drastic changes, starting out as a reluctant hero who stayed in the shadows, and ended up an altruistic champion of mankind, seeking to voluntarily atone for his sins.

Appearances

Television

Angel's first appearance is in "Welcome to the Hellmouth", the first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1997. In it, he meets the protagonist of Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a young girl destined to fight evil in the small town of Sunnydale. For the first half of the season, Angel is an enigmatic love interest for Buffy, showing up only to offer her cryptic messages about upcoming threats. It isn't until the episode "Angel" that the character is revealed to be a benevolent vampire, cursed with a conscience when gypsies returned his soul as an act of vengeance; prior to his curse, 'Angelus' is recorded as perhaps the most sadistic vampire in history. Although uneasy about trusting a vampire, Buffy and the Scooby Gang eventually come to view Angel as an ally. In the second season (1997-1998), Buffy and Angel's romantic relationship develops and the pair make love in the episode "Surprise". However, Angel's curse comes with a catch: if he ever experiences a moment of true happiness, such as sex with a person he loves, he will lose his soul and revert to the evil Angelus again. Now soulless, Angelus reunites with his old friends, the villainous vampires Spike (James Marsters) and Drusilla (Juliet Landau), and begins terrorising Buffy and her friends. He murders their friend Jenny Calendar (Robia LaMorte), and attempts to destroy the world by awakening the demon Acathla. In the season finale, neophyte witch Willow (Alyson Hannigan) manages to restore Angel's soul. However, Buffy is still forced to kill him to save the world from Acathla, and Angel is sent to hell. In season three (1998-1999), Angel inexplicably returns from hell. The Scooby Gang are outraged when they discover that Buffy has been secretly caring for him since his resurrection, but grudgingly accept him after he saves Willow's life. When Angel is later manipulated by the First Evil into committing suicide, his life is saved by divine intervention. Although Buffy and Angel initially try to be nothing more than friends, they eventually resume their romantic, albeit celibate, relationship. However, as Angel becomes more aware of their limitations as a couple, he eventually breaks up with her in the hopes that she will be happier without him. He decides to leave Sunnydale altogether, but not before attending Buffy's prom and helping her in the battle against the Mayor (Harry Groener).

After his departure from Buffy, Angel appeared his own spin-off series, titled Angel. Moving to Los Angelesmarker, he starts a supernatural detective agency called Angel Investigations. He dedicates himself to "helping the helpless", and becomes a Champion of The Powers That Be, who send him psychic visions through his employees Doyle (Glenn Quinn), and later Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter). In doing so, he frequently clashes with the powerful law firm Wolfram & Hart, who represent the evil of the world. During this season (1999-2000), Buffy and Angel appear in each other's shows (the Buffy episode "Pangs" and the Angel episode "I Will Remember You"), but are forced to accept that nothing has changed and they still can't or shouldn't be together. Later in the television season, Buffy crosses over into the episode "Sanctuary" where she attempts to kill rogue Slayer Faith (Eliza Dushku) to whom Angel shows compassion, and Angel appears in Buffy's "The Yoko Factor" where he squares off with Buffy's new boyfriend Riley (Marc Blucas). In the season finale, Angel is given some hope at redemption when the Shanshu prophecy reveals that a vampire with a soul may eventually become human after fulfilling his role in the upcoming apocalypse. In season two (2000-2001), Angel discovers that Wolfram & Hart has brought his sire and former lover Darla (Julie Benz) back from the dead in human form. Although Darla is intent on bringing back Angelus, Angel hopes to save her soul and help her seek redemption while she still has a chance. However, just as it looks like he might succeed, Wolfram & Hart bring in Drusilla to turn Darla back into a vampire. Embracing his dark side, Angel fires his employees, Cordelia, Wesley (Alexis Denisof) and Gunn (J. August Richards), and embarks on a vendetta against Wolfram & Hart; Angel allows Darla and Dru to massacre a group of lawyers. Losing faith in his mission, he has sex with Darla in the hopes of losing his soul. Instead, however, he experiences an epiphany and realises that the good fight is still worth fighting. A disgusted Darla flees L.A. and Angel reconciles with his friends, who eventually forgive him.

Season three (2001-2002) sees Angel struggle with fatherhood when Darla returns pregnant with his child, despite the fact that vampires are unable to conceive. When Darla kills herself to give birth, Angel is left to raise the baby Connor (Jake, Trenton, and Connor Tupen) and protect him from those who wish to get their hands on a child of two vampires. False prophecies, time travel, and betrayal lead to Angel losing his infant son to an old enemy, Holtz (Keith Szarabajka), who abducts Connor into a hell dimension where time passes differently. Connor (Vincent Kartheiser) returns days later, fully grown and under the belief that Angel is a soulless monster. Holtz kills himself and frames Angel for his death, prompting Connor to take revenge by sinking his father to the bottom of the ocean. Over the course of this season, Angel's friendship with his colleague Cordelia evolves into romance, but circumstances prevent him from confessing his feelings. In the fourth season (2002-2003), Angel is rescued from the ocean by his former friend Wesley. As Los Angeles crumbles under the apocalypse, Angel is forced to cope with the romantic relationship between his son and Cordelia. In order to find out more about the Beast (Vladimir Kulich) terrorizing L.A., Angel Investigations remove Angel's soul and bring back Angelus. Their plan fails, and Angelus wreaks havok until an old friend, Willow, manages to return his soul for the second time. It is eventually revealed that Cordelia is possessed by Jasmine (Gina Torres), a higher power who puts humanity under her thrall in the hopes of achieving world peace. When Angel restores free will and ruins Jasmine's plan, Wolfram & Hart offer him control of their L.A. branch as a reward for putting a stop to world peace. Angel accepts when they agree to rewrite Connor's memories of growing up in hell, allowing him to live a normal life with a new family. Afterwards, Angel appears in the penultimate and final episodes of Buffy, presenting Buffy with an amulet to help her battle the First Evil.

The final season of Angel (2003-2004) sees the character having made a deal with the devil by becoming CEO of Wolfram & Hart's Los Angeles office, and all of his friends have become W&H employees hoping to reform the organization from within under Angel's supervision. His life this season is complicated by the increasingly blurred line between good and evil, the deaths of loved ones Cordelia and Fred (Amy Acker), and the possibility that the Shanshu prophecy may in fact be referring to Spike (who is now also a vampire with a soul) rather than himself. Allowing his friends to believe he is being corrupted, Angel secretly plots to bring down the Senior Partners of Wolfram & Hart by assassinating the Circle of the Black Thorn, signing away his prophesied humanity in the process. Realizing that he may never be able to fully stop the forces of evil, Angel and his friends enter into a suicidal battle against the Senior Partners, and the series ends with the question of their survival unanswered.

Literature

In 2007, Angel began appearing in two canonical continuations of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel from Joss Whedon. Appearing "sparingly" in the Dark Horse Comics Buffy continuation Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Angel appears in dream sequences belonging to Buffy in the series third and twentieth issues, as well as in the Dark Horse Presents special Season Eight comic "Always Darkest". The first depicts a sexual encounter involving Buffy, Spike and Angel simultaneously; in the second he advises Buffy about not changing the future; in the third, he and Spike neglect to help Buffy fight Caleb (Nathan Fillion's likeness) and instead begin flirting with and kissing one another. Angel appears more significantly within the IDW Publishing continuation of Angel, Angel: After the Fall; Whedon and writer Brian Lynch developed the storyline for the first seventeen issues but did not write the series himself. Beginning with the eighteenth issue of the series, IDW chose to continue telling "official" Angel stories in an ongoing comic book with rotating writers and artists. Kelley Armstrong explains that her five-issue Angel: Aftermath story arc following After the Fall is not strictly "canon" in the same sense as After the Fall as it "did not come from Whedon himself". In the continued series without Whedon's involvement, Angel engages in episodic adventures, while the series also takes breaks to focus on other characters. From the 28th issue, under writer Bill Willingham, Angel will be dealing with his newfound fame and have to escape the newly founded 'Immortality Incorporated', who kidnap him. In his absence Connor steps up to take over Angel Investigations.

In After the Fall, set after the fifth season, Angel and his friends struggle as Los Angeles has been moved to a hell dimension by the Senior Partners who have also turned Angel human as a punishment. With the help of Wesley's ghost, magical spells to simulate his old abilities, and a friendly dragon (seen in "Not Fade Away") which he names after Cordelia, Angel continues helping the helpless. Angel eventually outsmarts and kills the Demon Lords of Los Angeles to win the city back for its people. Gunn, now a vampire out for revenge against Angel following the fight in the alley, confronts Angel, and brings him to the point of death. Cordelia's spirit comes to convince Angel to keep fighting, in spite of a vision of the "final battle" which sees Angel responsible for countless deaths. Wesley also confirms that Angel is still viable for the Shanshu prophecy, because his signed contract was never filed. Angel's body is subsequently taken by the Senior Partners and restored to health while Gunn successfully manages to restore Illyria to her true form, hoping she will restore time to before the Fall of Los Angeles only to embark on a destructive rampage instead. Gunn kills Connor, but rather than avenge the death Angel allows Gunn to kill him, forcing the Senior Partners to restore time back to before the Fall, as he is necessary to their plans. Restored to the fight in the alley with memories in tact, Angel saves Gunn this time and later is happily reunited with Connor. Angel enjoys celebrity status from the citizens of Los Angeles, and gives Cordelia the dragon over to Groosalugg (Mark Lutz' likeness). As a mark of respect for his friends, he names a wing of the Los Angeles public library after Wesley and Fred; Wesley is no longer a ghost. Angel leaves the human, traumatised Gunn an Angel Investigations card and returns to his duties helping the helpless.

In 2009, IDW released a four-issue miniseries, Angel: Blood and Trenches, written and drawn by John Byrne in an uninked, uncolored style save for the red of blood. The story tells an untold adventure of Angel taking a trip to Europe during World War I and fighting Kakistos, who leads an army of vampires in service to Kaiser Wilhelm, who are killing and siring human soldiers on both sides. With the grudging aid of Wesley's ancestor Lt. Geoffrey Wyndham-Price of the British Army, who also works for the Watchers' Council, he stops Kakistos (but no body is found, leaving him still around to kill Slayer Faith Lehane's Watcher decades later).

Reception

SFX magazine named Angel as the third greatest vampire in television and film, with rival Spike in first place. They claim that, while he could have worked simply as a brooding love-interest (Buffy) or redemption-seeking hero (Angel), the character also has a "wonderfully appealing, self-effacing humour, helped no end by Boreanaz's ability to look like a slapped puppy". While Angel could be "big and hard and manly", he could also be "sulky, pathetic, in need of a hug". They also cite his poor singing and dancing as examples of his "amusing awkwardness", which "spoke volumes about who he was".

See also



References

Notes

  1. [1] FORMAT ME
  2. [2] FORMAT ME
  3. http://www.tfaw.com/blog/2009/10/07/bill-willingham-talks-about-angel-fables/


External links




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