Real Name: Liam
Occupation: Champion of Light
Affiliations: Angel Investigations; Buffy Summers, Wolfram and Hart; Wesley Wynham-Price; Doyle; Cordelia Chase; Spike; Fred Burkle; Charles Gunn; Willow Rosenberg; Faith Lehane; Lorne; Connor, Illyria
(former) Darla; Drusilla; Penn, the Master
Enemies: Wolfram and Heart, the Master, Darla, Drusilla, Penn, Lindsay McDonald, Lilah Morgan, Holtz, Jasmine
(former) Spike, Faith, Connor
Known Relatives: Connor (son); unnamed father, mother and sister (all deceased); Jasmine (granddaughter, sort of; deceased)
Base of Operations: Los Angeles
First Appearance: Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 "Welcome to the Hellmouth" (Fox for Warner Bros, 10th March 1997)
Powers/Abilities: Angel has all the powers and weaknesses of a standard (Buffy-universe) vampire - superhuman strength and endurance, immortality, a need to drink blood, and a weakness to holy symbols and sunlight. He is also an exceptionally skilled combatant, both hand-to-hand and with most weapons.
History: Some 240 years ago Liam was a young hell-raiser in Ireland. Much to the disgust of his father he would be out most nights carousing and wenching to all hours, then stumbling home drunk. One night he attracted the attention of the vampire Darla, who was much taken with his looks and his potential. She sired him that night, transforming him into an undead like herself.
The newly born vampire, now calling himself Angelus, proved to be incredibly vicious, murdering his own family and cutting a swathe of terror across his homeland. He and Darla continued to travel, terrorising England and the continent. When the vampire hunter Holtz came after them, Darla and Angelus sought out his family, slaughtering all but one of them - this last, only a child, they turned, and left so that Holtz would have to kill his own child.
Sometime later Angelus took a fancy to a young woman he overheard giving confession - Angelus had just murdered the priest in the other side of the box. The woman, Drusilla, was troubled by precognitive visions, which she felt must be unholy. Angelus decided to kill off her entire family one by one, driving her insane, before turning her into a vampire too. Drusilla would later sire another vampire, William, a.k.a. Spike, swelling their numbers to four.
But eventually Angelus made a fatal mistake. He murdered a young gypsy girl. Her tribe, who had plans to create an avatar by restoring the soul to a vampire anyway, where grief-stricken and decided to gain their revenge by making him the recipient of the soul. With his conscience restored, Angel was wracked by guilt; he tried briefly to stay with Darla in the hope of regaining the twisted peace that he had felt as a vampire, but found he could not stand by and watch her slaughter innocents. So he fled.
For the next century Angel battled with the two sides of his nature. Sometimes he would manage to find a balance for a while, and live among humans, drinking animal blood (as in the 1950's), other times the guilt would become too much and he would be unable to function in society. By the 1990's he was living on the streets again, drinking the blood of rats. And it was there that Whistler found him.
Whistler was a demon, but he was not evil. He worked for the Powers That Be, higher forces that saw to light's side in the eternal war between good and evil. Whistler gave Angel a purpose, to watch over and protect the new Slayer, Buffy Summers. When Buffy and her mother moved to Sunnydale, unaware that it was over a Hellmouth, Angel followed. There he once more encountered his sire Darla, and her sire the Master, and there he began to fall in love with the Slayer. Even after Buffy discovered that he was a vampire, she could not change her feelings for him; he in turn proved how far he had come by killing Darla.
After the Master was put to rest Angel's old pals Spike and Dru turned up in town. They set about trying to kill Buffy and Angel, and after an especially close call on Buffy's seventeenth birthday, the two gave way to their feelings and slept with each other. This had disastrous consequences, as unknown to either of them, the gypsy curse had a twist to it - designed to torture Angel for his crimes, it would be broken if he ever had a moment of true happiness. In the arms of his true love, this moment occurred, and Angelus returned.
Angelus renewed his affiliation with Spike and Dru (much to Spike's growing disgust, as he had no desire for a rival for Dru's affections). He had never lost his love of psychological torture, and began to stalk Buffy. When a spell denied him entrance to her house, he took out his rage by murdering Jenny Calender, girlfriend of Buffy's Watcher Giles, and secretly a member of the gypsy clan which had cursed him; it had been her task to watch Angel and ensure his suffering. However, before she had died, Jenny had re-discovered the spell to restore his soul. This was discovered by Buffy's friend Willow around the same time that Angelus kidnapped Giles to torture him for information on how to awaken a sleeping demon who would destroy the world. With no other choice, Buffy set out to kill Angelus, allied with Spike, who had frankly had enough of the annoying git. Things came to a swift head. Angelus performed the ritual to awaken his demon; Buffy arrived armed with a sword that would kill the demon, but only if it was dipped in the blood of the one who had awoken it and then plunged into the demon; and from a hospital bed miles away (she had been injured when Giles was kidnapped) Willow cast the spell to restore Angel's soul. Just before Buffy could strike a fatal blow to her former lover, Willow's spell succeeded. Angel regained his soul, and the man Buffy loved was restored with no memories of what had happened since the night they slept together. But it was too late. In order to save the world Buffy had to run him through, impaling both him and the demon standing directly behind him. Angel was sucked up into a portal and cast straight into hell.
A few months later the Powers That Be returned him from this imprisonment, although for Angel the duration of his stay had been more like a century. At first a senseless animal following his experiences in hell, he soon regained his sense - regaining everyone's trust was another matter. After helping Buffy and her allies thwart another foe out to destroy the world, Angel realised that his love for Buffy was doomed, and decided to make a fresh start somewhere else.
He moved to Los Angeles, where he encountered the half-demon Doyle, another servant of the Powers That Be. Doyle convinced Angel to take up the good fight once more, and he set up Angel Investigations, a detective agency to help the helpless. Even after Doyle nobly sacrificed his life, Angel continue his quest, gathering new allies along the way: Cordelia Chase (whom he knew from Sunnydale), ex-Watcher Wesley Wyndham-Price, the streetwise Charles Gunn, science whiz Fred Burkle, empathic demon Lorne, and even his own son, Connor, the impossible result of a brief liaison between Angel and his temporarily revived sire Darla.
Comments: Created by Joss Whedon and played by David Boreanaz.
Angel's comic adventures were originally produced by Dark Horse Comics, but now continue from IDW in officially sanctioned stories set after his TV show ended.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
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