Images Source: Mutant Enemy
20) Phil Coulson from Agents of SHIELD
I debated whether or not to put Phil Coulson on this list seeing as he is the main character in a Whedon show but was not created by Whedon. Phil Coulson is just so damn awesome, I couldn’t help but include him in this list but seeing as he was not initially created by Joss Whedon, I’m going to keep him at number 20.
19) Mayor Wilkins III from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Joss Whedon has a knack of making you fall in love with bad guys and if you ask any Whedon fan what the best example of this is….almost all of them would say the Mayor. The Mayor was terrifying and probably one of the most dangerous foes Buffy ever faced but that was all masked pretty well by his hilariously charming personality and his father/daughter relationship with Faith.
18) Victor from Dollhouse
Probably the most interesting doll in my opinion. In order to get rid of PTSD from war, this soldier decides to become “Victor” and sign a contract with the Dollhouse in order to cope. Victor/Anthony was a pretty tortured guy but ultimately always stepped up in any time of need. Plus, his romance with Sierra was super cute.
17) Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
I know I might get a little grief not putting Angel any higher on this list but there’s only so much of the tortured soul routine I can bare. But to be fair, Angel is one of the most lethal fighters in the Buffyverse and over time, he proves himself to be one of the most dynamic characters as well. I mean, people liked him so much on Buffy that he actually got his own show….that has to say something.
16) Shepherd Book from Firefly
Ah, the mystery of Shepherd Book. Sure, he was a Shepherd but what else was he? He has a super high Alliance clearance and does not seem to shy away from a fight. Also, he’s proven to be pretty handy with a gun. Though he may not be what he seems, he still acted like a moral compass of the ship to get everyone on the right paths in their lives and brought a certain amount of respectability onto the ship.
15) Charles Gunn from Angel
When Gunn came onto the scene, it was quite possible that he could’ve fallen into becoming a one-dimensional character but as time went on we saw Gunn evolve from a hardened street warrior to one of the most caring individuals on Angel’s team. He always had a sore spot for vampires which reminded everyone of what the show was really about. He also became a romantic lead, a tortured soul much like Angel and a strong ally before the series end.
14) Grant Ward from Agents of SHIELD
This is probably going to be considered a pretty controversial pick to be this high up. I’m certain there are plenty of you that can’t wait to watch Grant Ward die. I don’t blame you….he broke FitzSimmons!!! But hey, the amount of rage you feel towards him is probably why you should love his arc so much. He’s evil, he’s good who knows? And unlike Angel he doesn’t have a “Oh, but I lost my soul” excuse to fall back on. This is a man that’s made some bad choices and has made some good choices and is unfortunately forced to be dealing with the consequences.
13) Simon Tam from Firefly
Simon may not seem to be the strongest character in Firefly but let’s be honest; he gave up everything to save his sister. He’s smarter than almost everyone on the ship and has the courage to stand up to anyone who tries to hurt those he loves. As much as we’d love to hate the pompous doctor whose snarky comments are almost always directed towards Mal, we just can’t. He’s kind of amazing and a huge asset to the crew.
12) Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
“Wild at Heart” is quite possibly one of my least favorite episodes of Buffy….can you guess why? Oz was not only an awesome werewolf but he had a super soft spot for his hunny Willow. Not to anger all of the Tara/Willow fans out there but in my opinion, Oz was perfect for her. He never had much to say but when he did it actually meant something.
11) Andrew Wells from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
If this list was solely based on the characters I love watching the most….it’s very possible that Andrew would top the list. Come on. Andrew is hilarious and “Storyteller” remains as one of my favorite episodes of the series. He’s not really a great guy and his driven more by cowardice (and a false love for Warren) than anything else. But come on, he’s just so damn hilarious. In the #TeamJonathan vs. #TeamAndrew war; I’d pick Andrew anyday everyday.
10) Xander Harris from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The heart and soul of Buffy….it would be sacrilege to not include him on this list. Probably the most loyal person on this list. Xander never had super powers but that’s okay. He really didn’t need them. Sure he made mistakes in the show’s run but that’s because he’s human. His humanity is what made him so wonderful and such a huge asset to the Scooby gang.
9) Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly
This may seem like a low place for everyone’s favorite Captain and I understand if that could seem infuriating. Mal is not just one of the best characters in the Whedonverse, he’s probably the best Captain in all of sci fi. He’s a real guy that likes to show how tough he is but deep down he is a big softy for his crew. He loves the people he surrounds himself with (well maybe not Jayne) and will do anything to protect them…..even get his ass kicked. Which happens more often than not.
8) Topher Brink from Dollhouse
Topher was a genius but he was also something you maybe wouldn’t have suspected from the first couple of episodes; he was a good guy. He did everything he could in order to save Sierra from the man that put her in the Dollhouse. Topher was always a little tortured by what he had to do inside of the Dollhouse but at the end of it all, he saved everyone’s lives. Yes, the sweet and hilarious Topher Brink saved the world.
7) Lorne from Angel
Ugh where do I begin? Angel was missing that character who was the voice of reason and Lorne filled that void….and with a damn good voice I might add. He had a certain amount of swag that no other character could match and he did everything he could to help out the team…even one powerful final mission for Angel. Plus, the episodes back in his home dimension are probably some of the best episodes the show ever produced.
6) Jayne Cobb from Firefly
Jayne’s a guy that everyone is supposed to hate but no one really does. Jayne is not very likable on paper. He’s greedy and only thinks of himself. But time and time again, Jayne has proven to care about everyone on Serenity’s crew even if he would never admit it. His one liners are hysterically amazing and you can’t beat that damn hat…..or that damn song.
5) Leo Fitz from Agents of SHIELD
I mean he’s one half of FitzSimmons and how couldn’t you love that? Fitz is super smart…I mean like Coulson said he literally is a rocket scientist. His relationship with Simmons powers him through as a pretty likeable guy but his quirky wit and impeccable intelligence is why he’s one of the most valuable members of Coulson’s team. He’s loyal to the very end and would give up anything in order to keep Simmons safe even the most valuable thing to him.
4) Hoban Washburne from Firefly
The topper of the Firefly clan has to go to Wash. He’s hilarious for one. He’s an amazing pilot and even more amazing husband. His relationship with Zoe gives us all relationship goals we can only dream to match and his comedic timing is on point. He would do anything for the crew and let’s be honest, his death still goes down as one of the most shocking and heartbreaking deaths in movie history.
3) Rupert Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Giles is a super smart man who loves his books. He also used to raise demons and could probably kill you with his bare hands. All of that is pretty damn impressive but his fatherly relationship with Xander, Willow and especially Buffy is what really puts him over the edge as one of the best characters in the Whedonverse. Giles would sacrifice anything for Buffy. He even killed for her. And if you think back, Giles actually killed a good portion of all the big bads….almost as many as Buffy. Just something to think about. The man is epic.
2) Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
Well if you can’t tell by him being number two on this list, I am completely #TeamSpike. Spike is a brilliant character who was a little less tortured than Angel. Sure, Spike had his regrets and eventually he became another vampire with a soul but no matter what version of Spike you were watching, he was always entertaining. His insane romance with Drusilla, his time with being semi but not so-good with a chip in his head, his love story with Buffy after he gained his soul and his hilarious rivalry driven time he spent on Angel were all amazing portraits of the same character.
1) Wesley Wyndam-Pryce from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
It was so very difficult to choose between Wesley and Giles and the only reason Wesley somewhat beats out Giles is we got to see Wesley’s progression to a very badass character. When we first met Wesley, he was a puny little watcher who couldn’t hold his own in a fight. When we last saw him, he was Angel’s most reliable ally who was strong in both magics and fighting. Plus, there was that whole period where Angel tried to smother him with a pillow and he kept women in cages. Now, that was a dark time. Wesley to me just embodies what Joss Whedon can do with one character. Alexis Denisof has played so many different roles as this one character and I loved every single one.