Buffy-verse Faves Face Off, Heroes and Once Upon a Time Villains Collide, in Bad Boy Bracket

A pair of vampires and a couple of humans with otherworldly powers highlight today’s showdowns in our TV’s Ultimate Bad Boy Bracket Tournament.

Yes, folks, in a battle of Buffy the Vampire Slayer favorites, we’ve got Angel versus Spike, plus a showdown between Sylar from Heroes and Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold from Once Upon a Time.

Every day for the next several weeks, we’ll kick off a new set of matchups in a single-elimination format that will whittle our field of 64 down to one ultimate champ. So make sure the right choice is made by heading down to our polls to vote for your favorites (Round 2 voting will be open for 72 hours), and hit the comments to justify your picks.

If you’re wondering what criteria we used to pick our players, we cast our net rather wide — including fellas who are dark and a little bit dangerous, truly good guys with naughty, maybe even promiscuous streaks, and actual evildoers who are nevertheless tough to root against. (We also put a cap of two cast members per show for the bracket, which meant some fan favorites had to warm the bench this time around.)

And if you’re interested in the match-ups we’ve got planned for the coming weeks, CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE ENTIRE 64-PLAYER BRACKET (then click again for a zoomed-in view) — and sign up to follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

Now ready, set, vote!


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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183 Comments
  1. Me says:

    David Boreanaz /Angel all the way!
    He’s a leader in another show for 8 years already. Where is Marsters?

    • Evelyn says:

      What does this have to do with who is a better bad boy?

    • Anona says:

      But ANGEL is not David… we are talking about the CHARACTER, not the actor.

      May I also point out that Marsters has played other unsung (and unmentioned in this poll) bad boys (ahem… Captain John Hart and Barnabas Greeley just to name two)? And now he lends his amazingly sexy voice and awesome skills to several audiobooks that feature MORE bad boys (The Dresden Files, The Vampire Empire, and now Carnival of Souls)?! Again, we’re NOT talking actors in this poll, but the man was BORN to do wonderful justice to bad boy characters!

    • lucy says:

      you said everything… Angel forever

  2. mamafish says:

    My eyes, they see things… Like Angel being awesome. Spike was awesome too, but Angel was better. Spike was supposed to be kind of a doofus compared to Angel. Back in the olden days Angel was the mfn boss. Also, even though it was before he had a soul, spike tried to rape Buffy.

    • Lia says:

      Soul-less Angel (Angelus) was known to rape and torture girls before he killed them, and would have raped Buffy if he didn’t know he had to make quick work of it because of how strong she was (when he tried to kill her wih the sword in s2 i think). And i think Agelus most certainly would have raped her if he was there instead of Spike (soul-less or not) in seasons 4-7.

  3. M.B.Ware says:

    In actual badness, Angel has killed more people than the plague. Spike was so sexy but the Spike/Buffy thing really made me sick so it was hard to like him then; where as Angel, show and all got better. I can’t believe it but even I, Spikette 628, is voting Angel. I don’ know who the other 2 are. Sorry.

  4. Linda says:

    Angel. There is a Spike ONLY because there is an Angel. Spike sired his own mother for Christ sakes. How ‘bad boy’ is that?

    • Evelyn says:

      Well he then killed her, so idk.

    • Claire says:

      You’re forgetting that Spike killed 2 slayers, on his own. What’s Angel’s count? He was too scared to even go looking (except when he tried to kill Buffy, which then was even only because she was sort of out of it due to the whole making him lose his soul. and even then he failed).

  5. RUCookie says:

    ridiculous choice between Angel and Spike… but both were on both shows. Angel was on Buffy as a regular from 1-3, Spike from 4-7 (and a solid recurring in 2). Angel lasted for 5 seasons and Spike was transferred to the show in its last (via Linsey)…

  6. em says:

    With Sylar versus Gold, you start wondering what defines the ultimate bad boy and the type of villain you want to see make it to the end. Because Sylar is a real bad boy…no redemption or heart really. Gold’s one of those villains who will always be in the gray area. So do you choose the one who is pure evil or the one who’s a bit more complex and really has a heart deep down. I picked Sylar this time because I think Gold is a lightweight compared to others in the tourney, but later rounds will get tougher as the bad boys in the “gray area” will get better.

  7. Jason says:

    Angel! The man has gone to hell and back and signed away the chance to ever become human so he could go out fighting in an impossible war just to make a statement. That’s a badass and Spike jumped at the idea and joined him. It’s close but it has to be Angel for me.

  8. Akary says:

    Angel / Angelus was the best vampire. He killed not only for pleasure but by the art of killing,
    was a master of physical torture and pisicologica best episosio was passion.

  9. Thea says:

    PTB’s save me for even getting into this (I despise shipper wars, ppl will like who they like so don’t try to convince them otherwise), but I can’t stand when people pull the chip card. Spike went good because he wanted to. If he wanted to stay evil, he could’ve very well done so. Hired lackies to hurt the Scoobs, set their homes on fire, poison their FOOD for Christ’s sake! Yes, the chip whould’ve hurt for the moment but the results would’ve been permanent. Spike needs a reason to BE, and most of the time that need tied in with helping people, or people relying on him (ie: his mother, Drusilla, and later the Scoobies and Dawn). The plus side to helping the gang was he still got in his spot of violence that his demon required. But through all of this he was still a BAD BOY and did things HIS WAY. /rant

    • Anona says:

      THANK YOU! I’m sorry you had to enter the shipping wars, but I completely second everything you said. I hate it when Spike is reduced to “the chip.”

  10. Ally says:

    How in the world is Spike winning!? Angel is by far the best.

  11. lily says:

    i think people should stop thinking angel/angelus are two different people, if they’re not going to think that way about soulless/ensouled spike. angelus is still angel, he’s just forced to control himself. they’ve shown how when he first got his soul he still craved to eat humans and had to stop himself. they even said once that he would kill and feed off bad people, like murderers, thieves and scoundrels. those are still humans. he wandered for 100 years without seeking his redemption. spike is totally different- he ASKED for his soul while he was actually evil. he was capable of making himself change. angel would never do that. if spike lost his soul after he had it, wouldn’t he still be the same guy and seek it back? angel wouldn’t.

  12. TKaye says:

    This is no contest- Spike will always be the biggest bad boy. (Why do you think all the characters hated him so much?). Spike did what he wanted, when he wanted and didn’t give a f**k what anyone thought. Even with a chip in his head or a soul, he still kicked ass. (That is unless, of course, Passions was on)!

  13. Tucker says:

    To quote Spike: Angel’s dull as a table lamp” – completely predictable whereas bad boy Spike always kept you guessing.

    • Jess says:

      yea i agree. I think Angel’s so broody and dull. Even though I liked Angel the show, but i like the other characters (fred, wesley, etc.) way better than the title character! I love Spike’s humor and sarcasm!

  14. Lia says:

    Just spent the better half of my morning reading the Spike vs. Angel posts.. this made my day. I think if Spike got his own show it would have sort of ruined the whole “i’d die for you” thing in the BtVS finale. And i think he should have stayed dead and not return for AtS season 5, again because it sort of lost the effect of giving up his life for Buffy. But i’d still argue that Spike is better than Angel as a character, because of his changes in the show, and how he actually CHOOSE to get a soul for her while Angel just had one. Soul-less Angelus was so much more evil than soul-less Spike, and i personally hate how everyone on the show neglects to realize that

  15. sophia7470 says:

    Angel all the way. He’s the ultimate bad ass.

  16. Jess says:

    Spike FTW! I love that character and James Marster’s portrayal. Also, loving Mr. Gold and Robert Carlyle and here’s hoping he’ll get an Emmy nom!

  17. km says:

    Okay, can we back off from the Spike/Angel debate (I love them both, but I LOVE Spike) and talk about the travesty that is the Sylar/Gold vote? Sylar was a fantastic character in the first season, but then he was ruined. And every effort the writers made to try to turn him from unrepentent chilling single-minded uber psycho by giving him excuses and new backstories took him further from his essence until he was a wibbly nothing. Whereas Gold/Rumpelstiltskin just gets more complex and more dangerous with every plot twist.

    And if we’re talking sheer damage, Rumpel managed to do what Sylar never could–destroy his world–and THEN he put it back together (by writing Emma, the savior, into the curse) and THEN he changed the whole ball game again by his actions in the finale.

    And Robert Carlyle is flat-out brilliant. He created two (three really) distinct characters and then let you see the threads that connect them, and he effortlessly runs the gamut between flamboyant, scenery-chomping Rumpel to the subtle, mysterious Gold, throwing in snarky antagonist and heartbroken dad and screwed-up romantic hero while he’s at it. (And if you’d ever told me that the pregnant chick from Lost and the guy from The Full Monty would turn out to be the hottest, most romantic couple on TV, I’d have pointed and laughed, but it’s true.) Rumpelstiltskin is for my money the most fascinating character to hit TV since Walter White, and anybody who doesn’t sit through the rest of OUAT just for Carlyle’s performance is seriously missing out.

    • Firewalker says:

      I totally agree with that. Heroes had 4 seasons to develop Sylar. First season of OUAT and supper power or no supper power, Rumple/Gold is one twisted dude. He doesn’t have minions. With that many personalities, who needs minions. Give it up for the Scott… Deary.

  18. Kelly says:

    Rumpelstiltskin and Angel

  19. Spike Lover says:

    obviously, Spike. I mean duh.

  20. Paige says:

    Sylar = one of the sexiest bad guys of all time.

  21. Mara says:

    Spike, of course. Spike was effing hilarious!
    Always preferred sarcastic bad boy over the dull white brooding knight in shining armor.
    I liked Spike during the Drusilla days. I hated it when he fell in love with Buffy and became cheesy.

  22. Chalice93 says:

    Man this poll isn’t even close, Spike is CRUSHING Angel. Can’t say I’m surprised,

  23. RandomFan says:

    It’s a shame voting for both Angel and Spike characters would defeat the purpose of it.
    In the end, had to vote for Spike, they’re both ‘bad boys’ in their own right, but Spike had the cool punk-rock look, which did it for me.

  24. mamafish says:

    It’s funny that there are barely any posts about the other two people. It’s because, the truth is, that Angel and Spike were both awesome and both bad boys. I miss buffy. Best show ever. I realize they are all old now and so they can’t keep playing vamps and such, but there is an empty place in my heart… still.

  25. I never thought of Spike as particularly bad. He was always dancing on the fringes of evil, but never really did anything. Angel on the other hand did very dark things even when he was supposed to be a good-guy.

    • eli says:

      Spike never really did anything. wrong????? Spike attempted to rape Buffy – without the chip. It was the real jerk Spike.

  26. sophia7470 says:

    I don’t get people saying that Spike is more bad boy better because he chose and fought to be re-ensouled rather than Angel, who had his soul forced upon him.

    Angelus always wanted out, he was always in there trying to get to the surface – most of the time Angel managed to keep the darkness within himself at bay, but not always- like Darla said, the darkness in Angel was innate, it was there before he was even sired.

    Hello, he locked a room full of humans in a cellar with two vamps and let them die!

    Angel is, by definition, more ‘bad boy’ because Spike wasn’t always bad even without a soul. That makes him a pretty ‘good’ boy actually. Angel was so bad boy, other ‘bad boy’ vamps feared him.

    • Fanya says:

      Poll is not about who’s ‘baddest’ between the two. The question is: Which Bad Boy do you prefer?
      And yes, Spike was good even when he was bad and bad when he was good. It’s not his badness that makes him so much more loved than Angel/Angelus. He is just special and most of the credit has to go to James Marsters!

  27. Renee says:

    Let’s also not forget Angels’ MO, he would show up proclaiming doom and gloom and then would run away and not get involved. He also was very selfish, trying to dictate Buffy’s life for her then running away. Spike on the other hand, not only did he not try to run away from the fight, he went looking for it; he let Buffy be who she was without telling her that she was acting wrong and he never left her side.
    Spike for the win!

    • Truthiness2U says:

      Sure fight!…even against Buffy when she said “no.” That is Spike for ya.

      Angel stuck around plenty to help fight Buffy in S1,2 and 3. Before the character was spun off on his own series, so of course the character wouldn’t be around every day to help Buffy. And when the two series were on different networks, they couldn’t even haven’t crossovers. So gee, such a shock that Angel’s character wasn’t around to help Buffy’s character as much as Spike’s was…while he was still on the same show, and naturally, the same network.

      But ya know, logic.

      • Fanya says:

        So what? Angel was in BTVS in S1-2 and 3 and Spike in S4-5 and 6. One compares them when they were in the show and NOT for their absence. And speaking of Spike fighting against Buffy, you seem to forget first that we are talking of ‘bad boys’ and second that Angel was no saint!
        But ya know, logic.

      • kahunaburger says:

        I will never understand why people want to define the entire character of Spike by a single (imo badly concieved) scene. But if an attempted rape makes the character eternally irredeemable, I have to ask – do you honestly think Angel was just coming to the hospital room to deliver flowers when Xander stopped him in S2? Spike tried to force Buffy not knowing she was already injured and couldn’t fight at her full strength, at the climax of an incredibly MUTUALLY screwed up relationship which regularly featured violence and consent issues from both parties. When he realized the exent of what he was doing, he stopped, ran away and punished himself with a soul. Angel waited until Buffy was weak and came with the cold blooded plan to rape and possibly murder her because he wanted to hurt her. When he was stopped, he taunted her friend with his prior sexual knowledge of her. How do Angel fans bash Spike for ‘the bathroom scene’ with a straight face?

  28. Issa says:

    This poll needs more Rumples love. Sylar’s fantastic, but Rumpelstiltskin is can wear a pair of leather pants like NO ONE ELSE.

    Glad to see Spike’s ahead though. He was always my favorite Buffy character.

  29. DearGod! says:

    Spike! In my opinion, Spike was a more original character who had more depth and non-cliché elements than Angel. As Whedon has implied himself: Buffy/Angel was, in essence, a fairly cliché, conventional love story that (for me) got old fast. That’s why Angel was so popular, imo: he didn’t challenge the viewers too much. Even when he was evil he was still conventional (and lackluster). There are always going to be viewers who respond to the conventional; but those who appreciate good writing tend to prefer the more challenging characters like Spike. Whedon himself knows good writing; and not surprisingly, he also thinks Spike is the more interesting character.
    Added to the issue of the writing, imo Marsters is a superior actor to Boreanaz. His emotional range is deeper; his technique is more developed; his voice is better trained and more expressive. He knows how to use his body, his voice, and his facial expressions to great effect (that’s often a big difference in the techniques of stage actors vs non-stage actors). His was some of the best acting done on BtVS. He really sold Spike as a character; he made the character sexy by bravely portraying him as so fallible and human. So…Spike; that’s my answer.

    • Me says:

      So where is Marsters with his “emotional range is deeper; his technique is more developed; his voice is better trained and more expressive”? Hahaha

      • DearGod! says:

        He’s trying to get work, like a thousand other, albeit less talented, actors in the business. How does this question have any relevance whatsoever? If Marsters never worked again, he’d still have been one of the best actors on the BtVS series, and still have been light years more interesting than Angel.

      • Renee says:

        Well right now he’s doing Metal Hurlant, and a lot of theater work which is his first acting love. He does a lot of voice work currently reading three different audiobook series, and he is working on his bands’ third album.
        And if you really want to debate James’ talent to Davids'; James got his start at Julliard, David was discovered dog walking.

        • Me says:

          But David is the main star of both show (Angel – 5 years, Bones – 8 years), but James always been only the second. No one is interested in him. Why if he is so talanted, sexy and etc? Maybe not so much…. hahaha

          • DearGod! says:

            People who like real acting are interested in him. All you have to do is bravely remember Bore-eanaz’s lame attempt at an Irish accent to realize he’s nowhere near as talented as JM. Hollywood, land of mediocrity, of course tends to cast bland, mediocre actors in leading roles. That’s what explains Bore-eanaz’s great “success” at being mediocre.

  30. Truthiness2U says:

    Spike is totally going to win this round. So not even a contest. LOL.

    Though I do adore and love S2, S3 and even S4 Spike. I just thought he should be been dusted while he was still somewhat funny and a bit menacing in S4. Or in my dream world, have him back with Druscilla and being all Sid and Nancy again. (and I’m sure James Marsters would agree)

    Oh well, good for Spike and his for his winning this round. Never a question in my mind he would.

  31. Chalice93 says:

    Spike DESTROYED Angel, haha suck it Bangel fans. Spuffy for Life!!!

    • kahunaburger says:

      I would like to take this opportunity to officially state that my vote for Spike should in NO way shape or form be construed as an endorsement of Spuffy. See, I like Spike and therefore think he deserves way better than Buffy. Buffy and Angel can have each other in The Marriage Of Title Characters I Would Have Liked The Shows Better Without.

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