Angel is one of the main heroes of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise and even spawned his own series and merchandise. Originally a villainous vampire called Angelus, Angel became a hero via a curse put upon him by Gypsies that gave him a soul, which led to him becoming a defender of the people he once preyed upon - though there have been many times that Angel has had to face his darkness and he constantly walks the thin line between good and evil as one of the few vampires in the Buffy universe who has a soul.
Life as Liam
Back when Angel was Liam and human, he was a drunk who had a particular distaste for noblewomen. Angel had a poor relationship with his parents, but a close one with his sister. Liam also then had ambitions to travel the world one day, although his laziness combined with his father's constant disapproval prevented him.
Sired by Darla
One nigh after a drunken brawl, Liam was sired by Darla when she true him into an alley and after his funeral, he rose form the dead, a soulless vampire who gave into every dark desire and impulse he could think of. He soon ravaged his village and even brutalized his own family before coldly preaching to his father about his father's own failure as a father before killing him. Liam then took on the name Angelus, a name his sister referred to him when she thought he had come back as an angel, before killing her in a brutalized fashion.
Birth of Angelus
Angelus refused to work for the master believing it was a waste of his time and would instead work towards his own destructive pleasures.
Angelus then went on to;
- Kill a vampire hunter's wife and son, which invoked his wrath. This cause the vampire hunter, David Holtz, to relentlessly chase him cross Europe.
- Sired a protege, the Puritan Penn, who would then go on to idolize Angelus' work and even mimic his destructive tendencies.
- Encountered a nun with a fragile mind and psychic powers. Angels massacred her family and friends in front of her and severely brutalized her via intense and innovative torture techniques that completely broke her body and mind, before turning into a Vampire so as to immortalize his masterpiece and leave her in a state of eternal suffering.
- When Spike joined the group, Angelus also took him as a best friend rather than a protege and taught him everything he knows form mass slaughter to combat to torture. They went on to perform many massacres, but Spike's rebellious persona caused Angelus to flee over and over again, until he warned him the Slayer will find him and kill him, something which intrigued Spike.
- Nearly came to a confrontation with his and Spike's arch nemesis, the immortal, who had seduced their women into a threesome and had them tied up in a shed while he did.
The Gypsies' Curse
When Angelus brutalized, raped and painfully killed the most beloved girl of a clan of Gypsies, the gypsies cursed him by returning his soul to him, thus returning his conscience to him and which fills him with immense remorse and cult for all his crimes against humanity he had committed while soulless. When he could no longer bring himself to feed on humans due to his restored humanity, Angelus was abandoned by Darla who felt disgusted by his soul and this force him to live off the blood of vermin and truly heinous criminals from then on.
During the Boxer Rebellion, while Spike and killed a Slayer, Angelus begged Darla to take him back, which she tested by having him massacre an infant, whose parents she had slaughtered. Angelus, unable to be the monster he once was, apologetically refused Darla's request, as Angelus grabbed the infant and fled, thus showing the capacity to be a champion for good, despite his heinous past.
Moving to America and becoming "Angel"
Desiring not to hurt humans anymore, he moved to America, took on the name Angel and decided to live in isolation, so as to avoid temptation. Angel was then pressured by the Demon Research Initiative of the United States to help in the war effort.
- He's the only character to have appeared in the unaired Buffy pilot as well as the Buffy and Angel's series premiere and series finale episodes.