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The top ten tertiary Joss Whedon characters

mercredi 5 mai 2010, par Webmaster

We all have our favorite primary ones. Buffy, Angel, the dude from Firefly, but what about the unsung heroes of the Whedon-verse ? They are the ones who never see the light of the opening theme yet touch us so profoundly and hilariously. Below is a humble listing of the top ten tertiary Whedon characters who stood out far more than they had the right to.

Klara Prast – Runaways

After Brian K. Vaughan passed the torch to Joss, most of us didn’t know what to expect. However, in the second stint of the Runaways comic, Joss created twelve year old Klara, who lived in the olden days of America in 1907, where she was the forced to be the wife of a much older man. For stunning parallels to events still going on around the world in current days, Klara has seriously earned her spot on this list. There’s also Molly re : wifely duties – “They make you do chores ?!?”

Robot Phil – Sugarshock

But wait, there’s more ! Joss also handled the world of original comics in this mini-series from Dark Horse. Follow the adventures of a punk rock band that also battles aliens. With cheese. For showing us that robots can make cracks, as well as play bass, Robot Phil gets the nine spot.

Bad Horse – Dr. Horrible

How can someone make the list with just a letter ? Only if Joss is at the helm. Bad Horse is actually a horse who has a chorus do all the talking/singing. Plus, the chorus rocks.

Skip – Angel

One of the most intimidating characters in the Angel-verse was apparently one of the most pleasant. With lines like, “you really think a guy built like this would be so easy to drop ?” apparently one of Skip’s most difficult problems was his commute. However, he stood out for not being what he seemed, being what he seemed, then not again.

Victor’s Topher – Dollhouse

Yes, Victor and Topher both had their actor’s names on the opening credits. But for seamlessly merging with another’s character in the episode “The Left Hand” - and making the Dollhouse technology suspiciously possible - Enver Gjoka deserves a nod. Plus, Topher having a conversation with “himself” was something only Joss could do.

Badger – Firefly

Although Mark Sheppard would go on to do bigger and Battlestar-y-er things, I best remember him as the guy with the bowler hat whose original name was probably Beaver. It is also rumored that Joss himself was set to play the role, which conflicts the fan in me who would have liked to see both. If in doubt of Badger’s worthiness, please recall : “You couldn’t buy an invite with a diamond the size of a testicle. I got my hands on a couple.”

Drusilla – Buffy

While arguments may be made if the vampire Nancy (as in Sid &) of the second season is a secondary or tertiary character, Drusilla is completely bonkers, which makes her a feature of any best character list. Also doesn’t hurt that Juliet is currently tearing up the web and sharing what inspires her favorite artists with the world.

Polo – Angel

For starring in one of the best episodes of anything, ever, Polo is best known for his leadership of the “Smile Time” gang. In an episode of Angel that pretty much told the shark to “jump this,” Angel and gang encounter a band of demon puppets set on draining the life of children. The rest is better off watched than read.

Whiskey – Dollhouse

Better known as Dr. Saunders, Whiskey truly only appears in flashbacks. What makes her stand out is that even after being the puppet of several different masters she still knew who she was. Bonus points for the revelation no one saw coming and another fine performance from Amy.

Jonathan - Buffy

Can a tertiary character steal the show ? When Buffy is the show and Joss Whedon/Jane Espenson are the writers he can. Jonathan fulfilled a fantasy - as an entire episode - that every Whedon fan has : to be part of the Scooby Gang. “Superstar” was also an episode that any series in its fourth year could have just phoned in. Going much the opposite route, Jonathan, more or less the show’s resident geek, casts a spell causing the world to see him in a whole new light. But for the show’s name and central character, Jonathan manages to grab a piece of the spotlight for himself and all the following top ten Whedon tertiary characters.

Special Mention : Lockheed – Astonishing X-Men

Joss neither created nor conceived of the tiny alien dragon. However, his perfectly timed reappearance in Astonishing X-Men is worth mentioning and reading.


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