The Top 5 Male Characters Of The Whedonverse

whedon men

I’m going to tell you all a secret. I’m a Whedon addict. It doesn’t matter what Joss does, doesn’t matter HOW he does it, I will always be front and center waiting for the premiere. I’m going to tell you another secret. I sort of lied in the sentence above. I have yet to watch Dollhouse. I know, I know, I know! It’s instantly streaming, so I will be partaking in it shortly, don’t fret.

To honor my love for Joss Whedon, I decided to put together a little article of the top five men in the Whedonverse. When I started this project I was thinking it would be a breeze. Oh how WRONG I was. And I mean wrong in bold, all caps, underlined and in italics.

How do you just pick five male characters out of all of the fantastic men that Joss has given us? I’ll tell you: You don’t. You can’t pick five, because there will always be someone left out. HOWEVER, for the sake of this article, I polled my Twitter feed, talked to fans… and then ended up throwing a few darts and came up with the following list.

Remember as you’re reading this: I could only pick five!


Malcolm Reynolds

Malcolm Reynolds

This was a no brainer, and pretty obvious. Malcolm Reynolds, captain of Serenity, appears in both FIREFLY and the film SERENITY. What is there to say about Mal? It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes him so fantastic, because EVERYTHING about him is amazing.

While we don’t know a lot about Mal’s back story, (curse you and your 14 episodes, FOX!) from the details we can gather from both Firefly and Serenity, Mal had, at one point, a strong faith (He wears a cross during the Firefly Episode “Serenity” and kisses it during battle) but has no use for any sort of faith when we meet up with him in his world.

Mal is a conundrum in many ways. While he seems like he wants to be a loner he has a POWERFUL loyalty to anyone on his crew, and will (for the most part) always play fair with strangers. There is the occasional mishap when rounds need to be fired, but Mal will always fight for what he believes in; regardless if it isn’t the most popular train of thought.

We can then move on to how HILARIOUS Mal is – which we can’t discuss without bringing up Nathan Fillion. I might be biased, but can anyone tell me a better actor to play Malcolm Reynolds? No? Didn’t think so. Fillion brought Mal to life, and did it in a way that showed us his unyielding badass side, but never let go of the playful humor.

Rupert Giles

Rupert Giles

Who doesn’t love the tweed wearing librarian from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER? Buffy was my first Whedon love, and from the beginning Giles has always held a soft spot in my heart.

Giles stepped in and broke boundaries between Slayers and Watchers, and was smart enough to realize that the “typical” way to deal with a Slayer was not going to be effective in Buffy’s situation. So he adapted, and became a father to Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang.

Always hanging out in the Sunnydale Library, Giles was ready with books for research on anything spooky that made its way to the hellmouth. AND some of the time, he didn’t even have to consult a book! THAT is highly impressive.

But under that straight laced exterior lies a dark past; and one that it was an absolute DELIGHT for fans to see and experience. In “Band Candy” when Giles finds himself (along with all the other Sunnydale adults) regressing back to his high school years, the audience watched in trepidation. because we knew that Giles was a “less together guy, more bad magic, hates the world, ticking time bomb guy.”

I wished I had a Giles at my high school. But then again, I also wished (and still sometimes do) I was a Slayer. so that’s not saying much.

Billy Buddy/Dr. Horrible


I wasn’t sure how to classify Neil Patrick Harris’ character in DR. HORRIBLE’S SING ALONG BLOG, so we’ll just use both names. Um. He’s an evil scientist. What is better than that?

How about an evil scientist that has lines like “The world is mess and I just need to rule it!” And his alter ego had a massive crush on Penny, who he ends up introducing (sort of) to his nemesis, Captain Hammer.

Poor guy.

Regardless, he sings, he has a freeze ray, and he’s in the evil league of evil. He’s awesome.


Spike Buffy

You can’t talk about the Whedonverse without mentioning Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Spike was only supposed to be a small part for a few episodes, not recurring, but fans loved him and Dru so much that Joss decided to make him a regular.

And I think we can all agree that he made the right choice.

Sure, Spike had some issues, his rage towards Buffy at the beginning (which we find out is because of his love for Dru and wanting to make her better), his love spell for Dru later on, and then his issues with the Buffy-bot, etc. HOWEVER. who wasn’t rooting for Spike and Buffy (Angel fans need not chime in to this argument)?

Their relationship was messed up, but somehow Spike seemed just a little more. worthy (I’m going to get hate mail for that statement) than Angel.

And let’s not forget the kind of person he was BEFORE he was turned into a vampire. William was a complete romantic, poet, and I dare say some of this came back during his vamp years. Spike is a complete and fully developed (to quote Joss himself) character from the Whedonverse.

Xander Harris


Last, but not least we have Alexander Harris. I just realized that this list leans heavily on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer side, but what can I say? It’s where my love for Joss was born. What girl that watched Buffy regularly didn’t want a Xander of her very own? He was loyal, hilarious, and granted a little clueless, but the sweetest of the sweet.

Who didn’t cheer when Xander got Cordelia, and what fan wasn’t all that upset when he and Willow started messing around (COME ON!! It was BOUND TO HAPPEN EVENTUALLY AND THEY BOTH LEARNED FROM IT!)? And then when Anya appeared on the scene, who wasn’t thrilled for our Xander?

And while he could be a petulant baby (think about his reactions towards Angel), he always came through in a pinch and NEVER, EVER let down his friends. His loyalty is furthered when he talks Willow off of her path – o -destruction when Tara dies.

We will always remember the yellow crayon, Xander.


Okay, so let the comments and arguments begin! Like I said in my intro, I have yet to see Dollhouse, so characters from that particular corner of the ‘verse are highly lacking. I apologize Dollhouse fans.

I would also like to say that I had to really, REALLY work at NOT turning this list into MY favorite Whedon characters – which is why you will not see Simon or Jayne from Firefly/Serenity listed, and also why Oz from the Buffyverse is not on the list.

Honestly? Weeding this down to five was almost impossible, but I welcome your critiques!

Follow me on Twitter @singmesweet