Angel Would Kick Edward Cullen’s Ass (or why the “Entertainment Weekly” Top 20 Vampires list is Bullshit)

Sometimes when “Entertainment Weekly” arrives in my mailbox, I read it right away. Other times, I throw it on my end table, and don’t get around to it for a few days.

The August 7 issue, which arrived last Friday, represented the latter example, and it’s probably for the best, because my procrastination in reading it saved me from being angry last weekend. Why would an issue of a cheesy magazine, one step up from a gossip rag, make me angry?

Well, this issue was labeled as the “Vampire Issue” and in it, EW presented its list of the Top 20 vampires from movies/TV/books. Now, right away, I was a little surprised that Dracula wasn’t number 1 on the list (Lestat was), but it turns out they ranked multiple interpretations of Dracula. Christopher Lee’s Dracula was #2, Bela Lugosi’s Dracula was #3, and in al, there were four Draculas ranked (making up 20% of the entire list).

Now, once you get past Lestat and the top two Dracula’s the list turns to utter shit. Complete and total bullshit. Number 4 on the list is Edward Fucking “I Sparkle” Cullen. Angel, from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” was number 7.

Now, understand, I’m a “Buffy” fan, so I’m inherently biased in this argument. But I’ve read Twilight, and that isn’t a vampire novel. It’s soft-core fantasy for pre-pubescent girls. And Edward isn’t a vampire. He’s a pussy.

Now, if you don’t care about “Buffy”, “Twilight” or fanboy-fueled arguments in general, then just stop reading right now, and come back tomorrow, when maybe I’ll write about Mike Vick or basketball or something non-vampire related. But for those that want me to back up my argument, here we go.

First off, I’m not arguing that Angel should be in the top five of vampires all-time -- in fact, I’m not sure where I’d rank him exactly -- but he should definitely be ahead of the Twilight Douche. Comparing the two, Angel was in his mid-20s when he was turned, while Edward seems to be 17-for-life. Angel was turned in the 1700s, plus spent 100 years in a demon dimension between seasons 2 and 3 of “Buffy”, so he’s been around for more than 350 years, while Edward is barely a century old.

Now, there are some similarities. Both Angel and Edward see themselves as monsters, but find their redemption in the form of a drastically underage female (I could get into a whole rant of how Bella is a shit-tastic role model for girls when compared to Buffy, but that’s an essay for another day). However, and this is a key point when ranking the characters as vampires, Angel was once the most feared vampire in the world, whereas Edward seems to be pretty fucking mediocre, power-wise. Angelus, Angel’s un-souled form, was a vicious, ruthless, merciless killer, who was bested only by restoring his human soul and making him feel remorse for his actions. He was a fucking badass and he knew it (and he didn’t sparkle. Vampires don’t sparkle. That’s just bullshit.).

Now, simply ranking the vampires by who would beat whom in a fight isn’t efficient, because it leaves out so many other elements that make a good character. But I’d argue that Angel has Edward beat across the board -- creepy stalking, redemptive quests, leadership and even self-sacrifice. For example, Angel leaves Sunnydale for L.A., knowing it’s best for both him and Buffy that they be apart. Edward does the same thing with Bella in New Moon, but then gets all broody and sad, and goes back, because he’s incapable of doing anything without his high school sweetheart (meanwhile, Angel manages to find a new love, help countless innocent people and save the world multiple times, while also turning back into Angelus for a brief period and wreaking awesome havoc).

With all that in mind, it’s also worth noting that Angel would in fact beat Edward in a straight-up fight. While Edward’s busy playing piano, Angel’s honing his fighting skills. In fact, in his spare time, it seems all Angel does is kick demon ass (oh, and ladies, if you still prefer your vampires with some kind of artistic skill, Angel is a world-class sketch artist -- it helps with his detective skills).

On some level, Edward is almost too neutered to be taken seriously as a vampire. He’s practically domesticated. Meanwhile, going back to the first season of “Buffy”, Angel seemed dangerous before we found out he was a vampire. When they did reveal he was a vampire, it was just that he was a vampire, but he was a mass-murdering vampire who’d been one of the most evil killers ever known (something multiple characters referenced over the course of “Buffy” and “Angel”). As the series went on and “Angel” eventually got his own series, his character background got even darker, which just made him cooler.

And from a longevity standpoint, Edward has been in four books, and is about to be in a fifth that’s really just a re-write of the first so Stephanie Meyer can get more money without coming up with an original idea. Meanwhile, Angel was a central figure in three seasons of “Buffy”, five seasons of his own TV series and has carried his own comic book series for three years now.

Also (and this is the last point, I swear) the 6-foot-2, 225 lb. hockey-playing David Boreanaz would DESTROY the 6-foot-1, 150 lb. Robert Pattinson. It wouldn’t even be a fair fight. In fact, I now wanna see Boreanaz beat up Pattinson. I think that’d be hilarious.

Look, I could go on and on, but the Internet has already spoken on this matter:

Yes, I know this is Buffy vs Edward, but I imagine if Angel were involved, the first time Edward creeped Buffy out, Angel would have snapped his neck without thinking twice. In fact, the more I think about this, the more Edward reminds me of James from the Season 3 Premiere of “Angel”, and even with a supernatural upgrade, James got pretty fucked up.