The titular protagonist in Angel had some uncanny similarities to Batman, leading him to be labeled as The Dark Knight of the Buffyverse. The similarities between Angel and Batman were no coincidence, however Buffy the Vampire Slayer Creator Joss Whedon was always open about his love for comics. Stylistically, it is Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin off, Angelalso thought it was Whedon’s unique take on Batman.

Interestingly, there were rumors about it AngelDavid Boreanaz was offered the role of Batman in Batman begins, which the actor has since denied. However, these rumors would not be surprising if they had any substance. Boreanaz’ brooding portrayal of Angel further emphasized the character’s similarity to Batman, so while fans never got to see Boreanaz as the caped crusader, various references were prevalent throughout Angel slowly turning him into the Batman of the Buffyverse.


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Angel’s strange relationship with a law enforcement officer

One of the ways Angel referenced Batman was through Angel’s relationship with Los Angeles PD detective Kate Lockley. Kate was introduced in the first series of Angel and quickly became a close ally with Angel after she learned more about the supernatural world around her. At first, Kate thought Angel was a murderer. However, after discovering his true nature, she began using her position in the police force to relay information to Angel to aid his investigation. This was reminiscent of Batman’s relationship with Commissioner James Gordon, the only member of law enforcement on Batman’s side, helping him eradicate crime in Gotham city.

The angel embroiders over the Los Angeles Skyline

David Boreanaz as Angel in Los Angeles

An iconic scene from Angel television series featured Angel brooding over the Los Angeles skyline late at night. The moment resembled several images of Batman gazing over Gotham’s skyline in comics, video games and movies. Angel and Batman were illustrated as shadows in the city they protect, striking fear into any criminal lurking as it was never obvious what their next move might be. Batman and Angel were also nocturnal and mostly went about their business at night.

The Angel mobile

Spike is standing in Angel's Office on Angel

IN Angel season 1, episode 3, “In The Dark”, Spike followed Oz to Los Angeles to steal a relic that made its owner immortal. Spike watched Angel rescue Rachel from Lenny on the rooftops of Los Angeles, amused by his heroic ways. After Rachel thanked Angel for saving her in a nearby alley, Spike began mocking him for saving her, ending his monologue with, “Quick, to the Engle mobile, away!“It was one of the funniest lines in the show and one of the more direct references to Batman in Angel.

Angel’s Trauma pushes him to do good

Angel becomes Angelus in Buffy.

While Angel’s trauma was harder to sympathize with than Bruce Wayne’s, the pain they both experienced pushed the pair to make a positive change. Angel strove to do good after he was cursed with a soul and lost his evil alter-ego, Angelus. After coming to terms with the pain and suffering he caused innocent people as Angelus, Angel put his life as Angelus behind him and focused on using his vampire powers for good. However, Batman is the product of what someone like Angelus does to the innocent people they hurt, as Bruce only becomes Batman after a petty criminal murders his parents.

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Angel Investigations Mirrors Detective Batman

Angel looks at her fellow vampires in Angel

Part of the reason Batman was such a fan-favorite superhero was that he was also one of the world’s best detectives. Angel referenced this by making Angel a supernatural detective in Los Angeles, further highlighting the purposeful similarities between the pair. While in Los Angeles, Angel created Angel Investigations to help individuals deal with supernatural beings without giving away that he himself was a vampire. It’s more out there than some of Batman’s detective work, but the resemblance was striking.

Angel has a quirky team of sidekicks

Angel Investigations promo photo.

Over the years, Batman had various sidekicks to help him take down Gotham’s criminals. Many of Angel’s sidekick in Angel resembled Batman’s, further cementing his role as the caped crusader of the Buffyverse. For example, in episode 21, season 3, “Blessing,” Connor was referred to as “boy wonder,” a direct reference to Robin. Furthermore, Faith also had similarities to Jason Todd through her anti-hero ways, and Wesley was a voice of reason for Angel, similar to Alfred.

Angel always wears black

Engel smiles during the pilot episode

Although Angel doesn’t have a costume like Batman, it’s clear that Angel was inspired by his color scheme. Throughout Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Angel was always in black. Even Angel’s long black leather trench coat resembled Batman’s iconic cape. Through the character’s choice of clothing and aesthetics, it became clear how much Angel creator Joss Whedon was inspired by Batman when he created Angel.

Neither Angel nor Batman are emotional

Angel season 4 promo cast photo

Angel suppressed her emotions to keep Angelus at bay. His demeanor and demeanor resembled Batman’s. Batman wasn’t typically expressive to instill fear in criminals, but he still felt deep empathy—or he wouldn’t have protected Gotham the way he did. The same could be argued about Angel, and while the pair both instinctively keep vulnerability at bay, their callous personalities do Angel and Batman iconic.

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