Mitchell vs. Spike

Although there seems to be some sort of angels vs. vampires thing going on in YA literature, and I ought to be on the side of the angels (as it were) I’m not ashamed to admit it … but I’m a Buffy fan.

Okay, it isn’t just Buffy. I also love Angel and Firefly. Joss Whedon is a genius writer and the people who cancelled Angel and Firefly should have their heads examined (slowly, while someone roasts their toes over a hot fire). Deep breath, moving on.

The thing about Buffy (or BtVS) is that the writing is brilliant, the stories are well thought out, the foreshadowing is excellent, the characters wonderful, funny, sharp and tragic. Also, in ‘the Whedonverse’ (as we fans are wont to say) actions have consequences. You simply cannot get away with anything. If you do wrong, it WILL (in the words of my book cover) eventually come back to haunt you – or bite you in the throat (as we’re talking about vampires). An excellent lesson for YA writers.
I could write for a month about Whedon, but really what I wanted to do was take a little look at one of his vampires: Spike.

I could be looking at Angel, but frankly all the angst started to get on my nerves so my loyalties turned to Spike – he was funnier, cooler, more vampirish and (in my opinion) much sexier. He started off as a good man, he was a badass vampire, then he fought to get his soul back so he could ‘get the girl’. He always went all in and when he sacrificed himself at the end of the final series, his death was both heart breaking and redemptive.

Now there’s a new vampire in town (or there was until a few night’s ago). I’ll admit I came late to Being Human (this series is the first I watched) but it was really good. I wouldn’t put the writing up there with Whedon’s and I thought a couple of the characters (hands up Annie and Leah) were excrutiatingly irritating. But there’s a great story-arc, some serious eye-candy, excellent acting and another heart-breaking vampire.

There’re some visual similarities between Spike and Mitchell (it’s pretty clear that Mitchell has been modelled on Whedon’s two central vamps) – there’s hotness and leather jackets everywhere! But there are other similarities too.

Mitchell – in love with a non-vampire.
Mitchell – spent a hundred years killing (and enjoying it)
Mitchell – spending time with humans, trying to be accepted and ‘become human’

When Mitchell decides it’s time to die, to provide justice to those he’s killed and to save those he hasn’t yet killed, it’s heart breaking. When he tries to get his best friend to kill him it’s awful and when he eventually dies, his best friend trying to save him from a future of ‘rampaging’ at another’s orders, it’s terrible and, like Spike, redemptive.

Spike dies to save the world from the uber-vamps. Mitchell dies to save the world from himself.

So, here’s my question …

Mitchell, or Spike?

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