Angel was "Liam" in the year 1727, an Irish commoner. By age 27, he had developed a taste for alcohol and women and an aversion to work. Though not a bad man, Liam's only real ambition lay in seeing the world. That seemed a laughable dream until he met an affluent woman named Darla
Darla promised Liam a world full of excitement and travel - a world in which he could take anything he wanted. But this gift came with a price, for Darla was a vampire. And in her deadly embrace, Liam was transformed into Angelus, the cruellest vampire the world had ever known.
For generations, Darla and Angelus terrorized humankind, murdering and torturing anyone who crossed their path. It was a family of gypsies who finally destroyed Angelus. In their grief over the death of their favourite daughter, they cursed him, restoring his soul and condemning him to an eternal life of regret and guilt. Only a moment of pure happiness could break the curse.
A shadow of his former self, Angel eventually wandered across the path of a demon named Whistler. Whistler persuaded Angel to join the fight against the evil that had corrupted him and to help the newly called Vampire Slayer. Her name was Buffy
Over time, Buffy and Angel fell in love with each other. Though they tried to deny their feelings, they could not resist the passion growing between them. And so it was that one night of unrestrained passion led to Angelus' repossession of Angel. Angelus quickly returned to his former evil ways, except this time Buffy was there to stop him. In a battle to undo the evil that Angelus had unleashed on the world and to save humankind, Buffy killed her lover. But before the Hellmouth consumed him, Angel was cursed again and his soul restored.
When Angel was unexpectedly released from Hell's clutches, he knew it was for a reason. Departing Sunnydale, Angel left the woman he still loved and moved to L.A. to find his purpose and to redeem himself in the service of others. He found support from Doyle
, sent by the Powers That Be, and Cordelia
, a fellow Sunnydale transplant on the road to fame and wealth. They formed "Angel Investigations," protecting those who cannot defend themselves and helping other lost souls find their way.
After losing Doyle, his trusted friend and connection to the Powers That Be, Angel became even more protective of those who meant the most to him. Wesley
, a former Watcher, came to town as a rogue demon hunter, but stayed to help Angel and Cordelia who were then joined a few months later by Charles Gunn
, an unlikely partner and self-proclaimed Slayer yet a formidable force nonetheless. Extending their sources further, the AI Team also regularly enlist the help of Lorne
aka The Host, an Anagogic demon who could read people's futures but only when they sing karaoke.
As Angel continued to help the hopeless in LA, his good deeds continually disrupted the plans of evil law firm Wolfram & Hart and in an attempt to control Angel, W&H resurrected the vampire with a soul's sire Darla, but brought her back as human. When Drusilla
once again turned Darla into a vampire, Angel felt he had failed to save her and after firing his Angel Investigations crew embarked on a one-man vendetta against W&H. In a moment of perfect despair, Angel attempted to lift his soul by bedding Darla but instead found a moment of clarity realising his purpose was still for good not evil. Darla fled and after a difficult reconciliation, the AI team then found themselves transported to Lorne's home dimension, a strange world by the name of Pylea. Eventually they returned with a new team member, Winifred Birkle
, in tow and to the news that his former love, Buffy, was dead.
Despite Buffy's miraculous resurrection a few months later, Angel realised that he was starting to see Cordelia as more than just a friend but before he had a chance to confess his feelings to her Darla returned bringing further impossibilities for him as their one night of passion had left her inexplicably pregnant with his son, Connor
. False prophecies, time travellers and betrayal led to Angel losing his son to an old enemy who abducted Connor soon after his birth taking him to a hell dimension where time moves very differently. When Connor returned, he was a young man who was raised to believe that Angel was still a soulless monster. Connor vowed to make Angel pay for the suffering he had once caused and as he acted out his retribution by sending Angel to the bottom of the ocean in a steel coffin, Cordelia ascended to a higher plane, the feelings shared between her and Angel still left unspoken.
Rescued from his watery prison, Angel's relationship with Connor was understandably strained and was complicated further by the return of an amnesiac Cordelia. When the latest big bad known as The Beast and his Boss arrived to bring chaos to the Earth, Angel's worst fears were realised when he had to unleash his evil alter ego Angelus in order to defeat it. Although momentarily freed to wreak a little havoc of his own, Angelus was recaptured with a little help from a Slayer and a Witch and Angel returned to discover that the enemy he was battling was a little closer to home. A battle and an eventual victory over a divine being led to Angel inexplicably being offered the LA branch of W&H as a reward for ending world peace. Angel acted against all of his instincts and made a deal with his sworn enemy, which would allow him to demonstrate one final act of fatherly love.
"Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be, it's harsh and cruel, but that's why there's us. Champions." ~ Angel is a Champion and LA is his city. He knows by experience that the true path to redemption is a hard one full of sacrifice and loss and every day he walks a fine line tempted by the two desires he can never fulfil, mortality and pleasure. His courage of conviction and belief that the world can be a better place will lead one day lead him to humanity and to the one thing he desires most ~ forgiveness.
From City of Angel