|Buffy the Vampire Slayer character|
Adam Busch as Warren Mears
|First appearance||"I Was Made to Love You"|
|Created by||Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson|
|Portrayed by||Adam Busch|
|Affiliation||Trio, Amy Madison|
|Notable powers||A genius-level intellect, especially in the fields of technology and robotics|
Warren Mears is a fictional character that is portrayed by Adam Busch in the American television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as its canonical comic book series continuation. He is the main antagonist in season six, until Willow turns to her dark side.
Warren's first appearance is in the Season Five episode "I Was Made to Love You" (2001) when a sex robot he built, April (Shonda Farr) goes on the loose in Sunnydale. After Warren falls for a real girl (in Dutton), Katrina Silber (Amelinda Embry), he leaves April to run out of batteries and die. That episode's exposition establishes that Warren briefly attended Sunnydale High with the show's main character before transferring. April attacks Slayer Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) out of jealousy for Warren, but dies shortly thereafter. At the end of the episode, the vampire Spike commissions Warren to build him a Buffy robot; Warren delivers it to him in "Intervention".
In Season Six, Warren is re-introduced in "Flooded" (2001), having become leader of "the Trio," a gang of self-styled genius supervillains who attended Sunnydale High. Along with sorcerer Jonathan (Danny Strong) and demon-summoner Andrew (Tom Lenk), he plans to eliminate Buffy. They are a nuisance to Buffy; they plague her with a time loop in "Life Serial" and freeze rays in "Smashed", and turn Buffy invisible in "Gone". Warren tries to use technology in "Dead Things" to force Katrina to sleep with him against her will; when she snaps out of the trance, she accuses him of rape and threatens to go the police. Panicked, he kills her and tries to make Buffy believe she committed the crime. In "Normal Again", they make Buffy believe her whole life is a mental patient's delusion. In "Seeing Red", Warren tries to acquire mystical orbs to give him superhuman strength to rival Buffy; when she foils him yet again, he shows up at her house with a gun and shoots her, with a stray bullet accidentally killing Tara (Amber Benson). In "Villains", Buffy recovers due to the magical abilities of Tara's girlfriend, Willow (Alyson Hannigan), who then seeks revenge on Warren. When Willow attacks and defeats him with black magic, he begs for his life. After realizing that Tara wasn't his first victim, confirmed by an apparition of Katrina, Willow flays him alive.
Warren reappears in the Season Seven première episode, "Lessons" (2002) as an apparition of the First Evil (a primordial evil entity), taunting Spike. The First assumes this form again in "Never Leave Me" and "Conversations with Dead People" as a means of manipulating Andrew. In the episode "The Killer in Me", a repentant and good-once-more Willow begins to take on Warren's appearance and personality after kissing Kennedy (Iyari Limon). She later discovers that it is the result of a curse from her former friend Amy (Elizabeth Anne Allen), who tells Willow that her own subconscious chose the punishment; kissing Kennedy triggered the transformation because of Tara's memory, and moving on from her grief helps her revert to normal. Warren appears one last time in "Storyteller", in which Andrew re-imagines the circumstances of his friendship with Warren in the course of his storytelling.
Warren appears in the canonical comic book continuation of Buffy, as a surprise reveal in the final panel of an issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight. In "The Long Way Home, Part Three" (2007), Warren is revealed to be the "boyfriend" that Amy had been living with beneath the Hellmouth following the collapse of Sunnydale in the television series finale. In Part Four of "The Long Way Home", he reveals the means of his survival. Amy saved Warren's life and suspended his life with her magical powers. In penciller Georges Jeanty's interior artwork, Warren is depicted as skinless, as in his last on-screen moments in "Villains". Warren bears a considerable grudge against both Willow and Buffy. Though he lobotomizes a captive Willow, she is rescued by Buffy and Japanese Slayer Satsu on a rescue mission; Warren escapes by teleporting away with Amy. With regards to the continuity issue of the First Evil impersonating dead people, and Warren being "saved" by Amy, Whedon clarified in the Letters column of a later issue by stating that Warren had been legally dead for "like a second". In "Time of Your Life, Part One" (2008), serving under series' villain Twilight, Amy and Warren attack Buffy's Scottish citadel with a missile and spectral warriors, killing seven Slayers. In the "Retreat" (2009) story arc, Warren and Amy assist Twilight in tracking Buffy and Willow's movements through their use of magic, forcing the group into hiding in Tibet, where they learn to suppress their abilities, leading to an all-out brawl between Twilight's military forces and Buffy's depowered Slayers. Later, in "Twilight" (2010), Warren discovers he has been working for Angel, Buffy's ex-boyfriend, and Twilight's true identity. When extra-dimensional demons start pouring in, Warren and Andrew (now Buffy's trusted associate) squabble over who gets ownership of a geeky composite superhero defensive armor (working replicas of Iron Man's glove, the Punisher's vest, Batman's utility belt, Captain America's shield, a Star Trek tricorder and a Star Wars X-wing helmet). After Andrew takes a severe injury, Warren is left to protect him (and shows genuine concern for Andrew) using the Iron Man repulsors. Later, once Spike arrives, he and Amy are taken as prisoners aboard Spike's ship; they escape, however, when the ship arrives in Sunnydale. In the final arc, in "Last Gleaming, Part IV", Buffy destroys the Seed of Wonder and thereby dispels all magic from the universe. Warren is with Amy at a cafe away from the fray in Sunnydale when the spell that replicates his skin ends. He turns to a pile of blood and bones before Amy's eyes.
Powers and abilities
Although Warren displays no independent supernatural powers, he does possess a genius-level intellect, especially in the fields of technology and robotics. He is capable of building highly advanced robots which look like and can pass for ordinary humans, though their mannerisms and speech patterns are imperfect by human standards. The Buffybot he built successfully masqueraded as Buffy Summers for several weeks while the real Slayer was dead, in addition to fooling Buffy's friends and family into believing that it was the real deal, and a robotic duplicate of himself easily fooled Willow, even with her mystical tracking abilities. Some of his other creations include a freeze ray, a small microchip capable of slowing and speeding up time, and at least two jet packs (cf. "Seeing Red"). Other items which were fused with magic and technology, included an invisibility ray with a magic diamond (cf. "Gone"); and a cerebral dampener, which strips the will of any female within its range, rendering her a slave; In Season Eight, he also displays enough knowledge of biology to perform a lobotomy (cf. "The Long Way Home, Part Four").
In Season Six's "Seeing Red", Warren gains the power of the Orbs of Nezzla'khan, two orbs which grant him superhuman strength and invulnerability, respectively. In this state, he is more than a physical match for Buffy and overpowers her, until Jonathan reveals the source of his power to her. During this time Warren doesn't display any particular affinity for martial arts as Buffy does, instead relying on brute power.
Actor Adam Busch claims that he doesn't see Warren as simply a villain or purely evil person. He explains that the character has various flaws and positives, and is always given the chance to redeem himself. "He's always given that moment where he can do the right thing that he never ever does," says Busch. "Because he is flawed and he does have a lot of issues and an inability to communicate or talk to anyone or really explain what it is that he wants." Writer Jane Espenson draws comparisons between the characters of Buffy and Warren, claiming, "When Buffy's talking with Warren about his break-up with April, she's actually identifying with him, because she did a lot of the same stuff with Riley that he did with April." Warren has, on multiple occasions displayed misogynistic tendencies seen clearest in 'Seeing Red' and other episodes
- April: Lonely, Warren built the robot April to be the perfect girlfriend, but eventually grows bored of her, abandoning her rather than dumping her face-to-face. Despite her pleasant and cheerfully optimistic nature, April is dangerously loyal to Warren and physically attacks anybody who came between them, including Spike, Buffy, and Katrina. April is designed with the ability to growl and included several fetish programs (as seen in her POV), along with other details, such as an inability to cry.
- Katrina Silber: Has at least one sibling mentioned in "I Was Made to Love You", a sister. Warren is found to be in a relationship with Katrina in the Season Five episode "I Was Made to Love You". Although seemingly happy at first, Katrina grows more and more suspicious of her boyfriend throughout the episode, only to discover his robot-girlfriend, April. This discovery repulses her, resulting in their immediate break-up. In "Dead Things" Warren tries to have sex with her while she is under the influence of a mind-control spell. When Katrina fights back Warren smashes her head in with a glass bottle.
- Amy Madison: In the Season Eight comics, Warren reveals that he had been with Amy since she saved his life offscreen in the Season Six episode, "Villains". Amy refers to him as her boyfriend on several occasions and addresses him as "sweetie".
Warren has made 28 canonical Buffyverse appearances.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Warren appeared as a guest star in 16 episodes:
- Season 5 (2000, 2001) - "I Was Made to Love You" (First Appearance); "Intervention"
- Season 6 (2001, 2002) - "Flooded"; "Life Serial"; "Smashed"; "Gone"; "Dead Things"; "Normal Again"; "Entropy"; "Seeing Red"; "Villains" (Killed);
- Season 7 (2002, 2003) - "Lessons" (as a manifestation of The First Evil); "Conversations with Dead People" (as a manifestation of The First Evil); "Never Leave Me (as a manifestation of The First Evil)"; "The Killer in Me" (a spell cast by Amy turning Willow into Warren); "Storyteller" (Only in Andrew's fantasy);
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight
- Warren has appeared in 11 issues so far, plus one canonical webcomic appearance:
- "The Long Way Home parts 3 & 4"
- "Time of Your Life, Part 1 & 4"
- "Retreat, Parts 1, 2 & 5"
- "Twilight, Parts 1-4"
- "Always Darkest" webcomic
- Brian K. Vaughan (w), Georges Jeanty (p), Andy Owen (i). "No Future For You" Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight 6 (September, 2007), Dark Horse Comics
- Jane Espenson, Adam Busch (2002). "The Story of Season Five" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer The Complete Fifth Season DVD Special Features) (DVD (Region 2)). United States: 20th Century Fox.
- Always Darkest, MySpace Dark Horse Presents, Issue #24