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May 13, 2012

Character Spotlight: Hellboy

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Written by: Billy
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Summoned to the Earthly plane by the Nazis in WWII, Hellboy was found by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm (Professor Broom) and his team. Since that day, he was raised to not be a servant of evil, but one for the side of good! A behemoth, with one red, stone hand, and a will of iron, Hellboy has faced down every threat known and unknown to man. He was first trained by the U.S. government and the BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) to combat any kind of occult situation. He eventually became the top agent at the BPRD, and now works alongside Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and dozens of others.

Hellboy is the spawn of a witch and a demon prince. The witch is a descendant of Morgan Le Fey, and that means that he is the last living heir of Sir Arthur Pendragon. He’s even pulled Excalibur from the stone! In one of Hellboy’s first adventures, he and Kate Corrigan traveled to the Balkans to investigate a group of werewolves (ghosts, actually) that were terrorizing a town. Over the next few decades, adventures with the BPRD and solo are the staple for Hellboy, and so is fighting Hecate, Baba Yaga, and Grigori Rasputin.

Another big event in the life of Hellboy, was definitely Hellboy: Conqueror Worm. In it, the Nazi group led by Herman von Klempt, and his usual cronies, were up to no good. Hellboy and Roger had to stop them from retrieving and using a Nazi capsule that returned from space carrying “spirits of the void.” These spirits would usher in a new world by destroying the old one. Hellboy, along with Roger the Homonculus, has to stop them, with Lobster Johnson lending a hand!

Hellboy has also made a mark in the movie genre. The first film, titled simply Hellboy, was loosely based on Seed of Destruction. In it, Ron Perlman portrayed Hellboy, and he and the BPRD had to stop Grigori Rasputin from freeing a bunch of monsters and demons from another dimension. The film was received quite well by critics, and grossed $100 million dollars world wide. After that successful venture, four years later in 2008, they made a sequel called Hellboy II: The Golden Army. This plot was more derived from ideas from Mignola and Guillermo del Toro than the comics.

In many opinions, both movies were out shined by their animated counterparts. In Sword of Storms and Blood and Iron, Perlman voices Hellboy, which is cool, but they also provide a better idea of who Hellboy is in the comics. In Blood and Iron (my favorite), Professor Broom has flashbacks of a time when he faced off against an ancient blood countess. Later, he fights Hecate, as well. Both movies are excellent representations of Hellboy and the BPRD! Recently, Hellboy was considered killed in action (see Hellboy: The Fury), but I think it’s only temporary, and maybe 2012 will be the year of his return!

Recommended Reading
Hellboy: Seed of Destruction – Tpb
Hellboy: The Wolves of St. August – Tpb
Hellboy: Wake the Devil – Tpb
Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and others – Tpb
Hellboy: Conqueror Worm – Tpb
Hellboy: The Fury #1-3 (death)


Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

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