Hellboy

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Hellboy is a comic book adventurer and paranormal investigator. He is not human, but rather is a large red-skinned demon with a tail and a giant stone right hand with his horns sawed down to stubs, who was raised by humans since childhood and has sworn to defend humanity as an adult. Created by Mike Mignola, Hellboy's adventures have been chronicled in a sequence of comic book mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics.

The comics were adapted into a 2004 film.

Contents

Publication history

Hellboy debuted in 1994 as part of Dark Horse Comics' Legend imprint. Written and drawn by creator Mike Mignola, the stories have a flavor of supernatural adventure with a dark mood embodied by Mignola's distinctive designs (often containing many of Mignola's characteristic swirls, and his unique use of heavy shadows and basic colors).

Mignola's stories are heavily influenced by and have been dedicated to H. P. Lovecraft, Jack Kirby, Edgar Allan Poe, and other authors. Horror stories of the Weird Tales variety are another important influence. Writer Robert Bloch has praised Hellboy as one of the most innovative and entertaining comics in recent years. Certain Hellboy stories also draw on folklore from Ireland, Norway and Japan, among other countries.

Most of the Hellboy and related B.P.R.D. comics have been collected as graphic novels, and some later stories have been crafted by people other than Mignola, including Christopher Golden, Guy Davis and Ryan Sook. Golden has also written several novels about the character.

Character history

Hellboy is a creature accidentally summoned by a fictional version of Grigori Rasputin, the famed occultist for Tsar Nicholas II, who was working with the Nazis in the final months of World War II in an attempt to change the tide of war by unleashing other-worldly horrors upon the earth. Hellboy proved not to be a menacing devil, but rather a toddler-like creature with red skin, horns, a tail, and a large stone right hand who was taken by the U.S. forces before the Nazis could discover him. Named by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm (pronounced Broom), whom Hellboy regarded as a father, he was raised by the United States Army and then the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, an American agency dedicated to combating occult threats.

As an adult, Hellboy became the primary agent for the B.P.R.D., alongside several other superhuman agents. Self-conscious of his appearance, he keeps his horns sanded to a pair of large stumps on his head, and wears bulky clothing in an effort to minimise or obscure his inhuman appearance. Hellboy's upbringing has left him cocky, sarcastic, and deeply suspicious of some of those in the B.P.R.D. who research occult entities such as himself. His fellow agents include Abe Sapien, an amphibian humanoid ("icthyo sapien"), Liz Sherman, a pyrokinetic, Roger, an unusually large homunculus, and Johann Kraus, a disembodied spiritualist.

Hellboy's adventures in the comics span the 1940s to the present and involve elements such as sorcerers, Nazis, the Thule Society, hollow earth explorers, werewolves, vampires, ghosts and other oddities.

Several of the storylines deal with Rasputin's attempt to summon supernatural entities to initiate the Ragnarok.

Other media

Missing image
Hellboy_poster.jpg
Film poster for Hellboy

Guillermo del Toro directed a film adaptation titled simply Hellboy in 2004, using a screenplay originally written by Peter Briggs in 1997. Del Toro, a fan of Mignola's work, had previously written the preface to Conqueror Worm, a Hellboy graphic novel. The film starred Ron Perlman as Hellboy (the favourite of both del Toro and Mike Mignola for the role), Selma Blair as Liz Sherman, Rupert Evans as FBI Agent John Myers (a character invented for the film), John Hurt as Prof. Trevor Bruttenholm, Doug Jones as Abe Sapien (voiced by an uncredited David Hyde Pierce) and Karel Roden as Rasputin.

The film begins with Hellboy's origin (see above) and then jumps to the present day, when FBI Agent Myers joins the BPRD as Hellboy's new "minder". The plot draws mostly from the comic storyline The Seed of Destruction, but also uses elements from other stories, most notably The Right Hand of Doom and Box Full of Evil.

A sequel to this movie is currently under development by director del Toro and will feature the returning talents of Perlman, Blair, Jones, and Hurt (in a flashback sequence).

A Hellboy videogame called Hellboy: Asylum Seeker was also previously released for the PC and the PlayStation, by Cryo Interactive. It has no relation with the recent movie.

A Hellboy sourcebook and roleplaying game was also published by Steve Jackson Games, using the GURPS system.

Bibliography

Graphic novels

  • Seed of Destruction
  • Wake the Devil
  • The Chained Coffin and Others
  • The Right Hand of Doom
  • Conqueror Worm
  • Hellboy: Weird Tales Vol. 1
  • Hellboy: Weird Tales Vol. 2
  • B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth and Others
  • B.P.R.D.: The Soul of Venice and Others

Illustrated novels

There is also a comedic Hellboy Junior comic book occasionally published, but it exists outside normal continuity.

External links

it:Hellboy ja:ヘルボーイ

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