- This page is about the character. For the comic serial, see Hellboy (series).
Baby Hellboy appeared miles away in a churchyard in Outer Hebrides, Scotland where he met a crack team of American soldiers lead by 1st Sgt. George Whitman sent to investigate the mysterious Nazi ritual.
They were accompanied by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.), Professor Malcolm Frost, Lady Cynthia Eden-Jones, and the Torch of Liberty, a WWII-era costumed superhero.
Bruttenholm befriended the creature, christening him Hellboy. The child was raised in secret by the U.S. government and trained to be a paranormal investigator.
After he appeared in a church on an island off the coast of Scotland, Hellboy was taken to an air force base in New Mexico where he grew up under the guidance of Trevor Bruttenholm and the fledgling B.P.R.D. Hellboy interacted with personnel at the base such as U.S. General Norton Ricker, and the dog, Mac. In 1952, when he was eight, Hellboy officially joined the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense as a full time agent.
Hellboy aged greatly in body, although somewhat less in mind: while appearing to be a full-grown middle-aged man, he still had the rebellious fire and attitude of an adolescent. He became adept in many supernatural and paranormal subjects such as possession, haunting, exorcism, enchantments, holy amulets, and sacred artifacts. He eventually became a full-fledged field agent of the B.P.R.D. under Trevor Bruttenholm. In the years following World War II and the demise of the Nazi regime, Hellboy traveled the world, encountering and defeating numerous supernatural beings and disturbances such as werewolves, vampires, and encounters with the deranged Nazi scientist Herman Von Klempt (see World's Greatest Paranormal Investigator) Hellboy also encounters minor deities, mythological creatures, and beings of folklore. He had a notable encounter with the Baba Yaga (see The Baba Yaga). In the year 1952, Hellboy was granted honorary human status by the United Nations.
Two years later, Hellboy was approached by the Osiris Club to slay the Saint Leonard worm, an alligator-like monster. This battle was in fact a test of Hellboy's true virtue, resulting in lilies that grew from his spilled blood, which seemed to confirm his good nature (see The Nature of the Beast). A short time later, Professor Bruttenholm sent Hellboy to help a Professor Edmond Aickman with the King Vold myth. Aickman was obsessed with a possible reward, and manipulated Hellboy into begrudgingly completing Vold's chosen tasks (see King Vold).
In 1959 Hellboy was in Ireland and embarked on a mission to rescue a baby, Alice Monaghan. In order to do so, he had to bear a corpse to its final resting place. Overseeing the assignment was the King of the Daoine Sidhe, who would harbor interest in Hellboy in the near future (see The Corpse).
In 1979 Hellboy was sent to aid a once famous physical medium, Mister Tod. Tod, using drugs to enter a trance, accidentally released a cosmic monster which created a body for itself with Tod’s ectoplasm (see Goodbye Mister Tod). This was Hellboy's first encounter with the spirit of an Ogdru Hem; he was able to defeat the creature with an herb. In 1982 tracked down the infamous Countess Ilona Kakosy, a vampire. Hellboy slayed her after she tried to distract him with a disturbing vision (see The Vârcolac).
In 1991, Hellboy is called in to assist fellow Bureau agent Pauline Raskine. The B.P.R.D. was investigating a newly discovered hidden basement in a mansion owned by former a Doctor Carp. Carp was a Grand Master of the Golden Lodge, a temple of the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra located in New York. Hellboy has knowledge of the H.B.R. and refers to them as crazy. Upon entering the room Hellboy was magically warped through time to the year 1902, where he had to contend with the sadistic Doctor. Carp managed to get a sample of Hellboy’s demonic blood to use on a chimpanzee, turning the ape into a bloodthirsty monster (see Dr. Carp's Experiment).
The Cavendish Hall affair
- Main article: Seed of Destruction
However, it wasn’t until the groundbreaking Cavendish Hall mission that Hellboy truly met a challenge which posed an extreme threat to him or his fellow agents Abe Sapien and Elizabeth Sherman, a woman with uncontrollable pyrokinetic abilities. It began when Hellboy met with his mentor Trevor Bruttenholm, who was trying to tell Hellboy a crucial memory disturbing the Professor. Suddenly, Bruttenholm was mysteriously killed when a spawning of frogs entered the room, and an angry Hellboy faced off with a humanoid frog monster.
A mission was sent to the haunted Cavendish Hall mansion, consisting of Hellboy, Abe and Liz to question the elderly Mrs. Cavendish, whose well-known family heritage Bruttenholm mentioned as he tried to remember what to tell Hellboy seconds before his death. Mrs. Cavendish was a widow who lost her three sons a few months before, when they, along with Trevor Bruttenholm, together explored the Arctic in search of a legendary temple. She said it was her family's curse that every male in the line, starting with Elihu Cavendish, became obsessed with retrieving something from the Arctic. Many would never came back.
In truth, the Cavendish boys along with Bruttenholm, made it to a secret temple in the Arctic. There they had come across Grigori Rasputin, who had been hibernating for years in service to a terrible cosmic monstrosity, the Ogdru Jahad. Rasputin had become the creatures’ only hope of entering our world in order for them to unleash the Apocalypse on Earth. A dormant Ogdru Hem, Sadu-Hem one of the 369 children of the Ogdru Jahad, was accidentally awoken by the team. It's breath transformed the three Cavendish brothers, and their guide while Bruttenholm was able to kept by Rasputin, after reading his mind and discovering his link with Hellboy. They boarded a ship and when they arrived in America, Bruttenholm was allowed to escape with a fragile memory, in order to lure Hellboy to Cavendish Hall.
Hellboy and his partners elected to stay the night at Cavendish Hall, to further explore any possible clues. Unbeknownst to the agents, the revived Rasputin had been manipulating events in order to draw Hellboy closer to him, intent on forcing Hellboy to fulfill his purpose as the Harbinger of Armageddon. Rasputin was the one who had summoned Hellboy to this world back in 1944, and had been patiently waiting for his chance to return and retake control of his ‘son.’
Upon discovering the presence of Rasputin, who had willingly revealed himself that evening in a vain attempt to coerce Hellboy’s loyalty, Hellboy refused this destiny. Having been raised by his mentor in the ways of good, he then tried to slay the now furious Rasputin.
Abe Sapien managed to kill Rasputin by throwing a harpoon through his chest. However, he was actually being possessed by the spirit of Elihu Cavendish. The ghost of Cavendish desired vengeance against Rasputin for the murder of his family. Liz Sherman awoke from her trance and summoned a firestorm that killed Sadu-Hem. Hellboy succeeded in rejecting his purpose and delaying the End of Days. Rasputin’s body was destroyed and his spirit was forced to flee, vowing that Hellboy would fulfill his purpose in the end, whether he wanted to or not.
More Career Highlights
What follows are a few worthy-of-note adventures of Hellboy and his partners following the Cavendish Hall incident:
- 1994, Griart, The Balkans: Hellboy and Kate Corrigan visited a town decimated by the angry ghosts of werewolves. It became a revenge mission after Father Kelly, Hellboy's associate, was murdered by a living werewolf. Kate's first sighting of a ghost occurred during this mission. (see The Wolves of Saint August)
- 1995, Scotland: Hellboy returned to the ruined church where he first appeared in the world, and had a dream-vision of his origin: His mother, as a young woman, had cavorted with the demon Prince Azzael, and on Walpurgisnacht (a night of great significance to witches) conceived Hellboy. (see The Chained Coffin)
- 1998, Lizarza, Spain: Hellboy met with Adrian Frost, the son of Malcolm Frost. Hellboy related his life story to Frost, and the two realized that Hellboy's stone right hand was the key to triggering the Apocalypse. Hellboy has decided keep the hand lest someone else retrieve it and use it. (see The Right Hand of Doom)
The Giurescu Affair
- Main article: Wake the Devil
In 1997, the second major turning point in Hellboy’s journey of discovery regarding his original purpose on Earth began as a mission to Romania, to investigate the theft of an ancient box containing the corpse of Vladimir Giurescu, a Napoleonic officer who was in fact a vampire.
The legend went that whenever Giurescu was injured in battle, his servants would bring his body back to his home castle, where the rays of the full moon would mystically revive him back to full health. In 1882, Giurescu, posing as a foreign nobleman, attempted to start a secret evil empire to conquer England. This caught the attention of the Nazi party during the 1940s, who then sent a delegation lead by Ilsa Haupstein to recruit the immortal vampire to their cause. The meeting went badly, resulting in Hitler ordering the arrest and murder of Giurescu’s vampiric followers, nicknamed his “family.” He and his ‘family’ were beheaded and stabbed through the heart with stakes, and then burned; their ashes sent to Hitler.
However, this was not the end for Vladimir Giurescu. In 1997, a former Nazi named Howard Steinman/Hans Ubler was shot to death inside his own museum, and a crate marked “Giurescu Lot #666” was taken. It is assumed that Ubler had stolen the remains of Giurescu during his Nazi days and had hidden the deceased vampire inside the museum for the last few decades. Now it appeared that Giurescu’s followers, lead by Ilsa Haupenstein, had come to rescue their master and bring his remains to Castle Giurescu, where the next full moon would revive him.
The problem was that Castle Giurescu had never been found, for its location has always been hidden. B.P.R.D. agent Kate Corrigan made three rough guesses at possible locations of the castle, and three groups of agents were sent to each location in case one of them is the real deal. Hellboy went solo to the first site, while Agent Clark and Abe Sapien went to the second site, and Liz Sherman, Bud Waller, and rookie agent Sidney Leach investigated the third site.
Hellboy arrived in time to discover that Ilsa had already prepared for the resurrection ceremony, but he was distracted by an encounter with the harpy-like Women of Thessaly. Meanwhile, Rasputin’s spirit had returned, and he succeeded in transforming Ilsa into the reincarnation of the goddess Hecate, who battled with Hellboy. When Hellboy was captured and left to die chained to a pole, the revived Giurescu charged him, only to be killed in an explosion when Hellboy cracked the pole in half and struck the vampire’s horse. In fury, the iron maiden which formerly was Ilsa Haupenstein swallowed up Hellboy, trapping him within an alternate dimension.
He encountered a group of beings who claim to be Chaos itself, and told Hellboy that the time had finally come for him to embrace his purpose. His true name, “Anung Un Rama,” was revealed for the first time, and the two sawed-off horns atop Hellboy’s forehead began to regrow as a crown of fire appeared above him.
Hellboy, however, managed to overcome the transformation, telling the spirits, “screw you!” and snapping off his newly-regrown horns; an act which represents Hellboy’s devotion to the cause of good and that he truly is a well-meaning being, despite his origins or purpose. This moment of defiance instantly returned him back to our world, where he met Kate Corrigan. Backup never arrived due to an accident at the airport, and Kate revealed to a shocked Hellboy that during his adventures the other two teams had met their own misfortunes:
Liz Sherman accidentally revived a human-sized homunculus which drained her power and killed Bud Waller before fleeing. Liz felt extreme guilt over the incident. At the same time, Abe Sapien and Agent Clark had visited a church in the belief that they would meet Hellboy there due to the presence of his tracking device.
But it was revealed to be a trap set up by Rasputin, who wanted revenge against Abe for stabbing the mystic through the chest in their last encounter during the Cavendish Hall affair. Clark was killed in the process, but Abe managed to survive. The skeletal remains of Vladimir Giurescu were recovered by the B.P.R.D. while Hellboy and his fellow agents were airlifted home, exhausted by their recent mission.
Meanwhile, Rasputin's other henchmen Karl Ruprect Kroenen and Leopold Kurtz attempted to follow the will of Rasputin in castle in Norway. The two Nazi scientiests had been entrusted with the task of creating an Army for Giurescu to lead in a campaign to destroy mankind, thus bringing about Rasputin’s planned “Ragna Rok” apocalypse. However due to Kroenen's disobedience in resurrecting Nazi scientist Herman Von Klempt, whom Rasputin despised, and the accidental killing of Kurtz the undead mystic struck the C.E.O. of the Zinco Corporation, Roderick Zinco blind. While Zinco panicked, he accidentally hit a button which destroyed the fortress. However, Kurtz and Kroenen were somehow able to survive, probably thanks to Rasputin, and recently reappeared in the B.P.R.D. story Russia.
- Main article: Almost Colossus
After losing her powers to the homunculus, Liz Sherman underwent treatment by Dr. Olasz at the Wauer Institute. Meanwhile, Hellboy and Kate Corrigan investigate a missing cross and several missing corpses. The culprit was the homunculus, praying for God to kill him. Instead, the homunculus met his older brother, who told him of his creator and of their plans to overthrow mankind. Hellboy and Kate discovered the homunculus' lair where they were attacked by his brother's crude homunculi henchmen. Kate was captured and the homunculus's brother planned to use her to build an enormous homunculus body for him to inhabit. Kate was rescued, but the evil brother used the giant body to attack Hellboy. The first homunculus then seemingly gave in to his brother's wishes, becoming part of the giant body. But he used the pyrokinesis taken from Liz to destroy his evil brother's new body. They rushed to the Wauer Institute and arrived just moments after Liz died. Then the homunculus, now dubbed "Roger", returned Liz's pyrokinetic powers to her, restoring her life at the cost of his own.
The Little Box of Evil
- Main article: Box Full of Evil
In 1999, Hellboy and Abe investigated the castle of Count Guarino after a mysterious attack. On this mission, the warlock Igor Bromhead released Ualac, a minor demon trapped in a box by St. Dunstan. Ualac was able to teach Bromhead Hellboy's secret name, Anung Un Rama, and temporarily paralyze him. Abe was shot by a chimpanzee, the former count now transformed. Ualac claimed the Crown of the Apocalypse (which sits invisibly on Hellboy's head) before attempting to take Hellboy's stone right hand. Hellboy was able to break free thanks to advice from the Daoine Sidge and killed his enemy’s mortal body. Bromhead and Ualac were claimed by the demon Astaroth, who also took Hellboy's crown down to Hell.
The Conqueror Worm Affair
- Main article: Conqueror Worm (story)
This was a landmark moment in Hellboy’s multi-layered career. With the help of fellow agents Roger and Abe Sapien, among others, he faced off against an unprecedented threat: a cosmic entity bound with a Nazi scientist who had been floating through space for decades and was now the vessel for the monstrous creature’s arrival on Earth. This beast was an alleged offspring of the Ogdru-Jahad, which the Nazis had tried to communicate with back in the 40’s. This mission to stop the ‘worm,’ now controlled by Grigori Rasputin, culminated in an intense sacrifice from Roger the Homunculus, who risked his very life to try and imprison the worm’s spirit within himself.
With assistance from the ghost of famed television-serial hero Lobster Johnson, Hellboy managed to drive away the Worm’s consciousness, and a wounded Roger was given aid by B.P.R.D. agents. Hellboy now felt deep guilt over his profession, due to him having been given by Manning prior to the mission a device to kill Roger, should he become dangerous again. Then, with a heavy heart, Hellboy announced his resignation to Kate Corrigan, before leaving to try and find out once and for all the truth behind the supposed fate that would always haunt him.
Hellboy went to Africa in 2004, where he met with an African witch-doctor named Mohlomi. When the spirits of Africa warned him that he had one last night to sleep in their land, Mohlomi brought him to the coast where he claimed that the sea was calling to Hellboy. He ended up being captured by a trio of mermaids who drive a magic nail into his forehead and bring him to the Bog Roosh, a powerful sea witch who meant to prevent the Apocalypse by dismembering Hellboy and hiding the Right Hand of Doom. Hellboy is traded to Bog Roosh in exchange for granting the three mermaids, her granddaughters, their wishes. Although the first two are killed by their wishes, the third lives as she wished only to return the spear of her deceased father. The ghost of the mermaid's father returns and admonishes her for kidnapping Hellboy, an innocent man, in exchange for attempting to redeem his honor. Feeling guilty, she returns in secret to rescue Hellboy. Hellboy kills the Bog Roosh and disperses the source of her power, the captured souls of drowned sailors. However her granddaughter becomes the new Bog Roosh to replace her. The granddaughter removes the magic nail from Hellboy's forehead, but he is plunged into a coma and ends up adrift at sea for two years.
Two years later, Hellboy washed up on an unknown deserted island. There, he accidentally resurrected an ancient mystic and learned the secret history of the universe. Through the mystic's blood, Urgo-Hem was resurrected and briefly killed Hellboy, before the latter returned to life and defeated the monster. After rebuking Hecate one more time on embracing his destiny, he set sail away from the island and headed for England.
The Baba Yaga's Revenge
Main article: Darkness Calls
In 2007, Hellboy returned to England and stayed with his friend Harry Middleton, who had died years before. While out on a walk, he was accosted by witches who took him to Italy. They explained that Igor Bromhead had subdued Hecate in an attempt to become the king of witches, but they refused and wanted Hellboy to lead them instead. Hellboy rejects them and leaves.
The infuriated witches then accept the Baba Yaga's bargain to turn him over to her, and he is plunged into her Russian dimension to be tormented and killed as revenge for shooting out her eye back in 1964. As Hellboy battles the witch's minions, he receives aid from other Russian supernatural beings such as the Leshii, Perun, a domovoi, and a little girl named Vasilisa. Frustrated, the Baba Yaga sends her champion, Koshchei the Deathless, to kill Hellboy in exchange for giving him the death he had longed for. Vasilisa shows Hellboy the way out of the Baba Yaga's world, but Koshchei kills her and she leaves behind two gifts to aid Hellboy's escape. The Baba Yaga expends all her magical power to enhance Koschei's strength and finally kill Hellboy, but she ultimately fails and is left virtually powerless.
Once Hellboy returns to the real world, he tracks down Igor Bromhead. There, he finds the warlock transformed into a monster as the power of Hecate proved too much for him to control. Bromhead begs him to put him out of his misery and Hellboy obliges, killing him.
A Secret Legacy
Main article: The Wild Hunt
Hellboy is staying at the house of the deceased Capobianco sisters when he receives an invitation from the Osiris Club to meet with him in England. They invite him to join them on the Wild Hunt, a hunting party composed of British elites, as a band of rogue giants have begun terrorizing the British countryside. This turns out to be a trap as the Wild Hunt turns on Hellboy in the middle of their expedition, claiming they would never allow the Devil to sit on the throne of England. After awakening from the attempted assassination, Hellboy encounters the giants, who had killed the Wild Hunt while he was unconscious. Although a bird offers him a chance to escape stealthily, Hellboy rejects it and deliberately picks a fight with the giants to vent out his frustration and anger at being assassinated. In his bloodlust he massacres the giants and awakened his latent demonic powers. Shocked that he enjoyed brutalising the giants, he flees.
Forty-seven hours later, Hellboy moves to Ireland and reunites with Alice Monaghan, a woman who he had saved from the fey folk when she was still a baby in 1963. Hellboy and Alice had met in a dream prior to his invitation, attending the funeral of the fairy king Dagda. Alice then takes Hellboy to meet with Queen Mab, who tells Hellboy that she sees one chance for him to escape his apocalyptic destiny and warns him that the Gruagach of Lough Leane had resurrected Nimue, Merlin's former apprentice and the Queen of Blood, to rule over the leaderless witches. It was Gruagach's conspirators who had murdered King Dagda, and with the Queen of Blood they plan to wage war on the human race, amassing an army of forgotten magical beings to take back the surface world. After Mab leaves, Hellboy and Alice are led into a trap of goblins, one of whom manages to poison Alice. A trio of bird spirits arrive and take the two of them to a mysterious castle beseiged by demons. The birds direct Hellboy to kill Eligos, the demon knight guarding the bridge, so that they could enter. Hellboy and Eligos do battle, but Hellboy is on the backfoot until he receives aid from an imp who tells him of Eligos' weakness. With Eligos beaten, Hellboy and his company finally enter the castle and Alice is cured. They then learn that the castle belonged to the witch Morgan le Fay.
Hellboy and Alice learn from Morgan le Fay that Hellboy's witch mother Sarah Hughes was a direct descendant of her and Arthur's son Mordred, thus making Hellboy the rightful king of England. Morgan presents Hellboy with Excalibur and urges him to pull it out, thus raising an army of Britain's noble dead in order to combat the Queen of Blood's forces. Hellboy is reluctant to accept another heavy destiny on his shoulders and takes some time to think, but Astaroth appears and attempts to goad Hellboy into pulling out the sword as well, but for his own motives. Astaroth believes in a prophecy that Hellboy would usurp Hell's ruling class and awaken its sleeping army to break down the walls of Hell, allowing the liberated slaves of demonkind to reign on Earth. After battling another twisted illusion of himself, Vasilisa appears and urges Hellboy to believe in Alice's faith in him, as opposed to all the dark portents that his enemies have told him. Hellboy at last pulls Excalibur from the stone, transporting himself and Alice back to Ireland.
The Final Battle
With Excalibur claimed, Hellboy and Alice follow reports of dead noble men rising from their graves, confirming Morgan's prophecy. On the road they are attacked by a monstrous knight, a champion of the Queen of Blood who boasts that Nimue had murdered Queen Mab and her allies. After Hellboy kills him, the two stumble upon a tavern in the woods and rest. A storm builds outside as Nimue gathers her forces for the war against mankind, and the army of the noble dead masses outside the tavern awaiting Hellboy's command. Hellboy rejects leading them and goes off into the woods alone to face Nimue his way. On the way there he stumbles upon Gruagach, who was cast out by Nimue, hanging from a noose as Merlin cursed him with immortality to witness the Apocalypse. Astaroth appears again, mocking Hellboy for rejecting his destiny one last time before disappearing. Finally, the Baba Yaga appears and offers to transport Hellboy past Nimue's vast army of monsters at the cost of his eye, payment at last for him shooting her eye out.
Hellboy arrives at Nimue's tower just in time to witness her being possessed by the Ogdru Jahad, transforming her into a dragon. The Ogdru Jahad spreads the storm across all of Great Britain, wreaking havoc to prepare for the end times. Hellboy and the Ogdru Jahad do battle, but he slowly loses to the dragon. Vasilisa appears to him one last time and asks if he is ready to meet his end. Hellboy admits that he is ready, and Vasilisa hands him a sword made from Nimue's crown to slay the dragon. Meanwhile at the tavern, Alice hands Excalibur to a blessed World War I soldier named George Washbrook, who regains his youth and uses the Holy Grail to invigorate the army of the noble dead and lead them to battle against the Queen of Blood's army at Vigrid, the prophesied battlefield of Ragnarok at the base of Nimue's tower. Alice flees into the forest, encountering the supernatural Wild Hunt led by King Vold, only to be transported to Vigrid after the two armies had slaughtered each other. The tavern barkeep reveals herself to be Mab's spirit and points Alice to the tower where Hellboy fights the Ogdru Jahad and delay the Apocalypse. Alice reaches the top of the tower just in time to witness Hellboy defeat Nimue and the Ogdru Jahad. Before the two could celebrate, Nimue's ghost appears and tears out Hellboy's heart, killing him as she is dragged into Hell. Alice weeps for Hellboy, but England is saved from annihilation.
Hellboy in Hell
Main article: Hellboy in Hell (series)
Powers and Abilities
Cambion Physiology: Hellboy's superhuman abilities would seem to stem from his demonic heritage. While his specific powers and abilities have never been explicitly listed, Hellboy is much stronger and more physically durable than an ordinary human.
- Superhuman Strength: Although the true extent of his strength is unclear and possibly limitless, Hellboy possesses a strength level of at least Class 5. He has tossed opponents weighing at least four to five hundred pounds, hurled a large broken tree at a giant, thrown a harpoon through a monster along with the ship mast, and lifted a chunk of rubble to crush his opponent.
- Superhuman Speed: While he's not much of a speedster, Hellboy's shown to be pretty fast for a creature his size. He could quickly purse a vampire from outside of a castle to the underground and appear right in front of a human after causing the human to flee.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Hellboy's reflexes are far greater than any normal human being, being able to catch a demon in its fly form before it escaped and snatch missiles out of the air. He's also reacted to several floating heads at once, a surprise charge from a super gorilla, and a blast from Grigori Rasputin.
- Superhuman Agility: Hellboy possesses agility, balance, and coordination which surpass even the finest human athlete. He's dodged attacks from humans, a giant werewolf, an entire army of zombies and he can dodge lightning, bullets, and lasers. Its agility is thirty times the speed of sound.
- Superhuman Durability: Hellboy is shown to be capable of withstanding wounds that would be fatal to ordinary humans without being incapacitated, as well as recovering from injuries at an incredible rate. He has been shown to withstand great impact forces, high caliber bullets, exposure to extremes of both temperatures and falls from great heights. He has been savagely beaten by large monsters on several occasions and survived, often with relatively minor injuries. Hellboy has also demonstrated immunity to the powers of August Breccan, granted to him by demons.
- Superhuman Endurance: Hellboy has consistently displayed enormous amounts of endurance. He can fall thousands of feet and walk it off like it's nothing and shake off injuries after being crushed and beaten by a giant. On one occasion, Hellboy directly charged an MG-42 machine gun and took numerous bullets to the chest before destroying the gun. On another, he was impaled by a massive spearhead through the chest, but smashed the handle and charged the attacker, leaving the spearhead buried in the tree behind him. Despite being shot in the face two times by a double-barrel shotgun, Hellboy got up and walked to the home of his shooter, all without passing out.
- Superhuman Stamina: While certainly not limitless, Hellboy's stamina has been shown to exceed that of normal and highly athletic humans. Hellboy's stamina is part of what keeps him going in a long battle and the factor that backs up his stubbornness as he refuses to go down in a fight.
- Enhanced Sight: Hellboy has been noted to have advanced sight, allowing him to see farther than average humans. The extent of his sight ability seems to be limited to distance, but he's shown to not have too much trouble seeing in the dark or in minimal-light situations.
- Accelerated Healing: Although he can be damaged like any living thing, Hellboy possesses a "healing factor" (much like the Marvel Comics character Wolverine) that allows him to recover from wounds at an incredible rate. One example of this was when he recovered after being in close proximity to his concussion grenade.
- Decelerated Aging: Hellboy seems to age differently from normal humans. At the time that young Hellboy tried his favorite food, “pamcakes” for the first time, he was technically two years old but appeared to be far older, around age six. In 1954 he already appeared to be a full-grown adult but was in reality about ten years old. His rapid physical maturation is in contrast to his physical rate of aging, which seems to be much slower than normal. Throughout the sixty-year span of his life, Hellboy seems to have ceased to age ever since reaching physical maturity.
- Immortality: Despite being taken out many times and eventually stopped at one point, Hellboy has survived blows that would kill any ordinary human. Possibly because he could fulfill his duty as the bringer of the apocalypse, Hellboy seems to have escaped death at nearly every turn. As he's described to be "as deathless as Koshchei", Hellboy can't die unless he believes he should.
- Thermal Resistance: Thanks to his demonic heritage and accelerated healing, Hellboy's body is quite resistant against high temperatures and fire. In the movies, he is depicted as being fireproof, and he is even more resilient against heat or burns than his comic book counterpart, to the point he became immune to all forms of fire and burns, including Liz Sherman's flames, and electrocution.
- Demonic Transformation: Hellboy assumes an even more demonic form under special circumstances, either artificially or when under emotional duress. In this form, Hellboy's stumps become full-grown horns. After coming to terms with his heritage, Hellboy seems to be able to transform at will, while also sprouting wings. Hellboy becomes much stronger and gains access to his latent magic. In his full-demon form, Hellboy was able to effortlessly slaughter Hell's most powerful inhabitants.
- Size-Shifting: Hellboy can increase his size to the point where he's very larger such as Leviathan and Behemoth.
- Hell-Fire Manipulation: While in his demonic form, Hellboy has the power to control the fires of Hell. With the power of Hellfire, Hellboy can create and manipulate massive devastating infernos from his body that obliterate anything in their path.
- Electrokinesis: In his demonic form, Hellboy has the power to command lightning from the sky and strike down whoever he wishes.
- Flight: When transformed into his demonic form, Hellboy sprouts wings which grant him the power of flight. However, it's unknown whether he uses wings or magic to achieve this feat.
- Hand-to-Hand Combatant (Master): Although proficient with handguns, Hellboy often chooses to engage in close combat where he can utilize his incredible strength to defeat his enemies. He has also displayed skill with swords and other improvised weapons. He quite likely mastered all forms of Earth's martial arts, and a little further.
- Occult Knowledge: His decades of experience as a paranormal investigator has given him expertise in folklore, magical rituals, the use of charms and curses, paranormal creatures and other related topics.
- Innate Multilingualism: Due to his demon heritage, Hellboy was born with the ability to read, comprehend, and understand a number of ancient, magic and demonic languages. All parts of his intellect are super-human, making him an incredible strategist and an expert in all occult knowledge.
- Superhuman intellect: Hellboy's intelligence is incredible, being the best paranormal investigator since he was 8 years old.
- Master strategist: Hellboy is the best strategist on earth. Due to his destiny, he is capable of leading all the hell's instable army (more than 200 billions monsters) with perfection. He can create the best plans and can improvise very well too.
- Riders Aptitude: During the vision presented to him in the 2019 reboot film. Hellboy could be seen riding a massive dragon across an infernal wasteland made of the human world. Showing apt mount taming skills.
Hellboy is often described as a likeable, gruff person with much panache and witty humor in his attitude. He is easily angered by the (often defective) gadgets he uses, but has a genuinely good heart and love for other humans, despite his demonic origins. A living oxymoron, Hellboy is a force for good, with an iron will and a desire to do the right thing. He has continuously stated his disinterest in his supposed ‘purpose,’ and tries to hide his conflicted feelings beneath the wisecracking facade of an adventurous tough-guy who would just as soon knock back a cold beer and light a stogie, than battle demons and evil spirits.
The ‘Right Hand of Doom’
Main Article: Right Hand of Doom.
Weapons and Equipment:
In addition to his natural gifts, Hellboy carries a variety of items, such as holy relics, horseshoes, and herbs in his utility belt, as well as a variety of grenades and other demolition tools; these often come in handy when fighting supernatural beasts. He also typically carries a sidearm of some sort.
- Hellboy carried a handgun given to him by a WWII era superhero named The Torch of Liberty. This gun was lost in the ocean, but was later replaced by a 1941 US Army-issue M1911A1 .45 caliber pistol provided by the ghost of Harry Middleton.
- Hellboy often carries many charms and knick-knacks on his belt, which he often uses as either tools to resurrect the dead, protect him or his friends from evil entities, heal, etc. A commonly shown item among these various possessions is a Catholic Rosary.
- On Hellboy’s belt is a tracking device which is constantly linked to B.P.R.D. headquarters, in order to keep track of Hellboy’s whereabouts. After the events at Hunte Castle he no longer wore this belt. (Hellboy:Conqueror Worm)
- On the Giurescu mission, Hellboy used a rocket pack to make a tricky landing over the Castle. However, this “new and improved” model proved to be a wash when, upon ignition, exploded and engulfed a predictably pissed Hellboy.
- Hellboy is almost always seen wearing a large and heavy jacket that reaches well below his knees. The pockets of this jacket are typically filled with many of the charms and totems mentioned above, granting him even greater paranormal protection. His original jacket bore the B.P.R.D. logo on its sleeve, but after he quit the Bureau this logo vanished, indicating that he either removed it or the jacket he is currently wearing is a new one altogether. His jacket has been heavily damaged many times, yet it always shows up repaired with each new story, indicating that Hellboy might have some skill in weaving.
- Hellboy briefly wielded the sword Excalibur, from Arthurian Legend. Supposedly, wielding this sword marks him as the rightful King of England, and will allow him to lead an army of England's noble dead. He was able to draw the sword from the stone due to being a direct decedent of King Arthur.
- In the Guillermo del Toro films, Hellboy is also equipped with a large pistol, the Good Samaritan, which uses specially modified bullets to combat supernatural beings. It often runs out of ammo, and is prone to jamming. It is said that a bullet of this weapon can hurt anything.
- In the film Hellboy 2, Hellboy wields Big Baby, a six round shotgun-like weapon, using it to kill the Forest God
Origins and Destiny
Hellboy's destiny has been a common and persistent theme in the series, and becomes more and more complicated with every story arc. The first thing we knew about Hellboy was that he was destined to be the Beast of the Apocalypse. Bearing the Right Hand of Doom, which came from one of the Watchers who made the Ogdru Jahad, Hellboy possesses the one thing capable of waking the terrible beasts from their prison and unleashing them to end the days of man. For a long time, this has been the main focus of his destiny, and the thing he has constantly avoided.
During the Wild Hunt story arc, however, his destiny took another interesting turn. It had already been revealed that Hellboy is the son of Azzael, a major demon, and Sarah Hughes, a witch who spent most of her life in repentance after summoning him. Sarah had two human children besides Hellboy, a nun and a pastor, both of whom died a swift death trying to protect their mother from Azzael in the hopes of breaking his claim over her. Azzael would not be denied, he hooked his chains into the body of Sarah Hughes and dragged her down to Hell.
Sarah Hughes is a descendant of the traitor Sir Mordred, who died while slaying King Arthur. Mordred himself was the bastard son of King Arthur and Morgana Le Fay, who was Arthur's sister. Mordred had three sons, who were all executed, and a daughter who was hidden away. Through this daughter, Mordred's bloodline continued up to Sarah, her human children, and Hellboy himself. This makes Hellboy a descendant of King Arthur, and thus, the lawful King of England. Through this, it has been said that he was destined to wear a crown all along, be it in Hell or on Earth, and that his destiny as Arthur's descendant is to pull the sword Excalibur from the stone, and lead Britain's army of the dead - another part of Hellboy's destiny of which he doesn't seem too sure about.
Allies and Enemies
- Abraham Sapien: An amphibious humanoid of mysterious origin, this fellow agent can breathe underwater thanks to a set of gills. Hellboy first sympathized with Abe and saved him from dissection by the B.P.R.D. scientists, the two became best friends with a brother relationship. In field work Abe was first like a sidekick to Hellboy until becoming an equal in the Bureau.
- Elizabeth Sherman: A pyrokinetic, brooding, somber woman has the psychic ability to create and manipulate fire. However, she suffers from guilt and a lack of self-confidence over her unstable and often downright dangerous ability. When she was a child, she accidentally killed her parents with her powers, and has since always been haunted by her failures and mistakes. In the 2004 film, she is portrayed as as having a romantic relationship with Hellboy and is pregnant with his twin children. However, their relationship in the comics is simply that of good friends.
- Johann Kraus: A German medium who was displaced from his body, although his body was destroyed his ectoplasmic form remained.
- Benjamin Daimio: To be added...
- Alice Monaghan: To be added...
- Sydney Leach: .......
- Roger: An abnormally large, artificial man created from blood and herbs mixed in a jar with horse manure. Roger was discovered by Liz Sherman’s party during the Guirescu Affair, and was accidentally revived inside the secret laboratory he was built in by Sherman, who had curiously reached into a hole in his chest. Her fiery abilities sparked the creature to life, and the startled, frightened and confused homunculus lashed out and killed Agent Waller. However, at a later time the creature, to be named Roger eventually, was confronted by Hellboy and the beast helped revive a seriously injured Liz Sherman. Roger was rewarded with Agent status, and became a close partner of Hellboy during the Conqueror Worm mission.
- Trevor Bruttenholm: Hellboy’s mentor and adoptive father. Pronounced “Broom,” the Professor was killed by a plague of frogs summoned by Grigori Rasputin, as a way to entice Hellboy into investigating the strange murder and falling right into the deranged mystic’s plans.
- Thomas Manning: The head of the B.P.R.D. and Hellboy’s boss. He is the one who usually briefs Hellboy and his fellow agents on their new missions.
- Kate Corrigan: One of Hellboy’s most beloved teammates, Kate is an expert agent and motherly figure of the B.P.R.D. She is often on hand to give support and strong-willed advice, as well as criticism. An expert of the occult, Kate is a very dear friend and partner of Hellboy.
- Angel the Vampire (apocryphal): In the Angel/Buffy comic The City of Despair, Hellboy and a Predator make cameos as gladiators in another dimension where Buffy and Angel have to fight each other in the end. Hellboy also makes appearances in two other Angel comics: Past Lives, The Book of Carthage. (Dark Horse Comics)
- Grigori Rasputin: The former infamous "Mad Monk" of Tsarist Russia, he is now an undead mystic who claims to be the official messenger of the terrible cosmic entity, the Ogdru Jahad, and is completely devoted to bringing about the end of days, by any means. He was under the employ of the Nazis in the mid-forties when he summoned Hellboy to Earth, intending him to be the leader of Rasputin’s forces in the coming apocalypse. He and his ‘creation’ first met during the Cavendish mission, and has since been manipulating numerous events, to further his motives. He had a romantic relationship with Ilsa Haupenstein. He is considered to be Hellboy's archenemy.
- Herman von Klempt: A deranged Nazi scientist who is in fact a disembodied head which is kept alive inside a jar of liquid. His gruesome experiments with helpless village girls introduced him to Hellboy, who would become his greatest adversary in his twisted plans. Under his control is an army of gigantic gorillas, controlled through a mental device implanted within the ape's brains. They do the brunt of Von Klempt’s work, and are in fact slightly sympathetic creatures, due to their mindless control under the mad Von Klempt.
- The Baba Yaga: This powerful and ancient witch, who resides in a chicken-legged house, has been on this Earth for centuries, and has a personal hatred for Hellboy after he shot out her left eye. Rasputin refers to Baba Yaga as his grandmother, and she has a tender, maternal relationship with the mystic.
- Ilsa Haupstein: This Nazi woman was a deeply loyal follower of Grigori Rasputin, and had a romantic attraction to him. Seduced into believing Rasputin’s prophecy of the Ogrdu Jahad’s complete destruction of Earth and rebirth as a beautiful paradise free of conflict or moral sins, she was convinced to enter a metal torture device, which transformed Ilsa into the malevolent goddess Hecate. This evil entity swallowed up Hellboy, transporting him to an eerie realm where he confronted his purpose and experienced the re-growth of his horns.
- Hecate: Hellboy first encounters the witch goddess Hecate after defeating Vladimir Giurescu for the first time. Hecate informs Hellboy that they are tied to the apocalypse and that they will either die together or live through it together to see the new world. Hellboy defeats Hecate, but she lives on in an iron body fueled by the blood and bones of Ilsa Haupstein.
Appearances in other Media
Hellboy (2004–2008 film franchise)
The 2004 film directed by Guillermo del Toro helped bring a larger awareness of the character into the public eye, and resulted in the birth of many more fans.
The plot focused primarily on the origin of Hellboy, depicting in a prologue his summoning to Earth by Grigori Rasputin and his rescue from the forces of evil by a young Trevor Bruttenholm. In the modern day, Hellboy is now a paranormal investigator for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. He finds himself not only having to battle an army of multiplying Sammael creatures which threaten to overtake mankind, but to also face the temptations of the resurrected Rasputin, who has come to finally fulfill Hellboy’s purpose…
The sequel, titled Hellboy II: The Golden Army, was released in July 2008, and features the return of many cast members such as Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Jeffrey Tambor and John Hurt (in a flashback sequence as Professor Trevor Bruttenholm). The film concerns the secret communities of fairy tale creatures (who have been rejected and ignored by an increasingly science-minded humanity), who then start a rebellion against humankind, and the B.P.R.D. is the only hope to stop this growing war.
Hellboy has also enjoyed success in animated medium, starring in a series of feature-length animated movies released directly to DVD, and starring the voice talents of the live-action movie’s actors (Ron Perlman, Selma Blair and Doug Jones being the most prominent). To date only two films have been released: Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms and Hellboy Animated: Blood and Iron, while a third feature titled Hellboy Animated: The Phantom Claw was in development, but has since been abandoned. This animated continuity of the Hellboy universe is also expanded on in a short graphic-novella series published by Dark Horse Comics, consisting (so far) of the comic collections Hellboy Animated: Phantom Legs (exclusive to the Sword of Storms DVD), Hellboy Animated: The Black Wedding and Hellboy Animated: The Judgement Bell.
The 2019 film is an R-rated reboot directed by Neil Marshall and stars David Harbour as Hellboy (Guillermo del Toro was not offered the full writer-director capacity he had in the first two films, and Ron Perlman refused to return without del Toro's involvement); the film is primarily an adaptation of the Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt, and The Storm and Fury arcs, and features Hellboy combating Nimue.
David Harbour has stated the film will be a "character piece, and feature mature themes and complicated subjects that will warrant the R-rating", and, to better prepare for the role of Hellboy, has been not only researching the character, but also texting Mike Mignola about his history, as well as what he might think about certain subjects; Harbour has also refrained from imitating Ron Perlman's depiction of Hellboy by depicting him as a "teenager", describing him as "younger, rougher and struggling with the idea of whether or not he's a good person". Mignola also described Harbour's take on Hellboy as "being more dramatic, gritty and emotionally explosive than Perlman's".
For the horned version of Hellboy, makeup designer Joel Harlow decided to make it an "amped up version" of Hellboy's normal look, stating "we created a look that was a more amped up version of the facial features that make him Hellboy: we gave him a larger jaw, a heavier brow, more vibrant yellow eyes, larger teeth and, of course, extremely large horns".
Hellboy appears in Netherrealm Studios' game Injustice 2 as a DLC character voiced by Bruce Barker. In his single-player ending, it is revealed that Brainiac had brought him to the DC universe in order to add him to his "special collection", to which Hellboy responds by beating him down. After that, his popularity rises after defeating Braniac, and he is offered positions from numerous individuals but quickly becomes bored, stating that 'it's not his thing'. When he returned back to his universe and the Bureau, it wasn't the same. Hellboy soon decided to retire from his job and takes refuge in Africa.
Hellboy also appeared in Injustice 2 Mobile.
Hellboy appears in Blue Mammoth Games' game Brawlhalla as an Epic Crossover skin for Cross.
Behind the Scenes
Hellboy was created by comic artist Mike Mignola, and is published in comic books by Dark Horse Comics Inc. He first appeared in San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2, and was soon given the lead role in his own comic book series written and drawn by Mignola, with assistance from John Byrne at first.
The character was well-received by comic readers and critics alike, and the character’s popularity has risen tremendously due to his appearances in other media, most notably the two live-action films Hellboy (2004) and Hellboy II: The Golden Army (see below), both directed by Guillermo del Toro, a devoted fan of the comic. To date, Hellboy remains Mignola’s most beloved and recognizable creation.
- According to Mignola, Hellboy’s personality was primarily based off of his father, a worker who often came home with many injuries, but always shrugged them off with dry humor.
- Originally, Hellboy was to be a member of a superhero team Mignola conceived, but the artist abandoned the team-concept when he failed to come up with suitable names for the other heroes.
- Lauded Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, who is an acknowledged major fan of Mignola’s work, wrote the introduction to the hardcover edition of the Conqueror Worm arc. Del Toro would later go on to direct two of three live-action Hellboy films that exist today.
- Hellboy’s name was born out of what began as a private joke to Mignola, who had randomly come up with the word, saying that he found the name “hilarious.”
- The Hellboy comic books, as well as the general artistic style of Mignola’s work, was tremendously influenced by the art of famed comic-book illustrator Jack Kirby, as well as influences by Gustav Dore, H. P. Lovecraft, and even Bram Stoker’s famed novel Dracula, which is one of Mignola’s favorites.
- In the film, Hellboy is often referred as demon by other characters, despite in comics, his true nature was a half-demon though it is hard to pinpoint due to the strange circumstances of his birth.
- Hellboy's aim with guns is terrible, but his throwing one is perfect.