Professor James Henry O’Donnell was a ward of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.
History[edit | edit source]
James Henry O’Donnell was once a world renowned expert on Ancient Languages with a special interest in the occult; teaching the subject at the University of Columbia. He was also an informal consultant to the B.P.R.D. who occassionaly liased with Trevor Bruttenholm.
Professor's O’Donnell's life changed drastically in 1987 when news reached Bruttenholm that world famous necromancer Alessandro Divizia had died. Divizia was regarded to have one of the most impressive library collections in the world and Bruttenholm wished to get hold of it in order to further expand the Bureau's knowledge base. Unable to get away, he asked James O’Donnell to investigate the late-necromancers mansion and the collection—accompanied by a reluctant Hellboy. Once there the two were separated—the exact circumstances remaining a mystery as only O’Donnell was privy to what truly happened. The Professor found himself in a secret room in the mansion, observing a ritual conducted by a dozen cloaked figures; the ghosts of some of human history's most notorious and well known occultist scientists. As Hellboy did battle with a strange, minotaur monster that manifested in the mansion, O’Donnell found himself alone with the ghosts of the occultists; including the spirit of Divizia. As the ritual became more intense and chaotic they shed their skins to reveal fly-like monsters beneath—all the while surrounding the professor.
What happened to O’Donnell after is unknown to the Bureau. After burning down the mansion in his battle with the minotaur, the professor was found by Hellboy wandering alone a few miles down the road a day later—his mental state having severely deteriorated. Since then the professor has been barely lucid most of the time, rambling to himself and others, and neglecting his own care. No longer capable of looking after himself he has become a ward of the Bureau; Bruttenholm would blame himself for O’Donnell's predicament.
Death[edit | edit source]
During the worldwide crisis, O'Donnell and many other remaining B.P.R.D. staff were heading towards a safe haven opened underneath Cavendish Hall in New York. Immediately they were set upon by monsters, and Ted Howards began to drag O'Donnell towards the haven. O'Donnell then ordered Howards, rather than to save him, to focus on slaying the monsters focusing on other B.P.R.D. personnel and civilians. With this, O'Donnell stood to hold off the monsters, sacrificing himself in order to allow everyone else at least a little more time to reach the haven.
Abilities and attributes[edit | edit source]
Professor O’Donnell was once a foremost scholar on ancient languages and the occult. Since the incident in 1987, despite his illness, his knowledge has increased tenfold. Now an expert in everything from alchemy, tarot, numerology, necromancy to the secret histories of the Ogdru Hem and the Hyperborean people he has shown the ability to recite entire texts from memory, even texts that nobody has seen or read in hundreds of years. He has become an invaluable asset to the B.P.R.D. despite his difficulties staying on topic and expressing himself to others.