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The Penanggalan is a short story in which Hellboy faces a Malaysian demon.

Publication History[]

The Penanggalan was originally published as part of Hellboy Premiere Edition in March 2004. The issue, an exclusive published through Wizard magazine #148, also contained the B.P.R.D. story Born Again. The issue was published with 3 covers, one by Mike Mignola showing an image from The Penanggalan, one by Guy Davis showing the members of the B.P.R.D. and Hellboy, and a cover exclusive to the Los Angeles Wizard World showing a picture of Ron Perlman as Hellboy.

The Penanggalan was reprinted, with small changes,[1] as part of Hellboy – Volume 7: The Troll Witch and Others in October 2007.

A digital version of this comic was also included on the DVD of Hellboy: Blood and Iron.


Hellboy travels Malaysia in 1958. A Malay girl tells Hellboy that there was once an old woman who got so startled that she kicked her own head off. The woman's head and organs flew out of her body and became a demon, the first Penanggalan. The girl continues, that once the people respected the local Penanggalan and were able to pacify her. However, the older generation is gone and the Penanggalan has returned.

The girl takes Hellboy to the Penanggalan's cave. Hellboy sees the body of a Penanggalan, but realizes that it cannot be the current demon plaguing the area and that there must be another. He turns to see the headless body of the girl fall to the ground. The new Penanggalan attacks Hellboy, tangling him in her organs. Hellboy leaps outside as the sun rises, destroying the demon.

Story Chronology[]

The story takes place in 1958, the same year as The Crooked Man.


  1. Mignola redrew the art in two panels
Hellboy Publication Order
Preceded by
Dr. Carp's Experiment
The Penanggalan
Followed by
The Troll-Witch
Hellboy Trade Paperback Order
Vol. 6 Strange Places Vol. 7 The Troll Witch and Others
Preceded by
The Island
The Penanggalan
Followed by
The Hydra and the Lion
Hellboy Story Chronology
Preceded by
King Vold
The Penanggalan
Same time as
The Crooked Man
Followed by
The Corpse
World's Greatest Paranormal Investigator (CBG)