Hellboy, by Mike Mignola.
Publication information
Publisher Dark Horse Comics
First appearance prototype Dime Press #4 (Mar. 1993),U.S full color Next Men #21 1993
Created by Mike Mignola
In-story information
Alter ego Anung un Rama
Place of origin East Bromwich, UK
Team affiliations B.P.R.D.
Partnerships Abe Sapien
Liz Sherman
Johann Kraus
Notable aliases World Destroyer, Great Beast, Beast of the Apocalypse, Right Hand of Doom, Son of the Fallen One, Brother Red, Red, Man-Beast, Mane

Hellboy is a fictional character created by writer-artist Mike Mignola. The character first appeared in San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 (Aug. 1993), and has since appeared in various eponymous miniseries, one-shots and intercompany crossovers. The character has been adapted into two live-action feature films in 2004 and 2008 that starred Ron Perlman in the title role, and two straight-to-DVD animated films, as well as two video games – Asylum Seeker and The Science of Evil.

A well-meaning demon whose true name is Anung Un Rama ("and upon his brow is set a crown of flame"), Hellboy was summoned from Hell to Earth as an infant demon on December 23, 1944 (given as his birth date by Mike Mignola[1]) by Nazi occultists (spawning his hatred for them). He was discovered by the Allied Forces; amongst them, Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, who formed the United States Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD). In time Hellboy grew to be a large, red-skinned man with a tail, horns (which he files off, leaving behind the signature circular stumps on his forehead), cloven hooves for feet, and an over-sized right hand made of stone. He has been described as smelling of dry-roasted peanuts. Although a bit gruff, he shows none of the malevolence thought to be intrinsic to demons, and has a strong sense of humor. This is said to be because of his upbringing under Professor Bruttenholm, who raised him as a normal boy.

Hellboy works for the BPRD, an international non-governmental agency, and himself against dark forces including Nazis and Baba Yaga, in a series of tales that have their roots in folklore, pulp magazines, vintage adventure, Lovecraftian horror and horror fiction. In earlier stories, he is identified as the "World's Greatest Paranormal Investigator."

Fictional character biography

Hellboy, or Anung Un Rama as he was called, was conceived on October 5, 1617, the day his birthmother Sarah Hughes was on her deathbed. In life, Sarah was a witch who gained her powers from being a consort of the demon Azzael, a duke of Hell who is also Hellboy's biological father. Taking Sarah's body to Hell when she attempted to repent on her death bed within a church in East Bromwich, England, Azzael burned her away so their child would be born and chopped the newborn's right hand off to replace it with the Right Hand of Doom, a relic tied to the Ogdru Jahad. When the other princes of Hell learned of his actions, Azazel sent his half-demon child away while he was stripped of his powers and imprisoned in ice.

The child is eventually summoned to Earth in the final months of World War II by Grigori Rasputin on Tarmagant Island, off the coast of Scotland, having been commissioned by the Nazis to change the tide of war ("Project Ragna Rok"). As a direct result of this ritual, the child appears on Earth in a fireball at what remained of the ruined Bromwich Church on December 23, 1944. Proving not to be a devil, in the traditional sense, but a devil-like creature, the child was dubbed "Hellboy" by Professor Trevor "Broom" Bruttenholm.[2]

Taken by the United States armed forces to an Air Force base in New Mexico, Hellboy is raised by Professor Bruttenholm and the United States Army where the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD), a private organization dedicated to combating occult threats, begins. In 1952, Hellboy was granted "honorary human" status by the United Nations and becomes a member of the BPRD as the "world's greatest paranormal investigator". As such, Hellboy interacts regularly with humans, primarily law enforcement officials, the military, and various "scholars of the weird", most of whom are not presented as overtly reacting to his strange appearance.

As an adult, having matured physically within years and aging slowly while having a teenaged mind, Hellboy becomes the primary agent for the BPRD, alongside other human and quasi-human agents that include Kate Corrigan, a professor of folklore at New York University; Abe Sapien, an amphibian humanoid (Ichtyo sapiens); and Liz Sherman, a young female pyrokinetic. But things changed for Hellboy during the events of Seed of Destruction when he found Professor Bruttenholm after he disappeared in an expedition in the Arctic, witnessing his adopted father killed by a frog monster. The search takes Hellboy, Abe and Liz to the Cavendish Hall mansion, which was a trap established by Rasputin to have Hellboy embrace his destiny with the assistance of Sadu-Hem. Luckily, Abe impaled Rasputin before his body was incinerated by Liz's firestorm alongside Sadu-Hem. Soon after, during a visit to Bromwich Church, Hellboy gets a glimpse of his conception 300 years ago and learns he had two human half siblings: a nun and a priest whose spirits haunt the church after they died attempting to stop Azazel from claiming Sarah.

During the events of Hellboy: Wake the Devil, Hellboy's journey of self-discovery led him 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 before his assumed death at order of a fearful Adolf Hitler. The culprit of the theft is revealed to be Ilsa Haupstein, one of the surviving members of Project Ragna Rok who was revived from suspended animation and aids in Giurescu’s resurrection. Finding Castle Giurescu after splitting up with the other search groups, Hellboy learns that the source of Giurescu's rebirth is the ancient goddess Hecate. Though Hellboy destroyed Hecate's original body, he faces her again after Rasputin unintentionally provided her with Ilsa's iron-maiden encased body. Hecate swallows Hellboy, but he returns to his reality after he denounces the dark purpose he was born to perform.

Hellboy later learns that Liz is dying after losing her powers when she accidentally revived a homunculus while searching another location for Giurescu, finding Roger in the events of Hellboy: Almost Colossus as he convinces the homunculus to save Liz's life. Following the events of the Hellboy: The Right Hand of Doom, gaining insight about his stone hand and being referenced as a harbinger of the Apocalyse, Hellboy is accompanied by Abe to hunt down the warlock Igor Bromhead in Box Full of Evil. But it turned out to be a trap conducted by Bromhead and the demon Ualac to capture Hellboy so that the latter can claim Hellboy's normally invisible Crown of the Apocalypse. But this act allows Hellboy to no longer be controlled by his true name as he kills Ualac's mortal body before the demon and the crown are taken to Hell by the demon Astaroth, who is later revealed to be Hellboy's paternal uncle.

In the aftermath of Hellboy: Conqueror Worm, assisted by the ghost of Lobster Johnson, Roger, and Abe, a disillusioned Hellboy resigns from the Bureau before it later gains new agents in Johann Kraus, the spirit of a German medium kept in a containment suit; and Captain Ben Daimio, a special operations soldier that became an Olmec were-jaguar. From there, Hellboy decides to find out the truth of his existence once and for all. But, as revealed in Hellboy: Strange Places, Hellboy ends up being stranded on an island where he inadvertently resurrected an ancient mystic who gained knowledge of the secret history of the creation of Ogdru Jahad and the Right Hand of Doom.

Six years later, as Hellboy: Darkness Calls opens, Hellboy's search takes him to England where he finds himself in the middle of a power vacuum caused by Bromhead incapacitating Hecate in Italy. Refusing to serve the witches as their king, Hellboy ends up in the dimension of Baba Yaga, a witch who he encountered in the past and happens to be an ally of Rasputin's. Managing to defeat Baba Yaga's champion Koshchei, Hellboy returns to his reality and is led to Bromhead after he became monstrous and in agony from his attempt to take Hecate's powers for his own. Hellboy gives Bromhead a merciful death before returning to England during the events of Hellboy: The Wild Hunt where he encounters Alice Monaghan, a young woman he saved as a baby from a fairy named Gruagach who has revived the lunatic sorceress Nimue to fill the void left by Hecate.

During that time, Hellboy encounters the spirit of Morgana le Fay who reveals to Hellboy both the names of his parents and that Sarah Hughes was her descendant, which names Hellboy as the last living heir to Arthur Pendragon and the rightful king of England.[3] But as he also learns from Astaroth that he is destined to kill Satan and become the new king of Hell, Hellboy is reluctant to wield Excalibur and the army of undead British nobility amassed to face Nimue's army. Therefore, enlisting Baba Yaga's assistance with his eye as payment for the injury he did to her in their first meeting, Hellboy decides face Nimue one-on-one in the events of Hellboy: The Storm and the Fury. But in the aftermath of his battle with Nimue, who was possessed by Ogrud Jahad at the time, Hellboy is killed by the witch in her final moments. As revealed in Hellboy in Hell, Hellboy ends up trapped in the Abyss as he begins a journey to return to the land of the living while learning the full story of his origins.

Powers and abilities

Hellboy possesses superhuman strength, endurance, a degree of resistance to injury, and a healing factor that allows him to heal quickly from injuries. He also has the innate ability to comprehend ancient and magical languages. The extent of his strength is unclear, but he has torn down a large tree and hurled it at an opponent and has lifted massive stones. He has also picked up and thrown opponents weighing at least four to five hundred pounds. Hellboy has a high degree of resilience to injury. He can withstand powerful blows that would severely injure or kill a human. He survived being shot many times in the chest with an MG 42 machine gun before destroying it.[4] He has survived being impaled through the chest with a sword, severe werewolf mauling, being beaten unconscious with heavy iron tongs, falling from extreme heights, being crushed by boulders, and more. In the film version it is stated that Hellboy is immune to all forms of fire and burns, including Liz Sherman's flames, and electrocution. Despite his ability to quickly recover from seemingly mortal wounds, he is far from invulnerable, and can be injured or bloodied by conventional weapons. It is revealed to Baba Yaga by the dead Russian nobility that Hellboy may not be slain even through supernatural means and that he appears to be as deathless as her warrior, Koschei the Deathless.[5]

Hellboy ages very differently from humans. In the story Pancakes he is two years old but appears to be somewhere between 6 and 10 human years old. In Nature of the Beast, set in 1954, the ten-year-old Hellboy appears fully grown. His rapid physical maturation is in contrast to his actual rate of aging however, which seems to be much slower than humans. Throughout the sixty-year span of time depicted in the comics, he does not age beyond the plateau of physical maturity. This mystical aging process is similar to the other demons and supernatural beings that populate Hellboy's world. The lifespan of a Demon, or Half-demon as Hellboy's mother was human, are left undefined within the comics and seem to range from decades to many thousands of years. In the movies, Hellboy's aging process is described by on BRPD as "reverse dog years".

In addition to his natural physical abilities, Hellboy carries a variety of items in his utility belt and jacket that can be used against various supernatural forces. He has been known to carry holy relics, horseshoes, various herbs, and hand grenades. Though he commonly carries an oversized revolver, Hellboy freely admits to being a lousy shot and often fights hand-to-hand, preferring to use short-ranged physical weapons like swords, spears, and his massive stone fist over firearms. Hellboy's lack of formal combat training and education is compensated for by his decades of experience as a paranormal investigator, though encounters with unfamiliar threats have often forced him to resort to improvisation and using his wits.

Right Hand of Doom

As revealed in Strange Places, Hellboy's right hand was originally the right hand of Anum, one of the "greater spirits" that watched over the burgeoning Earth and created the Ogdru Jahad. After sealing the Ogdru Jahad away, Anum was destroyed by his fellow spirits. Only his right hand remained intact as it was kept and preserved by many races throughout history, including the first race of man. The Right Hand of Doom eventually ended up in the possession of Azzael before he grafted it onto the newborn Hellboy.

As the hand which created and bound the Ogdru Jahad, it is also the key which will "loose and command" them; in other words, it is a catalyst that will bring about Ragnarok. The comic books themselves never mention how the Right Hand of Doom would actually perform these tasks; it is only ever announced that this is the case and that someone or something intends to do it with or without Hellboy's consent. The film shows it working like a key: being turned twice in a special obelisk secured by Rasputin would release the Ogdru Jahad. It is made clear that it is not necessary for the arm to be attached to Hellboy to perform its duties. It has been suggested that if Hellboy dies while the Hand is attached to him, it would become useless. He has therefore concluded that the only way to prevent its falling into the wrong hands is to keep and protect it.

Concept and creation

Hellboy originated with a drawing Mike Mignola did at a convention of a demon with the name "Hellboy" written on his belt. The demon itself bears virtually no resemblance to Hellboy, and Mignola had no intention of doing anything serious with the concept, but later decided he liked the name.[6]

Later, Mignola became interested in doing a creator-owned comic, as he felt it made more sense to create his own characters for the stories he wanted to tell, rather than trying to shoehorn existing characters into these stories. Mignola elaborated, "The kinds of stories I wanted to do I had in mind before I created Hellboy. It’s not like I created Hellboy and said, 'Hey, now what does this guy do?' I knew the kinds of stories I wanted to do, but just needed a main guy." He initially created Hellboy as part of a team of five, but scrapped this idea when he realized he couldn't think of any team names that he liked.[6]

Much like other comic book superheroes such as Batman, Wolverine, Daredevil, and Spawn, Hellboy is constantly tormented by the knowledge of his past. One example being in Wake the Devil where he describes his mindset since the aftermath of Seed of Destruction by saying, "I like not knowing. I've gotten by for fifty-two years without knowing. I sleep good not knowing."

Publication history

Before Hellboy was published independently at Dark Horse Comics, the concept was initially pitched to a board of directors for DC Comics, who loved it, but did not like the idea of it involving "Hell".

The early stories were conceived and drawn by Mignola with a script written by John Byrne and some later stories have been crafted by creators other than Mignola, including Christopher Golden, Guy Davis, Ryan Sook, and Duncan Fegredo. The increasing commitments from the Hellboy franchise meant that the 2008 one-shot In the Chapel of Moloch was the first Hellboy comic Mignola had provided the script and art for since The Island in 2005.[7]


Hellboy has an internal numbering on the inside cover of its issues. Below are the stories listed by their internal numbering for the comics.

Issue Title Story Art Colors Cover Collection Notes
#1 Seed of Destruction Mike Mignola (story)
John Byrne (script)
Mike Mignola Mark Chiarello Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: Seed of Destruction
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 1
#5 The Wolves of Saint August Mike Mignola James Sinclair Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and Others
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 2
The Wolves of Saint August originally
appeared in Dark Horse Presents. It is
reprinted and expanded here.
#6 The Corpse and the Iron Shoes Mike Mignola Matthew Hollingsworth
and James Sinclair
Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and Others
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 2
The Corpse originally appeared in the
Advance Comics catalog. It is reprinted here.
#7 Wake the Devil Mike Mignola James Sinclair Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: Wake the Devil
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 1
#12 Almost Colossus Mike Mignola James Sinclair Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and Others
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 2
#14 A Christmas Underground
(in the Hellboy Christmas Special)
Mike Mignola Dave Stewart Gary Gianni
  • Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and Others
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 2
This was a one-shot anthology featuring
the work of Mike Mignola, Gary Gianni
and Steve Purcell.
#15 Box Full of Evil Mike Mignola Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: The Right Hand of Doom
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 2
#17 Conqueror Worm Mike Mignola Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: Conqueror Worm
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 3
#21 The Third Wish Mike Mignola Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: Strange Places
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 3
#23 The Island Mike Mignola Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: Strange Places
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 3
#25 Makoma Mike Mignola Richard Corben
with Mike Mignola
Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: The Troll Witch
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 4
#26 Richard Corben
#27 Darkness Calls Mike Mignola Duncan Fegredo Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: Darkness Calls
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 5
#33 The Crooked Man Mike Mignola Richard Corben Dave Stewart Richard Corben
  • Hellboy: The Crooked Man and Others
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 4
#36 In the Chapel of Moloch Mike Mignola Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: The Crooked Man and Others
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 4
#37 The Wild Hunt Mike Mignola Duncan Fegredo Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: The Wild Hunt
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 5
#38 Features How Koshchei Became Deathless backup
Story by Mike Mignola with art by Guy Davis
Not yet collected
#40 Features Baba Yaga's Feast backup
Story by Mike Mignola with art by Guy Davis
Not yet collected
#41 Features a MonsterMen backup
By Gary Gianni
Not a part of the Hellboy Universe
#43 Features The Burial of Katharine Baker backup
Story by Scott Allie with art by Patric Reynolds
Collected in Witchfinder: In the Service of Angels
#45 The Bride of Hell Mike Mignola Richard Corben Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: The Bride of Hell and Others
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 6
#46 Hellboy in Mexico Mike Mignola Richard Corben Dave Stewart Richard Corben
Mike Mignola (variant)
  • Hellboy: The Bride of Hell and Others
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 6
#47 The Storm Mike Mignola Duncan Fegredo Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy: The Storm and the Fury
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 6
#50 Double Feature of Evil Mike Mignola Richard Corben Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
Richard Corben (variant)
  • Hellboy: The Bride of Hell and Others
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 6
#51 The Sleeping and the Dead Mike Mignola Scott Hampton Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
Scott Hampton (variant)
  • Hellboy: The Bride of Hell and Others
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 6
#52 Mike Mignola
#53 Buster Oakley Gets His Wish Mike Mignola Kevin Nowlan Kevin Nowlan
Dave Stewart (variant cover)
Kevin Nowlan
Mike Mignola (variant)
  • Hellboy: The Bride of Hell and Others
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 6
#54 Being Human Mike Mignola Richard Corben Dave Stewart Richard Corben
  • B.P.R.D.: Being Human
#55 The Fury Mike Mignola Duncan Fegredo Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
Francesco Francavilla (variant)
  • Hellboy: The Storm and the Fury
  • Hellboy Library Edition - Volume 6
#56 Mike Mignola

Issues (Hellboy in Hell)

Hellboy in Hell is an ongoing series with its own numbering.

Issue Title Date Story Art Colors Cover Collection
#1 The Descent December 5, 2012 Mike Mignola Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
  • Hellboy in Hell - Volume 1:
    The Descent
#2 Pandemonium January 2, 2013
#3 Family Ties February 6, 2013
#4 Death Riding an Elephant March 6, 2013
#5 The Three Gold Whips December 4, 2013
#6 The Death Card May 14, 2014 Mike Mignola Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
#7 The Hounds of Pluto August 26, 2015
#8 September 23, 2015

Trade Paperbacks

All in-continuity Hellboy comics are collected in trade paperbacks.

Number Title Collects Published ISBN
1 Seed of Destruction
  • Seed of Destruction
    (4-issue miniseries)
  • Mike Mignola's Hellboy
    (promo from San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2)
  • Mike Mignola's Hellboy:
    World's Greatest Paranormal Investigator

    (promo from Comics Buyer's Guide #1070)
Original Cover:
1 October 1994
Hardcover Limited Edition:
1 March 1995
Standardized cover:
4 February 2004
2 Wake the Devil
  • Wake the Devil
    (5-issue miniseries)
Original Cover:
11 June 1997
Standardized cover:
4 February 2004
3 The Chained Coffin and Others Original Cover:
5 August 1998
Standardized cover:
4 February 2004
4 The Right Hand of Doom
  • Pancakes
    (short story)
  • The Nature of the Beast
    (from Dark Horse Presents #151)
  • King Vold
    (short story)
  • Heads
    (short story)
  • Goodbye, Mister Tod
    (short story)
  • The Vârcolac
    (serialized short)
  • The Right Hand of Doom
    (short story)
  • Box Full of Evil
    (2-issue miniseries)
Original Cover:
26 April 2000
Standardized cover:
4 February 2004
5 Conqueror Worm
  • Conqueror Worm
    (4-issue miniseries)
Original Cover:
27 February 2002
Standardized cover:
4 February 2004
6 Strange Places
  • The Third Wish
    (2-issue miniseries)
  • The Island
    (2-issue miniseries)
26 April 2006 978-1-59307-475-3
7 The Troll Witch and Others
  • The Penanggalan
    (short story)
  • The Hydra and The Lion
    (short story)
  • The Troll-Witch
    (short story)
  • Dr. Carp's Experiment
    (short story)
  • The Ghoul
    (short story)
  • The Vampire of Prague
    (short story)
  • Makoma
    (2-issue miniseries)
3 October 2007 978-1-59307-860-7
8 Darkness Calls
  • Darkness Calls
    (6-issue miniseries)
16 May 2008 978-1-59307-896-6
9 The Wild Hunt
  • The Wild Hunt
    (8-issue miniseries)
10 March 2010 978-1-59582-431-8
10 The Crooked Man and Others
  • The Crooked Man
    (3-issue miniseries)
  • They That Go Down to the Sea in Ships
    (one shot)
  • In the Chapel of Moloch
    (one shot)
  • The Mole
    (short story)
9 June 2010 978-1-59582-477-6
11 The Bride of Hell and Others
  • Hellboy in Mexico
    (one shot)
  • Double Feature of Evil
    (one shot)
  • The Sleeping and the Dead
    (2-issue miniseries)
  • The Bride of Hell
    (one shot)
  • The Whittier Legacy
    (short story)
  • Buster Oakley Gets His Wish
    (one shot)
5 October 2011 978-1-59582-740-1
12 The Storm and the Fury
  • The Storm
    (3-issue miniseries)
  • The Fury
    (3-issue miniseries)
7 March 2012 978-1-59582-827-9

Trade Paperbacks (Hellboy in Hell)

All Hellboy in Hell comics are collected in trade paperbacks.

Number Title Collects Published ISBN
1 The Descent[8]
  • Hellboy in Hell #1-5
2014 978-1-61655-444-6

Library Editions

These editions collect the stories in the size they're originally drawn.

Volume Collects Published ISBN
  • Seed of Destruction
  • Wake the Devil
7 May 2008 978-1-59307-910-9
  • The Chained Coffin and Others
  • The Right Hand of Doom
8 October 2008 978-1-59307-989-5
  • Conqueror Worm
  • Strange Places
23 September 2009 978-1-59582-352-6
  • The Crooked Man and Others
  • The Troll Witch and Others
15 June 2011 978-1-59582-658-9
  • Darkness Calls
  • The Wild Hunt
11 July 2012 978-1-59582-886-6
  • The Storm and the Fury
  • The Bride of Hell and Others
12 June 2013 978-1-61655-133-9

Other Trade Paperbacks

Notable Appearances

Beyond the Hellboy comic and its associated spin-offs, Hellboy has made appearances in other publications:

Great Salt Lake Comic-Con pamphlet

The character name "Hell Boy" was included in a drawing by Mike Mignola of a demon character in a black and white illustration, with the later recognized name appearing on the demon's belt buckle. This image, accompanied by a short biography of Mike Mignola and his latest creation, appeared in the pamphlet in 1991. It is the first published mention of the later recognized name. This image was reprinted in The Art of Hellboy.

Dime Press

A prototype incarnation of Hellboy appeared on the cover of Dime Press #4 (Glamour International Production, 1993), an obscure Italian fanzine, with "Hellboy©Mignola 93" written at the bottom of the cover. The cover, illustrated by Mignola and by the Italian artist Nicola Mari, show Hellboy in the act of attacking a "diabolic" version of the Italian SF comic book character Nathan Never (with bat wings and pointed tail). Mari at the time was one of the artists that worked on Nathan Never, and the first two years of life of this comic were the main topic of the fanzine. With the exception of the cover, there is no other mention of Hellboy within the fanzine. The character shown was still in a draft stage, and although close to the final design of Hellboy, it had gray skin and an outfit not common to the character.

San Diego Comic-Con Comics

Mike Mignola's Hellboy by Mike Mignola and John Byrne featured the character's first full appearance, and was a four-page black-and-white story that had an approximately 1,500 book print run. It was published by Dark Horse Comics in San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 (August 1993) for distribution at the San Diego Comic-Con fan convention held in San Diego, California.[9]

Hellboy travels to an American ghost town, where he encounters a mangy mutt that transforms into Anubis, the Ancient Egyptian god of mummification.[10]

The story was collected in the trade paperback Hellboy: Seed of Destruction.[11]

Next Men

Hellboy makes a guest appearance in John Byrne's Next Men #21; this is the first American appearance in a full color cameo.

Comics Buyer's Guide

Mike Mignola's Hellboy: World's Greatest Paranormal Investigator by Mike Mignola and John Byrne featured the character's next solo appearance. It was published by Dark Horse Comics in a special four-page mini-comic for distribution in Comics Buyer's Guide #1,070 (May 20, 1994).[12]

In the story Hellboy battles with the disembodied head of Nazi scientist Herman von Klempt and his puppet henchman Brutus the Gorilla to rescue a captive girl from the doctor's transference of nutrient fluids process.[10]

The story was collected in the trade paperback Hellboy: Seed of Destruction.[11]

Celebrate Diversity

Hi, My Name is Hellboy by Mike Mignola was a one-page panel ad that related the characters fictional origins. It was published by Diamond Comic Distributors in catalog supplement Celebrate Diversity collector's edition (October 1994).[13] The ad was collected in the trade paperback The Art of Hellboy.

In other media



Main article: Hellboy (film)

Guillermo del Toro co-wrote and directed a Hellboy feature film in 2004, sharing the credit with the original screenwriter Peter Briggs following Writers Guild of America arbitration.[14] Del Toro, a fan of Mike Mignola's work, had previously written the preface to Hellboy: Conqueror Worm.

The film starred Ron Perlman as Hellboy (the favorite of both del Toro and Mignola for the role), Selma Blair as Liz Sherman, Rupert Evans as FBI Special Agent John Myers (a character created for the film), John Hurt as Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, Doug Jones as Abe Sapien (voiced by an uncredited David Hyde Pierce), Karel Roden as Grigori Rasputin, and Jeffrey Tambor as FBI Senior Special Agent Tom Manning. The film depicts Hellboy as living at the BPRD with a dozen cats and limited access to the outside world, and considered an urban legend by the general populace.

The film received generally positive reviews, and a fair performance at the box office. However, the film debuted in theaters while The Passion of the Christ was still playing, and, according to del Toro's DVD commentary, some theaters would re-title the film on their signs, or outright refuse to play it to avoid running a "devil" movie against Passion.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Main article: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

A sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, was shot in Budapest by Guillermo del Toro and released in 2008, featuring the returning talents of Perlman and Blair.[15] Jones also returned not only in the role as Abe Sapien (undubbed this time), but in two other roles: The Angel of Death and The Chamberlain.[16] Revolution Studios had planned on making the film (which Columbia Pictures was to distribute), but the studio went out of business before filming. Universal Studios then picked it up. The plot is a shift to more folklore rather than action, with heavy European overtones. The character of Johann Krauss was added to the team, voiced by Seth MacFarlane. The character Roger the Homunculus was not, but he was written into the plot as a very prominent character in early drafts of the script (Roger can be seen as a lifeless statue in the background BPRD hallway shot in both the first and second films). The character of Agent Myers from the first film does not return, his absence being explained by Liz remarking that Hellboy had him transferred to Antarctica out of jealousy. Hellboy also reveals himself to the outside world in this film, and Liz is revealed to be pregnant with his children, twins. On November 11, 2008, Hellboy II: The Golden Army was released on DVD.


Main article: Hellboy Animated

On November 9, 2005, IDT Entertainment issued a press release[17] announcing that the company had licensed the rights to develop "animated content for television and home entertainment" based on the Hellboy comic. Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Selma Blair (Liz Sherman), Doug Jones (Abe Sapien) and John Hurt (Professor Trevor "Broom" Bruttenholm) have all voiced their respective characters. Actress Peri Gilpin joined the cast as Professor Kate Corrigan.

The first two 75-minute animated movies, Sword of Storms and Blood and Iron, were aired on Cartoon Network before being released on DVD. The first one aired October 28, 2006, and the second aired March 17, 2007.

Both stories have much more in common with the comic book Hellboy rather than the film — Abe Sapien is not psychic, for example, and the artwork and color palette is derived more closely to Mignola's original artwork. The DVD of Sword of Storms was released on February 6, 2007; it contains documentary material commentary and a Hellboy comic, "Phantom Limbs". Blood and Iron similarly contains a comic called "The Yearning".

After the initial release, some stores included exclusive giveaways with copies of the Hellboy Animated: Blood and Iron DVD:

  • Best Buy: A 7" Hellboy figure.
  • Walmart: An 80-page digest titled The Judgment Bell.
  • Transworld: A 64-page Hellboy Digest.
  • Infinity: A Lobster Johnson magnet.
  • Circuit City - A Hellboy "Bust Up".

A "Hellboy 2 Pak" limited edition DVD set was released July 1, 2008, that contained both films and a 7" figure.

A third animated Hellboy film, The Phantom Claw, has been put on hold. Tad Stones, director and writer of the direct-to-video movies, says the film will star Lobster Johnson and will have some familiar characters, but Abe and Liz will not be in the film (at least not as main characters).

Novels and anthologies

Christopher Golden has written several novels about the character, the first two of which, The Lost Army and The Bones of Giants, are part of the official Hellboy story canon. The events of both these novels are listed in the comic's official timeline featured in Hellboy: The Companion. In particular, the Golden-penned character of Anastasia Bransfield was also described in the companion, despite having never actually appeared in a comic.

Video games

A Hellboy video game called Hellboy: Dogs of the Night, Hellboy: Asylum Seeker was released for the PC and the PlayStation, by Cryo Interactive/DreamCatcher Interactive Inc. It has no relation to the movie series.

On April 6, 2005, Hellboy movie director Guillermo del Toro announced on his official site[18] that he had made a deal with developer Konami to create a new Hellboy videogame based on the movie version of the character and his world, featuring new monsters, new villains, and a new storyline. Herman von Klempt and his war ape Kriegaffe #10 are slated to make appearances.

On May 9, 2006, it was revealed that the Hellboy game would appear in the summer of 2007, on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PlayStation Portable. The game was released in North America on June 24, 2008 with the name Hellboy: The Science of Evil. It is developed by Krome Studios, and published by Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. As well as single player campaign where the player gets to play as Hellboy the game also features co-op play, featuring the characters Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and Lobster Johnson.

A Hellboy video game called Hellboy II: The Golden Army - Tooth Fairy Terror was released for the IPhone by Tuesday Creative on January 14, 2009.

Role-playing game

The Hellboy Sourcebook and Role Playing Game, based on the GURPS role-playing game system, was published by Steve Jackson Games in August 2002.


Hellboy is featured in WizKids' Indy HeroClix line with several different booster packs. He also has his own HeroClix/HorrorClix cross-line collector's set called Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.

Card game

Hellboy was also part of Upper Deck's VS System card game as the first non-Marvel Comics or DC Comics character.[19]

Appearances in popular culture

  • Hellboy appears as a "borrowed character" in author Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula series, specifically in the novella Andy Warhol's Dracula (2004) where he joins the ranks of Blade, Shaft, Travis Bickle, the Punisher, Paul Kersey, Scooby-Doo, and Shaggy in hunting down Johnny Pop, a vampire drug dealer.[20]
  • Hellboy has made guest appearances in Erik Larsen's long running comic book series, "The Savage Dragon".
  • Hellboy makes a one-panel cameo appearance during a hallucination sequence in Frank Miller's Sin City: Hell and Back.
  • Hellboy made a cameo as a trick or treater in the last page of the Sam & Max story "Belly of the Beast".
  • Hellboy also appears in an issue of Eric Powell's Eisner Award-winning series The Goon.[21]
  • Hellboy made a one-panel cameo appearance, along with several other borrowed characters, in the Shi/Cyblade crossover The Battle for Independents from Image Comics.
  • Hellboy appeared in Madman Comics #5 (January 1995).
  • Abe Sapien, a popular character from Hellboy, appears in John Byrne's Babe 2 #2.
  • In Kevin Smith's film Dogma (1999), one of the Stygian Triplets is seen wearing a Hellboy T-shirt.
  • In one of the ending themes for Sayonara, the animation and graphic style is the same one used in the Hellboy comic books.
  • A large poster of Hellboy appears in a comic shop in the 2010 movie Kick-Ass.[22]
  • Hellboy makes somewhat of a cameo in the fifth volume of Requiem Chevalier Vampire, as a number of servants bear a striking resemblance to him.[23]
  • Hellboy appeared in the Mad episode "Garfield of Dreams / I Hate My Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" voiced by Fred Tatasciore, where he advertises his magical Left Hand of Doom which can solve all lefty problems.
  • An action figure heavily resembling Hellboy can be seen on the teenagers nightstand in the Justice League Unlimited Episode: "Wake The Dead."
  • YuGiOh creator Kazuki Takahashi and Mike Mignola swapped renditions of their respective characters-i.e. a Takahashi take on Hellboy and a Mignola take on Yugi Mutoh-for a special issue of Shonen Jump.
  • In the movie Blade II the character of Scud played by Norman Reedus wears a B.P.R.D. emblem T-shirt. Ron Perlman acted in, and Guillermo del Toro directed Blade II and the 2 Hellboy movies.


The miniseries Hellboy: Conqueror Worm won a 2002 Eisner Award for "Best Limited Series", while The Art of Hellboy won an Eisner in 2004 for "Best Comics-Related Book". Mignola won a 2000 Harvey Award for "Best Artist", based on Hellboy: Box Full of Evil. Hellboy: Darkness Calls won a 2007 Eagle Award for "Favourite Colour Comicbook — American".

The character Hellboy was nominated for "Favourite Comics Character" at the 2004 and 2005 Eagle Awards. Other Eagle Award nominations include "Favourite Comics Story published during 2007" for Hellboy: Darkness Calls, and "Favourite Comics Hero".

Acclaimed comics writer Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Watchmen) listed Hellboy on his recommendations page, particularly Wake the Devil (Vol. 2), calling it "the skillful cutting and the setting of the stone that we can see Mignola's sharp contemporary sensibilities at work". [24]

In March 2009, the Dark Horse Comics character, Hellboy, won two categories in the fan voted Project Fanboy Awards for 2008: "Best Indy Hero" and "Best Indy Character".[25]

See also


  1. "Mike Mignola Exclusive Hellboy Fury Print at The Comic Bug!". Retrieved 2011-10-06. 
  2. Hellboy. (2004)
  3. Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #6
  4. The Lost Army
  5. Hellboy: Darkness Calls
  6. 6.0 6.1 Irving, Christopher (April 2007). "The Genesis of Hellboy". [[wikipedia:Back Issue!|]] ([[wikipedia:TwoMorrows Publishing|]]) (21): 3–5. 
  7. "Going to the Chapel: Mignola Returns to Drawing Hellboy". [[wikipedia:Comic Book Resources|]]. October 27, 2008. 
  8. Means-Shannon, Hannah. "SDCC last gasp: Mike Mignola celebrates Hellboy’s 20th anniversary". The New York Post. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  9. "San Diego Comic Con Comics #2". Retrieved 2009-02-21. [dead link]
  10. 10.0 10.1 Mignola, Mike (2004). Hellboy: Seed of Destruction. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 978-1-59307-094-6. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Hellboy: Seed of Destruction". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  12. "Mike Mignola's Hellboy: World's Greatest Paranormal Investigator". Retrieved 2009-02-21. [dead link]
  13. "Celebrate Diversity (Collector's Edition)". Retrieved 2009-02-21. [dead link]
  14. Peter Briggs interview - TVNZ's 'Good Morning' on YouTube
  15. "Universal Pictures Picks Up Hellboy 2". [dead link]
  16. "Start Date for Hellboy 2 Confirmed". [[wikipedia:IGN|]]. March 20, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 
  17. "IDT Entertainment Licenses Animation Rights to Hellboy From Revolution Studios". IDT Corporation. November 9, 2005. 
  18. "Del Toro Films - Guillermo Del Toro Fansite". 
  19. Arune Singh (May 10, 2006). "Hellboy Joins Upper Deck's "Vs" Gaming System". [[wikipedia:Comic Book Resources|]]. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  20. Graeme McMillan (December 26, 2008). "Just How Is Everything Connected?". [[wikipedia:io9|]]. Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  21. Joey Esposito (January 20, 2010). "The Goon Goes Digital + Buzzard Gets a Series". [[wikipedia:Crave Online|]]. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  22. Ryan K Lindsay (May 3, 2010). "Kick-Ass - Movie Review". The Weekly Crisis. Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  23. Laurent Deneuve. "Dragon Blitz" (in fr). ActuSF. Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  24. "Alan Moore Recommends". Archived from the original on December 29, 2007. 
  25. "Project Fanboy Award Winners". 

External links

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