Read about one of the Outhousers' favorite characters in the weekly Character Spotlight! This week, we look at one of Mike Mignola's greatest creations, Hellboy!
With the recent news of Hellboy's pending demise, this week's Character Spotlight will focus on all the reasons you should still love him like he loves kitties.
Origin Story: Few things that begin with Nazis end well, Hellboy being one of the exceptions. He is the son of a demon and a human witch, brought to Earth by Nazi scientists (with the help of Rasputin) and raised by the U.S. government. He is surprisingly normal for someone with that crazy of a background, at least he seems like an average Joe to me. This is probably because he was in part kindly raised by a Professor who treated him like a normal boy, red skin and all. The moment Hellboy ate pancakes, demons moaned the he was lost to them. Today, he works for the government that raised him, investigating paranormal activity and generally punching evil in the face.
Character Appeal: You know how sometimes well-intentioned people can push you toward a future you don't want, just so you have a future at all? Subtract the well-intentioned part and you have one of Hellboy's main crises: many of the more supernatural figures Hellboy encounters thinks they know exactly how his life is going to play out. And he tells every single one of them "Hell, no." (Pun definitely intended) Hellboy, like many of us, struggles to find his own way in a world that is constantly telling him who he should be and what he should feel. He's a red-bodied beacon of free will and fuck you.
He's also just... eccentric. Everything from his sawed-off horns to his stony right hand screams "weird." He makes jokes and doesn't seem to take anything too seriously, especially when things get really freaky, and it really makes him a likable guy. When things do get weird, you can always count on him to fight and blow shit up like it ain't even a thang.
Top Storylines: In the miniseries Seed of Destruction, Hellboy discovers that he was brought to this earth by the eternally creepy Rasputin to unleash the forces of Hell. This is also where Hellboy first battles against the fates that seek to control him. The next storyline, Wake the Devil, finds Hellboy & Co. investigating claims of a reawakened vampire in, where else?, Romania. There, they encounter the goddess of witches, Hecate, and good ol' disembodied Rasputin – both trying to end the world. Again, it's Hellboy's defiance to be complicit in any world-ending that saves the day – along with some freaking awesome explosions. In the course of his normal line of work, he bumps into the spirit of Morgan le Fey (you know, King Arthur's witch sister/ill-fated one night stand) who claimed Hellboy is her last living descendant... which makes him King of England. His response, as usual, is something along the lines of "that sounds suspiciously like work" and he never really follows through, except to draw Excalibur. No one really seems to put a lot of weight behind folklore anymore. Now that Mignola has announced that he is killing off the character, I'm sure the people of England will mourn what might have been and satisfy themselves with their own whitebread royal family.
Hellboy Can Even Beat Superman: Hellboy isn't immortal, but it's extremely difficult to kill him. He's a good fighter, with strength, speed, and regenerative qualities, so it would probably be a pretty even fight. It would probably also be a seemingly endless fight, so in the interest of beating Supe, here's what I think would happen: Hellboy's walking along, minding his own business, and some woman (probably a lady Supe wants to impress) starts screaming, so then Superman shows up and starts throwing punches. Hellboy is miffed and starts hitting back, so they fight for a few minutes and destroy valuable downtown property. Then Hellboy looks around and says, "Hey, buddy, what's your problem?" Superman replies, "You started it." Hellboy says, "Like hell I did," and Superman stops hitting him. They start talking for a few minutes, find out that they both have otherworldly origins and confusing personal lives, and decide to get together for dinner some time. Exciting? Probably not, but I think it would be downright hysterical.
Where is Hellboy now?: Well, in October he's slated to die. Given that his work is paranormal research, I really wonder if (to quote one of my favorite bad movies, "The Mummy") death is only the beginning for Hellboy. In the meantime, he continues to be in the hearts of his fans.
Written or Contributed by: The Resident