Do you have some questions about the upcoming Hellboy film? Questions like: why film a reboot at all? Why is it R-rated? Or, if you're new to this whole scene, perhaps you're just wondering who Hellboy is in the first place? Well, we're here to help.
Hellboy was originally conceived in 1991 by comic creator Mike Mignola, and appeared in various one-off stories and illustrations before his own title arrived in 1994. Despite his bright red, horned humanoid appearance, Hellboy is technically only half-demon, as the comics establish him to be the child of a Duke of Hell and a human witch. Born in Hell after his mother's body was taken there by his biological father, Hellboy was summoned to Earth in 1944 as the result of a Nazi occult ritual led by the sorcerer Grigori Rasputin . In the comics, he appears in England, where American soldiers and Professor Trevor Bruttenholm are investigating Nazi activity.
Over time, it became clear that the young Hellboy was, despite his appearance, an apparently good soul, and in a matter of years he was recruited to become the world's most effective paranormal investigator. Working with Bruttenholm as his mentor and surrogate father, Hellboy travels the world battling various paranormal threats.
As a half-demon, Hellboy possesses extraordinary strength and durability that allow him to continue fighting well past human limits. Perhaps most importantly, he's basically fireproof, which makes sense for someone who's half Hellspawn. Then there's the matter of his right hand.
Known as the Right Hand of Doom, it was grafted onto his infant body by his father at birth. The hand originally belonged to an ancient spirit called Anum, who was the creator of the Ogdru Jahad, legendary imprisoned creatures who are prophesied to one day be released and bring about the end of the world. Hellboy's Right Hand is the key to releasing and controlling the Ogdru Jahad, even if Hellboy himself would rather not. Beyond that, it's also a big heavy hand that he can use to hit monsters with.
In more recent comic book stories, Hellboy has assumed greater control over his demonic form, to the point that he can manipulate his own size and even sprout wings and full horns when he wishes, although this is not generally an ability explored in film versions of the character... yet.
Watch the video to see what else you should know before you see Hellboy.
Who is Hellboy? | 0:14
What are Hellboy's powers? | 1:19
Who is Nimue? | 2:25
Who is Professor Bruttenholm? | 3:12
What is the B.P.R.D.? | 3:57
Who is Lobster Johnson? | 4:52
Why is it a reboot? | 5:50
A casting controversy | 6:32
Why is it R-rated? | 7:17
How much is based on the comics? | 7:58
Why did David Harbour take the role? | 9:00