Is the ‘Hellboy’ a Redemptive Hero or a Demon Borne?
Hellboy is a film based on the comic book about a half-demon who aids in paranormal investigations. The below-linked trailer contains some profanity and violence, but as we're always interested in anything with Religious symbolism, we decided it was worth a little look to understand what was going on with this character.
Who is Anung Un Rama Aka Hellboy?
Hellboy is a demonic hybrid. His human mother was a witch, and his demon father was a demon. Hellboy's mother was killed during childbirth (that's an entirely different story), and Hellboy's demon father severed the infant's right hand and replaced it with the Right Hand of Doom, a super-powerful relic with a fantastic name.
Hellboy is unintentionally called by Nazis attempting to alter the course of World War II, bringing him to Earth just as all the demon-related events are proceeding according to plan. When the Allies seize Germany, the United States Air Force begins to properly care for Hellboy.
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This is how Hellboy becomes a decent person (and he is a good person! ), and as an adult, he pursues paranormal monsters like that of Van Helsing. There is a plethora of bizarre lore about Hellboy's parents and extended family (he has half-siblings, a priest, and a nun), but for this film, we'll ignore it.
Hellboy, According to the Comics Culture
Mignola entered the comic book industry to draw monsters. And if you're familiar with the monsters who populate the pages of his terrifying stories, you'll know that many of them are more than just nightmare-inducing beasts.
Red and his fellow monsters are outstanding examples of complex monsters. Mignola is justifiably acknowledged as a singular artist for this reason. Who knows if he would have been the same artist without Wrightson's influence?
According to Mignola, the renowned artist whose Swamp Thing illustrations are widely regarded as the pinnacle of monster painting inspired him to give spirit to his creatures. Mignola's art reflects Wrightson's influence, but I'd argue that the Hellboy creator is more original than he gives himself credit for.
Frank Frazetta and Mike Kaluta, according to Mignola, are the other artists whose styles influenced his. He is not the only creator to have been inspired by these greats.
Dracula and Gothic Horror Are Related to Hellboy
Mignola has a penchant for Gothic settings and eerie, atmosphere-drenched ghost stories. This can be traced back to his childhood reading and adoration of Bram Stoker‘s Dracula. In an interview with NPR, he reminisced about how encountering the bloodsucking antagonist altered his life and forever shaped his approach.
In a chat with BLDGBLOG, Mignola also mentioned his love of Dracula, noting that the story ingrained in him a love of old-fashioned horror that is now in his DNA. Mignola's writing has also been significantly influenced by William Hope Hodgson‘s seafaring ghost stories.
What Happens Next in the Hellboy Series?
Baba Yaga is another supernatural entity portrayed in the new film. This creepy creature is inspired by a Russian fairytale witch who lives in a cottage on chicken legs in the forest. This is one of the numerous esoteric references that populate the pages of Hellboy, and their real-life stories are just as fascinating as their depictions in stories about the cigar-chewing demon.