Having a Hell of a Time with Hellboy
With a new movie in theaters week and the climatic final book in the series people all over the world are all set to be enjoying the adventures of Harry Potter, the boy wizard who in a short amount of time has become a pop culture icon. I could blog about J.K. Rowling's creation but honestly I don't think he needs the press (I will say that the fifth film "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the best one yet. It's got a great tone and it's the perfect length.) There is one supernatural hero though that I thought could use some press and deserves to be a pop culture icon, his name is Hellboy and he was created by writer/artist Mike Mignola in 1993. With Hellboy, Mignola found a fun and exciting way to combine his interests in the supernatural, folklore, pulp magazines, and monster movies. Hellboy could be best described as Raiders of the Lost Ark meets The X-Files with a dash of old school monster movies. Hellboy's origin story begins at the end of World War II on an island where the Nazi's have recruited the legendary Russian mystic Rasputin to summon them a mystical doomsday device. What Rasputin summons is a small infant demon with a right hand made of indestructible stone. The baby demon is found by a team of American soldiers. Hellboy is raised by a loving foster father and instead of becoming a monster, he becomes a monster hunter. He investigates and punches occult phenomenon into submission if he has too. Hellboys opponents have included nazis, sorcerers, werewolves, vampires, and mythic and folklore characters like Hecate and Babba Yaga. He may take on such unearthly opponents and isn't human himself but the charm of the series and the character is that Hellboy has the personality of a blue collar working class guy. You can enjoy Hellboy's adventures in a variety of formats. There's the graphic novel series written and beautifully drawn by Mignola. The first in the series is title Seed of Destruction There's the live action feature film directed by Guillermo Del Toro (who also directed the amazing film Pan's Labrynth) in which Ron Perlman is perfect as Hellboy. Del Toro and Perlman are currently hard at work on Hellboy 2 And lastly there are now two beautiful looking and highly enjoyable animated films on DVD (Hellboy: Sword of Storms and Hellboy Blood and Iron) in which the actors from Del Toro's movie voice the characters.