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By Chad Derdowski
OverviewHellboy is a demon who, as a member of the United States government's Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD), investigates, and more often than not, battles a variety of supernatural creatures both in America and around the world.
His true name is Anung Un Rama, the Destroyer of Worlds. He is known as the Beast of the Apocalypse and the Right Hand of Doom as well as the World's Greatest Paranormal Investigator, and he is likely the Antichrist. Fortunately for us, he's one of the good guys.
OriginThe demon known as Anung Un Rama was brought to earth by Nazi occultists in an attempt to change the tide of war and discovered by Allied Forces. Adopted by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, Hellboy was raised as a normal boy and eventually ended up as the primary agent for the BPRD.
HistoryThrough the years, Hellboy has undertaken a variety of missions for the BPRD involving werewolves, goblins, ghouls and mummies. Several of these missions, though, have revealed important elements of his past.
On a 1995 visit to Scotland, Hellboy returned to the ruins of the church where he first appeared in this world, only to have a dreamlike vision of his origins. A witch and a demon prince shared a night of passion, resulting in Hellboy laying dormant inside her until the demon returned at the end of her life to reclaim his child. In 1998, Hellboy discovered that his right hand is the key to triggering the apocalypse, and in 2001, after defeating Herman von Klempt and the Conqueror Worm, Hellboy quit the BPRD to seek out the truth about his origins, a mission he is still undertaking.
Powers/AbilitiesHellboy possesses superhuman strength and durability. He can uproot trees and lift cars but is still able to be injured by conventional weapons. He heals at an extraordinarily fast rate and has withstood being stabbed through the chest with a sword. Hellboy ages at a rate much slower than normal humans and does not appear to have aged since reaching maturity. He also displays an uncanny ability to decipher magical languages.
Weapons/ParaphrenaliaHellboy wears a utility belt supplied with holy relics, horseshoes and hand grenades. He often carries a gigantic revolver known as The Good Samaritan, fashioned from melted church bells.
Comic and Film AppearancesThe first appearance of Hellboy was a black-and-white illustration in the 1991 program for the Great Salt Lake Comic Con. His debut in sequential art form was in San Diego Comic Con Comics, published by Dark Horse and released at the 1993 convention.
He has been portrayed by Ron Perlman in two films directed by Guillermo del Toro as well as two animated features.