Welcome to Off Screen, a new Movies.com feature that follows up on big screen characters in other media, be they comics, books, TV shows or video games.
So, while all eyes have been on DC’s 52-issue reset of their entire comic book line and Marvel’s been getting national press with a bi-racial Spider-Man, artist/writer Mike Mignola has been quietly planning the demise of his signature character over in the pages of the comic mini-series Hellboy: The Fury. Yes, Hellboy, like so many comic characters before him, is being killed off. The difference? Mignola says it’s permanent. “I don't have any second thoughts about doing this,” he told Comic Book Resources.
Don’t cry just yet; this isn’t quite the end for Hellboy. Mignola will be writing an epilogue of sorts with Hellboy In Hell, and the creator promises more stories set in Hellboy’s past, as well as comics exploring how the B.P.R.D. (Bureau of Paranormal Research and Development) deal with the loss of their partner and friend. All of these posthumous Hellboy comics will see release by Hellboy’s longtime publishers at Dark Horse, and guided by Mike Mignola’s editorial hand (when he isn’t crafting the stories himself).
Hellboy made his first appearance on a Salt Lake comic convention pamphlet in 1993, but didn’t receive his own solo comic book until 1994’s Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, deftly combining Indiana Jones-style high adventure with Lovecraftian horror. Since then, the character has broken out of the indie comic rack in a major way, crossing over into toys, video games, and two feature films that helped make the character into a household name. The first film boasts a healthy 81% Fresh rating from film critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and its beloved, imaginative sequel earned an impressive 87% Fresh, cementing the character’s broad appeal despite his weird comic book world.
Director Guillermo Del Toro, who directed Ron Perlman as the demonic superhero in both Hellboy films, offers this eulogy: “Farewell, dear friend. Part of my heart dies with you -- a dark, intimate corner reserved only for my most cherished monsters.” Del Toro has entertained the idea of Hellboy 3 since the release of the second film in 2008, but Mignola (and Hellboy fans) remained skeptical due to Del Toro’s constant rotating interest in personal projects. There’s no word on how Hellboy’s death might affect any future film projects.
You can read the rest of Del Toro’s thoughts, as well as reflections from other creators, at CBR. Hellboy: The Fury #3 hit comic stands on Wednesday, July 10.