Big news dropped yesterday on The Hollywood Reporter about a twist coming up this week in the Hellboy Universe. It’s one that’s been plotted and planned for some time, years in fact, and it’s going to rock the world for fans of the taciturn, loveable demon.
[***MASSIVE HONKING SPOILERS about BPRD: The Devil You Know #5 below! And pretty much about the trajectory of the whole Hellboy Universe. If you want to avoid spoilers, go and read BPRD: The Devil You Know #5, which arrived in shops on December 27th, 2017. Stop reading now!]
If you’re a Hellboy reader, you know that Hellboy in Hell, one of the most poetic and gothic arcs of any story from creator Mike Mignola, ran from 2012 to 2016, slowly rolling out Hellboy’s wanderings in the land of the dead. He had strange visions and encounters, experienced loose threads from his life being tied up, as well as coming across new dark wonders that taught readers more about the cosmology of the Hellboy Universe. Meanwhile tremendous cataclysms wracked the world above in the other ongoing series, like BPRD. Members of the BPRD died, made massive sacrifices, and tried to halt the oncoming end of the world. But some things are inevitable. Or are they?
In this week’s BPRD, after the destruction of the organization’s headquarters in Connecticut, we encounter a major revelation. A coffin containing what appears to be the corpse of Hellboy. But just how dead is he? The cliffhanger ending of the issue shows something unusual with his eyes that might suggest he has some life in him yet–whether supernatural or biological remains to be seen. Are we going to get an undead Hellboy? Who knows?
Hellboy creator Mike Mignola has something very specific to ask, though, after all these years of Hellboy’s departure from the land of the living:
The reveal at the end of issue five was planned years ago and I sincerely hope it catches readers by surprise. The internet being what it is, it’s not easy to keep secrets these days, but I’m hopeful fans will help us out and keep a lid on things for awhile, until more people have had a chance to read the comic.
BPRD: The Devil You Know #5 was co-written by Mignola and Scott Allie, with art by Laurence Campbell and, like all Hellboy stories, is published by Dark Horse.
If fans were around in the right comic con panels or read interviews with Mignola extensively over the past few years, they may recall that Mignola always said he knew where Hellboy’s time in Hell was heading, and that it would result in surprises. Even Hellboy’s end of his time in Hell involved him seeing strange symbols and revelations about his own nature that weren’t entirely conclusive about the end of his being. Now we know why.
But actually this poses a bigger question: can Hellboy actually be part of saving the world from its end? Isn’t that kind of inevitable at this point? We’ll have to wait and see.