Hellboy: The True Story | NowThis Nerd

Hi everyone, I’m Andrew, and Hellboy’s back in town I'll be here all week

The new reboot is the latest evolution of one of indie comics’ greatest success stories, a creator-owned epic that’s quietly endured for decades But how did Mike Mignola’s quirky creation become a pop culture staple? What made Guillermo del Toro’s films so effective? And how will the David Harbour Hellboy differ from what came before? Cuddle your kitty, chow down on some pancakes, and rev up your red right hand, because this is The True Story of Hellboy Allan Moore best describes Mike Mignola’s art style as “German Expressionism meets Jack Kirby,” and his dark, moody drawing made a major impact on Batman’s ‘Death in the Family’ and ‘Gotham by Gaslight’ storylines By the early ‘90s, he was one of comics’ rising stars, and ready to make an impact with a creation all his own So let’s start with Hellboy’s Infernal Origin In 1991, the prestigious Salt Lake City Comic Con needed drawings for their collectible pamphlet, so Mignola contributed a quick sketch that he jokingly labeled “Hell Boy” The hulking, demonic beast bears little resemblance to the hard-boiled detective we know today, but even in his early stage, elements like the shaved horns are still present

Mignola had no intention of fleshing out the character into his own series, though he continued to draw him for random commissions, like this Italian magazine cover that debuted his rocky right hand Does it do anything special? Yeah It smashes things real good But when he heard about a creator-owned initiative going on at indie publisher Dark Horse Comics, he decided to develop his idea further He originally envisioned Hellboy as a team book, but when he couldn’t come up with enough catchy names, he turned it into a solo act instead

Mignola based Hellboy’s lovably gruff demeanor on his father, a world-weary Korean War veteran and cabinet maker who would regale his son with deadpan renditions of gruesome injury stories Ow He actually pitched the concept to DC first, and they loved it, but they were hesitant to publish a comic with "hell" in the title, They were fast! They were fierce! They were Hot Rods from Heck! though I guess John Constantine: Hellblazer gets an exception Pick your battles, DC Robin! Even at Dark Horse, the higher-ups were hesitant to let an untested artist write his own book, so they hired John Byrne to contribute the script instead As a result, the first Hellboy story is a solid, but slightly weird start, Mignola’s moody art is astonishing, but the dialogue doesn’t sound quite right, especially Byrne’s forced attempt at a catchphrase: Well That's all for you! I'm a devil man! Born in hell, that's all for you! Mignola quickly took up the writing reigns himself, and created a vast, expansive world that mixed the horror of HP Lovecraft, with the charm of a buddy cop comedy With its cast of killer characters, like the pyrokinetic Liz Sherman and Hellboy’s fishy friend Abe Sapien, the book quickly blossomed into its own universe with ‘B

PRD,’ and soon, Hollywood came calling Let’s look at Hellboy’s big debut at the Movies It’s no surprise that Guillermo del Toro is a massive geek, his entire output is shaped by mythology, monster mags, and of course, comic books

I thought it was visually so rich and so powerful, and I wanted to try and translate some of the characters and images to film Mignola’s art had long been an inspiration for the Mexican director, and when he first read ‘Hellboy,’ he quickly became his favorite superhero For years, ‘Hellboy’ was del Toro’s dream project, he pitched it as early as 1998, but back then, comic book movies were still considered box office poison, and producers wanted to make drastic changes, like making Hellboy a human who transforms into a demon But after the director delivered at the box office with ‘Blade 2,’ the studio finally greenlit his relatively faithful vision Del Toro made some changes of his own, like giving Abe Sabien psychic powers and transforming Liz into a love interest, but he was more or less on the same page as Mignola, and when the two met to discuss casting, they agreed to say their perfect Hellboy at the same time

Naturally, they both said “Ron Perlman” Hey, hey, hey! They're playin' our song! C'mon, champ Let's go fight some monsters The actor, who was no stranger to elaborate prosthetics, jumped at the chance, You must leave and endured a grueling, 4-hour ordeal to transform into the World Destroyer

That's four hours, every day ‘Hellboy’ was released to critical acclaim and modest financial success, Remind me why I keep doing this? Rotten eggs and the safety of mankind Huh although it made most of its money on the home video market The same thing happened with 2008’s ‘Hellboy 2: The Golden Army,’ although the box office was less spectacular than the first, thanks to an absolutely stacked lineup of superpowered competition

It's not about what I want It's about what's FAIR!!! Lil' film, 'Dark Knight,' ever heard of it? Forget you! Also 'Iron Man' Forget you! And 'The Incredible Hulk' And 'The Incredible Hulk' Ehh

Still, Guillermo was gung-ho to complete his trilogy and force Hellboy to reckon with his destiny as the Great Beast of the Apocalypse, but sadly, life got in the way Del Toro’s career exploded after ‘Hellboy’ and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth,’ and for years, he was busy with a variety of projects that were trapped in development hell, like ‘Halo,’ and his infamous attempt to make the ‘Hobbit’ trilogy Between those trainwrecks, and actual movies like ‘Pacific Rim,' Where is my gosh darn shoe?! Del Toro’s commitments made it impossible for him to work on ‘Hellboy 3,’ and when he finally had free time, studios weren’t interested anymore

In 2004 and 2008, it was okay for a movie to make most of its money on DVD, but in today’s drastically different marketplace where home media sales have utterly tanked, thanks, Netflix, without a billion-dollar box-office guarantee, no one would give del Toro the money to finish his story Granted, things might be different now that Guillermo snagged an Oscar for his Abe-Sapien inspired fishy romance, but sadly, it was too late, because Hellboy was already on the road to Rebirth While ‘Hellboy’ was blazing on the big screen, in awesome animated adaptations, and tie-in video games, back in comics, Mignola was still hard at work on his saga Unfortunately, as the franchise grew, Mignola couldn’t keep creating Hellboy single-handedly, so beginning in 2005, other illustrators began to handle the art duties Still, the book kept on kicking, or punching, along with spinoffs, side stories, and fully canonical tie-in novels, at least, until Hellboy unceremoniously died in 2011, when his heart was torn out by an evil witch But even death couldn’t keep the lovable lunk down for long

The next year, Mignola returned to both writing and drawing duties with ‘Hellboy in Hell,’ to gave his most famous creation a fitting sendoff In the comics, anyway With Hollywood, it’s hard to keep a good IP down, and in the wake of the MCU, someone woke up and realized that the Mignolaverse had a ton of franchise potential When something's got franchise potential you gotta follow the money, baybee Mignola was originally hired to help write a sequel to del Toro’s trilogy, and while Guilerrmo was invited to produce, he didn’t want to be involved unless he could contribute the script

The crew also approached Ron Perlman to reprise his role, but he refused the offer once it became clear that del Toro wouldn’t be involved It’s a bummer, but David Harbour, the grumpy sheriff from ‘Stranger Things,’ is a solid pick to fill Hellboy’s cloven hooves And how do you kill this thing, you shoot it with fireballs? No, you summon an undead army because The entire reboot seems very extra, from Hellboy’s scraggly new hair and divorced dad bod, to the gory promise of its R-rating, and its ambitious adaptation of Mignola’s apocalyptic trilogy We;ll finally be seeing some old BPRD

faves like Lobster Johnson and Ben Daimio, too, though sadly, Doug Jones’ Abe Sabien didn’t make the cut Still, with its R-rating and renewed focus on hard-hitting horror, the new ‘Hellboy’ is shaping up to be a slighty-different superhero flick They will build statues of you made from the bones of your enemies! That will take a buttload of bones Is it a bummer del Toro never got to finish his trilogy? Do I miss Ron Perlman with every fiber of my being? Absolutely, but hey, if Spider-Man can survive half a dozen reboots, surely a hulking half-demon with a hankering for breakfast deserves another shot Mike Mignola is a rare case in comics, a single creator with a unique vision who told a consistent story throughout two decades, but ‘Hellboy’ is far bigger than one man, and he’s simply too good a character to stay dead for long

Gonna be sore in the morning [a]cut for beat; we thought its kinda long for this intro part [b]split

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