My final tribute to awesome comic-book series that have influenced me (well for the time being anyway) is to Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. Hellboy is a large blood-red-skinned demon with a tail, horns and a large stone right-hand whose adventures Mignola has chronicled in a series of comic-book mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics.
The stories takes us from Hellboy’s first appearance in the 1940s, as the result of a summoning performed by a fictional version of Grigori Rasputin working for the Nazis in the final years of World War II, to the present day where he works alongside several other human and quasi-human agents for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defence (B.P.R.D). His companions include: Abe Sapien (an amphibian humanoid), Liz Sherman (a pyrokinetic), Roger (an unusually large homunculus) and Johann Kraus (a disembodied spiritualist),
An intoxicating blend of Nazis, sorcerers and the supernatural, with great alien otherworldly beings lurking on the periphery, which are reminiscent of the Elder Gods from the Cthulhu mythos, the adventures of Hellboy are heavily influenced by the writings of HP Lovecraft, Jack Kirby, Edgar Allan Poe and others from the Weird Tales school of horror. And to top it all off these dark, brooding supernatural tales are perfectly rendered in Mignola’s own unique art style.
In 2004 the comics were adapted into a film directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Ron Perlman as Hellboy, Selma Blair as Liz Sherman and Doug Jones as Abe Sapien.