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7 Questions About the Future of Mike Mignola’s HELLBOY

Warning: Major spoilers for Mike Mignola’s B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know #5 follow!

2017 has shaped up to be a big year for Mike Mignola‘s Hellboy. Between the upcoming cinematic reboot starring David Harbour as Hellboy to his surprise guest appearance in Injustice 2, things have been looking up for the world’s greatest paranormal investigator. That’s a neat trick considering that Hellboy has been dead in his corner of the comic book realm since 2011. But this week, there was a major change to Hellboy’s status quo.

The conclusion of B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know #5 featured Hellboy’s friends and former colleagues in the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense as they made a startling discovery at the site of their former headquarters. There was a coffin in the ruins that contained Hellboy’s body, but his remaining eye was open and he was clearly breathing. Somehow, Hellboy is back from the dead, and we’ve got a few questions about what his return means for the future.

Who is responsible for Hellboy’s resurrection?

It’s almost a shame that Hellboy’s father and his demonic siblings are dead, because they would have been among the most likely suspects behind Hellboy’s return. Without them, there aren’t any obvious answers about who could be behind this. Let’s be clear: this is not a trick that Hellboy could have pulled off on his own. He was killed in England six years ago, and someone went through the trouble of not only retrieving his body but also leaving it where his friends would eventually find him. Simply raising Hellboy from the dead had to require some immense power, and that’s not the kind of gift that comes without a price.

Why has Hellboy returned?

It’s probably safe to assume that whoever raised Hellboy from the dead didn’t do so out of the goodness of their heart. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it was done with evil intent, but there has to be a reason why someone would rescue Hellboy’s soul from Hell and reunite him with his physical body. If there’s an agenda in play, it’s not clear if this move serves to protect humanity from another oncoming threat or if Hellboy will be used to restart the apocalypse. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Mignola indicated that this upcoming chapter of Hellboy’s life was part of his long-term plans, and the implication is that we’ll see it play out in 2018 and beyond.

Is Hellboy still the Beast of the Apocalypse?

This one is easy. As long as Hellboy still has the Right Hand of Doom, he’s still the key to unleashing the final apocalypse. Considering that the B.P.R.D. just finished saving the world from another devastating apocalypse, it would certainly be unfortunate for them if they immediately had to rise to the occasion without fully recovering.  As for Hellboy, he’s always been responsible for keeping his Right Hand from falling into the wrong hands, so to speak. The Right Hand actually traveled to Hell with Hellboy’s soul, which meant that it was still safe with him. Now that he’s returned, his infamous hand is also back in our world. And all bets are off.

Does Hellboy even want to be back among the living?

As bizarre as it sounds, Hellboy had retired in Hell after decimating the major players who remained in the pit of God’s creation. When last seen in Hellboy in Hell, he had once again ripped off his horns and rejected his heritage before retreating to his literal house in Hell for a measure of peace. It may not have been Hellboy’s happy place, but it felt like his story had come to a natural end. Somehow, we don’t think that Hellboy would appreciate getting dragged back into the conflicts of our world. It’s just another burden for him to bear. We also have to wonder if Hellboy is still able to die after his apparent resurrection. Once you’ve been to Hell and back, it’s kind of hard to fear death.

Will Hellboy rejoin the B.P.R.D.?

Despite Hellboys’s close association with the B.P.R.D., it’s actually been over a decade since he was on the team. Hellboy went off on his own after becoming extremely unsatisfied with the way that his B.P.R.D. superiors treated his friend, Roger the Homunculus, as an expendable operative. Even though the B.P.R.D. has changed leadership in the intervening years, there’s no guarantee that Hellboy will simply rejoin the team. That said, it’s been so long since Hellboy teamed up with his friends Liz Sherman, Abe Sapien, and Kate Corrigan that we’d be surprised if Mignola and his collaborators pass up a chance to make that reunion official.

What’s happening in Hell?

Hellboy really left a mess of things in the kingdom of the damned. Satan is dead, Leviathan is dead, and Hellboy also freed the slaves of Hell to take their revenge upon their masters. By the end of Hellboy in Hell, Hell itself was desolate. Hellboy had no interest in ruling Hell, and it didn’t seem like there was anyone left who could take the throne if they wanted it. Without Hellboy’s presence to deter any serious challengers, that may have changed. It’s possible that someone could emerge from the chaos that Hellboy left behind and emerge as Hell’s new ruler. Or perhaps Hell has descended even further into anarchy. Either way, we want to know more.

Where’s the nearest IHOP?

Hey, Hellboy does love his pancakes. Years ago, there was actually a short story about Hellboy’s love for pancakes causing the demons in Hell to despair, because it meant that he was truly lost to them. It’s just one of the ways that Hellboy shows off his humanity. We’ll know that Big Red is really back among the living when he scarfs down a big plate of flapjacks!

What are your questions about Hellboy’s return from Hell? Let us know in the comment section below!

Images: Dark Horse Comics

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