Great Characters Wiki

"Red means stop!" -Hellboy

Hellboy is the titular protagonist of the Guillermo Del Toro films, based on the Dark Horse comics of the same name.

He is a well-meaning demon who was summoned from Hell to Earth as a baby by Nazi occultists (spawning his hatred for the Third Reich). He was discovered on a fictional Outer Hebrides Island by the Allied Forces; amongst them, Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, who formed the United States Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.). In time, Hellboy grew to be a large, red-skinned adult with a tail, horns (which he files off, leaving behind circular stumps on his forehead), and an oversized right hand made of stone (the "Right Hand of Doom").

Hellboy works for the B.P.R.D., an international non-governmental agency, and for himself against dark forces including Nazis and witches, in a series of tales that have their roots in folklore, pulp magazines, vintage adventure, Lovecraftian horror, and horror fiction.

Why He Rocks

  1. He is reasonably identified as the "World's Greatest Paranormal Investigator".
  2. He is often described as a likable, gruff individual with much panache and witty humor in his attitude.
  3. He is easily angered by the (often comically defective) gadgets he uses, but has a genuinely good heart and love for other humans, despite his demonic origins.
  4. In the live-action Guillermo Del Toro films, he is portrayed by American actor and collaborator, Ron Perlman, Needless to say, he was the perfect choice to play HB. In fact, Perlman was director Del Toro's and creator Mike Mignola's only choice to play Hellboy in a possible film!
  5. Although a bit gruff, he shows none of the malevolence thought to be intrinsic to classical demons and has an ironic sense of humor. This is said to be because of his upbringing under Professor Bruttenholm, who raised him as a normal boy.
  6. A living oxymoron, Hellboy is a force for good, with an iron will and a desire to do the right thing.
  7. He has continuously stated his disinterest in his supposed nefarious ‘purpose,’ and often has to hide his conflicted feelings beneath the wisecracking facade of an adventurous tough-guy who would just as soon knock back a cold beer and light a stogie, then battle demons and evil spirits.
  8. According to Mignola, Hellboy’s personality was primarily based off of his father, a worker who often came home with many injuries, but always shrugged them off with dry humor.


  • His true name is Anung Un Rama (translated in English as "and upon his brow is set a crown of flame").
  • He jokingly claims he's a 'bad shot'.
  • His comics have been adapted into three live-action films, the first two by legendary Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro and a reboot by The Descent director Neil Marshall.