Mike Mignola's Hellboy is returning to the big screen, and fans have eagerly been sifting through every casting announcement for concrete information about the reboot. Finally, we've just been given our first solid clue about the plot— and it's from the most unexpected of sources.
#NYCC2017 is in full swing, and as part of that, Diamond Distributors held a closed-doors breakfast with comic book retailers from across the world. A number of publishers were present, letting retailers in on secrets that may affect comic book and graphic novel sales over the next year or so. That included Dark Horse, publishers of the Hellboy comics, and they revealed a rather fascinating secret. According to ComicsBeat, Dark Horse confirmed that:
"The new Hellboy movie will based on Hellboy: The Wild Hunt."
What Is 'The Wild Hunt'?
The story of Hellboy has always been steeped in the fantastical, but in "The Wild Hunt", Mignola added a new layer of depth to it. The story forced the titular hero to dive deep into the legends of England and Ireland, introducing a horrific new villain known as the Blood Queen. The character was inspired by the Arthurian legend of Nimue, Merlin's ward, but Mignola transformed her into a dark and terrifying would-be Goddess of War. The story opened with giants rising from their slumber, awoken by the promise of power that Nimue had given them in ages past.
In a fantastic twist, Mignola revealed that Hellboy's human ancestry was from the line of King Arthur himself. He added a dark layer of twisted Messianic imagery to the story of Hellboy, forcing the demonic hero to claim the enchanted sword Excalibur, and stand against the forces of evil once again. Disturbingly, this act also seemed to commit Hellboy to the evil future planned for him by his demon father. It was a haunting and powerful story that featured stunning art by Duncan Fegredo.
Mark Chadbourn — a prominent fantasy author — penned an introduction to the graphic novel release. Deeply impressed by the tale, Chadbourn felt that Mignola's narrative touched on eternal themes, weaving Arthurian legends into a modern comic book story:
"Mythology is a map of our dark, unconscious mind and all the fears and dreams and screwy, twisted things that live there. It's always relevant. Those devils trying to seduce us with deals, those long-dead things that haunt us, those unbeatable, bone-crushing giants of the id — they're never going to go away. You just need somebody you understand to get in there, and get down and dirty, and sort the ******** out so you can sleep peacefully."
In truth, it's not really a surprise to learn that the Hellboy reboot is inspired by 'The Wild Hunt.' The film originally bore the title Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, and Milla Jovovich has been announced to play the part of Numue herself. The title was abbreviated simply to Hellboy back in August, and we learned that the script was being redrafted by an all-star team including Mike Mignola himself. This latest news confirms that the reboot is still inspired by "The Wild Hunt," and we should be expecting a dark, action-packed cinematic spectacle.
This is definitely good news for Hellboy fans. We're still on track to see the Blood Queen appear on the big screen, and it's very likely that we'll see our hero take up Excalibur against her. This reboot promises to be a celebration of the modern mythology teased at by Mark Chadbourn, embracing the history of England and Ireland through our own demonic champion. This should be a wild ride!
Do you think it's wise to base the Hellboy reboot on this arc? Let me know in the comments.