WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Hellboy, now playing in theaters.
Like countless superhero films and franchise starters nowadays, Hellboy features a post-credits scene -- in fact, it has two. While one of the sequences is more comedic than the other, they both serve as teases for Hellboy's potential cinematic future.
Lobster Johnson To The Rescue
The first connects Hellboy with a hero from the past. As a drunken Hellboy grieves over Professor Broom's grave, a man appears behind him. When Hellboy turns, he sees World War II hero Lobster Johnson. Hellboy is a huge fan of the former hero, and Johnson even makes his day by showing him the signature claw on his hand.
Introduced earlier in the film during the flashback to Hellboy's origins, Johnson tells Hellboy that he too mourns Broom. Johnson also tells the paranormal hero that he "won a battle, now it's time to win the war." Johnson is a longtime ally of the B.P.R.D. in the comics. The fanboy reaction Hellboy has to Johnson is also consistent with the comics version of the character, and hints that the two heroes could team up to fight some unnatural foe.
This, coupled with the discovery of Abe Sapien in the final moments of the film, hints at a growing number of B.P.R.D. agents working toward the greater good. However, a rising numbers of heroes always invites an increase in villains.
I'll Get You Next Time, Hellboy
The other post-credits scene doesn't feature Hellboy at all. Instead, it focuses on Baba Yaga, the folk tale-inspired witch. Baba Yaga is a persistent threat throughout the movie. Prior to the film, Hellboy had banished her to an alternate dimension for trying to raise the spirit of Stalin. The events of Hellboy only make her hatred for him grow, as he goes back on a deal they made for him to give her one of his eyes.
Yelling about his continued existence, Baba Yaga speaks with an unseen figure about the possibility of a partnership. Baba Yaga requires their assistance in killing Hellboy, which she seems convinced this shadowy figure can do. In exchange, Baba Yaga will help kill them once and for all.
There's no solid clue as to who the character could be. An appearance by Rasputin, who was briefly introduced in the film and then promptly killed by Lobster Johnson, isn't out of the question, given his history of resurrection. But it's more likely that the character is Koschei the Deathless, a character from the Hellboy comic "Darkness Rising." A former medieval hero and warrior, Koschei was betrayed and murdered. Resurrected as a lich, he's now an undead (and almost unstoppable) fighter who is desperately trying to die. He was originally a servant of Baba Yaga, which could mean the potential sequel is looking to adapt that story.
It's unknown whether Hellboy will get a sequel. The film certainly provides enough material for an entire franchise worth of movies. However, the Hellboy is also a bit of a mess, and its Rotten Tomatoes score has been hovering around 10 percent. This might translate into even lower ticket sales on a film that was only projected to make $16 million opening weekend against a budget of $50 million, hurting its chances of receiving a follow-up. To Hellboy's credit, its gory nature makes it stand out among a crowded field of comic book films.
In theaters nationwide, director Neil Marshall’s Hellboy stars David Harbour as Hellboy, Ian McShane as Trevor Bruttenholm, Milla Jovovich as Nimue, Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan, Penelope Mitchell as Ganeida and Daniel Dae Kim as Ben Daimio.