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Comic Legends: The Curious Case of Christ in Hellboy Comics

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COMIC LEGEND:

The word "Christ" is never used in any Hellboy comic book.

STATUS:

False

A couple of months ago, we did an edition of The Line it is Drawn that was dedicated to the end of The Walking Dead comic book series. The concept was that people would send in suggestions for team-ups of Walking Dead characters with characters from other comic book series.

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Well, Ihteyaz_Avash suggested

Jesus and Hellboy

The art for this one was by Dan Wolff. His website is here.

The issue is that Dan wasn't familiar with the fact that Jesus is a Walking Dead character. That's his nickname because of his long hair and beard...

Dan thought it was a reference to Jesus Christ, and so Dan drew a wonderful piece of Hellboy meeting Jesus, Walking Dead style...

It's an excellent piece by Dan, but it really didn't fit the theme, so I told Dan I would hold it and feature it on its own later, in some fashion. I didn't really know how to work it into its own post until, as luck would have it, a reader wrote in with a legend about Mike Mignola's iconic Hellboy series. Reader Frank W. wrote in to ask if it was true that "Christ" was never actually mentioned in any issues of Hellboy, despite the book obviously having a notably religious bent to it.

In general, it is true that Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, as they developed the Hellboy universe, as it were, mostly moved past a Judeo-Christian depiction of God or whatever, but that's a far step away from saying that it was never mentioned period. I figured that the easiest way to solve this was to just go re-read my Hellboys (hey, any reason to re-read Hellboy comics is cool with me!).

I truly don't believe that Mignola or John Byrne (who scripted the first Hellboy miniseries, Seed of Destruction), were INTENTIONALLY avoiding using the word "Christ," but it is fair to note that, despite the story obviously being quite religious in scope (including Hellboy being drawn to this world as a demon child right in front of an icon of Christ on a cross), there was no mention of the word "Christ" in the comics...

In the next Hellboy story, the serialized "Wolves of Saint August," a priest friend of Hellboy is involved, as he is killed and Hellboy must investigate his disappearance...

Here, the word "Anti-Christ" is used...

So you could argue that that is enough, but let's go further.

In continued Hellboy stories, priests are involved but no mention of the world "Christ"...

In the next Hellboy miniseries, Wake the Devil, the villainous Rasputin alludes to Christ, but again, no mention of the word...

Finally, though, in the 1997 Hellboy Christmas Special, you could argue that "Christmas" alone solves it...

but moreover, while Hellboy is dealing with some bad guys, a priest is with an old woman and he uses the word...

So no, Frank, the series has not gone all of this time without mentioning "Christ" once.

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