WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know #6 by Mike Mignola, Scott Allie, Sebastian Fiumara and Dave Stewart, on sale now.
This week saw the return of Mike Mignola's Hellboy to the demon-fighting ranks of the B.P.R.D. But while the hero's rebirth and reunion with his former teammates and family has been known for months, the creator of Dark Horse's aptly named Mignolaverse of titles had another surprising resurrection up his sleeve.
The opening pages of B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know #6 (the rare pages of the series entirely written and drawn by Mignola) saw an old friend appear to deliver Hellboy back from Hell and into the fray on Earth: Roger the Homonculus.
One of the original B.P.R.D. "expansion members" brought in during the early days of the franchise, Roger went from gentle giant to hardened war hero over the years. But over ten years ago, Roger bought the farm in battle with the Black Flame... or at least he came as close to dying as a Homonculus can. Characters in the Mignolaverse never really "die" in the traditional sense, and Roger was more immune to a true death than most since he wasn't even human. But when his body was destroyed, the character was taken fully off the table, devastating the B.P.R.D. in the process. The last time the books checked in with the status of Roger's soul self was in 2008's Garden of Souls series, where the remains of his body were buried in an anonymous grave.
Of course, it should come as no real surprise that Roger is the friend who appears to call Hellboy back to earth. It was the Homonculus' mistreatment that led the horned hero to quit the team to begin with. And since Hellboy has been existing in quiet solitude in Hell after freeing its denizens two years ago, it would take such a major return to pull him back for good.
The big question after this week's issue is whether Roger will return in a sustained way. It might seem as though his role is spent with Hellboy back on Earth, but the pair do clasp hands at the end of the Mignola-drawn sequence, perhaps a hint that Roger also has a part to play in the battle for Earth's survival.
The rest of The Devil You Know #6 offer scant clues as to what Hellboy remembers from his time in Hell, but for eagle-eyed readers, there are plenty of hints that a truly apocalyptic end is on the horizon.