[[quoteright:270:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hellboyred.jpg]]

->''"In Absentia Luci, Tenebrae Vincunt"'' [[note]]"In the Absence of Light, Darkness Prevails."[[/note]]

In the final days of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, [[StupidJetpackHitler the Nazis]], through the assistance of [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy Grigori Rasputin]], attempted to bring about "Project Ragna Rok" on a small island off the coast of Scotland in an attempt to salvage the war effort for the Third Reich. A group of Allied occultists and soldiers were on hand to witness the event, and found the fruits of Rasputin's labors: An infant demon, quickly nicknamed "Hellboy."

Instead of being killed because, well, he's a demon, Hellboy is whisked away by the United States and raised under the auspices of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, a government organization devoted to... well, ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. Over the years, Hellboy becomes one of the BPRD's top paranormal investigators and forms a deep relationship with his colleagues, who include:

* [[PlayingWithFire Pyrokinetic]] Liz Sherman, a young woman suffering from PowerIncontinence as well as struggling with self-esteem issues over childhood trauma stemming from when her powers first manifested.
* Abe Sapien, an intelligent [[FishPeople man/fish hybrid]] and Hellboy's best pal.
* Professor Kate Corrigan, a folklore and mythological encyclopedia and TeamMom.
* Roger, a [[GentleGiant hulking but childlike]] [[OurHomunculiAreDifferent homunculus]].

Following several weird revelations and a nasty bit of disagreement with the leadership, Hellboy quits the BPRD and begins wandering the Earth searching for [[MysteriousPast answers about his past]] and the ''real'' reason why Rasputin summoned him all those years ago...

The first spinoff series, '''''ComicBook/{{BPRD}}''''', details the adventures of the organization in Hellboy's absence. New members are recruited, including:

* Dr. Johann Kraus, an eccentric German medium whose body was destroyed during an astral projection, leaving him alive in the form of moving ectoplasmic gas.
* Ben Daimio, resident ShellShockedVeteran (and with good reason - he died in action and somehow came back to life).

These members of the BPRD must confront their own pasts, skeletons from the Bureau's own closet and the escalating threat of lingering horrors from pre-human history. This series is almost entirely written by John Arcudi, and had three series dedicated to the origins of the BPRD, ''1946, 1947'' and ''1948''.

The success of BPRD and the increasing scope of the story led to further spinoffs:
* '''''Hellboy And The BPRD''''' - An ongoing series following Hellboy's first few years as a working agent, along with the return of Agent Stegner from ''1947-48''. It continues that sub-series' IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming, beginning with ''1952''.
* '''''Abe Sapien''''' - Abe mutates, leaves the BPRD and gets his own title. Written by longtime Hellboy editor Scott Allie, and usually drawn by Max and Sebastian Fiumara.
* '''''Lobster Johnson''''' - a 1930s Pulp pastiche. Usually drawn by Tonci Zonjic.
* '''''Sir Edward Grey: Witchfinder''''' - a Victorian occult detective.
* '''''BPRD: Vampire''''' - A [[SpinOff spinoff of a spinoff of a spinoff]] starring Simon Anders, a BPRD agent bent on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against vampires. A showcase series for [[Comicbook/{{Daytripper}} Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba.]]
* '''''Sledgehammer '44''''' - A mysterious man in PoweredArmour fuelled by Vril, a mystical energy source, takes on the Nazis.
* '''''Frankenstein Underground''''' - FrankensteinsMonster (who first appeared in "House of the Living Dead") journeys to an [[HollowWorld underground world.]] This one is currently intended to remain a standalone miniseries.

Has a [[Characters/{{Hellboy}} character page]] that NeedsWikiMagicLove.

ComicBook/{{BPRD}} has its own page. Please put tropes for that comic and its spinoffs on that page.

!!''Hellboy'' contains examples of:

* AffablyEvil: Most high demons in Hell are surprisingly patient, understanding and reluctant when it comes to Hellboy. Even Astaroth, High Prince of Hell, doesn't try to force Hellboy into fulfilling his role in the advent of Apocalypse. They'd much rather he take up the role willingly.
** Even lower demons (like the one that took possession of Hellboy's crown) admit that sometimes their feuds with Hellboy are somewhat petty. Of course, that doesn't stop Hellboy from kicking their collective rear ends.
* AHellOfATime: [[spoiler:Hellboy's ultimate fate is apparently to spend eternity in Hell, which apparently isn't as bad as it sounded at first. Billions of people and demons to meet (or fight), a house, possibly some family, and a nearly infinite world to explore forever. In other words, more like the norse Valhalla than anything.]]
** [[spoiler:Well, he '''is''' [[BriarPatching a demon...]]]]
* AlienAbduction: "Buster Oakley Gets His Wish".
* AllThereInTheManual: You ''really'' have to read a lot of mythology to get a lot of the idiosyncrasies of the plot. This includes mythology from film, television, novels, and other comics.
* AllTrollsAreDifferent: "The Troll Witch"
* AlternateContinuity: Both the movies and ''WesternAnimation/HellboyAnimated'' have differences from the comics.
* AnalProbing: Almost happened to Hellboy after he was [[AlienAbduction abducted by aliens]], but he decided that he didn't like that idea so he kicked all their alien asses.
* AnachronicOrder: While the ''B.P.R.D.'' series usually progresses on a fairly linear path, since characters like Hellboy and Abe are so long-lived, ''Hellboy'' and ''Abe Sapien'' stories might take place at any point in their careers. Also, since the characters often deal with hauntings or creatures from long-lost civilizations popping up, events from decades/centuries/eons prior might be told while "present day" events are shown concurrently. The franchise being able to jump around so much is actually one of its selling points.
* AngelsDevilsAndSquid: Though the lines between them are often blurry.
* TheAnimatedSeries: Sort of: a handful of animated movies were released and shown on Creator/CartoonNetwork / Creator/AdultSwim. Notable for showing that [[HeroicMime Doug Jones]] was capable of doing Abe's voice as well as his body.
* AndIMustScream: "Buster Oakley Gets His Wish"
* AndNowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent: Most of the stories involve Hellboy fighting supernatural monsters and demons. And then, in "Buster Oakley Gets His Wish", he suddenly gets abducted by aliens.
* AntiHumanAlliance: The Queen of Blood gathers one to destroy mankind. Unfortunately for them, she has no intention of restoring their world.
* ApocalypseCult: There is a large number of cults and secret societies—Project Ragna Rok, the Oannes Society, and the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra, to name a few—hoping to trigger the apocalypse. Most of them are operating under the logic that the world is going to end anyway, but if they're the ones who pull the trigger, they'll at least have some measure of control over the destruction.
* ArcWords: "It's true." turns up conspicuously often when Mignola himself is writing. It rather fits the AllMythsAreTrue nature of the universe.
* AscendedDemon: Hellboy is so heroic, his spilled blood sprouted lilies during his "paranormal graduation exam" of sorts... [[spoiler:An [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming entire field of them]] bloomed across the ground where he died]]. Particularly impressive since in traditional Christian iconography lilies represent purity; roses represent the blood of a martyr. [[MessianicArchetype Jesus]] apocryphally did the same thing.
* AuthorAppeal: "Hellboy is a combination of everything I like. Old movies. Fairy tales. Old pulp magazines. Stan & Jack early stuff. Victorian ghost stories. I try to take everything I like and cram it in to one thing." - Mike Mignola's Reddit AMA.
* BackFromTheDead: Hellboy has [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice essentially died]] and returned to life on at least one occasion. [[spoiler: The second time, it sticks.]]
* BadassNormal: Corrigan, Captain Daimio, and some of the other BPRD agents. Also Lobster Johnson.
* BadassBoast: [[spoiler: The Ogdru Jahad: "Hellboy... Your fall should be like the fall of mountains... But I was before mountains. I was in the beginning and shall be forever... The first and the last... The world come full circle. You think you can fight me, kill me, as you would a beast? I am not the wheel--I am the hand that ''turns'' the wheel. I am Time, the Destroyer. We are bound together in that. I was the wind in the stars before this--Before planets, before Heaven and Hell--And when all's done I will be wind again, to blow the world as dust back into endless space."]]
* BadassLongcoat: Of the second Hellboy story, Mignola said it taught him two things. The first was that HB looked better in a trench coat. [[note]]The second was that he loves drawing gorillas with bolts sticking out of them, if you're curious.[[/note]]
* BeastAndBeauty: Hellboy and Anastasia, Kate or Alice.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: In ''Sullivan's Reward'', Sullivan is being rewarded in gold for feeding people to his HauntedHouse. He's been feeding it drunks and vagrants, and getting a few gold coins each. He decides to feed it Hellboy, and when he appears to have succeeded he triumphantly calls out to the house asking what the reward for HIM would be. [[spoiler: An entire 8-foot by 3-foot by 3-foot block of gold coins crashes down the stairs, crushing him.]]
** A similar example came from a man who wished for "Enough gold that, should I lay down, I find a crown upon my head". The demon tells him that the gold he seeks is already hidden within his castle's walls. Later, he is turned into an ape-like beast and gets knocked through a wall, the impact killing him. His body falls onto the pile of treasure the demon mentioned, where a crown rolls to rest atop his head.
** In ''Tony Masso's Finest Hour'' the titular mobster being hunted by The Lobster asks is asked by a demon what he wants and he replies "I wanna beat the '''Hell''' outta [The Lobster]. And then I wanna see the goddamned look on his face when he '''knows''' I beat him". The Demon gives him the power to do just that, and quickly The Lobster finds himself battered, weaponless, and hanging on to the shattered remains of a window, several stories off the ground. [[spoiler: The demon then takes the power away from Masso and sends him hurtling to his death, as he only wished for the power to ''beat'' The Lobster, not the power to ''kill'' him]].
* BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy: Grigori Rasputin as master mystic. Granted, even many of his contemporaries thought there was something weird about him.
* BigBad: Rasputin, Herman Von Klempt, Baba Yaga, the Queen of Blood.
* BigBadWannabe: Ualac and Igor Bromhead.
* BlackSpeech: A lot of witches and sorcerers use this.
* BloodBath: ''Hellboy: Wake the Devil'' references the original legend about Elizabeth Bathory. The blood baths are only mentioned, not shown, but the iron maiden that was used to obtain the blood plays a pivotal role in the plot.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Hecate claims as much in one of the epilogues to "Darkness Calls."
* BornOfMagic: Roger the homunculus was an inert, man-shaped mass of herbs and horsedung that had lain still for hundreds of years. Then when Liz Sherman came close, he suddenly absorbed her pyrokinetic powers, granting him life at the expense of her own (she didn't want the powers, but it turns out they were too big a part of her, leaving her a SoullessShell). Later he gave it back but was given the means to remain "alive".
* BrainsAndBrawn: Abe and Hellboy, though Hellboy is nearly as bright as he's strong and impulsive and Abe is every bit as tough as he's smart. Although the AlternateContinuity [[FilmOfTheBook film]] plays up this trope more.
* CallBack: "Hellboy, your fall should be like the fall of mountains." [[spoiler: And indeed, when Nimue finally tears out Hellboy's heart and kills him, Hellboy turns to stone and crumbles to dust]].
* CatchPhrase: Shares one with [[VideoGame/{{Uncharted}} Nathan Drake]]: "Ah, crap!" He also tends to get out a "[[CurseCutShort Son of a--]]" before everything goes to hell for him. He also often [[SayingSoundEffectsOutLoud shouts "BOOM"]] when he hits someone hard enough.
* CensorShadow: Goes hand-in-hand with FullFrontalAssault. (The {{Chiaroscuro}} makes it easy.)
* ChekhovsArmory: Just about everything Hellboy sees or does in "Wake the Devil" (and a couple of the short stories, like "Box Full of Evil") comes back to haunt him in "Darkness Calls."
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler: Alice Monaghan]] from "The Corpse."
* {{Chiaroscuro}}: When Mignola's doing the art it borders on tenebrism.
* ClothingDamage: Hellboy's BadassLongcoat rarely survives his missions.
* ClueFromEd: Used very sparsely, generally to point you out which prior stories a referenced event occurred in. They are not attributed to an editor.
* ComicBookTime: Averted. The series does not employ a sliding timescale, and most events are dated around the time the arc is published, with, for instance Hellboy quitting the Bureau in 2001, and not being heard from for nearly ten years. The characters are more ambiguous. Tom Manning, Kate Corrigan and Liz Sherman seem to have aged in real time, but that may be due to Guy Davis's different art style. This was mentioned by a fan in a letter to the editor, who responded with [[HandWave "They look pretty good for their ages, but they're pseudomilitary. They work out."]]
* CosmicHorrorStory / LovecraftLite: It's up in the air which of the two the series falls under; it really depends on which wins in the end: YouCantFightFate or ScrewDestiny.
* CrossOver: With ''ComicBook/TheGoon'', ''ComicBook/NextMen'', ''ComicBook/BeastsOfBurden'', and ''ComicBook/TheSavageDragon'', as well as a memorable three-way crossover with Franchise/{{Batman}} and James Robinson's Comicbook/{{Starman}}.
* CrossoverCosmology: Deities and monsters of classical mythology make regular appearances, while {{God}} was responsible for the creation of the (originally non-evil) cosmic entities mentioned above.
* CrossThrough: Themes or plot elements often echo across series in this fashion. For instance, in publication terms, Hellboy's drinking problem in ''Darkness Calls'' and ''The Wild Hunt'' is also important in ''Hellboy In Mexico'', published concurrently but set in the 1950s, and the details of Sir Edward Grey's history were revealed simultaneously in the modern day and in his own Victorian-era spinoff.
* CrystalPrison: The Ogru'Jahad's prison.
* CursedWithAwesome: Liz Sherman and arguably Hellboy himself.
* DeadAllAlong: [[spoiler:Lobster Johnson]] in ''The Conqueror Worm''.
* DemonSlaying: Hellboy's standard M.O.
* DidntSeeThatComing: Hellboy says this multiple times during his journeys in [[spoiler:Hell]]. As a seasoned veteran of the Weird, this is saying something.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Also Hellboy's M.O. Given Hellboy's true name and nature, this probably applies whenever someone punches ''him'' out.
* DoNotGoGentle: Armageddon is underway. The B.P.R.D. and Hellboy have won countless battles, but each comes with a terrible cost. No one has any hope for victory at this point. The only thing they can hope for is to prevent their enemies from remaking the world in their image, fulfill the end of days with courage, and [[FlingALightIntoTheFuture throw a light into the future]], as what may have been destined all along.
* DullSurprise: Liz Sherman's default expression for most of the Hellboy comics. Justified, as she's supposed to be depressed and heavily medicated due to her [[DarkAndTroubledPast tragic past]], and in the later ''BPRD'' series, she gets better.
* EldritchAbomination: Ogdru Jahad and their 369 offspring Ogdru Hem, which are Sadu-Hem and Katha-Hem, among others. Creator/HPLovecraft's influence here is no surprise.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: von Klempt's series of "Kriegaffes", one of which prompts Hellboy's entirely accurate line, "Goddamn Nazi Frankenstein monkey!" "Box Full of Evil" involves a gun-toting Satanist getting turned into a chimp and trying to kill Abe. ''Lobster Johnson'' introduces shape-shifting Tibetan were-apes, and [[spoiler:Daimio's grandmother, the Crimson Lotus, had a monkey that seems to have been her familiar.]]
--> '''Hellboy''': "Enough with the damn monkeys! They were monkeys!"
--> '''Von Klempt''': "APES!"
* {{Evil Chancellor}}: By the end of the Lobster Johnson miniseries ''The Burning Hand'' (set in 1932) it's clear that Isog is this to crime boss Arnie Wald. He acts subservient and deferential to him in order to let him think that he's in charge.
** [[spoiler: Astaroth]] reveals that his ultimate plan is to become this for whoever becomes [[spoiler: ruler of Hell.]]
* EvilIsNotAToy: Nearly everyone Hellboy encounters seems to have their own agenda for the Right Hand of Doom and the Ogdru Jahad, believing that they can control their powers (even {{Hell}} seems to think they can use the Dragon). It is implied that they are all delusional, and that the release of the Ogdru Jahad would simply result in the annihilation of reality. Hecate is the only one who seems to be aware of this, but pursues it anyway and mocks those who believe they can twist the power to their own ends (she suggests that it ''might'' be possible that a new world will be born from the ruins, but it doesn't really concern her).
** Igor Bromhead seems particularly unable to understand this principle.
** The various short story collections contain no small number of would-be occultists with just enough knowledge to be be a danger to themselves and others, trying to use powers beyond their control for usually very petty ends.
** Lampshaded in the first story when a bunch of aliens detect signs of activity from the sleeping Ogdru Jahad. The aliens wonder who would be stupid enough to wake the damn things since the Dragon will simply burn the universe to cinders.
* EvilSorcerer: Rasputin
** Igor Bromhead clearly ''tries'' to be this.
* EyeScream: Hellboy shoots out the Baba Yaga's eye in the 60s. [[spoiler:And gives up his own to pay her back!]]
* ExtranormalInstitute: The BRPD's offices.
* TheFairFolk: In the comic book short story "The Corpse", Hellboy rescues a baby taken by Fairies; since then, the fairies and their king have taken a particular interest in Hellboy.
* FantasyKitchenSink: The size of an Olympic swimming pool.
* FertileBlood: In "The Nature of the Beast", there's a legend that when the monk who first killed the St. Leonard Worm was injured fighting the dragon, lilies grew from where his blood fell. When Hellboy fights the Worm, lilies grow from where ''his'' blood fell as well. This is significant because Hellboy is a half demon and the prophesied {{Antichrist}}, but he is so good despite this fact that he becomes an AntiAntichrist.
* FromBadToWorse: [[spoiler:Hellboy's dead right when Armageddon is starting.]] Crap.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Plenty of characters evolve from background filler to anti-villain or full-blown villains given enough of an [[LovecraftianSuperpower Eldritch Power-Up]] and long enough timeline.
** Gruagach was a minor fairy who took the place of a human child. After being found out by Hellboy, he unleashed a boar-headed giant on Hellboy, got stuck in the ginat's shrunken body, and ended up freeing Nimue to get his revenge.
* FullFrontalAssault: [[spoiler:The Queen of Blood's nakedness only adds to her creep factor.]]
** Other villains do this as well.
* GainaxEnding: The ending for the Hellboy side of the storyline is a [[OneWingedAngel giant flaming Hellboy with fully grown horns and wings]] trashing Pandemonium, walking along a beach, finding himself in a mansion, and meeting a glowing sphere, pyramid, and cube. The end.
-->'''Mike Mignola''': When they see issue nine and in issue 10, they’re gonna go, [[FlatWhat what?!]]
* {{Ghostapo}}[=/=]StupidJetpackHitler: {{Jet Pack}}s, LegoGenetics, {{Hollywood Cyborg}}s, [[BrainInAJar heads in jars]], the [[TheLanceOfLonginus Spear of Longinus]], and quality occult advice from ''Rasputin''; you name it, the Nazis had it. Mignola's Hitler had [[WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys more toys]] than Franchise/{{Batman}}.
* GhostPirate: Hellboy fights the reunited head and body of Captain Blackbeard before he's separated again and dragged off by his many, many victims.
* GodIsGood: Aside from the plentiful holy relics, {{Badass}} undead saints and OurAngelsAreDifferent types that occasionally lend a hand, Hellboy is Catholic. He doesn't burst into flames at the sound of church bells, and stakes, crucifixes, etc. have no effect on him despite his demonic nature. [[spoiler: Even going to Hell doesn't seem like too much of a torment to him]]. The guy upstairs is pretty forgiving.
* {{Grimmification}}: It's never the Disney version of fairy tales.
* GrandFinale: ''Hellboy in Hell'' serves as this to the character, [[spoiler: as he conquers the inferno and then disappears into a beam of celestial light]]
* HandCannon: Hellboy uses a whole series of handguns from a single-shot pistol of some very large caliber given to him by The Torch of Liberty (a WWII-era superhero), through a more modern (though ultimately unreliable) autoloader that would make the Desert Eagle wet itself in awe, to a plain old antique [[CoolGuns Colt M1911A1]] to replace his custom sidearm when it went MIA.
* HandOfGlory
** In ''Box of Evil'', Igor Bromhead uses a Hand to steal a box that had the demon Ualac [[SealedEvilInACan trapped inside.]] It paralyzes the home owner while Bromhead steals the box right in front of him and Bromhead leaves the Hand behind him forcing the home owner to wait for hours till he could move.
** Another appears in ''Being Human'', Hellboy has a OhCrap moment when he sees it while Roger remains unaffected because he's "[[OurHomunculiAreDifferent not human]]". It doesn't help Roger's angsting about not being human.
* HeadlessHorseman: King Vold, leader of the Wild Hunt.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: A man named Sullivan lures [[DisposableVagrant people who]] [[DisposableSexWorker won't be missed]] into a room in his house where they are killed, receiving a few coins falling down the stairs. When he lures Hellboy inside and asks what price he'll get for him, [[spoiler:a refrigirator-sized block comes crashing down the stairs.]]
* HollowWorld: The BPRD miniseries ''Hollow Earth'' and ''King of Fear'', as well as ''Frankenstein Underground'', where the titular character ends up in the ruins of an ancient underground Hyperborean city.
* HornsOfVillainy: Subverted by Hellboy; he may have horns, but he keeps them sawn off and filed down and is anything but evil. He regularly has to snap them off whenever somebody tries to convince him he's destined to be the Beast of the Apocalypse.
* HorsemenOfTheApocalypse: And boy are they pissed off.
* IKnowYourTrueName:
** Used with great consistency to control and contain demons, though hubris usually gets the better of the summoner in question. This is one of Hellboy's early weaknesses until he realizes [[spoiler:Anung Un Rama isn't his name but his ''title'' - which [[NiceJobFixingItVillain his enemy had taken from him]]. Cue HoistByHisOwnPetard]].
** Becomes Hecate's weakness after [[spoiler:she reincarnates into Ilsa Haupstein, despite there being no trace of Ilsa left.]]
* IWantGrandkids: In "Curse of the Haunted Doll", the ghost of Kate Corrigan's mother bugs her about this.
* InterspeciesAdoption: Hellboy doesn't seem to mind (too much) that he's a demon raised among humans. Even if he was kept hidden away from the public. Part of this has to do with his unique heritage. [[spoiler:He's only half demon]].
* InterspeciesRomance: Hellboy and Kate dated for a brief time before ending the relationship on good terms. More recently, Hellboy has fallen for Alice, the girl he rescued decades ago from the fey folk.
* InhumanableAlienRights: Both the UN and the Pope gave Hellboy "honorary human rights".
* KillItWithFire: Liz uses this a lot, obviously. Also, the BPRD usually sends one "flame-thrower guy" with field teams when they expect contact. Most of the cosmic entities can be killed with fire, though not all.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:Nimue tears Hellboy's heart out in the last chapter of The Fury and drops it into Hell, while Hellboy's body turns to ash. Most sources point this to being the permanent sort of death.]]
** [[spoiler:He's definitely permanently dead in the physical world, but still exists as an entity within hell, which he will apparently spend the rest of eternity exploring in a WidgetSeries spinoff.]]
* KingArthur: [[spoiler:Hellboy is the last living descendant of Arthur's son Mordred, and therefore is the Pendragon and rightful King of England.]]
** The [[spoiler:Queen of Blood]]'s true identity is revealed to be [[spoiler:Nimue, the sorceress who seduced Merlin, stole his secrets and imprisoned him. She was driven mad by the Ogdru Jahad]].
* KnightTemplar: The Knights of Saint Hagan, a Crusader who rose headless to fight in the last battle of the Crusades. His followers continued their campaign to destroy all things Satanic with considerable success. Hellboy lampshades their 'kill em all' approach as misguided... however, ''most'' of the demons and heathens killed certainly deserved it.
* LivingLabyrinth: A standard of the various haunted and cursed places Hellboy often explores.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: It took a while, but the larger Hellboy-verse has built up a very deep bench of important characters and supporting casts, many of whom can migrate between series, and some of whom have gotten ADayInTheLimelight to flesh them out further.
* LooseCanon: The novels other than the first pair (which are, per the official timeline, considered part of the normal canon) seem to be considered this, in that they have Mike's approval (and his illustrations) but he reserves the right to ignore them if he wants. It may equally apply to the OriginalFlavor guest stories in ''Weird Tales''. All of these tend to be MonsterOfTheWeek stories anyway, rather than possibly contradicting the MythArc.
* MagicalDatabase: Both movie and comics, featured the agency having an extensive database/library of the occult, where our hero's MissionControl usually digs up a vital piece of information for defeating the MonsterOfTheWeek.
* MaskedLuchador: Lobster Johnson, as imagined in [[ShowWithinAShow a series of mexican horror movies]] of [[AdaptationDecay questionable quality]]
** Hellboy also teams up with some in one of the Christopher Golden novels, which are apparently part of the comic continuity.
** And he teams up with a trio of brothers that used to be these before becoming monster hunters in a one-shot.
* AMillionIsAStatistic: Used and inverted by the protagonists and the antagonists in "The Black Goddess."
* MindScrew: Mignola is a great admirer of mythology and fairytales, and the Hellboy comics often adhere more to that sort of curious dream-logic than the more linear storytelling most modern readers are accustomed to. This is especially prevalent in the one-shots, as the larger {{Story Arc}}s, by their very nature require a more cohesive approach. In his introduction to ''The Hydra & The Lion'', Mignola comments: "I've always said that in supernatural stories you need bits that are beyond human comprehension. This one is pretty much made of those bits."
* MonsterModesty: Hellboy wears little more than brown shorts and a trenchcoat. His chest is completely bare.
** Abe Sapien and many other non-human characters often wear pants and nothing else.
** Hilariously subverted when Captain Daimio meets Roger, is flabbergasted by the (literal) block of wood and ring on his groin, and tells him to put some pants on. When it becomes apparent that Roger's groin-block is so large that pants do absolutely nothing to hide them and make him a walking prince-albert joke, Daimio quickly tells him to, on second thought, lose the pants.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: While not outright ''evil'', it seems that the head of Research for the [=BPRD=], Dr. Roddel (And to a lesser extent his associate Dr. Cobb) is not a particularly compassionate man. He had to be talked into the procedure that woke Abe from his [[RipVanWinkle Magical Sleep]], and refused to do the procedure that revived Roger after he was first brought back (Abe had to sneak into the lab and do it himself). Abe describes his first few days awake in the [=BPRD=] research labs as "Terrifying", and we see him in a tank with attached electrodes surrounded by dead fish (Presumably that they had thrown into the tank to feed him and never cleaned up after). Hellboy agrees, stating from his own experience that the lab boys will keep going, finding new things to experiment towards until told to stop. Hellboy says this as he charges into an experiment-in-progress, pulls Abe from the tank he's in and takes him to the cafeteria for a sandwich.
** Herman von Klempt, however, fits this trope to a tee.
* MysteriousPast: Oh, yeah. The exact amount of mystery varies between characters. Several have even gotten enough plot attention to not be mysterious anymore.
** Hellboy himself seems to favor this over knowing his full past and origins: "I ''like'' not knowing. I ''sleep good'' not knowing.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Karl Ruprecht Kroenen, Ogdru Jahad, Anung Un Rama.
* NaziHunter: Hellboy acted as one after the war and killed UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler himself.
** The Lobster as well, before his death in 1939. [[spoiler: And as a ghost afterwards.]]
* NighInvulnerability: Hellboy of course. After he and Liz leave the Bureau, Johann's status as a [[IncrediblyLamePun ghost in a shell]] means he's currently the B.P.R.D.'s ace in the hole during combat missions. He simply switches bodies/suits if he takes damage. It takes an Ogdru Hem's psychic assault to even slow him down.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Cyborg gorillas? A Nazi astronaut possessed by [[EldritchAbomination eldritch abominations]]? Mexican wrestler demons? Bring 'em on!
* OffhandBackhand: Done to a hapless vampire in ''House of the Living Dead'' by Hellboy using a blessed sword.
* OhCrap: Hellboy's had so many of these moments, it's practically become his CatchPhrase. A few villains have had them as well. The better ones involve monkeys.
* OurAngelsAreDifferent: So far we've seen ones that look like flaming skeletons with no legs, and another that looks like a giant maggot with a metallic black mask, pointy legs and wings made of flayed human skin, with a floating spear of fire that follows it around.
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: HB's pretty typical, physically, but the other demons we see keep getting progressively weirder as time goes on. The bizarre crow/bat/udder thing in ''BPRD: The Universal Machine'' probably takes the cake.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: While always referred to as a dragon or serpent, the Ogru Jahad is an EldritchAbomination, currently seven cocoons in deep space with snakelike bodies and elongated skulls.
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: A race of grey-skinned mountain faeries from "Jutland" appear in The Wild Hunt. They are short, bearded, and like crafting with metal and gems. While they [[NotUsingTheZWord haven't yet been identified as such]], they fit the dwarven archetype to a T. A similar group shows up when Hellboy fights the ghost of Norse Frost Giants.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: Given the nature of the series, this is to be expected. Besides classical vampires, Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. have faced off against a number of variations.
** Vampire-Human hybrids made from injecting the mentally and physically disabled, gay, and other prisoners that the Nazis had rounded up with vampire blood.
** The Manananggal/Penanggalan, a normal-looking woman by day, who at night detaches her head from her body to feed, ALL of her internal organs leaving with her.
** The bestial and corpse-like vampires of Mexican folklore
** The Varcolac, a Titan-esque King of the Vampires that can devour the moon.
** The vampire lords (a group to whom Vladimir Giurescu and Baron Koenig also belonged) are of the more classical kind. [[spoiler:However, they also have a centuries-old plan to take over the world. That is, if the ongoing apocalypse doesn't beat them to it. And if Simon Anders doesn't wipe them all out in the meantime]].
* PaperThinDisguise: Despite there being no [[TheMasquerade masquerade]] in this world, Abe shows up to the Cavandish estate in ''Seed of Destruction'' in one of these, including a hat, sunglasses, fake beard and ConspicuousTrenchcoat.
* PhysicalGod: Hecate, [[spoiler:The Queen of Blood]].
** Hellboy himself would become one of these if he ever took up his place in {{Hell}}. He's on the verge of it as he is already, given his strength and how hard it is to kill him.
* PublicDomainCharacter: Frankenstein's monster. According to Mignola, he's the Shelley version but with a strong James Whale influence, since Film/BrideOfFrankenstein is his favourite film. The implication seems to be that Shelley's novel was here based on true events.
* PutOnABus: This happens to Abe in an awesome way in the ''B.P.R.D.'' story "The Dead". He returns to field duty... but not for long.
* RedShirt: Just about any non main BPRD character who tags along with the main characters on their missions isn't coming back. They did, however, TakeALevelInBadass in several side stories. The extreme danger normal humans face working for the B.P.R.D. is discussed many times. They do their jobs anyway.
** Some BPRD agents have been [[AscendedExtra bumped up]] to MauveShirt status - Agent Devon being one of the more notable examples.
** RedshirtArmy ([[InvokedTrope Invoking]] FacelessGoons as well.
* TheRightHandOfDoom: The TropeCodifier.
* RoswellThatEndsWell: Scenes involving Hellboy's childhood and the early years of the BPRD are sometimes set at the Roswell Army Air Field, where the Bureau was based until the famous 1947 spaceship crash. (It's possible that they might've been able to stay there, were it not for an incident involving kid Hellboy, his dog Mac, and some of the residue from the ship. In the aftermath, it was decided that the time had come for the Bureau to go its own way, at which point it moved to the Connecticut facility seen in stories set during Hellboy's tenure as a BPRD agent.)
* {{Satan}}: Mentioned in ''The Wild Hunt''. Is currently [[spoiler: dead thanks to Hellboy stabbing him.]]
* ScrewDestiny: Hellboy was born to bring about the Apocalypse. He's not happy about that. In the second trade paperback ''Wake The Devil'', Hellboy [[spoiler:actually says "Screw you!" as part of his ShutUpHannibal to Hecate after she lectures him about his destiny]].
-->'''Hecate''': Accept the truth of your existence or be destroyed! You cannot escape your destiny!\\
'''Hellboy''': Gonna try.\\
'''Hecate''': Time is coming to ring down the curtain on man. Already, the four horsemen are loose in the world. It is for us to darken the sun, turn the moon to blood, and put out the stars. Then you and I alone, forever in the dark--\\
'''Hellboy''': Shut up! Not gonna happen... 'cause you're very, very ugly... and... '''you have a giant snake body'''!\\
''**impale**''
* ShoutOut: Many stories are extended love letters to creators or genres Mignola (or his collaborators) like. In particular, there are frequent references to the Weird Fiction writers, from Howard and Lovecraft to Manly Wade Wellman.
* ShowWithinAShow: After his death in 1939, [[TwoFistedTales two-fisted]] adventure hero The Lobster became the subject of a number of these: PulpMagazine stories, [[ComicBookAdaptation comic books]], {{Film Serial}}s, and finally Mexican movies with The Lobster (or, rather, "Lobster Johnson," the last name taken from the SecretIdentity he was given in the pulps) as a MaskedLuchador. Compared to his RealLife, they all make for ''massive'' cases of AdaptationDecay, and [[StylisticSuck are all considered atrociously terrible]], although some people (including Hellboy himself) [[CultClassic enjoy them anyway]]. The existence of these adaptations allow the ''Hellboy''-verse's US government to cover up the existence of the real Lobster (and the fact that he was a spy for them in WWII), and as a further side-effect, the character is more readily known, on both sides of the FourthWall, as "Lobster Johnson."
* SilentSceneryPanel: Lots of close-ups of thematically-important artwork and statuary.
* SmugSnake: Igor Bromhead, a hedge-wizard who makes a point of knowing more about the task at hand and being better prepared than his companions, and likes to lord it over people. That said, he still doesn't know nearly as much as he thinks he does. At the end of his first appearance [[spoiler: He is saved from being arrested or killed by the BPRD by invoking the Demon Prince Astaroth, who in return gives him the lower body of a reptile. Later he imprisons Hecate as part of a bid to become the King of Witches, but winds up trying to eat the moon, which leaves him bloated and wracked with pain and begging Hellboy to kill him]]
** [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Astaroth himself]], while a demon lord, seems pretty confident that Hellboy will fulfill his destiny willingly in time. [[spoiler: Later, when Hellboy doesn't, Astaroth reveals that he planned to rule Hell with Hellboy as a figurehead. This doesn't end well.]]
* {{Spinoff}}: So far the main Hellboy series has five official spinoff series, including ''B.P.R.D.''(which has its own ''194x/Vampire'' sub-series), ''Lobster Johnson'', ''Abe Sapien'', ''Witchfinder'', ''Sledgehammer '44'', and ''Frankenstein''. Not to mention the ''Odd Jobs'' series, the ''Weird Tales'' comics, and all the novels (a couple of which are considered canon); there's a whole lot more to the Hellboy [[TheVerse universe]] than just the original comics.
* {{Squick}}: InUniverse. Hellboy's seen a lot of stuff, but in ''Conqueror Worm'' he's particularly unhappy when he finds that the psychic radio the [[{{Ghostapo}} Nazis]] were using used the severed, mummified heads of saints that were actually psychics.
-->'''Hellboy''': This is the worst place on Earth.
* StartXToStopX: Lampshaded by Hellboy when he gets captured by the Bog Roosh.
--> '''Hellboy''': So you had a dream that when I die the whole world gets destroyed and you're going to stop that-- by killing me? You're a genius.
* StrippedToTheBone: Happens a whole lot.
* StylisticSuck: See ShowWithinAShow, above.
* SuperhumanTransfusion: ''The Island."
* SupernormalBindings: Rather common when dealing with demons. When attempting a summoning, anyone with half an ounce of sense will use some magical binding or words of power to prevent the demon from leaving the summoning circle. (Of course, anyone with a full ounce of sense wouldn't be summoning demons in the first place, because things always manage to go wrong even with these barriers in place.)
* TastesLikeFriendship: Apparently, Hellboy is lost to the forces of darkness forever because he ate pancakes.
* TechnologyPorn: One word: [[spoiler:Helicarrier]].
* ThisIsGonnaSuck: See OhCrap above.
* ThoseWackyNazis: If there's a non-supernatural foe in the comics, there's a good chance they wear a swastika.
** NaziOccultism: They're not mutually exclusive either.
* TimmStyle: In the {{OVA}}s. Was likely used for being cheaper to animate than Mignola's actual style, while still being somewhat similar.
* UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny: Hellboy's version of Armageddon consists of a seven aspect god of chaos, its spawn, the forces of hell, and every magical being left in the world with a grudge against humanity vs. a half-demon, half-human hybrid (with the fist of an angel), an undead army of Christendom, a global paramilitary defense agency, and a walking atomic bomb. That's the Cliff Notes version.
* TheUnmasquedWorld: Since at least the early 1950s, when Hellboy was on the cover of ''Life'' magazine. He was granted honorary human status by the UN and is something of a paranormal celebrity. There's a reason people don't freak out when a giant red demon shows up to investigate a were-rat infestation. In the first trade paperback, while Hellboy stands around in broad daylight when on missions, Abe Sapien wears a [[WigDressAccent coat, hat, goggles, and a fake beard]] to hide his amphibian nature. [[AllThereInTheManual The Companion]] explains that Abe was never too keen on drawing excess attention and lacks the natural charm that Hellboy uses to overcome the fear his appearance causes. Hellboy even speculated at one point that it's easier for people to accept him because Hell seems "more abstract" than anything that reminds them of the [[UncannyValley weird things in the oceans that they know are real]]. Thus Abe uses the CoatHatMask and Hellboy doesn't.
* UpbringingMakesTheHero
* VengefulVendingMachine: An omake strip showed Hellboy dealing with one of these, but the ending reveals that a tiny imp was behind it, not the machine itself.
* VillainousBSOD: In ''Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand'', The original [[PlayingWithFire Black Flame]] is shot by everything from handguns to [[MoreDakka submachineguns]] to a ''[[{{BFG}} 4-inch shell from an Anti-Aircraft cannon]]'' and the most they were able to do is stop him for a few minutes. He is only defeated when [[spoiler: [[IntrepidReporter Cindy Tynan]] forces Isog to run over the Black Flame's wife and partner [[DragonLady Kamala]]. The Black Flame, who has shown little emotion to that point, is clearly crushed, and collapses and allows himself to be taken into custody then]]
* VillainTeamUp: In both the main series and ''B.P.R.D.'', see main article for details.
* TheVirus: One of the more horrific, and common, fates in Hellboy is being transformed into horrible demon-spawn frog monsters. No race, gender or age group is spared.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Hellboy almost never wears one. When he ''does'' have a shirt, it usually [[ClothingDamage doesn't last very long]].
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotHeinous: [[TheDevil Astaroth]] and his horde's reaction to Hellboy having breakfast
--> '''Mammon''': It is the boy. He has eaten the pancake.
--> '''Haborym''': He will never come back to us now.
--> '''Astaroth''': Truely, this ''is'' our blackest hour.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Something Hellboy must deal with often enough.
-->''Remember Hellboy, to be something other than human, does not necessarily mean to be something less.''
** In the books, the BPRD comes down on the wrong side of this question when it [[spoiler:fits Roger the Homunculus with a self-destruct]].
** And this comes up in ''The Black Goddess'' a bit with Johann.
* TheWildHunt: In the Hellboy short story "King Vold", Vold is the headless huntsman in the sky. His hounds are the ghosts of Viking berserkers. In the later "The Wild Hunt", Hellboy joins an eponymous group of British noblemen brought together to hunt giants.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Mary, from "The Sleeping and the Dead".
----
->And there you go.