Hellboy crosses over into the world of Thor in The Bones of Giants, which centers around a magical war that would be a good fit for the MCU.
Warning: The following contains spoilers from recent issues of Hellboy: The Bones of Giants, on sale now from Dark Horse Comics.
Mike Mignola’s Hellboy is back in a four-issue comic book adaptation of the novel The Bones Of Giants. The first three issues are now available, and focus on the hellish hero taking on creatures straight out of Norse mythology, such as frost giants and a giant, dwarf-eating wolf. Fortunately, Hellboy has the help of Thor, the God of Thunder to deal with these mythological threats.
Hellboy is no stranger to gods of foreign pantheons. He’s previously fought legendary creatures from many cultures throughout the world, dealing with Irish baby-stealing fairies, the infamous Russian Baba Yaga, and the ancient Greek Hydra. The Bones Of Giants takes place in Sweden and likewise features several recognizable characters.
When Hellboy and his partner Abe arrive in Sweden, they are immediately introduced to an ancient and recently dethawed corpse wielding a hammer. Not only were the Swedish scientists unable to lift the hammer, they were also afraid to continue trying because of lightning that repeatedly struck at uneven intervals. Hellboy was immediately able to lift the hammer and was immediately struck by lightning. This not only fused the hammer to Hellboy but also seemed to fuse Thor’s soul to him as well.
Hellboy then embarks on a mission as the God of Thunder sporadically possesses his body. Along the way, they encounter several figures familiar to the world of Thor, including the great serpent Jormungandr who Odin prophesied would kill destroy the God of Thunder. The main villain of the story appears to be Thrym, a frost giant who has also been seen in Marvel’s Thor series.
It’s rare to see crossovers between characters from different publishers in the modern day. However, Thor is available to be adapted and written by anyone on the grounds that the character is based on millennia-old Norse mythology and thus predates copyright law. So Hellboy and Thor colliding in “The Bones Of Giants” is not so much a crossover as it is Mignola’s interpretation of the same mythology Stan Lee drew inspiration from when he first wrote Thor into the Marvel Universe.
In terms of film, Thor has been flying high whereas the hellish hero has been in a perpetual freefall in recent years. 2019’s Hellboy movie was universally panned, and is the only film to come out of the franchise since 2008. However, the MCU’s Thor is a remarkable example of how the proper creative team can pull a franchise out of a freefall. The first two Thor movies in the MCU are generally considered some of the worst films to come from Marvel Studios. They replace the vast worlds and god-like energy of the comics with earthly melodrama that was not well received. In contrast, 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok was a breath of fresh air for the franchise, and renewed interest in the character.
Hellboy, in the hands of a director and screenwriter who truly understands and appreciates Mike Mignola’s character, could see the same kind of revival, although the hope of him appearing alongside Thor in a manner similar to The Bones of Giants is highly unlikely.
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