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Thor’s Hammer is Driving Hellboy Mad (And That’s a Good Thing)

Armed with Thor’s hammer Mjollnir, Hellboy tries to stop the scourge of the King of the Frost Giants. But he is slowly losing his grip on reality.

Warning! Spoilers for Hellboy: The Bones of Giants #2 ahead!

Taking Thor‘s hammer Mjollnir from the corpse of Thunder God makes Hellboy feel as if he is losing his mind, though that might be necessary in order to save the world. The half-demon, half-human agent of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense finds himself up against legends from Norse mythology in the Dark Horse Comics miniseries Hellboy: The Bones of Giants. But even if he can hold onto his sanity long enough, he may not have what it takes to stop an invasion of Frost Giants.

Hellboy: The Bones of Giants is a four-issue miniseries based on the 2001 novel written by Christopher Golden and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola. The art is by Matt Smith, with colors by Chris O’Halloran and letters by Clem Robins. The series begins in Sweden in 1988, when a massive lightning strike unveils the corpse of Thor with his hammer Mjollnir beside him. When Hellboy and Abe Sapien of the B.P.R.D. arrive on the scene to investigate, Hellboy is the only one who can pick up Mjollnir. The problem is, once he picks it up he can’t put it back down. He becomes a vessel for Thor, occasionally speaking in the Thunder God’s voice or getting glimpses of his memories. When other creatures from Norse mythology start recognizing him as Thor, it becomes clear that he is the only one who can stop what’s coming.

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Related: Thor’s God Tempest Explains How Mjolnir’s Enchantment Actually Works

In the miniseries’ second issue, Hellboy fights off an attack by Svartalves (dark elves) as he pursues Professor Edmond Aickman. The professor previously appeared in the 2000 story King Void, where he betrayed Hellboy in an attempt to gain a fortune from an ancient Norwegian spirit. Aickman is up to his old tricks as he is part of a cult trying to resurrect Thrym, the King of the Frost Giants. Accompanied by Aickman’s daughter Pernilla and Abe, he sets off to stop the professor. Hellboy begins to remember more and more of his life as Thor, when he slew Thrym. He encounters two dwarves of Nidavellim, Brokk and Eitri, as well as a Valkyrie named Mist. When he is speaking to Mist in a forest, nobody else can see her, leading them to question his sanity.


Their fears for Hellboy’s mental health are somewhat abated when they see Ratatosk, a squirrel who carries messages along the world tree, Yggdrasil. Pernilla and Abe hear the squirrel talking, but are unable to understand it as it speaks an ancient unknown language when conversing with Hellboy, who greets Ratatosk as an old friend. “Jeez, Abe. What’s happening to me?” Hellboy asks, concerned that he is slipping more and more into the persona of Thor. He has no choice but to go along with it though, as time is of the essence to stop Aickman.

The blending of Hellboy and Norse mythology is a natural fit. Readers may be familiar with some of the names and characters from Marvel’s Thor comics, or even from Wonder Woman’s recent journey to Asgard in DC Comics. But in this miniseries the legendary figures from folklore have a more sinister bent to them. While Hellboy is certainly a warrior, he is not seeking the glory of battle seen in many Thor stories. He does not want to be a hero or journey to Valhalla. He just wants to stop a monster from wreaking havoc. And if Hellboy wants to stop Thrym from destroying the Earth, he’s going to have to hope that Thor‘s hammer Mjollnir doesn’t drive him mad first.


Next: New Hellboy Miniseries Coming From Dark Horse in 2022

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