Honors Senior Theses/Projects
More than Human: A Critical Evaluation of the Intersection of Character and Theme in Mike Mignola's Hellboy
Date of Award
Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project
Honors Program Director
At his core, Hellboy is defined by his choices and his humanity. According to The Hellboy Companion “Hellboy's potency as a character comes from [his] moral foundation, this contrast between his origins and his aspirations” (10). At once, Hellboy exists as a protector of humanity against the monsters of old and as a monster himself. He is biologically both human and demon, born for the purpose of bringing on the start of the apocalypse. Before this can be realized, though, he is adopted and raised by a human parent. His human identity comes to represent choice and free will, while his monstrous heritage represents a predetermined fate and an inescapable nature. This nature versus nurture conflict is played out in several ways in the series, especially in Hellboy's identity as a hero. In this thesis I will show how Hellboy is a heroic character aptly suited to current social and cultural trends through literary analysis of the overarching plot and in the nature versus nurture theme central to his character. Additionally, I will explore how the character of Hellboy influences his world and how he is influenced by his world through the force and will of greater powers.
Wells, Bonnie, "More than Human: A Critical Evaluation of the Intersection of Character and Theme in Mike Mignola's Hellboy" (2014). Honors Senior Theses/Projects. 18.