Hellboy is a creature summoned in the final months of World War II by a fictional version of Grigori Rasputin on a small island off the coast of Scotland, having been commissioned by the Nazis to change the tide of war (Ragnarok project). Hellboy appeared in a fireball in a ruined church in East Bromwich, England, December 23, 1944. He proved not to be a devil, but a little boy-like creature (with red skin, horns, a tail, and a large stone right hand)—hence the name given by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm (pronounced Broom).
Taken by the U.S. forces to an Air Force base somewhere in New Mexico, Hellboy was raised by the United States Army and by the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, a U.S. agency dedicated to combating occult threats. He was granted honorary human status by the United Nations in 1952.
As an adult, Hellboy became the primary agent for the B.P.R.D., alongside several other human and quasi-human agents. His fellow agents include Abe Sapien, an amphibian humanoid ("icthyo sapien"); Liz Sherman, a pyrokinetic; Roger, an unusually large homunculus; and Johann Kraus, a disembodied spiritualist.
Hellboy's adventures in the comics span the 1940s to the present day and involve elements such as sorcerers, Nazis, the Thule Society, hollow earth explorers, werewolves, vampires, ghosts, and other oddities such as the Ogdru Jahad.
Several of the storylines deal with Hellboy's Right Hand of Doom and its purpose in initiating the Apocalypse..