Fans piled into a room at Comic-Con International in San Diego 2012 to see what the future brings for Hellboy and his friends at the B.P.R.D. as creator Mike Mignola, editor Scott Allie and artists Cameron Stewart and Tyler Crook arrived ready to answer fan questions about the popular Dark Horse Comics series.
Although Mignola did not come with any particular topics in mind, he did make one thing very clear: there will be no "Hellboy 3" film. This was met with many sad groans from fans of the movies, but the moment helped to set the tone for the rest of the panel, which focused primarily on the comic's past, present and future as Mignola opened the floor up immediately to fan questions.
Things have been intense recently for Hellboy with his death landing him in Hell. As for his old friends at the B.P.R.D., things have been getting worse by the day. The world seems to be crumbling in around them -- but it's all part of Mignola's master plan. "Things are building to some really gigantic stuff by the end of the year," he said.
One fan asked if Hellboy would be rejoining the B.P.R.D. any time in the near future. Mignola told the audience that there are no plans to have the character rejoin his old friends, but there has been talk of some Hellboy stories taking place when he was a young agent learning the ropes. Hellboy also currently appears from time to time as a child in "B.P.R.D: 1948."
In current story news, Mignola revealed that "Hellboy In Hell" would kick off with a four-issue mini-series. The storyline continues from the mini-series with one-shots or the occasional two issue story. Mignola discussed his plans to utilize more folklore for "Hellboy In Hell," noting the positive side to a story set in Hell based on the folklore of other cultures. "I am much freer to interpret," he said, further mentioning the research level does not have to be as high because the surrounding world does not have to be as accurate.
One fan asked about whether or not Mignola and his team have found their hands tied by issues of continuity since "Hellboy" and its spin-off books tend to jump around in time. "The more walls you set up, the more fun it becomes because now you have a maze," responded Mignola. Scott Allie pointed out how useful the "Hellboy Companion" book has been for keeping everything straight. When asked if there would ever be a volume two to the companion, Allie gave a vehement "No." According to the panelists, the book was very time consuming and difficult to produce.
"Hellboy" readers know that a considerable amount of the series hinges on prophecy, with constant prophetic references to the characters' futures. Mignola specifically keeps these prophecies as vague as possible in order to avoid preventing himself from telling specific stories.
According to the panel, the paranormal investigators at the B.P.R.D will be in the capable hands of James Herron and Tyler Crook for the foreseeable future. Allie told the audience that Crook is such a quick artist that Dark Horse is currently considering allowing him to do some creator-owned titles in addition to his "B.P.R.D." work.
Artist Cameron Stewart, a relatively new addition to the Hellboy and B.P.R.D. team, announced he will be wrapping up his own creator-owned online comic "Sin Titulo" in the near future and is working to bring it to print.
One fan asked about the difficulty of tracking "Hellboy" continuity, as the series has never adopted a sequential numbering system on the outside cover. The issues always have numbering the inside of the issues, but once bagged and boarded, it can be difficult to figure out the next book in sequence. However, the numbering system will change with "Hellboy" #100 later this year when "Hellboy" and all of its spin-offs will begin sequential numbering on the front covers. This will help to aid fans in alleviating some confusion.
With that, the panel concluded as Mignola said goodbye to his fans and went back to roam the floors of CCI 2012.
Stay tuned to CBR News for more coverage of CCI 2012 and "Hellboy In Hell."