Hellboy's After-Credits Scenes Explained
WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Hellboy.
There are two post-credits scenes for Hellboy 2019 that hint at the series' future. Both scenes are quite different yet both draw upon the rich history of the original comic books to open up avenues for storylines that might be pursued in future Hellboy movies.
It cannot be denied that the new Hellboy borrows more heavily from its source material than the two movies directed by Guillermo del Toro. Certainly, there is ample material from the original comics to draw upon. The first Hellboy comic was published in March 1994, almost exactly 25 years before the release of the new movie. Since that time, Dark Horse Comics has produced over two-dozen graphic novels collecting over 100 individual Hellboy comics, not including all the series that are set in the same universe that do not star Hellboy himself.
The ending of Hellboy conclusion leaves ample avenues for a follow-up film, as do the post-credits scenes. Yet despite this preparation, it is looking increasingly unlikely that director Neil Marshall's revamp of Hellboy will lead to a sequel, much less a lengthy franchise. The early reviews have been anything but positive and the film is projected to make less money than the del Toro films during its opening weekend. But, assuming this will lead somewhere, here are the characters teased in Hellboy 2019's post-credits scenes.
- This Page: Hellboy's Mid-Credits Scene Explained - Lobster Johnson
- Page 2: Hellboy's Post-Credits Scene Explained - Koshchei the Deathless
What Happens In Hellboy's Mid-Credits Scene
Hellboy's mid-credits scene opens in a cemetery, with Hellboy holding a one-man wake at his father's grave. Even before we see the bottles placed on Professor Broom's crypt, it is clear that Hellboy is drunk, as we hear him singing "Danny Boy" off-key. He is joined by Lobster Johnson - a masked mystery man from the 1930s, whom we saw earlier in the film during a flashback showing how Professor Broom came to adopt Hellboy.
Lobster Johnson abides Hellboy's gushing praise for a moment (Hellboy is a huge fan of his work) and even offers to show him his famous Claw. The vigilante is quick to return to the matter at hand, however, and tells Hellboy that he has unfinished business to attend to and that he needs to sober up and get serious. Evil is coming, Lobster says, and while Hellboy won a major battle by bringing down the Queen of Blood, there is still a greater war to fight in the near future.
Lobster ends the conversation and just walks off. As he does this, he passes through Professor Broom's crypt, revealing himself to be a ghost. The drunken Hellboy thinks this is even cooler than meeting his childhood hero, and the scene ends as he shouts that he loves Lobster Johnson.
Lobster Johnson Explained
Played by Thomas Hayden Church in Hellboy 2019, Lobster Johnson was crafted as a tribute to the pulp action heroes of the 1930s and 1940s by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola. Originally just known as "The Lobster," he first appeared in Hellboy: Box Of Evil #1, in a back-up story titled "The Killer In My Skull." This story established the character as a detective and vigilante, who frequently faced magical monsters.
Cut from the same cloth as adventurers like Indiana Jones and The Rocketeer, Lobster Johnson is perhaps most closely inspired by The Phantom, who marked his enemies with an embossed skull ring similar to the Claw that Johnson uses to brand his foes. Precisely how the Claw works has yet to be explained, but it is assumed to be magical in nature. Johnson's backstory also emulates that of Captain America, with Johnson having had a sidekick similar to Bucky Barnes and eventually coming to work for the government as a special agent.
In the comics, Lobster's career began in 1932, where he worked out of a secret base in the sewers of Manhattan. Though originally focused on fighting organized crime, Lobster soon began to battle against supernatural evils as well. By the end of the 1930s, he had been recruited by the US Government to focus his attention on Nazi spies and saboteurs. After his death, the US Government worked to hide Lobster's existence by creating fictionalized accounts of his exploits disguised as comic books, pulp novels, movie serials and Mexican luchador movies. It was here that he began to be referred to as "Lobster Johnson," as the stories gave him the secret identity of millionaire William Johnson.
Hellboy and Lobster Johnson would eventually team up in the graphic novel Conqueror Worm. It was here that Lobster Johnson's ghost appeared to Hellboy, seeking help in completing the mission that led to his death. It was a task that Hellboy, a devoted fan of Lobster Johnson from the pulps, enthusiastically accepted. Lobster Johnson would continue to work with the BPRD for some time after that, lending his aid to bring down several other villains from his time who had escaped justice.
What Happens In Hellboy's Post-Credits Scene
The post-credits scene of Hellboy is a more intimate one than the mid-credits scene. Filmed as a continuous point-of-view shot, we once again see Baba Yaga, seated across the table from the camera. An infamous witch from Russian folklore, Baba Yaga offered Hellboy the knowledge he needed to stop Nimue in exchange for one of his eyes. It was a bargain Hellboy agreed to but then backed out of, claiming that he didn't need to give the eye to Baba Yaga at that moment since she didn't specify an exact time of delivery when they made their bargain.
An angered Baba Yaga explains all of this to an unseen character, through whose eyes the audience sees this scene. We hear this character respond to Baba Yaga's story with a deep male voice with a Russian accent. The scene ends with the witch promising the unseen man that if he can defeat Hellboy and bring her his one of his eyes that she will give him that which he wants most - death.
Koshchei the Deathless Explained
Though the character to whom Baba Yaga speaks is not identified by name or seen, he is easily identified by fans of the Hellboy comics as Koshchei the Deathless. Like Baba Yaga, Koshchei is a character from Russian folklore. And like the comic book version of Baba Yaga, Koshchei has a long and sordid history with Hellboy.
In the original Russian folk tales, Koshchei is described as a tall and bony man as well as a powerful sorcerer and shapeshifter. What makes him truly dangerous, however, is that he cannot die, having removed his own soul before hiding it inside a duck's egg. This egg was then placed inside a duck, which was placed inside a number of other animals and objects and locked away in a remote location at the ends of the Earth. This made Koshchei effectively immortal, as his body could eventually heal any injury so long as his soul was safe somewhere else, like Voldemort in the Harry Potter books.
In the reality of the Hellboy comics, Koshchei was originally an unusually skilled soldier who was betrayed by his fellow warriors and beaten near to death. Saved by a dragon and adopted as his son, Koshchei would face betrayal again after his great deeds won him the hand of a treacherous princess, who arranged his death rather than be married to a common soldier. The dragon resurrected Koshchei and sought to ensure his son would not die again by taking his soul and hiding it away in a duck's egg at the end of the world.
Unfortunately, Baba Yaga was able to learn where the egg holding Koshchei's soul had been hidden. With the egg in her possession, she was able to force him to do her bidding and turned him into the most powerful of her slaves. He would go on to face Hellboy in battle at her bidding, promised that she would finally allow him to die if he could successfully deliver one of Hellboy's eyes.
It seems likely that the Hellboy sequel will present this same battle, though Baba Yaga in the comics wanted Hellboy's eye because he had taken hers in an earlier conflict - not because he cheated her in a bargain as in the movie.