Why Does Hellboy Like Cats?

As far as quirky characters go, Hellboy, the world’s most famous paranormal investigator, is definitely one of the quirkiest characters in the world of comic books. Hellboy is quite special in many ways and this aspect has earned him a large fandom that made him enormously popular, despite the fact that he is not part of either of the two major comic book universes, those owned by Marvel Comics and DC Comics. As a semi-independent character, Hellboy has made a name for himself and is today considered to be one of the most important and popular modern-day comic book characters. That is why I have decided to dedicate today’s article to him. 

Despite popular opinion, Hellboy is a cat lover and prefers cats over dogs, both in the comic book and the movies. This is probably because he befriended a cat while he was still young, as the cat wasn’t afraid of him when it encountered the red-skinned demon. 

In today’s article, I am going total exclusively about Hellboy’s love for cats. You are going to find out whether the “cat” thing is something exclusive to the movies or is it likewise present in the comic books, as well as the origins of Hellboy’s love for cats. It’s going to be fun so stick with us! Enjoy!

Does Hellboy like cats in the comic books?

Hellboy is a fictional demonic superhero created by writer and artist Mike Mignola. The character had his first full appearance in San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 (August 1993), and has since appeared in several miniseries, one-shots, and intercompany crossovers. 

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A well-meaning half-demon whose real name, which I have already talked about earlier, is Anung Un Rama (“and upon his brow is set a crown of flame”), Hellboy was summoned from Hell to Earth as a baby on December 23, 1944 (given as his date of birth by Mike Mignola) by Nazi occultists, which generated his future hatred for the Third Reich and Nazis in general. 

He was discovered on a fictional island in the Outer Hebrides by the Allied Forces; among them was Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, who formed the American Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.). 

Over time, Hellboy grew up into a red-skinned adult with a tail, horns (which are later removed, leaving circular stumps on his forehead), hooves on his feet, and an oversized right hand made of stone called the “Right Hand of Doom”, which is also the center of an apocalyptic prophecy. He has been described as smelling like dry roasted peanuts. 

Although a bit brusque, he does not display the malevolence that is believed to be inherent in classical demons and has a wry sense of humor. This is said to be due to his upbringing under Professor Bruttenholm, who raised him as a normal child. 

Hellboy works for the B.P.R.D., an international non-governmental agency, and fights against dark forces, including Nazis and witches, in a series of tales that have their roots in folklore, pulp magazines, vintage adventures, horror stories written by H. P. Lovecraft (Lovecraftian horror) and other horror fiction. In previous stories, he was identified as the “world’s greatest paranormal investigator.” 

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Now, most people know that Hellboy likes cats thanks to the several movies featuring the character. In the movies, Hellboy is definitely a cat person and, well, that was quite evident in the movies themselves. Still, some of the comic books have shown Hellboy as being very fond of dogs, which prompted people to think that the “cat thing” is a thing of the movies and not a canon character trait. 

The truth, though, is quite different, as the comic books, even more than the movies, actually, stress out Hellboy’s affections towards cats. So yes, Hellboy does like cats in the comic books as well and that is definitely a canon character trait, rather than just a thing from the movies. 

Credit Dark Horse Comics

Why does Hellboy like cats?

The exact reason why Hellboy likes cats is unknown. Mike Mignola probably knows it, but Hellboy is full of such quirky and/or interesting facts that have no precise explanation save for Mike Mignola depicting them like that. And while such facts are numerous, Hellboy’s love for cats is something we can, at least, try to speculate about so that we can develop a relatively plausible theory from what we know happened in the stories. 

Namely, when he was just a demon-like child, Hellboy encountered a cat. As he looked like a demon, most people and other living creatures were genuinely afraid of him. Who can blame them, really? Hellboy is certainly not an example of handsomeness and the fact that he basically looks like a monster doesn’t really help here. This is why people were generally afraid of him and they avoided him when they saw him. 

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Still, the aforementioned cat had a different reaction. Namely, when it saw Hellboy, it did not run away and it was not scared. Hellboy really appreciated this, as it was been the first time that he had not been shunned by a living creature as a monstrosity. The cat approached Hellboy and he was very glad it did. The two of them continued to hand out and they even formed a close bond between them, which was a first for the paranormal investigator, more so as he was quite young at that point in his life. 

Another theory that could explain Hellboy’s love for cats is based on folklore more than anything. Namely, Hellboy’s mother was a witch and witches are, traditionally, associated with (black) cats in Western folklore. Based on that, there is a solid possibility that Hellboy’s love for cats is a consequence of his mother’s abilities. 

To sum it up, we don’t actually know why Hellboy loves cats so much, but the fact is that he does – both in the comics and in the films. Mike Mignola is the only one that knows the exact reason and I have given you some possible explanations that might fit the mold.