Why Did Hellboy Become Santa Claus? | CBR

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Today, we look at the time that Hellboy had to fill in for Santa Claus to save the spirit of a dying woman’s daughter on Christmas Eve.

It’s our yearly Comics Should Be Good Advent Calendar! Every day until Christmas Eve, you can click on the current day’s Advent Calendar post and it will show the Advent Calendar with the door for that given day opened and you can see what the “treat” for that day will be! You can click here to see the previous Advent Calendar entries. This year, the theme is a Very Dope 90s Christmas! Each day will be a Christmas comic book story from the 1990s, possibly ones that have a specific 1990s bent to it (depends on whether I can come up with 24 of them).

This year’s Advent Calendar, of Grunge Santa Claus giving out 90s present, like a Tamagotchi, while posing with four superheroes with the most-90s costumes around, is by Nick Perks.

And now, Day 3 will be opened (once opened, the door will feature a panel from the featured story)…

Today’s story is 1997’s “A Christmas Underground” from Hellboy Christmas Special #1 by Mike Mignola.

One of the most interesting things about the history of Christmas and Christmas stories is that we’re all now a bit over the idea of Christmas being a time for ghost stories, and yet one of the most famous Christmas stories of all-time not only is a ghost story (A Christmas Carol), but it was actually the story that led to ghost stories becoming SO ubiquituous for Christmas celebrations, as Charles Dickens really pushed for ghost stories at Christmastime in the 19th Century, to the point where (as quoted by Colin Dickey at the Smithsonian Magazine in a piece about why we should bring back ghost stories for Christmas) Jerome K. Jerome wrote in his 1891 collection, Told After Supper, “Whenever five or six English-speaking people meet round a fire on Christmas Eve, they start telling each other ghost stories. Nothing satisfies us on Christmas Eve but to hear each other tell authentic anecdotes about spectres. It is a genial, festive season, and we love to muse upon graves, and dead bodies, and murders, and blood.”

Well, that sure sounds like a Hellboy comic book, right?

The Hellboy Christmas Special as a whole was a great comic book, but the comic book story that made the countdown was the contribution to the Special by Hellboy’s creator, the always amazing Mike Mignola.

The story opens with a priest calling Hellboy to a “doomed” castle where an old woman lost her daughter years ago and now she is dying herself. Hellboy visits her…

Eventually, in the Underground, Hellboy finds the daughter, who seems to be living in a beautiful existence there…

When Hellboy figures out the situation Annie is in, he tries to free her spirit by first using the gift of the cross to expose what was really going on here…

Hellboy and the priest then reflect on the night…

Great stuff.

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