First appearing in an early 90s four-page black and white publication, Hellboy would go on to become Mike Mignola’s most famous and highly favored creation. Before the character’s eventual solo debut, fans already knew that they had witnessed the birth of something truly special.
Close to three decades later, Hellboy has grown into one of the world’s most celebrated fictional characters, with countless media properties based on him and his devilish adventures.
Everything from multi-platform video games to Hollywood Blockbusters has made use of Hellboy’s quirky world to tell interesting and engaging stories.
And with so many different interpretations, each one fleshing out the character in different ways, there is now a lot of lore and background information to parse through when approaching the franchise. This, of course, leads to fans asking a lot of questions about the character and the world he inhabits.
One of the most common questions I hear from fans is of course,
Why Does Hellboy Like Cats?
Hellboy’s love for cats stems from the fact that when Hellboy was a youngling before the world got to like him as a force of good, a cat once approached the young demon and showed him affection.
At this time most people and most animals shielded in fear from his demonic appearance. From this point forward, Hellboy began to harbor a very special spot in his heart for cats.
However, there is more to this story than initially seems clear and, in fact, the true answer to this question is surprisingly complex, with different interpretations across the various media that have explored the World’s Greatest Paranormal Investigator.
Case in point, Hellboy’s creator, Mike Mignola himself, has gone on record to say that Hellboy’s predilection for cats is a movie invention.
Yet some fans have argued with Mignola himself saying that there is evidence in the comics to support the theory that Hellboy is a cat lover in the comics as well. Some fans are citing the fact that his explanation came by way of an Instagram post to dismiss it as canon.
So, where does the truth lie?
Comic Book Hellboy And Cats
Let’s get something out of the way first. Mike Mignola is Hellboy’s creator and, as such, should be the ultimate authority on the character. If he says that Hellboy does not particularly love cats, I’m going to take his word for it.
But for the sake of argument, let’s take a look at the character’s development over the years and highlight the ways in which comic book Hellboy may or may not have been a lover of cats.
Hellboy does have an explicit encounter with a cat in the comics, and the outcome of the said encounter is positive for both the demon and the cat. However, the panels that feature Hellboy with cats never emphasize an explicit preference for them.
Hellboy’s attitude towards cats can easily be attributed to his good heart and easy-going nature. In other words, Hellboy does not just like cats, he likes all animals.
- Mignola, Mike (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 1600 Pages - 11/09/2021 (Publication Date) - Dark Horse Books (Publisher)
So, Does Hellboy Love Cats In The Comics?
While comic book Hellboy does not have anything against cats, per se, he is actually more of a dog person than a cat person!
Movie Hellboy And Cats
Hellboy from the movies is most definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, a bonafide feline lover!
There is no arguing against this fact since all of the movies (Both of Del Toro’s takes, as well as the 2019 film directed by Neil Marshal) have featured scenes where Hellboy goes goo-goo-gaga over the furry creatures.
Movie Hellboy is often seen surrounded by cats while relaxing at home or protecting them from harm in the middle of a mission for the BPRD.
One of the funniest scenes of the entire franchise takes place in Hellboy II: The Golden Army, where he literally panics at the thought of the Scottish Bag Lady eating a poor defenseless cat.
This love for cats has even spilled onto the small screen. A series of Tv commercials airing during the lead to the theatrical release of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, showed Hellboy playing video games, fighting American Gladiators, and petting the fluffiest of cats.
- Hellboy (Director's Cut) - Blu-ray Brand New
- Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Jeffrey Tambor (Actors)
- Guillermo Del Toro (Director)
Reasons Why Hellboy Likes Cats
Whether you subscribe to the idea that comic book Hellboy is a cat lover (against the stated opinion of the character’s creator) or not, his relationship with cats can be interpreted in a variety of different ways.
For example, cats have always had a special place in human culture, with many instances of cats being perceived as exalted souls or mystic guides to the afterlife. In other instances, cats have been deeply associated with occult powers and superstition.
Hellboy, is a literal citizen of Hell, and his adventures have predominantly dealt with the occult, the esoteric, and the supernatural; therefore, cats fit perfectly into the overall aesthetic of the character.
Another reason why Hellboy likes cats could be because his affection functions as a way to humanize the character to us, the audience. After all, Hellboy is the demonic spawn of a Duke of Hell whose goal is the destruction of humanity.
By making Hellboy love cats, the creators make sure that we are able to instinctively recognize his humanity, and are able to root for him.
The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t really matter WHY Hellboy likes cats. Hellboy has been able to grow to such iconic status because he is a complex, well-realized character whose supernatural adventures are often just the detailed background for stories about being simply human.