This is shaping up to be the year of Hellboy. The anticipated new live-action film starring David Harbour hits theaters in April, just in time for the character’s 25th birthday since the first issue of the original Hellboy: Seed of Destruction comic was published by creator Mike Mignola in March 1994. Dark Horse Comics is celebrating the big anniversary by naming March 23 “Hellboy Day.” The surrounding months will be filled with new Hellboy comics. EW can exclusively announce one of them, a new one-shot called Hellboy vs. Lobster Johnson: The Ring of Death.
Hellboy vs. Lobster Johnson: The Ring of Death will involve, of all things, a Mexican wrestling match. Written by Mignola and Chris Roberson and illustrated by Mike Norton, Paul Grist, Dave Stewart, and Bill Crabtree, the comic is set during Hellboy’s 1956 Mexico escapades. Fans might know that Hellboy spent the summer of 1956 having drunken adventures in Mexico; some of those stories are collected in the recent Hellboy Short Story Omnibus volumes. This story, however, comes at it from a slightly different angle.
“As longtime readers might remember, in the summer of 1956 Hellboy went through a rough patch, a months-long drunken ‘lost weekend’ in Mexico that he later claimed to remember very little about, during which he fought Aztec mummies, palled around with Mexican luchador wrestlers, and even spent some time in the ring himself,” Roberson tells EW. “And it’s also been established that in Hellboy’s world there was a long-running series of low-budget Mexican horror films featuring ‘Lobster Johnson,’ a masked luchador hero inspired by the Depression-era hero the ‘Lobster’ who Hellboy had idolized as a kid.”
Roberson continues, “During a long lunch a few years ago (the same rambling conversation that was the genesis of The Visitor: How And Why He Stayed), I suggested to Mike Mignola that it might be fun to do a one-shot that approached that ‘lost weekend’ from a somewhat different direction than the stories that he and his other collaborators have done in the past while also taking a closer look at the ‘Lobster Johnson’ luchador character, and by the time the check was paid we’d worked out a rough outline for Hellboy vs. Lobster Johnson: The Ring of Death.”
Hellboy vs. Lobster Johnson: The Ring of Death goes on sale May 29. Below, check out an exclusive preview of the issue’s cover by Paolo Rivera.