Mike Mignola's Hellboy lives in a wild, mysterious world. Monsters, beasts and all sorts of cryptozoological oddities abound, and Hb's got to deal with them all. But in all that, there's still something that stands out, and doesn't really seem to belong: aliens. Hellboy fights mythology and fantasy, not sci-fi. Sure, aliens are the myths of the modern industrial age, but the BPRD fights the old world, not the new. Aliens are just out of place.
Maybe it's because Hellboy spends so much time bumming around haunted castles and the like. You see a horde of talking skeletons in the basement, that's normal. If he hung out in high-tech labs, maybe aliens would seem less exotic. Of course, it would also help if they'd shown up in more than, like, two stories, and if they didn't act all cryptic and inscrutable.
Despite the aliens' less-than-marquee status, one of their number has made it into Series 2 of Mezco's comic-based Hellboy line, alongside some characters that people would actually care about. And although he's in the lower half of desirability for this series (right above Jet Pack Hellboy), he turned out to be a cool little figure.
Since he's trying to survive in a harsh foreign environment (ours), the alien is wearing a protective suit. It's mostly a form-fitting black number, but there are some bulky armored sections, as well.
The armor is asymmetrical, heavily favoring the left side - while his metal underwear is even on both sides, that's it. He's wearing a big powerglove on his left hand, while he's got his right sleeve pushed up to reveal a bit of skin. There are deep gauges in the surface of the armor, which seem to be designs, and smaller nicks that just look like evidence of wear and tear. Nice variety. Plus, the entire surface of the armor has a slightly rough texture. The paint looks blotchy in these photos, but it's better in person.
The alien has a bunch of tubes and whatnot sticking out his back. The wires are actually hard plastic, rather than real rubber tubes, which allow them to look heavier than they are. The tubes plug into his environment suit via big coils, the kind of things you see on transformers and power stations. Is the armor powered? Does the alien produce bio energy that is then directed into or through the suit? Mystery!
Other than that patch of forearm, the only bit of exposed skin on our alien is his head.
He looks like your typical Grey: grayish skin, big black eyes, bulbous head... you know, just like what people who claim they've been abducted say they saw. In the world of Hellboy, though, that appearance, coupled with the lightning-bolt lines on his head, give him a distinct resemblance to heroic manfish Abe Sapien. Is there a connection there? We don't know yet. Hellboy aliens are usually bluer than this, but not so much that any sane person would notice or care.
The alien is nearly 7 1/2" tall, and articulated well despite his bulky armor. He moves at the knees, hips, torso, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders and neck. The hips, wrists, chest, shoulders and neck are all balljoints, so you've got enough poseability to make him dance. He's got three accessories - "alien tools" - that he can hold in his right hand. Each has metallic sections detailed with coils similar to those on his back, and translucent green "energy" sections. The tools are similar, yet distinct - they look like they belong together in the same way a hammer, screwdriver and pair of pliers that were all bought from Sears would look the same.
There was no way that anyone was demanding Mezco make a figure of the alien for their Hellboy line, but the toy turned out really nicely. He's definitely got that "Mignola" look, but he's also plain enough to not look out of place in any sci-fi collection. So far the aliens' role in Hellboy seems to be guardians of the Ogdru Jahad - they're hovering around making sure that the idiots on planet Earth don't accidentally wake the dragon and bring about the end of existence. Important work. You can do your part to keep reality safe by buying this little alien.
What is the deal with the freaking aliens? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.