From the knee-length trench coat, to the Right Hand of Doom, comic fans have come to love the unique style of Mike Mignola's Hellboy. However, as the creator pointed out this week, his early versions of the character looked very, very different.
On Thursday, Mignola took to Twitter to share an almost-unrecognizable photo of Hellboy. As it turns out, this is actually Mignola's first-ever illustration of the character.
It almost goes without saying, Hellboy went through quite a few changes from the time Mignola first conceived the idea, and the time he first appeared in print in 1993.
This design, which you can see below, showed Hellboy looking a lot more devilish than his final version. He had a much broader chest than the ultimate Dark Hose Comics character, two sets of horns coming from his head (just one set was filed down), and several animals were placed around on his body. A vulture can be seen atop Hellboy's head, while a crab and a fish hang from his belt.
The final version of Hellboy that appeared in the comics had a much more cartoonish figure and donned a long trench coat. He also ended up with the Right Hand of Doom, which would go on to become one of the character's signature traits.
While followers of Mignola on social media may not have seen this Hellboy drawing before, the creator did include it in the Hellboy Library Edition: Volume 1, the hardback collection of the first two Hellboy story arcs.
Hellboy first appeared in 1993, where a prototype of the character was on the cover of Dime Press #4. His first full appearance came months later in San Diego Comic Con Comics #2, and his first appearance in color arrived in Next Men #21. The standalone Hellboy series began in March of 1994 with the "Seed of Destruction" storyline.
Ron Perlman played the character in two films, Hellboy (2004) and Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), both of which were written and directed by Guillermo Del Toro. Last year, it was announced that the duo would not return for a third installment. Instead, the franchise would be undergoing a reboot with Neil Marshall directing, and Stranger Things star David Harbour taking over as Hellboy.
Marshall and Harbour's Hellboy film is slated to hit theaters on January 11, 2019.