Hellboy: A Dark Horse ongoing series

Hellboy: A Dark Horse ongoing series Lesson: When things go bump in the night, he’s the one who bumps back.Synopsis:Hellboy was created by Mike Mignola for Dark Horse Entertainment. The origin of Hellboy concerns Hitler?s fascination with the occult during the dying days of WWII. In a final attempt to win the war, Hitler sponsors a special occult society that was going to bring forth a monster to destroy the world (Hellboy). They succeeded but then failed to obtain the creature. Instead, the good guys found the fledgling monster who they raised to become one of their own fighting for the side of good. Now, drawing on his love of folklore, Lovecraft, and his unique sense of humor, Mignalo?s Hellboy travels the world for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.) inserting himself into some of the greatest folklore tales the world has to offer.*Note: The origin of Hellboy was captured really well in the movie adaptation of the same name.

This lesson is based on the short stories found in the Trade paperback Hellboy The Chained Coffin and Others.

I found the best way to start this lesson is to have the students learn about (or review) the origins of oral traditions. A good way to do this is to have them retail a fairytale or folklore legend orally to the class. Discuss with the kids the origins of some fairy tales like Cinderella or Hansel and Gretel.

Next, have the students read a Hellboy story that concerns folktales that come from different parts of the world. Briefly discuss with the students about why these different cultures have the myths and folktales.

The bulk of the project has the students picking a country to learn about. They need to research (using proper research techniques) the people, their history, beliefs, and religion. Students need to look at the geography and cultures that survive there. They are to make a case report for the B.P.R.D. that would contain information on the country they picked and a particular folklore or myth that needs investigation. They can then present their case file to the rest of the class. Encourage the students to role-play the part of a B.P.R.D. investigator. Their case file should be creative and contain things like pictures of drawings.

Dark Horse Comics: Hellboy (link opens in new window)


Skills: Writing, Research, Presentation Skills, Critical Thinking, and World History as it relates to differing cultures.

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