This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
This article contains major spoilers for Hellboy (2019).
Neil Marshall’s 2019 Hellboy reboot certainly isn’t a perfect movie, as we discussed in detail in our (generous) two-star review, and reports have suggested there were problems behind the scenes, too. But, with this being the age of superhero cinematic universes, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that this flawed film comes with two post-credits scenes that aim to set up a sequel.
Even before the credits roll, in fact, the movie makes a lot of effort to tease the future. After the main narrative of the film concludes, we jump forward in time to see David Harbour’s Hellboy on another B.P.R.D. mission with Daniel Dae Kim’s Ben (who seems a bit more keen to embrace his inner animal) and Sasha Lane’s Alice (who is now a fully-fledged member of the team). After killing some evil scientists, our heroes uncover a tube-shaped fish tank thing that seems to contain Abe Sapien (Hellboy’s scaly ally, who was played by Doug Jones in the previous films).
That scene felt like it could have come after the credits, but director Neil Marshall and screenwriter Andrew Cosby clearly had other surprises planned for the mid-credits and post-credits slots. If you need reminding, or just want some extra info, this is what they were…
The mid-credits scene
Following the death of Ian McShane’s Trevor Broom, Hellboy’s adoptive father, we see our horned hero slumped over his dad’s grave. Hellboy is sobbing in the scene, which likely slots it into the timeline between the main action of the film and the Abe Sapien tease.
How was Hellboy able to bounce back from his old man’s demise? Well, as turns out, he got a pep talk from Lobster Johnson. Another character ripped straight from the comics, Thomas Haden Church’s Lobster showed up in the film during the Nazi-killing flashback to Hellboy’s origins. (“Guten tag”, he says in the scene, before taking out a bunch of Nazis with this trademark lobster claw weapon.)
Now dead and a ghost, Lobster pops up in the graveyard and essentially tells Hellboy to get his act together. He’s won a battle, but the war is far from over. Instead of getting his act together, Hellboy majorly freaks out, which is fair enough when you’ve just met the ghost of one of your heroes.
The post-credits scene
The rest of the credits play – giving you time to dash to the bathroom, if needs be – before one final scene pops up at the very end. In this extra nugget of narrative, we return to the adjunct dimension where Baba Yaga is trapped with her chicken leg house.
The initial conflict between Hellboy and Baba Yaga, which resulted in the latter’s entrapment, took place before the events of this film. but Hellboy popped into Baba Yaga’s chicken leg house for a buffet, a kiss, and some vital intel around the midway point of the movie.
Hellboy had promised to give Baba Yaga one of his eyes in exchange for some info, but he took off before she could gouge one out. At the end of the film, we see that Baba Yaga is clearly displeased with this outcome, and she’s hatching a plan to get her creepy mitts on one of Hellboy’s peepers.
To achieve this, she’s sought outside help, enlisting a new character (that isn’t named or shown) to undertake an eye-foraging revenge mission on her behalf.
It’s a male voice with something of an Eastern European twang, and Baba Yaga offers this mystery man a chance to “finally die” in exchange for Hellboy’s eye. And if you were wondering who this unseen character is, here’s our best guess…
Koshchei The Deathless
A character from Slavic folklore that has popped up numerous times in the Hellboy comics, Koshchei the Deathless is a slave of Baba Yaga that literally cannot die. Koshchei’s immunity to death is linked to the fact that this soul has been separated from his body (a feat that was achieved with some help from a magic dragon and a goat).
In the comics, Baba Yaga owns Koshchei’s soul. Only she can release the soul and let Koshchei die, so, being a bit nasty, Baba Yaga uses this as leverage and forces Koshchei to do her bidding. Being a mercenary that cannot be killed, Koshchei is a handy lackey to have as your slave.
So, in the context of Hellboy‘s post-credits scene, it makes sense that an offer of death would be fairly tempting to this character. Assuming that Koshchei has lived for a long time already, he could see stealing Hellboy’s eye in exchange for an end to his otherwise-eternal life as a pretty sweet trade.
Presumably, this scene is intended to set up a sequel where Koshchei is hunting down Hellboy and trying to chop out his eye. And, if you add that to the war that Lobster Johnson mentioned, you’ve got plenty of story for a Hellboy sequel to cover. At the moment, though, that follow-up film hasn’t been formally announced. We’ll just have to wait and see to find out if Hellboy 2 actually happens…