In Mike Mignola's Hellboy series, Grigori Rasputin is the famed Russian occultist whose collaboration with German Nazis to bring about the apocalypse during World War II accidentally brought Hellboy to Earth. Hellboy goes on to become one of the world's greatest heroes and Rasputin.... well. He's an evil arsehole.
All images: Dark Horse via The Hollywood Reporter
But like all evil arseholes, Rasputin has a backstory filled with twists and turns of its own. One doesn't simply go from being a skilled magical healer to becoming a Nazi sympathiser trying to destroy the world. Though Rasputin's been long-dead in Mignola's series, the character's returning as the star of Rasputin: Voice of the Dragon, a new series taking a look at how he became a power player during WWII.
Speaking to THR, Hellboy co-writer Chris Roberson recounted how, even though Rasputin was very much in league with the Nazis, there's a very complicated story to be told about how Rasputin was actually manipulating the Third Reich for his own means without their knowledge.
When the demon arrived, though, it was adopted by an English occult investigator, Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, who named him Hellboy. But how did Rasputin, a Russian mystic who the world believed to be dead for years, come to command such a position of authority in the Nazi leadership, and did Bruttenholm and the Allies ever suspect that he was the one pulling the strings behind the scenes?
Rasputin: Voice of the Dragon will be in stores and available for download on November 29, but you can take an early look at the book over at THR's site right now.