Tall, large, with red skin, a tail, hooves and horns, the half-demon Hellboy is a reminder not to judge by appearances – both in the fictitious and real world. Even those who seem ‘definitely’ evil might not be so, who might do even more good than many others. His regular filing off of his otherwise devilish-looking horns to leave stumps on his forehead is symbolic of him constantly keeping potential growth of evil at bay. This is while we might not grow horns, yet are unmindful of evil growing in the mind.
He has an oversized right hand of stone called the ‘Right Hand of Doom’, which ‘smashes things real good’. What he smashes are those on the dark side, who threaten the good. Representing the invincible strength and power of virtue, it is invulnerable and feels no pain, even when used like a sledgehammer. While sounding brutish, it is also dexterous enough to catch a fly, not that this is needed. Such is true virtue, strong yet able to be skilfully tuned to the situation as needed.
In case there is ‘romanticism’ about balance of good and evil, the left hand also does good; not evil. Though Hellboy’s right hand is disproportionately bigger than his ordinary left hand, looking unbalanced, both hands are equally powered by the same virtues – thus balanced, even if the right is physically stronger. This is possible for the semi-demon he is, due to upbringing by his foster father Professor Bruttenholm. Even Mara and his minions have Buddha-nature, that can be awakened with right nurturing.
As the professor says, ‘If there is ever an end in this seemingly forever war, it will be because of you and your strong right hand. You are mankind’s best and only hope, my boy.’ We might not have a mighty hand like Hellboy, but it is true, boys and girls, that we are collectively humankind’s hope, and that with the strength of our righteousness in thought, word and deed, we can end the otherwise endless strife against evil.
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