Man has always had a fascination with the infernal. Almost everyone else has heard of Dante’s seminal work, Inferno (a story about his fictional journey through Hell) – but did you know that there are two other books in the series, Paradiso and Purgatio? There’s a reason for that – and we have our morbid fascination with hellish characters like Hellboy to thank for that.

Think about it – humans are obsessed with categorising demons, knowing their names, and most importantly, figuring out their weaknesses and powers. But when it comes to celestial creatures, humans aren’t that concerned – as evidenced by the fact that humanity has never really quite figured out what the weaknesses of angels are. Perhaps it’s because demons are, by default, that much more dangerous to us than angels.

But if we’re to be honest, it’s because we secretly identify with these infernal creatures. We all have this streak of darkness within us that we struggle to control, but demons get to indulge in that darkness without inhibition. Deep down, we wish we could do that too. So the next best thing is to live vicariously through characters who do indulge in that darkness. Like Hellboy. Like Lucifer.

So here are some deliciously devilish characters that we can’t stop loving – because we wish we could be them.

1. Lucifer in Lucifer

Let’s start with the most famous devil of all – Lucifer. The police procedural television series debuted in 2016, and it was named after the title character, Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis). He has abandoned Hell for Earth – where he fittingly runs a nightclub but also helps the LAPD in their cases. It’s famed for its more provocative and sexual scenes, but saw an unfortunate cancellation by Fox after its third season last year – only to be picked up by Netflix for a fourth season this year – which debuts on May 8.

It’s easy to see why the show became a cult hit. Lucifer is portrayed as a smooth-talking gentleman with a hint of deep-seated vulnerability, and this charm is what makes us forget that he’s actually the devil.

 

2. Lucifer in Xena: Warrior Princess

Xena (Lucy Lawless) and Lucifer (Alex Mendoza) in Xena: Warrior Princess. Credit: Hercules & Xena: The Legendary Wikia.

Xena (Lucy Lawless) and Lucifer (Alex Mendoza) in Xena: Warrior Princess. Credit: Hercules & Xena: The Legendary Wikia.

You may have remembered the Xena: Warrior Princess (1995) and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995) television series as being set in Ancient Greece, with the two characters battling Greek gods and monsters every episode. But both series started dabbling in other mythologies in later seasons, with Xena (Lucy Lawless) herself earmarked for being the new Queen of Hell.

However, she managed to dodge a bullet by getting a handsome young archangel, Lucifer (Alex Mendoza), to commit each of the Seven Deadly Sins in turn so that he would fall from grace and be the new King of Hell. Although that includes Lust, we were relieved that she didn’t sleep with Lucifer and end up siring half-demon children like Gabrielle (Renee O’Connor).

3. Lucifer in Supernatural

Supernatural (2005) is the world’s longest running sci-fi series, and it concludes next year with Season 15. While it’s billed as a “sci-fi” series, it’s actually about two brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) hunting monsters and other supernatural creatures.

As the series progresses, you learn that Sam (the taller, younger, smarter brother) is destined to be the vessel for Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino), while Dean is destined to be the vessel for Lucifer’s opponent, the Archangel Michael. That was way back in Season 5, and Lucifer had this air of mystery and danger around him.

Ten seasons later… Lucifer is still around (or at least, an alternate universe version of him), and he’s as smarmy as ever.

 

4. HIM in The Powerpuff Girls

One of the most amazing feats that The Powerpuff Girls managed to pull off was inserting the devil into a kid’s TV show. To keep things ambiguous, the character was referred to as HIM, even though the character could be quite effeminate at times. But make no mistake – HIM was virtually omnipotent, and far and away the most powerful opponent of the Powerpuff Girls. If you’re wondering why HIM looks kind of… wimpy, that’s because he usually doesn’t take his true form.

HIM's true form in The Powerpuff Girls. Credit: The Powerpuff Girls Wikia

HIM’s true form in The Powerpuff Girls. Credit: The Powerpuff Girls Wikia

That’s his true form. Even if it’s never stated directly, it should be pretty apparent that HIM is the Devil himself.

 

5. Ghost Rider in Ghost Rider (2007)

A year before Iron Man and the genesis of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we had Ghost Rider (2007). The movie saw stunt rider Johnny Blaze (Nick Cage) making a deal with the devil (Mephistopheles actually) in order to save his father. Years later, his bargain was fulfilled when Johnny Blaze was transformed into the demonic Ghost Rider.

You might not think that Ghost Rider is much, but he managed to one-shot Galactus, a galactic villain who’s almost as powerful as Thanos, in the Fantastic Four (1994) animated series. For reference, Galactus defeated the Fantastic Four and creamed Thor… so it’s pretty amazing that Ghost Rider could stop him.

 

6. Hellboy in Hellboy

Hellboy. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Hellboy. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Don’t be fooled by the name – Hellboy (David Harbour) is anything but a boy. In fact, he’s quite a large, imposing half-demon. His true name is Anung Un Rama, which means “and upon his brow is set a crown of flame” – but he usually goes by Hellboy, which is probably easier to pronounce. Although he’s of hellish origins, he fights on the side of man – for now.

If you remembered there being a Hellboy movie in 2014, you’re right – this Hellboy (2019) is a reboot of the series, and promises to explore Hellboy’s character and find out just what makes him tick.

Hellboy (M-18). Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Hellboy (M-18). Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

If you’re planning to catch Hellboy, you’ll be excited to know that there are two versions of Hellboy for you to choose from! There’s a PG-13 version for families who want to catch Hellboy, but truer fans can opt to watch a grittier, M-18 version of Hellboy. The story is still the same though – Hellboy and his allies must stop an ancient sorceress from Arthurian legend, Nimue (Milla Jovovich), from destroying all that exists.

Which version of Hellboy will you catch?

Hellboy (PG-13). Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Hellboy (PG-13). Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Remember to stay back for the two post-credit scenes in Hellboy!

 

Credits: Hercules & Xena: The Legendary Wikia, The Powerpuff Girls Wikia, Golden Village Cinemas

 

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