Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Pulp in video games

Good morning world... This is Doctor Lightning with a list of games which were inspired by pulp and its sub-genres and those which are obviously pulp oriented.

Crimson Skies is set in an alternate 1930s universe, in which the United States has splintered into several independent nation-states as a result of an increasing regionalism presence in American politics, crippling the authority of the federal government.[12] These nation-states are in a constant state of war with one another, and thus an interstate highway system never developed. This in turn caused the primary means of transportation and commerce to shift from the ground (cars and trains), to the air (planes and zeppelins). In the process, gangs of air pirates formed, raiding zeppelins and cities everywhere. The story of this game centers around one such pirate gang, the Fortune Hunters, and its leader, Nathan Zachary.

The game allows the player to assume the role of a combat pilot named William Crowe as he experiences the various phases of the Pacific War with Japan, beginning with the Pearl Harbor attack. There are six game modes: Campaign, Instant Action, Single Mission, Historical, Training, and Multiplayer. One or two players can play simultaneously on the console or up to eight players can play on the network via Xbox Live or using a Playstation 2 with network adaptor. There are two different control schemes for flying the planes, Arcade and Professional. The Arcade control scheme allows for easier control of the plane via a single joystick with automatic * rudders. There are also multiple difficulty levels: Rookie, Pilot, Veteran, and Ace. The higher difficulty levels allow more upgrade points, which can be used to upgrade your aircraft, after missions are accomplished.

The player assumes the role of Ramiro "Ram" Cruz; insane criminal turned Drug Enforcement Agent. He has been sent into the Mexican border city of Los Toros and its surroundings by his twin brother Tommy, who wants him to find out who killed their father Ernesto. The player will be tasked with infiltrating and taking down the biggest drug cartel in Mexico and battling it out with dope dealers, banditos, corrupt Federales and Mexican Army, loco luchadores, zombies, guerillas, and other asorted bad guys. Between story missions the player can do optional challenge missions as he or she wishes, exploring Los Toros and gathering bonuses to rack up a high score.
GUN is an Revisionist Western-themed video game developed by Neversoft and published by Activision for the Xbox 360, Xbox, GameCube, PC, PSP and PlayStation 2. It is set in the American Old West in the early 1880s. The protagonist, Colton White, is a hunter who turns into a gunslinger when his murdered father, Ned, instructs him to go to Dodge City.

A 3D game like Lament of Innocence before it, Curse of Darkness differs from its predecessor in a number of ways, including a more complex, action/adventure style of gameplay, much like Symphony of the Night and Aria of Sorrow. Hector is not a member of the Belmont clan, so he does not use the "Vampire Killer" whip; instead he has the ability (much like Alucard and Soma Cruz) to equip a variety of different weapons ranging from swords, spears, guns, bombs and brass knuckles. However, there is an extra gameplay mode after finishing the game that allows players to play as Trevor Belmont, equipped with the "Vampire Killer" and the classic subweapons (knife, holy water, axe, etc.). The battle system is somewhat similar to that of Dynasty Warriors, Devil May Cry and Chaos Legion whereas one button is used for standard attacks (which can be strung together into a series of combos), and a secondary button is used for stronger "finishing attacks" after a singular standard attack or a combo of standard attacks. As the player acquires progressively stronger weapons throughout the game, the number of standard and finishing attacks the player can perform increase accordingly. Each different weapon type has a different set of combos that can be performed.

Sniper Elite is a third person shooter developed by UK based video game developer Rebellion Developments. The main character is an American OSS agent, Karl Fairburne, disguised as a German sniper inserted into Berlin in 1945, during World War II, with the objective of obtaining German weapons technology before the Soviet NKVD does.

Commandos: Strike Force is a first-person shooter computer game and the fifth installment critically acclaimed Commandos series. It is developed by Pyro Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. Released during the first months of 2006, the game makes a departure from the first three games. Although the missions are set-up in a similar fashion (several different objectives, some to be achieved through stealth, others through use of force) and in most occasions the player is allowed to change between different characters, this is the first game in the series to apply a first-person perspective, like many other World War II inspired games, in contrast to the overhead view of the earlier games. Hence, the game is far more similar to the Medal of Honor or Call of Duty games than to earlier entries of the series.

Samurai Western is a PlayStation 2 game in which the player, a samurai named Gojiro Kiryu, travels to the Wild West in search of his brother Rando. On the way you must battle minions of a Tycoon named Goldberg, who is trying to create his own western kingdom.

Far Cry Instincts is a video game developed and published by Ubisoft for the Xbox console. It resembles the earlier PC game Far Cry. However, the gameplay is not as open ended as the former. It makes up for this by including extra multiplayer modes through the Xbox Live service, alongside new abilities (feral powers) and a map creator mode which allows the users to create their own maps for multiplayer.

Jericho Cross is an average outlaw in the old west. Finally deciding to take on one final big job before he retires, Jericho heists a train supposedly hiding a hidden "treasure". Once on board, Jericho begins fighting off the strange guards of the train, before making his way to the safe. He arms TNT, but Cassidy Sharp attempts to stop him. He blows it anyway, and releases Lazarus, the vampire king. Cursing Jericho to be a vampire forever. Cassidy tells Jericho that she is a part of the Darkwatch, an organization that is dedicated to the eradication of evil on Earth. Lazarus was the vampire king, and because Jericho set him free, Jericho must go get him. After being accepted into Darkwatch, Jericho begins his hunt for Lazarus, going everywhere from an abandoned town, a cemetery, a gold mine, and finally the Darkwatch headquarters itself. The final showdown between Lazarus and Jericho is a lengthy chase through the entire Darkwatch HQ. The ending is left ambiguous, as there could be a sequel.

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (commonly abbreviated as LoI) is a video game created by Konami for the Sony PlayStation 2 console. It was originally released in Japan in 2003 and Europe in 2004 as Castlevania (キャッスルヴァニア, Kyassuruvania?). Lament of Innocence is set in 1094, making it the first chronological installment of the Castlevania series.

Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb is an action video game developed by The Collective and published by LucasArts in 2003 featuring cover art by Drew Struzan. The game is a new adventure of fictional archeologist Indiana Jones. The story is set in 1935, just before the events of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and is available for PlayStation 2, Xbox, Macintosh and Windows.

This is Doctor Lightning signing off...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Vigilante & Lone Ranger - The Cult of the Gun!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I should really look into doing Photoshop as part of my comic career...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hellboy article by Frank Schildner

This is Doctor Lightning taking a break from my research in developing an effective and reliable doomsday ray.

Frank Schildinder, a friend of Gabriel, has sent me this very informative and intriguing article about a recognizable post-modern pulp hero whom you know as Hellboy....

Hellboy, Nazis, Occult & Weird Science

By Frank Schildiner

“Sarcasm? My sarcasm is the very LEAST of your worries, Sorcerer. You promised the Fuehrer a MIRACLE. Something which would reverse the course of this war and ensure victory of the Reich. Herr Hitler does not take kindly to failure” (SOD 7)

Among Hellboy's recurring menaces through his adventurous series are the comic world's favorite evil stooges, the followers of the infamous Nazi party of World War 2 Germany. The fantastic world of comic books seems to gravitate towards this past evil terror of mankind, with such colorful villains as the Red Skull, Baron Zemo and Captain Nazi, to name but a few. Their plots range from dealing drugs to America to weaken its power as a people (Captain America: Streets of Poison) to replacing the brain of a superhero with that of Adolph Hitler (Golden Age).

Mignola's Hellboy series takes a darker tone with the Nazi's evil, presenting a collection of evil individuals devoted to both science and occult means of ruling, or possibly destroying the world. Both areas of study, occult and science, are a much speculated area of study by scholars and wild conspiracy theorists to this day. The beliefs and theories often expounded upon are often as wildly improbable as those presented within the comics. Books have been published that state that the Nazis were seeking a magic spear that pierced the side of Jesus Christ, to a New Age conspiracy to create demi-gods to rule the world. This credibility factor was best stated by Lowell K. Dyson (Ph.D, Columbia, 1968) in his article, “The Nazis and the Occult”. Dyson stated:

“There is probably more mythology about the Nazis and the Occult that about Hitler's sex life or his later life in Argentina – or at the South Pole. In certain circles it is a cottage industry and a particular kind of writer repeats “facts” from earlier books which were repeated from “facts” in other books, which in turn may have come from such absolutely trustworthy sources as the National Inquirer” (NAO)

However the Nazi's presented in Mignola's Hellboy series appear to be somewhat different from the norm presented by even “credible” sources. Though theatrical, a more sinister and subtle evil appears to exist within many of the character, causing some readers to speculate as to the truth behind the Nazi occult and evil science presented in the Hellboy stories. Is there any truth to the legends of occult influences with the World War Two Nazi Party? And what form did their scientific experiments take that they would be later labeled “evil” by many in the world community? This article will endeavor to examine these questions as well as possible roots of the Nazi philosophy of genocide; all of which appear to be touched upon to some degree by the Hellboy comic book series.

Nazi Occult Roots

“I permitted myself to be joined with those puny minds the Reich had assembled for itself, believing the UNEQUALED in the world in the world... also utterly UNTARNISHED by the limitations of CONSCIENCE and MORALITY” (SOD Ch. 3, 16)

As previously stated, there are those who suggest or outright state that the basis of Nazi belief comes directly from the occult. While the roots are often wildly exaggerated by writers, a common occult theme is regularly cited and appears to be considered acceptable fact. Many agree the Nazi philosophy's forefather is probably the Austrian Pan-Germanic philosopher, Guido (von) List. List is described by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke is his scholarly work, The Occult Roots of Nazism as “the first popular writer to combine volkish ideology with occultism and theosophy” (ORN 33). Volkish ideology was a philosophy that invoked German nationalism and racism in reaction to the changing modern world (ORN 3). The occult belief of theosophy was created by Helen Petrovna Blavatsky that spoke of ancient powerful races that ruled the world before humanity and still acted as the “Secret Masters” behind the scenes (TO 333). Goodrick-Clarke writes:

“In his books and lectures List invited true Germans to behold the clear and discernible remains of a wonderful theocratic Ario-German state, wisely governed by priest-kings and gnostic initiates, in the archaeology, folklore, and landscape of his homeland” (ORN 33)

One of List's disciples, Lanz von Liebenfels, proved to be a definite early influence on a young Adolph Hitler in 1909. A writer of cheap List philosophy tracts that preached anti-Semitic beliefs combined with his mentor's mythological views, he claimed in 1951 that Hitler visited him in 1909. Goodrick-Clarke verifies Lanz's claims that he met a young Adolph Hitler, provided him with several tracts and two crowns for his return fee home (ORN 195).

Emerging from the occult philosophies of Guido List were several sources proved to have a profound affect on Adolph Hitler. One of the favorites mentioned in basic history texts are the Thule Society. In The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler by Robert Payne, the following is stated about the Thule society:

“[S]everal floors were given over to the Thule Society, ostensibly a literary club devoted to violent anti-Semitism and rule by an aristocratic elite. The name of the organization derives from Ultima Thule, the unknown northern land believed to be the original home of the German race” [LDA 125)

Nazi party leaders often cited as members of the Thule Society include Rudolph Hess, Alfred Rosenberg and most importantly Dietrich Eckard. Eckard, a friend and teacher of Hitler's was a journalist, poet and dramatist who blamed his lack of success on Jews and Marxists; a hatred he later espoused as the cause for Germany's defeat in World War One. In 1923 Eckhart and Hitler published a paper entitled “Bolshevisim from Moses to Lenin” in which they stressed “their opinion that the Jews have represented the occult power of revolutionary subversion throughout history and are responsible for deflecting humankind from its natural path” (HT). Dietrich Eckard's influence upon Hitler is best presented by Hitler himself in his infamous work, Mein Kampf. Hitler ended the book with the following:
“I wish at the end of the second volume to remind the supporters and champions of our doctrine of those eighteen heroes, to whom I have dedicated the first volume of my work, those heroes who sacrificed themselves for us all with the clearest consciousness. They must forever recall the wavering and weak to the fulfillment of his duty, a duty which they themselves in best faith carried to its final consequence. And among them I want to also count that man, one of the best, who devoted his life to the awakening of his, our people, in his and his thoughts and finally in his deeds: Dietrich Eckart” (MK)

After Eckart's death in 1923, the role of Nazi ideologist was assumed by one of his Thule Society pupils, Alfred Rosenberg. His book, The Myth of the Twentieth Century stated that race was “the decisive factor determining art, science, culture” and that “The Teutons represented the ‘master race’ of ‘Aryans’, whose task it was to subdue Europe.” (EH ??)

The Thule Society's most famous contribution to the Nazi party was the use of the swastika as its primary symbol. It was a representation of their neo-pagan beliefs (The Nazi Expedition, Robin Cross). The swastika, was an ancient Indian symbol of the sun as well as (according the Thule members), that of the Norse God Thor. However the Asian version of the symbol has the swastika facing the right, rather than the left as used by the Nazi party. According to reports, the creator of the symbol for the Nazi party, Dr. Freidrich Krohn, designed the symbol facing the right rather than the left, but Hitler insisted on the change. Some theories regarding this change have emerged, with some believing the change was either a conscious rejection of God or a Guido List theory that the swastika was a Scandinavian rune. None appear to be proven as of this time, though clearly the Thule Society's use of the symbol has changed it from an Asian sun symbol to one associated with death and evil. Therefore, it does appear that the occult beliefs represented in Mignola's Hellboy series, are not as outlandish as those by actual members and forefathers.

Project Ragnarok

“For more than twenty years I lived in isolation, preaching to those brave souls who dared approach me. Telling of the Ragna Rok, the new age of the serpent. Speaking as the Prophet of the apocalypse” (SOD Ch. 3, 15)

A recurring theme in the Hellboy universe is the end of the world, which according to Norse mythology is known as “Ragnarok” which roughly translates to mean “Doom of the Gods”. In Seeds of Destruction Rasputin reveals that the group he formed from the Nazis created a project named “Ragna Rok” and an engine of the same name meant to bring about the end of the world (SOD 16). Herman Van Klempt calls it “the passing of man” (SOD 26). According to Lindemans, Ragnarok “also called Gotterdammerung, means the end of the cosmos in Norse mythology. It will be preceded by Fimbulvetr, the winter of winters. Three such winters will follow each other with no summers in between. Conflicts and feuds will break out, even between families, and all morality will disappear. This is the beginning of the end” (R). In An Interview with Mike Mignola, the artist-author states:

“In some ways, that also describes the way the miniseries evolved because The Conqueror Worm started out to be a much-smaller-in-scale kind of story. Once I started doing it, I realized that I was dealing with the kind of characters who tend to grow loftier goals as they go. And eventually, I ended up going back to that whole Ragnarok thing – the end of the world/beginning of the world kind of nonsense that people expect from me now. So, from these humble beginnings, where these idiots are trying to do their bad Nazi stuff, everything snowballs into this giant thing about the end of the world, the creation of a new race of man and blah, blah, blah” (IMM)

Though Hitler's views on religion appear to fit his famous quote from a speech at Nuremberg in September, 1935, “Christianity succeeded for a time in uniting the old Teutonic tribes, but the Reformation destroyed this unity. Germany is now a united nation, National Socialism succeeded where Christianity failed” (IP 11). Though it would fit the more hysterical points-of-view of the Nazi to believe he based all of the Nazi religious beliefs on the Norse mythos, Adolph Hitler appeared to willing to use beliefs and systems from groups such as the Christians and Freemasons. In Mein Kampf Hitler seems to present a point-of-view of a practical of one who wishes a unifying religion based in both Christianity and “on the imagination through magic and the symbols of a cult… Don't you see that our party must be of this character?” (HAH xviii)

Heinrich Himmler placed a greater emphasis on Norse mythology, merging it with the “history” of King Arthur, the Holy Grail, the Knights Templar and even parts of the Jesuits (ORN 188). His grand visions, using Wewelsburg Castle as seat of his new SS order had grand plans that included the following:

“Photographs of models showing the project, due for completion in the 1960s, suggest that Himmler dreamed of creating an SS vatican on an enormous scale at the center of a millenarian Greater Germanic Reich. It also seems likely that this visionary city would have witnessed the celebration of ancient religion and traditions initially revealed by Weisthor in the 1930's.” (ORN 188)

There seems to be no evidence that Himmler included the Ragnarok myths in his mixed religion, though portions of the Norse mythos appear to have been merged with other philosophies he found fit his racist Aryan based beliefs. In merging these ideas with the world of Hellboy, Mike Mignola picked a perfect starting point for Rasputin to “preside over the fall of humanity” (SOD 5).

Nazi Weird Science and Hellboy

“...physicist Ernst Oeming… was probably THE scientist of the Third Reich, often referred as the ‘Nazi Einstein’... the Gestapo moved what was left of Oeming to Hunte Castle... along with astronomers, astrologers, and mystics from all over Europe” (CW 7-8)

In An Interview with Mike Mignola, the artist-author said “It's pretty well-known that there were rocket scientists working for the Nazis, and in fact, some of these guys went on to work for NASA. So they were building, you know, bombs – even flying bombs. Why couldn't they have been working on a space program? When you hear about the scientific experiments of the Nazis and their huge-scale plans in so many different areas, it doesn't seem like that much of a stretch to imagine that they were working on space crafts. I'm sure it came up in a meeting” (IMM).

Another running Nazi theme through the Hellboy comics is the unusual scientific devices used by these villains. Like the occult connection, many myths regarding Nazi science has emerged post World War Two, however the verified evidence is often more terrifying and unusual than the tales presented in comic books.

In Conqueror Worm Mike Mignola presents an unusual mix of characters, a scientist operating with occult scholars in a space experiment for the Reich. Though this appears somewhat odd to our current manner of thinking, an examination of Nazi documents as well as Nuremberg Trial Court Records demonstrates that Mignola's enjoyable stories barely scratched the surface of unusual pseudo-scientific practices of the Nazis. One of the best examples of this was the famous German rocketry programs forced delays because of the theosophical belief known as “World Ice”. The World Ice theory, a discredited and somewhat assuming belief that the building block of all planets are solid ice, were rumored to be a delaying factor in the Nazi rocket program; with the occultist followers of this theory holding that the rocket's fuel might pierce the Earth's crust and destroy the layer of ice beneath, presumably creating a global catastrophe.

The majority of the Nazi Party's unusual pseudo-science emerged from a body known as the “Ahnenerbe Society” (Ancestral Heritage Research and Teaching Society), a body created to research German “pre-history” as applied to the Aryan super race as well as scientific endeavors to further the war effort. The pre-history studies included digs in Iceland for evidence of the legendary island of Thule as well as a famous 1938 expedition to Tibet to search for descendants and information about the legendary Aryan of the Nazi occult beliefs (NE). The many departments of the Ahnenerbe Society, a group lead by Heinrich Himmler and later made a department of the SS under his control is described as the following:

“The society’s purpose was to establish support for Wirth’s ‘Germandom’ cult by studying aspects of of Germany’s spiritual and historical heritage. However from the beginning, the society delved into all sorts of esoteric subjects that did not have much scientific basis, such as research of ancient German letters of the alphabet and interpretation of German symbols like the SWASTIKA. Himmler took charge of Ahnenerbe in 1937. All kinds of new projects were initiated, including the listing of ‘Jewish scientists or scientists related to Jews by marriage’ and the confiscation of Jewish libraries It was quite hard to tell which projects were politically motivated, which were politically motivated, and which were downright ridiculous. In 1942 Ahnenerbe began sponsoring pseudo-scientific medical experiments that were performed of concentration camp victims.” (EH 102)

Based on all credible sources, such as the Weissenthal Foundation and the Nuremberg Trial transcripts, this portion of the Nazi scientific effort is rather similar to that of the Hellboy series. As shown in Seeds of Destruction and Conqueror Worm, a pseudo-science/occult combination such as Mignola's is quite similar to the existing body created by Himmler.

But the pseudo-science/occult studies were merely a part of a far more horrific body of work by the Nazi war machine. Once absorbed into the SS, many of the departments turned their attention to medical testing upon human subjects. The Ahnenerbe, operating as a military scientific research institute, conducted tests such as freezing temperature’s affect on the human body, high altitude experiments on human subjects, the affect of drinking processed sea-water on the human body and many other illegal and often murderous “medical” studies (Nuremberg, Vol.1, 269). Doctor's Rascher and Brandt conducted these experiments ostensibly for the war effort but also, the war tribunal determined, for the systematic genocide of the human subjects. Multiple memos were entered into evidence in the Nuremberg Trial such as the following:

“Enclosed is an interim report on the low-pressure experiment so far conducted in the concentration camp of Dachau...

“Only continuous experiments at altitudes higher than 10.5 km resulted in death. These experiments showed that breathing stopped after about 30 minutes, while in two cases the electrocardiographically charted action of the heart continued for another 20 minutes.

The third experiment of this type took such an extraordinary course that I called an SS physician of the camp as witness, since I had worked on these experiments all by myself. It was a continuous experiment without oxygen at a height of 12 km, conducted on a 37-year-old Jew in good general condition...” (Nuremberg Vol.1, 144-147)

Such memos, all used as evidence in the Nuremberg Military Tribunal Trials, demonstrate that while the Ahnenerbe was the legendary occult division of the SS, its other purpose was far more sinister. Human military experiments under the Ahnenerbe were subsequently judged crimes against humanity and the members of this organization were duly executed after their respective trials.

The Floating Head – Fact or Fiction?

“Professor Herman von Klempt...Himmler recruited us together into his 'Special Group'. He should have been one of us. He should have been part of the Ragnarok project, but Rasputin failed to recognize his genius” (WD 17-18)

Professor Herman von Klempt is unquestionably one of Mike Mignola's most inspired evil Nazi scientists, being a floating head in a jar that lives, talks and plans evil actions against the world. First introduced in the nameless short story that appeared in the Comic Buyer’s Guide, he later returned in Conqueror Worm with a desire to end the world. Though the concept has appeared before in films such as They Saved Hitler's Brain, Donovan's Brain and of course, The Brain that Wouldn't Die, Herman von Klempt appears to be more menacing in the Hellboy series than any villain save Rasputin himself.

Surprisingly, there was a Nazi doctor whose murderous habits in the name of science were quite similar to that of Herman von Klempt. The Nazi in question was Professor Doctor August Hirt, the co-inventor of the fluorescent microscope and head of the anatomy department of the University of Strasbourg (MMTR). But to this day Hirt is best known for collecting the skulls of Jewish prisoners murdered at Nazi concentration camps. Hirt, apparently a favorite of SS leader Heinrich Himmler, was given permission assemble a skeleton collection, specifically the heads of human beings (Nuremberg, Vol. 2, 517-518). In fact Hirt prepared a report that was later presented at the Nuremberg trials regarding the preparation and collection procedures of Jewish prisoner's skulls. The report read as follows:

“We have large collections of almost all races and peoples at our disposal. Of the Jewish race, however, only very few specimens of skulls are available, with the result that it is impossible to arrive at precise conclusions from examination. The war in the East now presents us with the opportunity to overcome this deficiency. By procuring the skulls of Jewish-Bolshevik commissars, who represent the repulsive, but characteristic, subhuman, we have the chance now to obtain scientific material.” (Nuremberg, Vol. 2, 518)

Additionally, August Hirt had a directive sent out to SS forces regarding the collecting and preserving of skulls for his collection. This gruesome memo appeared also as evidence in the trials of Ahnenerbe Reich Manager Wolfram Sievers as well as several doctors who participated in adding to Hirt's skull collection. The memo regards the dealing with the skulls in his collection should Strasbourg be endangered by the war:

“The corpses can be stripped of flesh, and thereby rendered unidentifiable. This, however, would mean that at least part of the whole work had been done for nothing and this unique collection would be lost to science, since it would be impossible to make plaster casts afterwards. The skeleton collection as such is inconspicuous. The flesh parts could be declared as having been left by the French at the time we took over the Anatomical Institute and would be turned over for cremating. Please advise me which of the following three proposals is to be carried out: 1) The collection as a whole to be preserved; 2) The collection to be dissolved in part; 3) The collection to be completely dissolved” (Nuremberg, Vol.2, 524).

One can infer from this memo that a good portion of August Hirt's skull collection were not merely bare bone, but actually heads in the flesh. Terrifying to consider, but also similar to Mike Mignola's Professor Herman von Klempt. There's no evidence that Mignola used Professor Doctor August Hirt as a model for his villainous von Klempt, but the similarity is remarkable to some degree.

The Magus of the SS

“...very popular with Himmler's Inner Circle--mystics, astrologers and pseudo-scientists working on Hitler's various doomsday projects...” (WD Ch. 1, 9)

While Mignola presents us with Gregori Rasputin as Himmler's prime sorcerer, an examination is needed to discover if anyone else occupied such a position in Nazi Germany. As previously established, the credulity factor regarding Nazi occult information is rather high, so all information must be taken with a skeptical view.

However one name does appear to occupy such a position within the SS, a former army officer and “rune expert” named Karl Maria Wiligut. Wiligut, a former Colonel in the Austrian army, claimed to be a clairvoyant as well as the last of a secret line of German kings who were the true characters in the Holy Bible; one in which Jesus Christ was actually an Aryan (ORN 179). In 1924, Wiligut was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital in Salzburg, diagnosed with schizophrenia, and remained hospitalized until 1927. Joining the SS in 1933, he became a favored advisor to Heinrich Himmler in a very short time.

The most dramatic link between the occult and top Nazi officials was without question Wiligut, who rose to prominence through the use of a claimed ancestral memory which he used to promote representation of an archaic Germany that was favourable to Himmler’s beliefs. He became “the favored mentor of Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler on mythological subjects and was given an official assignment for pre-historical research in the SS between 1933 and 1939.” (ORN 177). Wiligut’s mythological theory utilized elements of List’s beliefs as well as the philosophy of German pagan Theodor Czepl, leader of the Order of the New Templars. Claiming to be the heir to a race of Germanic kings who descended a race of mythological air and sea Gods. (ORN 181) Using the alias Karl Maria Weisthor as a means of hiding a period spent in a mental institution from 1924-1927, Himmler appointed him as head of a Department for Pre- and Early History within the Race and Settlement Main Office (Rasse-und Siedlungshauptamt) of the SS based in Munich.

Wiligut rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the SS by October 1934 and was influential the creation of pagan based rituals for members of the SS. His most lasting accomplishment was the commission by Himmler of the SS Death’s Head ring, known as the “Totenkopfring”. (ORN 187) The ring, which combines Nazi regalia with ancient runes interpreted by Wiligut aka Weisthor are described as, “symbols and rituals demonstrate Weisthor's contribution to the ceremonial and pseudo-religion of the SS” (ORN 187). Additionally Wiligut was part of Himmler's inner circle that urged the SS leader to make Wewelsburg Castle the center of his new order of the Teutonic Knights.

“When an SS officer fell in battle, his ring was returned to the SS and then displayed at a memorial in Wewelsburg Castle, a 17th-century fortress Himmler converted into a weird reproduction of King Arthur's court with a round table and seats for the SS leader and 12 of his trusted lieutenants” (CSIB)

Though Wiligut's influence is still visible to this day, he did not remain within the SS for long. By 1939 his history of mental illness became an embarrassment and he retired on the grounds of age and poor health. But to this day, Karl Maria Wiligut is renowned for being the highest ranking “magus” in Nazi Germany. It seems that Mike Mignola's use of Gregori Rasputin was not nearly as outlandish as most comic book plots for the Nazis.

Therefore, based on the presented evidence, it appears that the Nazis presented in the Hellboy series were clearly as unusual and terrifying as some of the real individuals that occupied Germany of the past. Though the occult links and weird science were not nearly as imaginative and enjoyable as Mignola's series, one can see a clear influence in place. From the occult roots that appeared to be more used to explain their actions, their use of religion and mythology, the men who helped shape it as well as their odd and terrifying pseudo-sciences, the Nazis were the perfect menaces for Hellboy.


* Cross, Robin. “The Nazi Expedition”. 2004. 17 January. 2005. [NE]
* de Cruet, R.H. Perez. “The Holocaust–Timebase 1920-24”. 1997. 17 January. 2005. [HT]
* Dyson, Lowell K. “The Nazis and The Occult”. n.d. 17 January. 2005. [NAO]
* Evrin-Gore, Sawna. “An Interview with Mike Mignola”. 2002. 17 January. 2005. [IMM]
* Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas. The Occult Roots of Nazism. New York University Books. 1992. [ORN]
* Gunther, John. Inside Europe. New York. Harper Bros. 1936. [IP]
* Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf (Volume Two: The National Socialist Movement /
Chapter 15: The Right of Emergency Defense). 17 January. 2005. [MK]
* Lindemans, Micha F. “Ragnarok” 1997. 17 January. 2005. [R]
* Mignola, Mike. Hellboy: Seed of Destruction. Canada, Dark Horse Comics. 1997 [SOD]
* Mignola, Mike. Hellboy: Wake the Devil. Canada, Dark Horse Comics. 1997 [WD]
* Mignola, Mike. Hellboy: Conqueror Worm. Canada, Dark Horse Comics. 2002 [CW]
* Nuremberg Trial Transcripts, Online posting 8, http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/nuremberg/nuremberg.htm August 2004
* Payne, Robert. The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler. America, Praeger Publishers. 1973. [LDA]
* Rozett, Robert. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. Facts on File. 2006. [EH]
* Ruffner, Kevin C. “SS Death's Head Ring”. Center for the Study of the Intelligence Bulletin, Issue 9, 1999. 17 January. 2005. [CSIB]
* Seidelman, William. “Medicine and Murder in the Third Reich”. 2005. 17 January. 2005. <> [MMTR]
* Suster, Gerald. Hitler and the Age of Horus, London, Sphere Books. 1981. [HAH]
* Wilson, Colin. The Occult. America, Duncan Baird Publishers. 2004. [TO]

This is Doctor Lightning signing off...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Photoshop pulp

Hello citizens of the world... This Doctor Lightning broadcasting live from MARDL's Weapon Division. I'm taking a break from testing these knew electro-shock brass knuckles. They work pretty well I daresay.

Anyway, here are some images I whipped up with Photoshop. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is Doctor Lightning signing off...