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Conqueror Worm (comic)
Conqueror Worm 1
Title Hellboy: Conqueror Worm
Story by Mike Mignola
Art by Mike Mignola
Colors by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Pat Brosseau
Edited by Scott Allie
Originally Published in Hellboy: Conqueror Worm #1-4
Internal Numbering Hellboy #17-20
Date Published May-August 2001
Collected in Hellboy 5: Conqueror Worm

Hellboy and Roger confront Herman von Klempt and an otherworldly menace in Austria.

Publication HistoryEdit

Conqueror Worm was first published as a four issues mini-series from May to August 2001. The story was later reprinted with a new nine page epilogue in Hellboy: vol. 5 Conqueror Worm in February of 2002.

SynopsisEdit

Part OneEdit

The story opens with a flashback to 1939, Hunte Castle, Austria. Lobster Johnson leads a group of U.S. Soldiers in an attack on the secret Nazi Space program. The Americans arrive just as the Nazis prepare to launch a rocket carrying Ernst Oeming. The soldiers shoot the Nazi scientists and the Castle burns.

61 years later, Tom Manning briefs Hellboy and Roger on the events of that night so many years ago. Oeming, one of the best Nazi scientists, was killed in January 1, 1939. His body was taken to Hunte Castle. Then on March 20th the army went to 'investigate' and the castle burned. Hellboy mentions that he heard this was the last Lobster Johnson mission, but Manning replies that 'The Lobster' was only a fictional character. NASA detected a Nazi space ship set to land in Hunte Castle and Manning wants Hellboy and Roger to look into it. He introduces them to Laura Karnstein, their local guide, and sends Laura and Roger out, so he can talk to Hellboy alone. Manning tells Hellboy that Roger was fitted with a small bomb, just large enough to kill him. Hellboy is appalled, but Manning says that Roger must not be allowed to kill any other agents, and that Hellboy is to detonate Roger if necessary.

Karnstein, Hellboy and Roger begin the walk up to the castle. On the way they run into an old man. The man says the castle is haunted, and open his coat revealing a Nazi uniform. Hellboy hits the man, but Laura tells them she will deal him. After Hellboy and Roger have left, she shoots the old man and pushes him off the nearby ledge. The old man stands back up, his coat blown open revealing the Lobster Claw. Laura walks ahead into the castle and then calls for help. As they approach, Hellboy and Roger are shot by sniper fire, knocking Roger off the cliff. Hellboy grabs him, but Roger lets himself drop so Hellboy can save Laura. Hellboy rushes the gun, but finds it remotely operated. He falls through the floor and finds himself in an underground room. The ghost of a U.S. Soldier tells him the castle is a trap, but Hellboy climbs out of the hole only to be knocked out by Herman von Klempt and one of his war-apes. Laura stands with them and asks Klempt, her grandfather, if she did well.

Part TwoEdit

Hellboy wakes up to find Klempt and one of his Kriegaffen standing over him. Hellboy is attached to a harness the Ape uses to electroshock him. Klempt tells Hellboy and Laura some of his back story mentioning his meeting with Hellboy in World's Greatest Paranormal Investigator (CBG) and his small role in Wake the Devil.

Outside, Roger meets up with Lobster Johnson. Johnson reveals to Roger that Laura's real name is Inger von Klempt, and that Herman was the only survivor of the Hunte Castle Disaster. The two enter the caves under the castle and find a room full of Nazi created humanoid machines. Feeling Roger's electric power, they begin to come to life. Roger absorbs the power of the Nazi generator, depowering the machines and leaving the castle without electricity.

Without electricity to shock him, Hellboy is able overpower the Kriegaffe. As he walks away he sees a man shoot and chained up. The man says he was there at Hellboy's birth (Seed of Destruction #1) and watched him in St. Leonard's Wood ("The Nature of the Beast"). The man explains that ancient evil beings exist in space and that one of these creatures will return to earth with the Nazi space ship, and gives Hellboy a small device that can trap the creature. The man dies, transforming back to his true form, an Alien like those seen in Seed of Destruction #4. Roger meets up with Hellboy, but the Lobster is nowhere to be seen.

Part ThreeEdit

Klempt tells his granddaughter to put on a gas mask as the Nazi space ship lands in the castle. Gas streams out of the ship and begins to transform the men working in the castle. Inger relies what is happening and begins to regret helping Klempt. Klempt attacks Hellboy, leaving Roger to deal with the capsule. Lobster Johnson appears and tells Roger that he must face the monster alone. The men, now completely turned into reptilian creatures, jump Roger.

Inger flees, but is stopped by the ghosts of U.S. Soldiers. Hellboy knocks off Klempt's 'head' and reveals his real head in a jar within his body. The head shoots Hellboy and flies off, as Hellboy falls through the floor onto the basement below. The monster, the Conqueror Worm, emerges from the ship and devours the transformed men. Inger confronts Klempt, and asks how he will control the monster. Klempt responds that nothing can control the Worm, and that his only goal was to destroy the world. The worm will accomplish this and tell the others of its kind. The 369 Ogdru Hem will then awaken, followed by the the Ogdru Jahad. They will then reduce the world to “a blackened cinder.” Inger takes off her gas mask to reveal that she too has turned into a reptilian creature.

Part FourEdit

The Conqueror Worm tried to eat Roger but threw him aside, falling near Hellboy. Hellboy tries to use the Alien device to defeat the Worm, but Klempt's robot body snatches it from Hellboy's hand and crushes it.

The transformed Inger is visited by Grigori Rasputin in the bowels of the castle. Inger despairs that her dream of reestablishing the Nazi dream is futile, in the face of the Worm. Rasputin confirms that the Worm will destroy the world, but that after the destruction a new world and a new race of man will be born.

Hellboy and Roger try to stop the Worm without success. They realize that the Worm does not like electricity. Roger discharges the energy he took from the generator and absorbs the Worm. The Worm begins to control Roger's mind, and he tells Hellboy to destroy him. Hellboy will not kill him, and Klempt's flying head comes to mock them. Roger grabs the head and leaps off the cliff shattering the glass and killing Klempt.

Lobster Johnson finds Inger and kills her. The Lobster and Hellboy rush down the mountain and find Roger. The Lobster puts a metal rod into Roger's chest and lightning destroys the Worm. Hellboy and Roger look back and see the long dead body of Lobster Johnson.

Hellboy, disgusted by the B.P.R.D. putting a bomb in Roger and concerned about his own destiny, quits the Bureau. He tells Kate Corrigan that he plans to travel to Africa, and after that “wherever the wind blows.”

EpilogueEdit

Grigori Rasputin, still in the castle, is joined by Hecate. She tells him to rest, and the two recount her actions at Castle Giurescu (in Wake the Devil). She says that when the end comes either she and Hellboy will rule in the new world, or they will both die. Hecate mocks Rasputin for his past failures with Hellboy, and says he will always fail because he is merely a ghost. Enraged, Rasputin says he was chosen by the Ogdru Jahad and that he will free them. But Hecate say that only Hellboy's hand can free them, and that Rasputin cannot control him.

Rasputin shatters into bone and crumbles to dust. Baba Yaga takes the small spark that is left, puts it in a hollow acorn and wears it around her neck.

Story ChronologyEdit

Conqueror Worm takes place in 2000, 61 years after the opening flashback in 1939. It is likely that the story happens after Liz Sherman left the B.P.R.D. (as seen in Hollow Earth), as Hellboy only asks Kate the say goodbye to Abe, not Liz.

GalleryEdit

Hellboy Publication Order
Preceded by
King Vold
Conqueror Worm
Followed by
The Third Wish
Hellboy Trade Paperback Order
Vol. 4 The Right Hand of Doom Vol. 5 Conqueror Worm Vol. 6 Strange Places
Preceded by
Box Full of Evil
Conqueror Worm
Followed by
The Third Wish
Hellboy Story Chronology
Preceded by
Box Full of Evil
Conqueror Worm
Followed by
The Third Wish

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