|Herman von Klempt|
|Alias(es)||Bald Nazi, Glasshole|
|Species||Undead Human Head|
|Family||Inger von Klempt (granddaughter)|
|First Comic Appearance||Comic's Buyers Guide #1070|
Herman von Klempt is a Nazi 'mad scientist' who has worked on numerous schemes to control or destroy the world. Though his body was destroyed, von Klempt survived as a head in a jar, often assisted in his work by mechanical apes.
A German scientist, von Klempt was a close colleague of Karl Ruprecht Kroenen at university. Although the two men apparently shared similar ideas, von Klempt was not, like Kroenen, recruited by Grigori Rasputin as a disciple. Von Klempt was assigned to other Nazi projects.
Hunte Castle Edit
In 1939, Von Klempt participated in the Nazi Space Program in which to make contact with non-corporeal beings in outer space. These beings promised that, if a human shell was sent into space to provide a host for them, it would return to Earth powerful enough to destroy the Nazis' enemies. The Nazis prepared to launch into space the remains of Dr. Ernst Oeming, a German physicist often referred to as the "Nazi Einstein," who had been assassinated by a car bomb earlier that year, from their base in Hunte Castle in Austria.
On the night of March 20, 1939, the date Oeming's body was to be launched, the American hero The Lobster led a group of American troops in an attack on Hunte Castle. In a state of panic, the Nazis launched Oeming's ship before the roof's doors could open. Although the rocket cleared the castle and made it into space, the explosion resulted in the immediate incineration of everyone inside the castle save one man: Herman von Klempt.
Although most of his body was destroyed, his head was kept alive in a jar. Von Klempt created what he called 'Kriegaffe', a sort of Frankenstein's monster-like ape, to do most of the work he could no longer perform himself. At some point he had a Swastika tattooed to his forehead.
- Main article: 1946
When Nazi Germany fell to the Allies, von Klempt retreated to a secret base hidden under Berlin. Taking the vampires from Project Vampir Sturm, von Klempt hoped to destroy America with a plague of vampires. In 1946, Trevor Bruttenholm and the B.P.R.D. discovered his lair. Von Klempt quickly launched a rocket full of vampires at America before Bruttenholm could stop him. With some help Bruttenholm was able to destroy the rocket taking with it the vampires and von Klempt. Though Bruttenholm thought von Kelmpt had been destroyed, he would resurface some 13 years later.
At some point, von Klempt retreated to a base in the jungle near Macapa, Brazil, where he began working on other projects. It was there in 1959 that he was confronted by Hellboy, who was investigating the disappearance of peasant girls in the area (as seen in World's Greatest Paranormal Investigator (CBG)). In the fight that ensued, Hellboy defeated von Klempt and his ape, whom von Klempt called "Brutus". Von Klempt's inert head would not be seen for decades.
Wake the DevilEdit
- Main article: Wake the Devil
Von Klempt's old friend and colleague, Karl Ruprecht Kroenen, had placed himself in Suspended animation with Ilsa Haupstein and Leopold Kurtz, two other members of the Ragna Rok Project. After being awakened, Kroenen sent Roderick Zinco to retrieve von Klempt's head. After reanimating the mad scientist, Kroenen informed von Klempt of Grigori Rasputin, and the army of the apocalypse. Von Klempt then tried to convince Kroenen to abandon Rasputin's plan, and use the army of the apocalypse to conquer the world, rather than destroy it. After overhearing von Klempt's scheming, Kurtz brutally attacked the madman's disembodied head with a wrench. In von Klempt's defense, Kroenen stabbed Kurtz with a scalpel. Kroenen then turns on von Klempt claiming it was all his fault. Then suddenly, Rasputin appears furious with Kroenen and Zinco for resurrecting von Klempt, and killing Kurtz. Rasputin then strikes Zinco sightless. Blind, Zinco accidentally destroys the base in a raging inferno.
- Main article: Conqueror Worm (comic)
Luckily surviving the castle's detonation, von Klempt retreated to a secret laboratory under a graveyard in Germany. There he began work on Kriegaffe #10 along with various other projects when he was suddenly stricken with despair over the seeming endless failure and lack of purpose his life had become. In this moment of weakness, he was contacted by the ghost of Grigori Rasputin. Rasputin, mistakenly believed by von Klempt to be the Angel of Death, showed the Nazi scientist the destruction that would result from releasing the worm they had planted within Oeming's body. Once the world had been overtaken, the Ogdru Hem would be released from their prisons, and they would, in turn, release the Ogdru Jahad, who will reduce the world to ashes. Von Klempt, finally given purpose - to watch the destruction of the world - returned after sixty years to Hunte Castle.
Von Klempt succeeded in drawing Oeming's capsule back to Earth. A gigantic creature called the 'Conqueror Worm' surged forth from the capsule. Spewing forth a noxious gas, the worm turned von Klempt's human agents into frog-men, then devoured them immediately to feed its insatiable hunger. Only quick intervention by Hellboy and Roger, aided by the ghost of Lobster Johnson, managed to halt the worm's march. Von Klempt was pulled off of a cliff by Roger; the madman's jar was smashed and his life came to an end.
• Herman von Klempt's head came with the Kriegaffe #10 Action figure released in 2005 by Mezco Toyz. A Variant of von Klempt's head (with the Nazi swastika on his forehead) was released with a limited-edition Hellboy figure.
• Herman von Klempt and several of his Kriegaffen are featured in the Hellboy: The Science of Evil video game, where the Nazi head-in-a-jar is the game's primary villain.
• A head in a jar that may or may not have been Von Klempt was seen amongst the collection of Nazi Supervillain memorabilia in Mr. Pope's office in the B.P.R.D. storyline The Black Flame.