In 2004, Hellboy was unleashed on the world by up-and-coming director Guillermo del Toro. The first Hellboy probably turned off casual action movie fans in the beginning. It was one of the first fantasy-minded superhero movies in my mind. Surprisingly though, a lot of it reminded me of Spider-Man. There is a romance that plays heavily into the plot, much like in the Spider-Man films. Also, Hellboy isn't invincible, bringing to mind Peter Parker. But for what it has in common with some superhero based movies, I found this to be heavily rooted in fantasy.
Everyone involved in the plot, with the exception of the FBI agents, is super-heroic, and really far out looking. Some characters are downright scary, while others are just amazing to take in, resembling Pan's Labyrinth-type creations. All in all, the movie deserves more critical acclaim, definitely an Academy Award for the special effects and makeup alone. Though the first film felt longer than it actually was, they didn't waste time telling the story - they just crammed all they could into the movie as possible (Seemingly out of worry that there would not be a Hellboy 2).
Thankfully with Hellboy II: The Golden Army, the story was refined, the characters were even more awe-inspiring, and the movie came as close to perfect as it was going to get.
One thing is certain, Hellboy is a superhero that is unlike any other onscreen, so to simply ignore it would be the worst thing you could do.