Welcome to Hell Notes, Multiversity Comics’ annotation column for the Hellboy Universe. Earlier this week “B.P.R.D.” returned with “B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know” #6. The issue touches on so many elements in the Hellboy Universe, but there was one in particular that I was left with: What do Fenix’s premonitions mean? After all, they led her to Hellboy when he was resurrected, but they also led her to shoot Abe Sapien.
But the thing is, Fenix’s premonitions themselves are rather complicated. With Panya’s help, she was able to tap into her power and have her first real premonitions, but before Panya’s help, she didn’t have premonitions at all. She got them from Eris. Which begs the question: Who is Eris?
Be warned, there are spoilers for those not up to date.
This is Eris.
Eris is the sister of Fenix Espejo1, a young woman with psychic abilities who shot Abe Sapien when she was a teenager.
But there’s so much more to Fenix than that. She later joined the B.P.R.D. and became friends with Andrew Devon, Liz Sherman, and even Panya (eventually). Most recently she led the Bureau to the resurrected Hellboy. That said, Liz only recently found out about the whole shooting Abe thing, and so there’s definitely some tension there.
The big problem with Fenix shooting Abe is that she can’t even articulate why she did it other than she has a bad feeling.2
And this is where Eris comes in. See, Fenix doesn’t exactly have premonitions of the future, at least not all the time. Some of those premontions are relayed by Eris… who’s sort of a ghost.
When Fenix’s mother was pregnant, in the early stages she was carrying fraternal twins, but one twin was absorbed by the other, resulting in Fenix being a genetic chimera; she has the DNA of two distinct people.
So Eris is the ghost of the absorbed twin. Mystery solved, right?
Except… who named Eris? I mean, Fenix’s mother certainly didn’t—she didn’t even know Eris existed. Did toddler Fenix one day think, “Hey, I think I’ll name you after the Greek goddess of strife and discord”? Somehow I doubt it. My guess is Eris simply introduced herself to Fenix as such.
It gets weirder. Fenix wears a pendant around her neck made of Enkeladite. It used to belong to Fenix’s mother, meaning she likely wore it while she was pregnant.
Those of you that’ve read “B.P.R.D.: 1948” and “Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.” are probably familiar with Enkeladite3. It was created during the Project Enkelados nuclear testing at the Carmelo Air Force Base in Utah. (It’s worth noting, Fenix and her parents used to live in Utah before they moved to California.) Enkeladite has shown up numerous times since, often resulting in mutated and aggressive fauna. It may even have opened a rift to an alternate dimension.
Unfortunately, not a lot is known about Enkeladite. The world’s foremost expert, Doctor Anna Rieu, was largely ignored in favor of the male experts. Most of the Enkeladite was destroyed, but a few fragments remain. It is even possible Dr. Rieu smuggled out a fragment to study herself, though that plot thread hasn’t yet been explored in the comics.
The location, the Carmelo Air Force Base in Utah, could give us further insight into Eris though. It was the same location visited by Sir Edward Grey in 1880. Sir Edward had been sent to find Lord Adam Glaren, but he soon stirred up other trouble involving a witch that was manipulating the locals to her own ends.Continued below
This witch drank the souls of others to feed her own power. However, thanks to Sir Edward and a cowboy called Morgan Kaler, the witch was cut off from her power and met an unfortunate end.
And that witch’s name? Oh, how could I forget!
If you have any further theories on what Eris is, and what she wants, feel free to post them below. This Hell Notes was inspired by a thread over at the CBR Hellboy forums. They’ve got a few theories of their own over there. You should check ’em out.
This column features art by Laurence Campbell, Brian Churilla, Tyler Crook, Guy Davis, Max Fiumara, Sebastián Fiumara, and John Severin, all colored by Dave Stewart.
1Fenix Espejo: I’ve written about her in another Hell Notes.
2Fenix’s bad feelings: “The Devil’s Engine” arc goes into a lot more detail than what I’ve written in this article. It’s further expanded on in “The Return of the Master,” “Lake of Fire,” “End of Days,” and “Messiah.”
3Enkeladite: See “B.P.R.D.: 1948,” “Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1953—Beyond the Fences,” and “Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1955—Occult Intelligence.” No doubt it’ll show up in future issues of “Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.” too.