A British academic well-versed in the supernatural, Trevor Bruttenholm, was a member of the British Paranormal Society. He was an adviser to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt when the Allies realized that the Nazi leader Hitler was racing to use the occult to turn the tide of World War II. Project Ragnarok (Ragnarok is the apocalypse of the norse mythology), a plan to use black magic to win the war, was put in place by the supposedly-deceased mystic Rasputin. On December 23, 1944 in East Bromwich, England, a little creature, came to Trevor's hands, he call him "Hellboy".
Bruttenholm and Hellboy developed a very strong emotional bond like father and son, and both joined the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. The two worked closely together to combat supernatural.
An aged Bruttenholm disappeared in 1992 during the Cavendish expedition to the Arctic circle. Bruttenholm turned up, alive, in 1994 during the Seed of Destruction arc. Before he could explain himself to Hellboy, he was murdered by a 'frog monster', the first of thousands of such beasts the Bureau would eventually face. The man who was ultimately responsible for Bruttenholm's death was a revitalized Rasputin, who Bruttenholm had encountered in the North. Hellboy stopped Rasputin's plans to free the Ogdru Jahad and saw the mystic burn alive for his crime.