On Christmas Eve in 1955, the adolescent Hellboy (Montse Ribé) is preparing for bed and requests a bedtime story from his father, Professor Bruttenholm (John Hurt). The professor tells Hellboy a legend about war between the humans and the people of the mystical realm. King Balor, leader of the magic elfin race, commissioned the creation of a "Golden Army," 70 times 70 magical mechanical soldiers. Balor received a crown that would allow him (or anyone with royal blood) to command the Army. The Golden Army attacked the humans with no mercy, and eventually Balor became consumed by regret. A truce was called between the warring factors; humans were given control of the cities while Balor's elves would keep to the forests. As a peace offering, Balor shattered his crown and gave one piece to the humans (still keeping two for himself). One of the few who did not agree with the truce was Balor's son, Prince Nuada. The Prince went into exile, vowing to return when his people needed him. And the Golden Army became dormant.
In the present day, a mysterious albino man (Luke Goss) is practicing swordsmanship. It is Prince Nuada, ready to return from exile. He is joined by the monster known as Mr. Wink (Brian Steele) who follows his commands.
A prestigious auction house is selling off several rare artifacts, including the humans' fragment of the Golden crown. Nuada arrives, takes the crown fragment and dispatches several mysterious creatures to dispose of the humans.
At the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, Agent Tom Manning (Jeffrey Tambor) has a meeting with Abe Sapien (Doug Jones). Manning is still mad at Hellboy; the B.P.R.D. is still an undercover organization yet Hellboy continues to let himself be seen in public. Abe explains that Hellboy's relationship with Liz Sherman is "tense" at the moment, which may be causing Hellboy's erratic behavior. At that moment, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) is blasted through the wall of his room; his pyrokinetic girlfriend Liz (Selma Blair) has become extremely angry and used her fire powers to send him flying.