Mild spoilers below for Hulu's Helstrom*_.*_
As the world awaits the arrival of highly anticipated MCU TV shows such as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+, Hulu relatively quietly unleashed the latest Marvel TV show to reach the small screen, the horror series Helstrom. Given its rather unique development process, Helstrom is the odd man out when it comes to comic book TV shows, not only in showcasing its dark and horror-tingued storyline, but also in the all-around lack of MCU callbacks. But the references that show creator Paul Zbyszewsk did get to make within this new universe were pretty exclusive to his vision.
Helstrom's creator Paul Zbyszewski spoke with Collider about Season 1 and beyond, which is when the question of Marvel reference came up. When asked a fairly general question about the comic book easter eggs inserted into the season, here's how the executive producer answered:
I have a couple of real favorites. I will say, look for the chariots. There are a couple: One is super obvious. A little bit later in the season, it’s super obvious, glaringly so and in-your-face. The people who won’t understand will be like, “Why is that there?” And then, there are a couple that are a little more hidden and a little more subtle. There’s one really big one in the finale that is probably my favorite. The Marvel uninitiated will be like, “Why did they have to go there?” But Marvel fans will be like, “Ooh, they did it. That’s so cool!” I try to approach it from the perspective of a fan because I am a fan, and have been a fan my entire life.
Considering Helstrom was supposed to be a piece of a bigger Marvel horror universe within the Hulu streaming service, it's no surprise that Paul Zbyszewski was excited to tie back to other aspects of the comic book lore, even if barely any of them had to do with the MCU proper. The premiere episode, for instance, featured a nod to the company Roxxon, which has factored into plenty of other MCU titles at this point, but on first viewing there wasn't a whole lot else to keep an eye out for.
Back when Helstrom first went into development, it was set to join the Ghost Rider spinoff and other projects under the banner "Adventure Into Fear," and fans were pumped to see Marvel finally break into horror narratives. Unfortunately, it wasn't too long after that when Marvel shifted its entire TV strategy, with Marvel TV going away and Kevin Feige taking control. The service cancelled Ghost Rider and the other Adventure Into Fear projects, leaving Helstrom as the one and only.
So what comic references do you guys think he's talking about? The fact that fans will likely get to spend time with Satan in Season 2 when Damian's father is around more? Or something more silly and relaxed?
When asked if he and his writing team set up some loose ends in Season 1's finale (and beyond) so that they could have something to build off of in going into Season 2, here's how Paul Zbyszewski answered:
Yeah. The season finale does not end with a complete, nice little wrapped-up bow. There are some things left unresolved in the finale. There is a closed story that takes place, so you do have some satisfaction in the finale but there are definitely threads that were put in the first season to explore down the road. You hope for success and you plan for success. You want those things to exist, so you can mine them later on, and you want those characters to feel rich and three-dimensional, and to have you go, 'I want to go further into that backstory. I want to know how that moment happened. I want to know what the deal was when these two got together.' You can only tell so much story in the first 10 episodes. You want to have some stuff in reserves, should you be fortunate enough to go forward.
At this point, it's very hard to tell what will become of Helstrom in the near future. On the one hand, it's a Marvel streaming TV show, which there just aren't enough society these days. And on the other, its original studio ceased to exist – even though former Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb is on board as an EP – so it's not exactly a shoo-in for a renewal.
Helstrom Season 1 is available to stream in full on Hulu right now. To see what else is coming to the streaming service soon, check out our guide to November and keep current with our Fall TV premiere schedule to see when new and returning shows will be available.