|I don't care about anything really!,'cept havin' fun!.|
— Hot Stuff in Casper and the Spectrals
Hot Stuff the Little Devil is a comic book character published by Harvey Comics and created by Warren Kremer, debuting in his very own comic book: Hot Stuff # 1 (October 1957). He is a child devil imbued with a mischievous personality and able to produce fire. He is one of Casper's friends, Despite being one of the most popular Harvey creations the character has yet to appear in other forms of media, aside of comics.
After Casper the Friendly Ghost and Wendy the Good Little Witch, Harvey Comics created another character based on childhood fears and settled on a devil character named Hot Stuff. As with all Harvey kid characters, most of the “bad” characters are merely mischievous at heart and usually have good intentions, despite being a little bit rascally. Harvey had such high hopes for the character of Hot Stuff, so much so that it didn't even debut as a supporting feature or in the Harvey Hits tryout series before going to its own series. It turned out to be a wise choice since Hot Stuff ranks as one of the most popular characters to come out of Harvey after Casper and Richie Rich. A popular theory implies that Hot Stuff was created using the Evil Casper from the cartoon short Fright from Wrong (1956) as one of the main inspiration, which makes him Casper's antithesis.
According to most comics, devils have much longer lifespans than humans, allowing them to live thousands of years. In some stories, Hot Stuff is at least 200-years old; however, his age is portrayed really inconsistently since according to other comics he's at least 2000 years old. Canonically in the future, he became an adult and married his girlfriend, Princess Charma.
Hot Stuff appears as a red child devil who wears a diaper (said to be made of asbestos) and carries a magical sentient pitchfork (referred to as his "trusty trident"), which is a character in its own right. Much to the consternation of his demonic brethren, Hot Stuff sometimes performs good deeds to irritate them.
However, in Casper and the Spectrals, Hot Stuff has taken more of a punk kid visual design, as he wears a more casual outfit: a black t-shirt, blue jeans, a metallic belt, and a spike bracelet. Compared to his classic counterpart, he has smaller ears, yellow eyes and a pair of long fangs.
Most of the time Hot Stuff is mischievous, lazy, Cranky, short-tempered, and he tends to fight bullies pretty often, also like any other devil he loves playing tricks on others and he can be very mean at times, But in the end he is a good guy, He enjoys good deeds, and often helps the dwellers of the Enchanted forests with his problems.
In the revamped Casper and the Spectrals, Hot Stuff is a mischievous child too, but compared to his classic counterpart he is more laid-back and rebellious. He loves doing pranks and is seen as a trouble-maker by his family, but in the end, Hot stuff has a heart of gold even being able to sacrifice his own life to save his friends, as was shown in the comic book.
In the classic Harvey Comic stories, Hot stuff is a little devil who lives in a cave in The Enchanted Forest. Even though it was implied that Hell is his true residence and most of his relatives, including his father, live there, Hot Stuff prefers to stay in the human world, for he is always traveling across the world, having adventures and fighting monsters.
Even though Hot Stuff lives alone, his uncles, aunts, and cousins are recurring characters in his run of comics, with Aunt Clinker, Cousin Demo, and Grandpa Blaze being the supporting characters. Just like most devils, Hot Stuff wields a magical trident, which is actually sentient being named Tridey; however, it doesn't speak as much, for it usually acts only as Hot Stuff's main weapon, which allows him to cast magic, or serves as a spear while fighting enemies. According to the comics, tridents are devils' best friends and companions, and Tridey has known Hot Stuff since he was a baby. Tridey and Hot stuff are best friends but they have their differences and discussions from time to time.
In his adventures in the Enchanted Forest, Hot Stuff met Charma, a fairy princess, after saving her from some mean ogres. They both fell in love; however, both fairies and devils disapprove their relationship. Charma feels attracted by Hot Stuff's fiery and mischievous personality while Hot stuff's loves Charma good-hearted nature and occasional cranky temper. In the future, Hot Stuff grew up and married her.
In Casper and the Spectrals, Hot Stuff is a rebellious young devil who loves pranks, but he is also the son of the Ruler of Deviland, one of the 6 districts in Spooky town, which leads to a somewhat troubled family relationship. He befriends Casper and Wendy after saving them from a bunch of mean ogres that tried to kill them.
- Tridey: Hot Stuff's own sentient trident and arguably his best friend. It always joins him in his adventures. It is magical by nature and able to talk, as well as serving as Hot stuff's main weapon. Little is known about its origin of their relationship, but Hot Stuff seems to be friends with Tridey since he was a baby, as it helped the little devil with his first steps. Hot Stuff appreciates Tridey to the point of kissing it.
- Princess Charma: The Fairy Princess and Hot Stuff's girlfriend. Despite having a totally different personality, Charma feels attracted to her boyfriend's mischievous personality.
- Casper: Despite being too different, Casper and Hot Stuff are good friends, especially in the comic re-imagining Casper and the Spectrals.
- Wendy: Wendy is also friends with Hot Stuff the Little Devil risked his life to save Wendy in the before mentioned comic.
- Spooky: In the original Harvey Comics, Spooky and Hot Stuff are good friends, and they have some adventures together.
- Hot Stuff's family: Hot Stuff has a troubled relationship with his parents and brother, as was shown by his flashbacks during Casper and the Spectrals #1.
Powers and abilities
As a devil, Hot Stuff possesses a vast list of abilities and powers that he uses to fight his enemies, some of these powers are used very often in his adventures and others are rarely seen.
- Demon physiology: Allows him to survive in adverse environments such as outer space and the bottom of the sea without any sort of protection or special gear. Apparently, he doesn't need oxygen to survive.
- Flame breath: One of Hot Stuff's signature powers, usually he displays this ability while he is angry, and sometimes Hot Stuff seems unable to control this power under certain circumstances.
- Control of body temperature: The Little Devil can control his temperature at will, his body heat is powerful enough to instantly melt rocks and metal at contact with extreme ease.
- Flight: all the devils are able to fly, this ability works even in outer space and under water.
- Teleportation: In Casper and the Spectrals, Hot Stuff is able to teleport to any place, however in the original comics this ability seems limited to short distances.
- Invisibility: The Little Devil is able to turn invisible, this power seemed to have no time limit.
- Pyrokinesis: the Little Devil can create and control flames, but this is not ordinary fire, Hot Stuff is able to use it even under the water and in outer space, also it is able to hurt ghosts and other incorporeal beings he is also able to create invisible flames.
- Intangibility: Most of the time Hot Stuff uses this power to travel through the ground but he is also able to go through walls and phasing bullets; however, this power seems to be inconstant.
- Magic: According to the comics Hot Stuff's powers are magical, and with his trident, he can cast different types of magic such as Fire, Ice, lightning and reflecting magic, he is also able to cast some spells, particulary transmutation spells, for example in Hot stuff the little Devil # 13 he was able to turn an inanimate object into a dragon.
- Fire immunity: Like any other devil, Hot Stuff is immune to extreme heat, as even lava has no effect on him. In fact, according to some comics, Hot stuff can absorb heat to increase his powers and regenerate his body from fatal wounds.
- Light projection: His body can produce intense light.
- Electricity manipulation Hot Stuff's body can produce electricity, that can be used in combat, also he is able to shot lightning from his trident.
- Super speed: Hot Stuff is able to fly from the earth to the moon in a matter of seconds, he also displayed the ability to run at superspeed and constantly reacts to gunfire. Besides, Hot Stuff often flies around the world.
- Enhanced Durability: As a devil, Hot Stuff can withstand impacts of great forces that would kill an ordinary human. In the comics, he was smashed by mountain-sized giants, Hit by heavy trucks at the highway and even punched to the center of the Earth, he also can endure extreme temperatures and pressures, His body is tough enough to take a shotgun blast without suffering any wounds.
- Longevity: Devils age really slowly, Hot stuff is at least 2000 years old but is still considered very young among his species.
- Possesion: By introducing his intangible form into the body of a living being, Hot stuff can manipulate the mind and movements of his Victim, the latter doesn't even realizes it is being controlled, while possesing a body Hot Stuff is still able to use all of his devil powers, as was shown in Hot Stuff the little devil #33.
- Other inconstant powers: The little devil has been shown to be able to create living beings from his flames, also he can create solid weapons made of pure fire.
- Expert spear thrower: after years of practice with his trident, Hot Stuff is described as Olympic material at Spear Throw
- Heavy equipment driver: Despite being a kid, in Casper and the Spectrals Hot Stuff knows how to drive and operate a Backhoe Loader.
- Prehensile tail: Hot Stuff can use his tail to hold and manipulate objects
- Marksmanship: The little devil displayed this power several times, achieving difficult shots with his trident, but according to Devil Kids starring Hot Stuff # 29, he is also skilled with his devil gun
Comic Book series
- Hot Stuff the Little Devil
- Devil Kids Starring Hot Stuff
- Hot Stuff Creepy Caves
- Hot Stuff Sizzlers
- Hot Stuff Digest
- Harvey Wiseguys.
- Astro Comics
- Casper and...
- Hot Stuff the Little Devil Vol. 2
- Casper and his Friends Magazine (Marvel Comics)
- Casper and the Spectrals
- Hot Stuff the Little Devil Halloween Special. (Dark Horse Comics)
- Harvey Comics Treasury (Dark Horse Comics)
- Harvey Hits (Joe Books)
- Casper the Friendly Ghost (American Mythology Productions)
Major appearances in the Casper franchise
Hot Stuff has retained a relatively low profile over the years, compared to other Harvey characters. This is primarily due to the fact that he has never appeared in an animated film, nor has he appeared on a great deal of merchandise. An animated series was attempted in the 60s and again in the 70s, but the character's nature has unfortunately kept him off the airwaves, and so he only appeared in comics.
- Casper and the Spectrals (Comic Book miniseries)
- Casper and Friends Vol. 2
- Casper's Monster Joke Riddle.
- Casper and Hot Stuff Super Sizzlers #9
- Astro Comics
- Harvey Hits Vol. 2 (2017)
- Casper the Friendly Ghost (2017 Comic Book series)
- Casper Spookland (2019 Comic Book)
- Hot Stuff appeared in The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XXV special, as one of the demons trapped in super hell. Previously, he made a small cameo on the cover of the Death of Casper, a made-up comic book that appeared in the episode Homer's Surgery. It was his first animated appearance in years.
- One of the covers of The Simpsons comic books portrayed Bart, disguised as a little devil and wearing nothing but his underwear, breaking through a wall. This is a clear reference to the cover of Hot Stuff #1.
- Harvey tried to produce a Hot Stuff cartoon series twice, but the project was canceled because a cartoon with a devil as the protagonist was considered too controversial.
- In 2014, Dreamworks announced they are working on a Hot Stuff movie; however, the project is still in pre-production and there is not a confirmed released date.
- Due to the fact that Hot Stuff wears a diaper, there is a popular misconception about his real age, with many people who think he is actually a baby even if the comics stated he is about the same age as Casper.
- Halloween is actually Hot Stuff's birthday, this might be a reference to the publication date of his first comic book.
- Hot Stuff makes a cameo in Netflix's Harvey girls Forever, as the mascot of a Hot sauce company with Richie Rich stating he looks like Casper.