He was once a competitor to Preston B. Whitmore from Iceland, having built a large shipping empire with cruise liners. At some point, he bought the largest castle in Iceland and named it Asgard, causing the press to dub him "the Modern Odin". He lived like a god until his company was shut down when the stock market crashed. He lost his money, power, and mind. Many years later, Hellstrom became completely insane, believing himself to be the Norse god king, Odin. After unsuccessfully trying to buy an ancient spear called the Gungnir, presumably an artifact of Atlantean origin, Hellstrom stole it. When Milo, Kida, Audrey Ramirez, Vincenzo Santorini, Gaetan Moliére, and Obby track Hellstrom down in the frigid Nordic Mountains, he presumes Kida to be his long lost daughter and kidnaps her. His intentions are to end the world in Ragnarok. Using the spear, he awakens two ancient demons, Surtr the Lord of Fire and Ymmir, the Lord of Ice. Well-placed explosives used by Vinny distract the monsters long enough for Kida to retrieve the spear and vanquish the beasts. After his castle is destroyed, Hellstrom mourns over his defeat and is presumably sent to a mental hospital.
Erik's appearance is greatly based on Odin, the god of wisdom in the Norse mythology.
Before he goes insane and begins resembling Odin, his appearance is based on famous actor Vincent Price.
Interestingly, Erik Hellstrom's voice actor, W. Morgan Sheppard, also voiced the real Odin in Gargoyles. Indeed, it is unknown what would have been made of Hellstrom's storyline if the cancelled Atlantis TV show had indeed crossed over with Gargoyles as was planned.