Hellboy is a line of comic books about the character Hellboy.
Publication History[edit | edit source]
The Hellboy series made its first appearance as a four-page, black and white comic by Mike Mignola with a script by John Byrne published by Dark Horse Comics in San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 (19 August 1993), distributed at the San Diego Comic-Con. This piece was used to promotional piece for Hellboy's debut miniseries Seed of Destruction.
After the conclusion of Seed of Destruction, Mike Mignola took over scripting duties on the comics and has since written every Hellboy story himself, with the exception of They That Go Down to the Sea in Ships which he co-wrote with Joshua Dysart.
The series is usually released as a series of one-shots or miniseries, some of these advancing the ongoing storyline, others being more stand-alone tales, although there are also numerous short stories that have been published in a wide variety of publications, including digital publications.
Mike Mignola was the sole artist on Hellboy until Makoma in February 2006, drawn by Richard Corben with a framing sequence by Mike Mignola. Since then, a Hellboy story with Mike Mignola as artist has become somewhat of a rarity, usually with a single Mignola-drawn issue coming out over a two year period. However, the output has increased, as Mignola has invited other artists to work on his comic including P. Craig Russell, Scott Hampton, Kevin Nowlan, Jason Shawn Alexander and Duncan Fegredo, who took over the ongoing storyline for the miniseries Darkness Calls until The Fury.
November 2011 saw the publication of the first Hellboy original graphic novel, House of the Living Dead. This story was roughly two-issues of content released as a hard cover and was colllected along with related stories in Hellboy in Mexico. In 2013 a second graphic novel was released, The Midnight Circus, which has remained uncollected in the trade paperback form. Into the Silent Sea, with art by Gary Gianni, is another story in this format which is scheduled for release in April 2017.
Beginning December 2012, Mike Mignola will return as the ongoing artist for Hellboy in Hell. Hellboy in Hell marks a departure for the comic series, since it is not a miniseries or one-shot, but an ongoing series. Despite plans for this series to continue into four trade paperbacks, Mignola decided to cut the series short with the tenth issue, For Whom the Bell Tolls.
A full list of Hellboy stories can be found here: List of Hellboy stories
Types of Stories[edit | edit source]
The stories can generally be split into two broad categories:
- Pre-Cavendish (can be read at any time)
- Post-Cavendish (recommended to be read in order)
Cavendish refers to the events of Seed of Destruction, which mostly focused on the Cavendish Hall Incident of May 1994. Pre-Cavendish stories tend to be smaller, stand-alone stories and are published out of chronological order, usually as shorts or one-shots, occasionally doing a full mini-series. Post-Cavendish stories focus prominently on the ongoing Hellboy story and have a clear chronological progression. These stories are usually miniseries.
The series has also been divided into chapters by Mike Mignola.
- The First Chapter of Hellboy's story covers the internal continuity dating from Hellboy's birth to his death and resurrection in The Island.
- The Middle Chapter of Hellboy's story covers the internal continuity from Hellboy leaving for Britain at the end of The Island to the events of The Fury.
- The Final Chapter of Hellboy's story will cover the ongoing story in Hellboy in Hell.
- Seed of Destruction #1
- Seed of Destruction #2
- Seed of Destruction #3
- Seed of Destruction #4
- The Wolves of Saint August
- The Corpse and The Iron Shoes
- Wake the Devil #1
- Wake the Devil #2
- Wake the Devil #3
- Wake the Devil #4
- Wake the Devil #5
- Almost Colossus #1
- Almost Colossus #2
- Christmas Special
- Box Full of Evil #1
- Box Full of Evil #2
- Conqueror Worm #1
- Conqueror Worm #2
- Conqueror Worm #3
- Conqueror Worm #4
- The Third Wish #1
- The Third Wish #2
- The Island #1
- The Island #2
- Makoma #1
- Makoma #2
- Darkness Calls #1
- Darkness Calls #2
- Darkness Calls #3
- Darkness Calls #4
- Darkness Calls #5
- Darkness Calls #6
- The Crooked Man #1
- The Crooked Man #2
- The Crooked Man #3
- In the Chapel of Moloch
- The Wild Hunt #1
- The Wild Hunt #2
- The Wild Hunt #3
- The Wild Hunt #4
- The Wild Hunt #5
- The Wild Hunt #6
- The Wild Hunt #7
- The Wild Hunt #8
- The Bride of Hell
- Hellboy in Mexico
- The Storm #1
- The Storm #2
- The Storm #3
- Double Feature of Evil
- The Sleeping and the Dead #1
- The Sleeping and the Dead #2
- Buster Oakley Gets His Wish
- Being Human
- The Fury #1
- The Fury #2
- The Fury #3
Collections[edit | edit source]
Trade Paperbacks[edit | edit source]
- see also Hellboy Trade Paperback Collections
All in-continuity Hellboy stories are collected into trade paperbacks eventually. So far there has been thirteen volumes, with additional volumes for out-of-continuity stories such as the Weird Tales stories and crossovers. The standard trades usually contain a sketchbook or gallery and most stories come with story notes by Mike Mignola (Hellboy: The Storm and the Fury was a rare exception). Hellboy in Hell is collected as its own line of trades.
Library Editions[edit | edit source]
- see also Hellboy Library Editions
Beginning May 2008, Dark Horse decided to release special hard cover editions of Hellboy reproducing the artwork at its original size. These large volumes contain the material from two of the standard trades, plus a greatly expanded sketchbook section.
Omnibus Editions[edit | edit source]
- see also Hellboy omnibus editions
In 2018, Dark Horse released six omnibus editions collecting the entire Hellboy series, including Hellboy in Hell. Unlike other omnibus editions, these were released in paperback instead of hardcover, and with stripped back special features. These omnibuses were designed as a cheap and easy way for new readers to get into the series, rather than as deluxe collections like the omnibuses for other series have been. These omnibuses shuffled the stories into a new reading order by Scott Allie, with the stories from Seed of Destruction and onward being collected chronologically over four volumes. The remaining stories were collected chronologically into Hellboy: The Complete Short Stories.
Novels[edit | edit source]
- see also Hellboy Universe novels
In addition to the comics, there are novels that form part of the Hellboy series. Most of these are out of continuity except for the Hellboy novels written by author Christopher Golden (although his short stories are not). The events of his first two books The Lost Army and The Bones of Giants are both featured in The Hellboy Companion official timeline, and characters and events have been on occasion referenced within the comics themselves.
Other Media[edit | edit source]
Hellboy has also been adapted as a live-action film franchise (see Hellboy (film) and Hellboy II: The Golden Army) and two direct-to-DVD animated films and its own spin-off comic book series (see Hellboy Animated). It has also been made into a video game, Hellboy: The Science of Evil, and a role-playing-game.