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Mignolaversity: The Hellboy Universe Reading Order ― 2015

By | May 18th, 2015
Posted in Annotations | 46 Comments
Logo by Tim Daniel

This is an older reading order. Please check out the 2019 version.

Last year, I created a reading order for the Hellboy Universe with the help of Scott Allie. It was an involved process. We considered the publishing order, the internal chronology, the order of certain reveals, the development of certain themes…

The order we settled on focused on the library editions and omnibuses, with no switching mid-book. But it was a work in progress. I’ve since returned to it to refine and add new titles. This is the 2015 edition, covering all the books until the end of the year.

I want to point out, this is not THE reading order, it is A reading order. There is no definitive reading order, nor should there be. The Hellboy Universe is made to be accessed from many different starting points. You could begin with Hellboy and the B.P.R.D., which only began late last year, and that is a perfectly viable approach (and actually an interesting one too). Discovery is meant to be a part of the reading experience. As Scott Allie said to me once, “Different reading orders will tell different stories, the surprises will be in different places. Everyone’s experience will be different.”

Keep in mind too, this reading order was made with the entire universe in mind. You can quite easily enjoy any of these series without having to read all of them. You don’t need to read Hellboy to read B.P.R.D. or vice versa. So don’t be afraid to experiment a bit. As long as you follow the numbers on the books’ spines, you should be fine, and you may find a new way to look at this universe in the process.

TEXT ONLY VERSION

HELLBOY – VOLUME 1 (LIBRARY EDITION)

HELLBOY – VOLUME 2 (LIBRARY EDITION)

HELLBOY – VOLUME 3 (LIBRARY EDITION)

B.P.R.D.: PLAGUE OF FROGS – VOLUME 1 (OMNIBUS EDITION)

B.P.R.D.: PLAGUE OF FROGS – VOLUME 2 (OMNIBUS EDITION)

B.P.R.D.: PLAGUE OF FROGS – VOLUME 3 (OMNIBUS EDITION)

HELLBOY – VOLUME 4 (LIBRARY EDITION)

HELLBOY – VOLUME 5 (LIBRARY EDITION)

HELLBOYL: WEIRD TALES (OMNIBUS EDITION)

How Koshchei Became Deathless (short story)
Baba Yaga’s Feast (short story)
Hellboy: Weird Tales – Volume 1 (out of continuity)
Hellboy: Weird Tales – Volume 2 (out of continuity)

Witchfinder: In the Service of Angels

Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever

Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland

Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand

Lobster Johnson: Satan Smells a Rat

Lobster Johnson: Get the Lobster!

Lobster Johnson: The Iron Prometheus

Sledgehammer 44

B.P.R.D.: 1946 – 1948 (OMNIBUS EDITION)

B.P.R.D.: Vampire

Abe Sapien: The Drowning

Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest and Other Stories

B.P.R.D.: Being Human

B.P.R.D.: PLAGUE OF FROGS – VOLUME 4 (OMNIBUS EDITION)

HELLBOY – VOLUME 6 (LIBRARY EDITION)

Hellboy: The Midnight Circus

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: New World

Continued below



B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Gods and Monsters

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Russia

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil’s Engine & The Long Death

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror and Others

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Return of the Master

Hellboy in Hell: The Descent

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: A Cold Day in Hell

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Lake of Fire

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Reign of the Black Flame

Abe Sapien: Dark and Terrible and The New Race of Man

Abe Sapien: The Shape of Things to Come

Abe Sapien: Sacred Places

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil’s Wings

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Flesh and Stone (coming September)

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Metamorphosis (coming December)

Abe Sapien: A Darkness so Great

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952

Hellboy: House of the Living Dead

Frankenstein Underground (coming November)

And if this reading order doesn’t do anything for you, here’s a few others that you might prefer:

NOTES

Baltimore isn’t included in the reading order because it’s not a part of the Hellboy Universe. That’s also why The Amazing Screw-on Head isn’t in there either.

Likewise, I’ve only included stories in continuity. I made an exception for the Hellboy: Weird Tales omnibus edition because it collects How Koshchei Became Deathless and Baba Yaga’s Feast. But you won’t find Hellboy Junior or any Hellboy crossovers here.

There will be more omnibus editions… eventually. The trades only go to omnibus editions when an entire cycle has wrapped up. So when B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth is over, that’s when you’ll start seeing omnibuses for it.

If there’s anything else you want to know, The Hellboy Wiki is a helpful resource.


//TAGS | Hell Notes | Mignolaversity | Multiversity Rewind

Mark Tweedale

Mark writes Haunted Trails, The Harrow County Observer, The Damned Speakeasy, and a bunch of stuff for Mignolaversity. An animator and an eternal Tintin fan, he spends his free time reading comics, listening to film scores, watching far too many video essays, and consuming the finest dark chocolates. You can find him on Twitter @MarkTweedale.

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