Saturday 29 November 2008

The Hellboy Story Chronology

I've recently fallen in love with Mike Mignola's Hellboy comic book series. After watching Guillermo del Toro's movies (first one: meh, second one: wow!) I decided to read the first collection, Seed of Destruction (co-written by John Byrne), and I wasn't overly enthusiastic at first, but I decided to persevere and discovered I was wrong: Hellboy was, infact, awesome.

Alan Moore's introduction to the second collection (Wake the Devil) points out exactly what makes it such a brilliant and unique series: It captures all the fun and brevity of Golden Age comics like Spider-Man but also has an interesting modern edge (and I don't just mean being filled with post-modern references; refreshingly there are none). It manages to be dark and subversive while always remaining sweet, innocent and fun.

The storyline leaps all over the place, in a very fun and effortless way, but you may wonder how they all fit together into a single chronology. No? Well, I did :)

The following lists the individual stories of Hellboy and the trade-paperbacks where they can be found. It is based on the excellent work of Kid Cthulu and Mist the Soul-Gatherer and features only canon works (so no Hellboy: Weird Tales, Hellboy: Odd/Odder/Oddest Jobs or Hellboy Jr.)

If you think I've missed something, please leave a comment! (The items in grey are ones that I'm not sure if they're canonical of not.)

1937: Lobster Johnson #1: The Iron Prometheus
1938: Lobster Johnson: The Killer in my Skull (collected in BPRD #1: Hollow Earth & Other Stories)
Hellboy appears (1944):
1946: BPRD: 1946 (collected in BPRD #9: 1946)
1947: Pancakes (collected in Hellboy #4: The Right Hand of Doom)
1954: The Nature of the Beast (collected in Hellboy #4)
1956: King Vold (collected in Hellboy #4)
1958: The Penanggalan (collected in Hellboy #7: The Troll Witch and Others)
1959: The Corpse (collected in Hellboy #3: The Chained Coffin and Others)
1961: The Iron Shoes (collected in Hellboy #3)
1961: The Hydra and the Lion (collected in Hellboy #7)
1963: The Troll Witch (collected in Hellboy #7)
1964: The Baba Yaga (collected in Hellboy #3)
1967: Heads (collected in Hellboy #4)
1979: Goodbye, Mr. Tod (collected in Hellboy #4)
1981: Ape Sapien #1: The Drowning
1982: The Vampire of Prague (collected in Hellboy #7)
1982: The Vârcolac (collected in Hellboy #4 (redrawn and expanded))
1986: The Lost Army (novel by Christopher Golden)
1989: A Christmas Underground (collected in Hellboy #3)
1990: The Kabandha (from the Hellboy Sourcebook (only 4 pages) - not yet collected)
1991: Dr. Carp's Experiment (collected in Hellboy #7)
1992: The Ghoul (collected in Hellboy #7)
1993: Makoma (collected in Hellboy #7)
The original series begins:
1994: Hellboy #1: Seed of Destruction
1994: The Wolves of Saint August (collected in Hellboy #3)
1995: The Chained Coffin (collected in Hellboy #3)
1996: Hellboy #2: Wake the Devil
1996: Almost Colossus (collected in Hellboy #3)
1997: Abe Sapien vs Science (collected in BPRD #1)
1997: The Bones of Giants (novel by Christopher Golden)
1998: The Right Hand of Doom (collected in Hellboy #4)
1998: Abe Sapien: Drums of the Dead (collected in BPRD #1)
1999: Box Full of Evil (collected in Hellboy #4)
2001: The Dakini (prose) (from the Hellboy Sourcebook - not yet collected)
2001: Conqueror Worm (collected in Hellboy #5: Conqueror Worm)
2002: BPRD: Hollow Earth (collected in BPRD #1)
2002: The Third Wish (collected in Hellboy #6: Strange Places)
2003: BPRD: The Soul of Venice (collected in BPRD #2: The Soul of Venice & Other Stories)
2003: BPRD: Dark Waters (collected in BPRD #2)
2003: BPRD: Night Train (collected in BPRD #2)
2003: BPRD: There's Something Under My Bed (collected in BPRD #2)
2004: BRPD: Another Day at the Office (collected in BPRD #2)
2004: BPRD: Born Again (collected in BPRD #4: The Dead)
2004: BRPRD #3: Plague of Frogs
2004: BPRD: The Dead (collected in BPRD #4)
2005: The Island (collected in Hellboy #6)
2005: BPRD #5: The Black Flame
2006: BPRD #6: The Universal Machine
2006: BPRD #7: Garden of Souls
2006: Hellboy #8: Darkness Calls
2007: BPRD #8: Killing Ground

Note 1: If there's no story name it's because it's the same name as the collected edition (with no other short stories).
Note 2: The full name is only given once, after that it's just the volume number.


mintonmedia said...

Great work...but why not point in which collection(s) we see (if only in flashback) the 1944 "birth" of Hellboy?

Fabian Archive said...

sorry, my mistake. the other list is about the TPBs. in this list content is missing: all whitchfinder, BPRD 1947 or Mexico. and what about all the other stuff that is described in detail in the Companion, that happend a century ago like Abe´s birth and Rasputins activities etc?

Johnny Walker said...

Yes, this hasn't been updated. You're welcome to take it and use THIS list in your Archive (the story chronology, not the TPB list), provided you update it.