List of ismafloflio Reading guide April 4, 2021

Hellboy Reading Order ; The Omnibus Editions 38 Comics


The Omnibus Editions

The Hellboy Universe is vast and full of monsters. It’s also composed of multiple series and miniseries, stories published in a non-chronological order. The following article is not the ultimate reading order, it’s a reading guide, an attempt to offer a good view of one of the best comic book universes.

Created by writer-artist Mike Mignola, Hellboy is a half-Demon who was summoned from Hell to Earth as a baby by the “Mad Monk” Grigori Rasputin for the Nazi. Adopted by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, the man behind the United States Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (also called the B.P.R.D.), Hellboy grew up with humans and learned to hunt monsters. Adult, he is easily identifiable. After all, he is red-skinned, huge with a tail, horns, cloven hooves for feet, and his right is hand made of stone.

Working with the B.P.R.D., he hunts Nazis, witches, and other types of Lovecraftian monsters, teaming up with the amphibian humanoid Abe Sapien, and pyrokinetic Liz Sherman. As years passes, Hellboy must confront who he really is and fulfilled his destiny as the B.P.R.D. becomes the first line of defense against cosmic menaces.

Hellboy Universe Reading Order:

Chronological or non-chronological? At the beginning, the Hellboy series was a collection of short stories. They were not published in a chronological fashion. You can read them in a chronological order if you want (in that case, the best way is to pick up the omnibus editions), but if it’s your first reading, better start without the added complication of jumping around. Follow the original publication order. Once familiar with the Hellboy Universe, you can try to read everything in order to see if it’s a different experience. Your choice.

In the following reading order, we’ll start with Hellboy short stories. For all of the prequel books published later, we’ll come back to them in the second part of the guide.

The main story being finished at that point, I decided to move some Hellboy books out of the way and I put them in the section about the prequel books (like the Hellboy & the BPRD series). The fact is that you can read them when you want and, re-reading the stories, I thought they were a distraction, taking me out of the most important developments at that moment. I realized I’ll have more pleasure revisited them in the context of the prequels.

What are the main series? Even if Hellboy is the most famous series of this big universe created by Mike Mignola, there’s a lot more. The most notables are : Hellboy, Hellboy in Hell, B.P.R.D., and Abe Sapien ; Add to that the spin-offs Sir Edward Grey, Witchfinder, Lobster Johnson, and a lot of miniseries.

What are the best editions? The Trade Paperbacks don’t collect the stories in a chronological order, unlike the omnibuses. The best? You decide, in my collection I have a lot of Hellboy TPBs and mostly omnibuses for the B.P.R.D. stuff. I kind of jump around. It’s not easy, I’ll admit. For the reading order, I prioritize TPBs but I added notes about the omnibuses too. I hope this will help you.

P.S.: The previous version of this reading order was published on

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