Dark Horse Comics announced today that the best-loved stories of the Hellboy universe are set to be reissued in a new series of collected editions called the Hellboy Universe Essentials. The stories won't be just Mike Mignola stories although for obvious reasons he will be pretty well-represented, and is the one curating the line. Beginning in 2021, Dark Horse Books will publish four volumes of essential Hellboy Universe stories, all selected by Mike Mignola, each featuring all new covers by Mignola and award-winning colorist Dave Stewart. After decades of Hellboy stories and a handful of other-media adaptations, these will presumably be the best possible jumping-on point for potential new readers interested in the character.
Each of the four volumes will take up one corner of the Hellboy universe, giving fans a single book dedicated to Hellboy himself, and follow-up volumes for the Bureau of Paranormal
"In some cases — B.P.R.D. and Witchfinder — it was pretty easy to select the one 'essential' book," said Mignola in a statement. "Hellboy was more complicated, as there is so much ground to cover. In the end we chose to go with a collection of short stories rather than a single graphic novel, to give more of an overview of the character. We chose certain stories that say important things about his background, but also some that just show what he does and how he does it. A couple of stories are in there just because they are my favorites."
"From 'The Corpse' to 'Pancakes,' these standalone stories are the perfect way for new readers to get a feel for Hellboy and his world," said Hellboy editor Katii O’Brien, invoking two stories that longtime fans will be very familiar with (heck, the character even had pancake-flavored beer a while back)!
The Hellboy Universe Essentials line debuts in July 2021 with Hellboy Universe Essentials: Hellboy. Priced at $14.99, the trade paperback will collect these iconic stories: The Chained Coffin, The Third Wish, Pancakes, The Nature of the Beast, The Corpse, The Baba Yaga, A Christmas Underground, The Ghoul, and The Troll Witch.
That release will be followed by Hellboy Universe Essentials: B.P.R.D. in November 2021, followed by Hellboy Universe Essentials: Lobster Johnson in March of 2022, and Hellboy Universe Essentials: Witchfinder in July of 2022.
Hellboy Universe Essentials: Hellboy will be available in comic stores on July 7, 2021 and in bookstores on July 21, 2021. The trade paperback is available for pre-order now.