Stephen Weiner, Mike Mignola & Various - Hellboy: The Companion (3 stars)

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Stephen Weiner, Mike Mignola & Various - Hellboy: The Companion

(Dark Horse)

OEUVRE GUIDE

In the 15 years since the very first Hellboy story was published the supernatural strip has spawned an ever-growing franchise: eight graphic novels and short story collections, various spin-off titles, prose novels, animated films and two Hollywood blockbusters. This handy sourcebook brings the resultant large, confusing and confounding Hellboy mythology together, and sorts the official comics version from the unofficial ancillary stuff.

Using information painstakingly gleaned from the comics (right down to incidental panels) and conversations with Hellboy’s creator Mike Mignola, the book includes a timeline (so you can find out what Hellboy was up to on, say, May 1959), character profiles, a literary appraisal, and even references to unpublished material such as the as-yet undeveloped graphic novel, Dark and Terrible. Despite the wealth of information, however, Hellboy’s universe remains a mysterious one. The more you learn the less you know, which is as it should be in the pulp horror-fantasy genre.

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