“Blood & Iron” is a stellar sequel to the entertaining and raucous “Sword of Storms,” and it’s a yet another faithful adaptation that emphasizes the lore and world of the BPRD. The animated follow ups to the movie, set somewhere between the movies, have been worthy of the time spent with excellent animation, and a compelling narrative, overall. The idea bout the audience watching outcasts defend our Earth and realm is continuously fascinating, and the cast bring their A game.
In “Blood & Iron,” the BPRD (including Sydney Leach) takes on a legion of vampires, with further exploration of Professor Broom and his exploits as a young adventurer. Broom is a much more defined presence for audiences unfamiliar with the comics, while the entire cast is top notch once again. Perlman was born to play Hellboy, while Selma Blair is charismatic as Liz Sherman. John Hurt has a much prominent role this time around and he plays Broom with the same gusto as he did in the film, while Doug Jones is a wonderful replacement for David Hyde Pierce yet again. After a run in with a few powerful demons, Hellboy and crew are being stalked by a mysterious vampiress who is intent on settling an old score with the good professor after a splash of holy water took away her beauty.
“Blood & Iron” is a much darker entry, and also a much more low key approach to its story. There’s less of an epic approach for the follow up, but that doesn’t hinder its entertainment value. Most of “Blood & Iron” is comprised of our team investigating a large mansion being bought by a man hoping to capitalize on its grim history involving a vain aristocrat who killed young women and bathed in their blood to make her younger. After selling her soul to the goddess Hecate she fed on their blood to retain her age as a vampire. Bouncing from flashbacks to Broom’s battle with Erzsebet Ondrushko, and then to the present with the team exploring inexplicable hauntings involving blood soaked young female ghosts who seem anxious to send Broom a message.
As the night wears on, the sightings become more aggressive and the story just connects with dripping blood, eerie hauntings and the like. For the second installment, our directors explore that not all of the BPRD’s cases involve punching demons and rumbling with demi-gods, and we watch as sometimes their cases require they stake out dark houses for signs of a bigger problem. Which is not to say there isn’t some head bashing to be had, as there is a great fight with a werewolf in the house; a key moment of the film. There’s a healthy sense of the macabre with some fun skull faced ghosts, and our villainous Countess bathing in a tub of blood, which just scream Bram Stoker. “Hellboy: Blood & Iron” is low key without being dull, and action packed without being brainless. It’s a great follow-up to an utterly entertaining franchise.