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Comic Book / Grimm Fairy Tales

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Grimm Fairy Tales is a comic book series by Zenescope. Each issue is a frame story in which someone with a problem meets one of two women, Sela or her evil nemesis Belinda. They will be given a book containing an "original" fairy tale, much darker in tone than traditional fairy tales, that mirrors their situation. In the end, one of three things will happen: the person will see the error of their ways and change, the person will fail to see the error of their ways and fall victim to some unfortunate circumstances, or they will fail to see the error of their ways and supernatural forces from the story will act directly to punish them. The series is typically very over-the-top, although this does not stop it from being entertaining by any means.

The series has led to a number of spin-offs, including The Wonderland Trilogy, Neverland and Oz, which drop the Frame story format and focus on one of the five worlds that make up the series 'verse, The Piper; a four-issue-long treatment of the Pied Piper, and Inferno, which continues the story of the Dante sisters. Besides connections in their own continuity, the series has also crossed over with 1001 Arabian Nights: The Adventures of Sinbad, The Dream Eater Saga Crisis Crossover and the Unleashed Crisis Crossover.


There was also an animated series in the works featuring the voices of Lena Headey, Briana Evigan, Chris Hardwick and Robert Forster. Here's a preview of the pilot.

Grimm Fairy Tales spin-offs with their own entries:


  • Adaptational Heroism and Adaptational Villainy: Pan and Cross in Neverland. Cross, who is Neverland's take on Captain Hook is the hero, while Pan is the main villain and a pretty nasty one at that.
  • An Aesop
  • Animorphism
  • Anthology Comic: Was at the beginning and still delves into it from time to time.
  • Asshole Victim: More than a few, but the three jerks in the "Three Little Pigs" win top honors for this one.
  • Back from the Dead: The inhabitants of Wonderland come back after death unless killed by outside means. As of "Unleashed", Belinda is this as well.
  • Balloon Belly: A nightmarish example at the end of "Three Snake Leaves", where the wife's stomach is so engorged because she just Swallowed Whole their neighbor's son.
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  • Be Careful What You Wish For: More so when Belinda is involved. A good portion of the people she "helps" end this way, most notably seen in "The Ugly Duckling" and of course, the "The Monkey's Paw".
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Both used and subverted. Most people in the comic are attractive anyway.
  • Belly Mouth: The Krampus has multiple mouths on his torso: a large one on his belly and four smaller ones on his torso.
  • Big Bad
    • The Dark One. In other books in the Grimmverse, he's usually being responsible for the Big Bad of those title.
    • The Jabberwocky does the same for most of The Wonderland Trilogy, being sidelined for most of it until Escape from Wonderland where he takes center stage.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • Patricia Otts, who initially came off as a kind, helpful woman who gave Belle her equipment and patched her up after a battle turned out to be a sociopath who lured Belle's mother into a trap (that resulted in her being halfway turned into a Medusa and warped into an evil version of herself, as well as indirectly leading to Belle's adopted brother Alex being turned into the Beast).
    • In the Sleepy Hollow mini-series, a college prank goes wrong to kill a young man and transform him into the Headless Horseman. After taking bloody revenge on the jocks responsible, the Horseman uses his powers to discover his "loving girlfriend" had been using him from day one just to get access to tests so she could sell them for money and was sleeping with the head jock responsible, including in bed together joking on "have to go bury my boyfriend." That makes her the last victim.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The final issue of Escape from Wonderland begins with three possible endings. The first a Happily Ever After ending in which Calie manages to Save the Villain. The second a Kill 'Em All Downer Ending in which Johnny wins. The third appears to be a Bittersweet Ending, until a sudden Cruel Twist Ending. But Calie manages to think of a fourth option that leads to a true ending which, while still bittersweet, is at least hopeful.
  • Body Horror: The entire Wonderland storyline seems to LOVE this one, it's usually the end result of what the new "resident" becomes... or at the VERY least, a newbie has to go through it just to become a new resident of Wonderland.
  • Boxed Crook: This is how Robyn Locksley (a.k.a. 'Robyn Hood') is recruited into the Realm Knights organisation. So long as she stays off the radar and operates within the parameters given in her missions, she is allowed to stay out of jail.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Dorothy, for a while.
  • Break Out Character: Britney Waters/Red Riding Hood. She gets heavy promoted, is in quite a few covers(almost as many, if not more than Sela) and has her own spin off title. May also cross over into Wolverine Publicity. Robyn Hood also seems to have entered this territory.
  • The Bus Came Back: Most of the readers of Sela's storybook in GFT early issues come back in the Myths and Legends. It is reveled in that title that they are falsebloods with powers of their own. Samantha Darren even replaces Sela as Earth's Guardian
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Belinda, as well as Timmy for a short time. Belinda is starting to change her ways as of issue 60.
  • Cigar-Fuse Lighting: In 2019 Holiday Special, a gang of bullies us a cigarette to light the fuse on a firecracker that they then use to blow up a young boy's snowman.
  • Darker and Edgier
  • Death by Childbirth: Snow White's mother.
  • Downer Ending: In many stories.
    • Most notably done in "Blue Beard". After going in a room and seeing what can only be described as horrifying beyond belief, Blue Beard confronts her and she ends up stabbing him. Before he dies, it turns out that all he wanted was a trusting wife and had no intention of hurting her: she saw what she wanted to in the room.
    • The Piped Piper ends up being a double whammy since it's done not only in the story, but in the story within a story as well: In the fairy tale, the piper not only runs off with the children, but upon returning them after finally getting the rest of his payment, he turns them all into mutant rats as a punishment to the entire town, which sucked since only the brothers (and even at that, just the one) had short-changed him. And to the guy that was reading the story: he isn't able to convince his brother not to short change the hitman or simply call the hit off... so the guy ends up kidnapping his son and seems more than willing to kill him. It ends with the father on the phone with him while he gets a box with his brother's cut off ears and his son's jersey, with the hitman telling him to get the money together because his son was calling for his mother...
    • In "Three Snake Leaves", the scientist protagonist successfully cures his wife of her cancer with a snake-gene based elixir. And ends up losing his wife when the serum reduces her mentality to that of a snake, and she eats their neighbor's son. Making things worse is that he hadn't even done anything that was really wrong, just tried to save his dying wife. Belinda is just a Jerkass that way.
  • The Dreaded: Most of the big villains of the series. The Dark One, being the Big Bad, is of course this. The Jabberwocky is this in Wonderland, even after he is thought to have been killed. The Being is even more so that even the Dark One is afraid of him.
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: It is known as the Nexus and is the centerpoint of all other realms. Naturally, this makes it a target.
  • Eldritch Abomination
    • The Jabberwocky, while punchable, appears to be this. One of his other names is even R'lyeh. While most of his creations are traditional Wonderland characters, those he unleashes on the Earth in the end drop the pretense entirely. Not to mention his massive tentacled lair, which leaves Calie incapable of even describing it.
    • The Dream Eater is also an example. Sure he may look like a shriveled old man, but that is just to mask its nightmarish real form.
  • Eldritch Location
    • Wonderland as a whole can be considered this. Special mention to Jabberwocky's lair which is so bizarre that it hurts when Calie even tries to describe it.
  • Enfant Terrible
    • Belinda tries to turn Timmy into one. He's responsible for a few deaths, but ultimately redeemed.
    • And then of course there's Pinocchio.
  • Evil Matriarch
  • Evil Redhead: Belinda until her Heel–Face Turn
  • Fairy Tale Free-for-All: The other worlds all contain classical fairy tale characters coexisting with each other.
  • Fan Disservice: In Grimm Fairy Tales presents: Return to Wonderland, Callie is seen laying on a table, naked and covered with food in all the right places. Then we get to see the Mad Hatter leering over her and looking rather... disgusting... and obviously about to rape her. It's only made worse by the fact that 1.) they show his tongue which looks just as disgusting as he does, if not worse and 2.) this is supposed to be her uncle.
  • Fanservice: Every cover includes a scantily-clad woman, and covers do not always lie: odds are good there are some within most of the issues as well.
  • Fed to the Beast: One comic ends with Belinda deliberately removing the ladder on the back of a yacht whilst it's at sea, leaving the yacht's owner unable to save herself from being Eaten Alive by a Threatening Shark as Belinda watches For the Evulz.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: Oh yes.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare
    • The Dark One was originally one of the weakest beings of his homeworld, before learning just how strong human worship can be.
    • The Jabberwocky is also an example as it was just a simple child once.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Mercy fights a gang of assassins this way in issue #41.
  • Girls Behind Bars: The "Lockdown" arc (#76-81).
  • Grimmification: The entire point.
  • Heroic Willpower: Subverted in "Three Snake Leaves." The scientist returns home to discover his son's fine, thinking his wife didn't succumb to the effects of the snake genes after all. She did, but she resisted enough to not eat their son. Instead, she ate their son's friend.
  • Hot Teacher: Sela Mathers, very much so. Belle is a more restrained version.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Just look at the covers. And yes, there are scantily-clad women in the books themselves too. Lampshaded in one issue, when Smynth tells Dorothy that Glinda had "the dressense of a daytime strippernote .
  • Human Head on the Wall: This cover of Grimm Fairy Tales Holiday Edition #2 shows Sela with the head of The Krampus mounted on the wall behind her.
  • Iconic Outfit: Sela's Snow White inspired costume and it's variants. Ironically, she didn't start wearing it until the series turned into a action fantasy title and even they she didn't always wear it.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: The climax of the Sleepy Hollow mini-series has one jock hoping to escape the Headless Horsemen by remembering the legend that the Horsemen can't leave Sleepy Hollow. When he crosses the bridge out of the town, the jock thinks he's safe only for the Horsemen to charge across the bridge to kill him. It turns out the man was unaware that twenty years earlier, a land development caused Sleepy Hollow's borders to cross beyond that bridge so he was still in the town limits.
  • Kiss of Death: Sleeping Beauty
  • Jack the Ripper: The first Mad Hatter was him. In a strange twist, he is one of the more noble and somewhat heroic versions of the Hatter, which says a lot about how nasty the next two are.
  • The Juggernaut: The Dream Eater, despite not at all looking like it. The few who try to take him on learn the hard way. The Being is another example, possibly even more than the Dream Eater. For example, he takes on The Dark One and swats him away like a fly, causing him to revert to his human form.
  • The Krampus: Turns up trying to kill Robyn in Grimm Fairy Tales 2013 Holiday Edition.
  • Legacy Character: The Mad Hatter. There have been 4 shown thus far and almost all of them insane monsters, with the exception of the fourth who is reveled to be Violet Liddel in a possible future.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Blue Beard and the Wild Boy from "The Boy Who Cried Wolf".
  • Oh, Crap!: Quite a few victims in both the main story and fairy tales give this face.
  • Older Than They Look: Many characters are. Helps that they are immortal or at least long-lived. Calie Liddel, who for the most part is a normal human, plays this straighter as she looks far to young to be the mother of a teenager. Granted she was quite young when she had Violet, but still.
  • Orgasmic Combat: In Grimm Fairy Tales 2018 Cosplay Special, Skye Mathers is ambushed in the changing room of a costume store by a skinwalker. The sounds of combat invoke this response in the substance-addled store clerk who comments "Sounds like someone's having fun".
  • Peking Duck Christmas: In Grimm Fairy Tales 2013 Holiday Edition, Sela, Liesel, Britney and Robyn end up ordering 'disgusting amounts' of food from General Tso's Chinese restaurant after their Christmas feast is destroyed in a battle with Krampus's minions.
  • Remix Comic: The April Fools comics, which are 90% taken from other stories, but given parody dialogue. Generally they include at least one original page per story however, frequently as a big finale.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent
    • Used in a few stories, but most notably in "The Three Snake-Leaves" where a scientist's attempt to cure his wife's cancer by using a serum based on snake genes leads her to be overcome by snake instincts, as per the wife in the "original fable" and, as a consequence, their neighbor's son ends up Swallowed Whole by her.
    • In The Piper, snakes are outright referred to as "Not of God."
  • Satan Is Good: Not necessarily good per say, but loyal to God and seeking redemption. She simply does her job watching over the vilest of souls. The stories crossed Satan with The Dark One who fits the reputation more than well enough.
  • Save the Villain: Calie is very intent on doing this in the final issue of Escape from Wonderland. There is a possible ending shown in which she succeeds, as well as one in which she abandons it and just kills him. She eventually decides to Take a Third Option and returns him to human form. Unfortunately his mind is too far gone to save, but at the very least it robs him of the Healing Factor that previously made him unkillable.
  • Shout-Out: In the Ugly Duckling chapter, all of the characters have the same first names as the main characters of How I Met Your Mother.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Gender-swapped with Cross being one of the few male leads in the Grimmverse.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Several, particularly when magical forces directly intervene to punish the guilty, notably done in "The Three Little Pigs".
  • Throw the Book at Them: In the Van Helsing mini-series, Liesel is attacked by vampires in a bookstore. She drops a shelf full of books on top of one of the vamps, who proceeds to smash her way out.
  • Token Good Teammate: The Tooth Fairy for the Dark Horde. All she ever wanted was to live normal and bring smile to children. Too bad the Dark Queen tricked her into killing the heroes' allies and used the blood dragon's tooth to overwhelm her.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: It's stated at the end of the "Queen of Hearts" one-shot that The Jabberwocky cannot understand love. So he twists it into something more manageable.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The third Mad Hatter Johnny Liddle. He was already well on his way there considering his childhood. Being sent to Wonderland made him worse.
  • World of Buxom: Name one female character who isn't top heavy.
  • Your Soul Is Mine!: Used in a few stories; including "Cinderella", "Puss in Boots", and heavily in The Piper. Belinda, and in one case Sela, also occasionally partakes in this.