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Comic Book / Marvel Fairy Tales

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Marvel Fairy Tales is a set of limited series published by Marvel Comics from 2006 to 2008 that adapts classic fairy tales, or invokes their tropes and traditions, and places Marvel's own famous characters in the roles. So far, there have been three series: Spider-Man Fairy Tales, X-Men Fairy Tales, and The Avengers Fairy Tales. A series based on Fantastic Four was planned but never realized. The stories are all written by C.B. Cebulski, and have a different artist for every story.

Here is a list of fairy tales adapted:

Spider-Man Fairy Tales:

  • Little Red Riding Hood with Mary Jane Watson as Red, Peter as the woodsman, Aunt May in the role of the grandmother, and a wolf that looks suspiciously like Venom.
  • A tribute to the African folk stories of Anansi with Spidey as Anansi (naturally), and featuring elementals that are modeled after Hydro-Man, Sandman, Cyclone, Swarm, and the Green Goblin.
  • An original story in the style of a Japanese ghost story with Venom as a Tsuchigumo, and Vulture, Black Cat, and Kraven as Youkai.
  • A gender-swapped version of "Cinderella" with Peter and Mary Jane as servants to a cruel knight, Sir Norman Osborn, and Gwen Stacy as a princess that Peter woos in spider-patterned armor.

X-Men Fairy Tales:

  • Momotarō with Cyclops as Momotaro, Professor X as the monk, Iceman as the dog, Beast as the monkey, Angel as the pheasant, Jean Grey as the monk's daughter, and Magneto, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Toad as the oni who captured Jean. Mystique, Pyro, and Avalanche also cameo as thieves who attack the monk.
  • The Tortoise and the Eagle with Professor X as the Tortoise and Magneto as the Eagle.
  • A story in the style of Grimm with Cyclops as a blind man who awakens a Phoenix princess, and Wolverine as a butcher who has encountered her before.
  • A Cajun voodoo tale starring Rogue as a channeler, Mystique as her employer, Gambit and Bishop as New Orleans cops who take an interest in her, and Emma Frost as the head of a secret society who wants to use Rogue's gifts to control the dead.

Avengers Fairy Tales:

  • Peter Pan with Captain America as Peter Pan; Scarlet Witch as Wendy; Quicksilver as her brother; Wasp as Tinkerbell; Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Black Panther as the Lost Boys, and Klaw as Captain Hook.
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio with Hank Pym as Geppetto, the Vision as Pinocchio, Wasp in a similar role to the cricket, the Scarlet Witch as the Blue—er, Scarlet Fairy, and Ultron as the cruel schoolmaster.
  • Alice in Wonderland with Cassie Lang as Alice, the Scott Lang version of Ant-Man as the Caterpillar, Tigra as the Cheshire Cat, Speed as the White Rabbit, Wiccan as the March Hare, Hulkling as the Mad Hatter, Iron Lad as the Dormouse, and Kate Bishop and Patriot as the King and Queen.
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with She-Hulk as Dorothy, Agatha Harkness as the Good Witch of the North, various versions of Ant-Man and the Wasp as the Munchkins, Quicksilver as the Wicked Witch of the West, Scarlet Witch as the Wicked Witch of the East, Thor as the Scarecrow, Iron Man as the Tin Man, Captain America as the Cowardly Lion, and Magneto as the Wizard.

Marvel Fairy Tales provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Alice Allusion: Avengers Fairy Tales #3 is a Young Avengers version of Alice in Wonderland with Sizeshifter Cassie/Stature as Alice.
  • Depending on the Writer: The Scarlet Witch appears in no less than four of these tales, and her role changes in each one. In the Momotaro adaptation she's a villainous oni, in Peter Pan she takes Wendy's role, in Pinocchio she's the benevolent Scarlet Fairy, and in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz she's the Wicked Witch of the West, but survives and is redeemed.
  • Universal-Adaptor Cast: The series retells various Fairy Tales with the X-Men, Spider-Man and The Avengers.
  • Uptown Girl: The class aspects of the Peter/Gwen/MJ Love Triangle finally come to the surface in Spider-Man Fairy Tales #4 which makes it into a kind of Cinderella-esque Chivalric Romance where Peter is an Impoverished Patrician, MJ is a peasant serving girl and Gwen is a Princess. Peter and MJ are friends when he is in rags, and MJ openly loves him but because of the class background, they can't be together. As a knight, Peter fails to save Gwen, and neither he nor MJ gets together albeit Peter ends up restoring his fortune and MJ stays a servant pining for her knight.