The Best of Zenescope Special Edition collects a number of previous stories from across the Zenescope library, but in its final chapter it suggest events which are to occur in the future of the primary Zenescope characters. A mysterious figure looks at the various characters both in terms of past and future events - Sela's search for her daughter Ilys, Ilys mourning the death of her supposed mother Venus, the resurrection of Shang, the return of Belinda, the battle between Robyn Hood and Britney Waters, the assembly of the Greek Gods including Angel and the continued servitude of Cindy to the Dark One. In the case of the latter Cindy is shown trying to conjur some demonic forces for the service of the Dark One but while doing so the mysterious figure arrives and stops her and abducts her.
Little is revealed of the character's origin other than the fact that she lived a fairly normal life (as she is depicted in a fairly typical suburban setting.) At one point in her past she suffered from fugue states, and at another point her father died in a car accident.
The character of Little Red Riding was a fairy tale character that first appeared in 1697. Britney is at first only in comparison to the creature as the Grimm Fairy Tales version of the character is used as a parable for her own dilemmas and choices in life. Later though it is revealed that this is likely more than just a coincidence, as the story of Britney and Little Red Riding Hood become more and more similar. Due to the popularity and recognizability of the character she was chosen as the first story in the original Grimm Fairy Tales ongoing series. Her first appearance was thus in Grimm Fairy Tales #1. Some official solicits or press releases from Zenescope occasionally refer to her as Brittany, although her name is established in comics as Britney.
Originally intended as a one time only character, she was brought back to star in a story arc for Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths and Legends. Her character goes through a fair amount of development, even if some of that is off panel. After her first experiences with Sela's book she decides to enter the field of psychiatry so that she can better help others. Through her experiences as a psychiatrist she learns to confront her past.
This is similar to a majority of Grimm Fairy Tales characters (such as for instance Calie Liddle or Nathan Cross), most of whom who face something in their past which resembles a form of mental illness, though in fact is likely to come with an inadvertent connection to another area of the Grimm Fairy Tales Multiverse.
It should be noted that the character is never directly referenced as Little Red Riding Hood, rather the two characters are insinuated to be one and the same. This is evident in the Grimm Fairy Tales Swimsuit Issue where she is referred to as Little Red Riding Hood although this is not in continuity for the Grimm Universe..
Major Story Arcs
As a fairy tale character, Little Red Riding Hood often gets a depiction in comics more in line with that of a cameo or comedy. However, the character has been featured somewhat regularly in the series Grimm Fairy Tales, including in its first issue. This tells the story of a young woman who rebuffs the advances of her boyfriend. In so doing he criticizes her for not having sex with him and she runs to her room, fearing both rejection and concerned that she is not yet ready. She comes across a story book and begins reading the story of Little Red Riding Hood which tells of a young woman that is terrorized in a forest by a wolf. The wolf is later revealed to be a werewolf which is then attacked by the woodsman. The werewolf is revealed to have been the young nobleman in love with Red. The young woman (who is later revealed to be Britney) wakes up from the fairy tale, but due to the magical properties of the book, she bears some scars from the experience, as well as some other evidence having been left in the room. She learns in this way to trust her instincts about her boyfriend.
In Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths and Legends her story is continued and forms the first story arc of the series. In this story arc it is revealed that Britney has taken motivation from having found the book of fairy tales, and now seeks only to help people. She has thus decided to dedicate her life to medicine and helping others. Now a fully fledged doctor of psychiatry she has taken a position at a center designed to help troubled (and generally rich) children. She is in charge of, among other things, leading the children in group discussions about their problems (which include binge eating, self-mutilation, nymphomania and narcissism.) She is also attracted to a fellow doctor even though he is married.
One night after leaving the complex a wolf like creature invades the complex and starts killing people. The first dead body is discovered the next day, but by this point there is a storm which has blown in which means that the group is stuck there until it blows over. At around the same time, Samantha Darren appears and indicated that it is not a regular storm, and that there is a darker force at play here. Trapped inside the building the wolf creature begins attacking people, starting with the maintenance staff and destroying the power fuse box so that the entire building is in darkness. After one of the children runs off (to fetch her own medication) the two remaining doctors leave to find her. When they return they find the security guard that was watching the other children has left his post. This is because he witnessed the bodies of earlier victims and was quite disturbed. After chastising him for leaving his post, the doctors return to find two of the children now attacked and dead.
They first assume it is the self-mutilator, as she had previously attacked a guard with a shard of glass, but they realize that there is something more at work here. They decide to barricade themselves in one of the offices, but then Britney remembers that one patient has been left in isolation. The other doctor that she was attracted to insists on going, but they first share a kiss. He leaves and frees the boy but seemingly comes back without him. It is then revealed that it is actually the wolf creature in disguise. The remaining survivors decide to run for the nearby ranger's station, with the security guard sacrificing himself so that they can get away. With now only two children left alive, Britney heads off to the ranger station. She soon discovers that the beast is following close behind her and she sends the children ahead without her and she stays behind to face the beast.
It was previously revealed that Britney in the past had suffered from fugue states, and as a doctor of psychiatry she had always assumed that they were a psychological problem. However, she begins to doubt this as a pack of wolves confront. She runs from them but they do not chase her. Instead she runs straight towards the beast, and decides to face her fears, even if costs her life. The beats initially attacks her viciously, cutting her face and her arm, but Britney realizes she can communicate with the pack of wolves and asks them to attack the beast. The beast is finally beaten. Samantha Darren finally reveals herself and tells Britney that there is a war brewing and that soon she will have to make a choice. elsewhere, it is revealed that Baba Yaga has been monitoring the whole situation and is likely responsible for all that transpired.
Britney Waters has taken part in the story arcs Bad Girls and the Summoning. She has been recruited by Samantha and Sela as a person that can help the guardians of the nexus.
She has subsequently started missions alone. During the events of Robyn Hood vs. Red Riding Hood she has been hunting Robyn Locksley believing she is a murderer and potentially a Falseblood. The confrontation between the two ends in a stalemate with Robyn convincing Britney that the crimes she committed had been revenge for the atrocities done against her and although she doesn't regret her actions, knows that it wasn't right. Britney says she will stop hunting Robyn but the ceasefire lasts only as long as Robyn doesn't ever kill another human.
Powers and Abilities
In her first appearance Britney is a seemingly normal teenager with no special abilities. In later appearances it is revealed that Britney has the ability to talk to and and possibly control wolves. After being identified as a falseblood by Samantha, she is sent to a martial arts monastery in Japan where she she becomes adept at sword fighting. As her powers evolve, she is able to control all animals.
She is also able to transform into a wolf/werewolf type creature. While in this form she has limited control over her actions, describing it as "if [she is] watching from the backseat as someone else is driving" (Robyn Hood vs. Red Riding Hood 39). She is developing better control, but at this time is still a danger to others while shifted.
The character shows up in other media much as she does in comics. She was the main character in a movie starring Amanda Seyfried in an updated version.
The character or Little Red Riding Hood is a well known one in popular culture and thus is sometimes analyzed as a result of her popularity and this accessibility. Some have suggested that Little Red Riding Hood throughout history and here in the comic is the symbol of innocence corrupted, the red cape meant to display a young girl journey into womanhood , the red symbolizing menstruation . The woods, the hunter and the wolf are the setting for her journey, where love and lust combine to trap and entice her until love wins out.
Though the comic distorts the historical figure, it adds a new flavor to the character, displaying a stronger sense of sexuality and morality.
As with a majority of the female characters owned by Zenescope and set in the Grimm Fairy Tales universe, the character has two very different depictions. The depiction on the covers is often very suggestive and exploitative. Additionally depictions on the cover often pay homage to other famous works of arts or recognizable figures. The interior of the issues however contain characters with complex backgrounds and who serve as genuine heroines (and generally speaking appropriately dressed.) An exception to this could be considered to be the swimsuit edition of Grimm Fairy Tales, though as this is intended as a collection of pin ups, it is not entirely aside from the overall trend.