As with many of the Grimm Fairy Tales characters and series, the main character of the series Grimm Fairy Tales Presents The Jungle Book is based off of a famous character from children’s stories. As such the character draws inspiration from various depictions of the character including the more common Disney version, as well as the original source material from Rudyard Kipling.
The story of Mowgli’s origin is thus far relatively vague. She arrived in a magical land (which is possible located in Myst) on a pirate ship which had kidnapped a group of youngsters. After the ship crashes only the four children survive. This interrupts a great battle between the animal residents of the jungle. The animals agree to an uneasy truce and as they discuss the matter, the primates grab one of the small children and run away. The other groups decide to take children as well, led by the tigers. The elephants scoff at the size of the humans and say they do not want one, but the mongooses are impressed already by their size and choose to take one. This leaves the wolves and tigers to decide on a final child. The boy is taken by the tigers as they determine that he is stronger and thus more valuable. The small girl is left to the wolves, who treasure here nonetheless. The girl grows with the wolf tribe and is named Mowgli.
The first appearance of Mowgli is in Grimm Fairy Tales Presents The Jungle Book #1. As with most Grimm Fairy Tales characters she is drawn in a fairly revealing manner (though this also fits with the native theme of the character.) As with other characters in the Grimm Fairy Tales lineup which are based on literature (such as Calie Liddle), the character here is given a somewhat more vague origin and one which is hinted to be based in some sort of allusion to the present (one alternate cover displays the characters standing in front of the skyline of a city.) As an additional difference between Mowgli and the original version, Mowgli in this continuity is presented as a female character.
Although the majority of Grimm Fairy tales characters are shown to be related in one way or another to the Grimm Fairy Tales multiverse, it is as of yet unclear the role that Mowgli plays within this continuity, if any.
True to the Grimm Fairy Tales style of storytelling, much is left vague as the character’s true background. It is as of yet not even clear if the character is one based on the imaginations of a modern day character (as there are certain inconsistencies, such as Wildebeests that also inhabit the jungle), or the bizarre outcome of another character’s actions. Nonetheless the character of Mowgli as she is presented is shown as an aggressive, but also compassionate and understanding member of the group of wolves that populate the jungle. Having been raised since an early age by the wolves she exhibits traits similar to them, while also utilizing her own skills as a human to her benefit.
Numerous references have been made to her experiences as a child, though these are mostly forgotten by her and are told in retrospect by others.
As with the other major Grimm Fairy Tales character based on literature (that being Calie Liddle who is based off of Alice in Wonderland) the tone and setting of this series is very different from the main series. Whereas the main series focuses on tales of morality or the epic battle among the planes, this series focuses more on adventure and the trials of youth (whereas the Wonderland stories have more of a horror element.)
Major Story Arcs
The fully grown Mowgli is first seen engaging Baloo in combat. This might bear attacks her back as the two engage in a battle on the jungle floor. It is eventually revealed though that Baloo is an ally of the jungle wolves and that the two spar to improve Mowgli’s fighting capabilities. Once they are done fighting Mowgli returns to the wolves, only to discover that they have been attacked by the tigers and that the Mother Wolf lays dying. The Mother Wolf gives some final words of guidance to Mowgli, and she sets out for revenge. Mowgli witnessed the aftermath of the attack and saw the fully grown adult that was the boy that the tigers had taken. She sets out into the jungle and constructs weapons for herself. After a short time journeying through the jungle she discovers that Baloo has been following her. They journey into a part of the jungle where supposedly craziness resides, but upon venturing into it, they discover that it is the home of the primates. Mowgli is captured and hung up, but she soon after is set free and escapes. She soon after is confronted by the now fully grown man that was the boy taken by the primates. She sets back off into the forest, and shortly discovers the man of the tigers that has been trapped by a constrictor in its grasp.
She encounters the other humans in the jungle, now fully grown since the last time she has seen them. She believes that Bomani was responsible for the death of the mother wolf, and she chases him down, not realizing that she is headed into a trap. The tigers were laying in wait for her and attack her upon her arrival. As opposed to being afraid she is given what she wants and attacks Shere Khan intent on avenging the mother wolf's death. She is eventually successful, and with Shere Khan dead now three humans lead the various tribes. Akili swears friendship to Mowgli and Mowgli returns to the den with Baloo, aware that she has made an enemy of Bomani.
Powers and Abilities
Mowgli is a regular human with no known superpowers. As a resident of the jungle since she was young, she has developed an innate ability for survival. This extends to her ability in hand to hand combat, which is generally shown to be of a high caliber. She is able to battle with the might bear Baloo, and although she loses the battles, she is still able to pose some challenges to him. Also her acrobatic and gymnastic ability are of a high caliber as she can navigate the forest floor adeptly. The Mother Wolf also implied that she has a great ability of speed, comparable to that of the wolves themselves (which would mean she can run at speeds as fast as the fastest fully grown humans.) She is also seemingly adept with basic weapons such as knives, bows and spears (she has been shown to construct her own spears). She is also an adaptable fighter using her surroundings to her benefit on numerous occasions. In addition as with the other children that joined her in the forest she has the ability to speak to the jungle animals.
The character is the Grimm Fairy Tales Version of the famous character from the Jungle Book. This book was written by Rudyard Kipling and was later adapted into an animated movie by Disney (and thus as with many Disney properties, the Disney version of the character is the one which is the most well known.)
As with most of the main female characters in Grimm Fairy Tales, Mowgli is presented differently on the covers than on the interiors of the issues. The covers are far more revealing and suggestive than the remainder of the character’s depiction (though to be fair the character wears little more than a loincloth and a modified covering of her breasts.) Despite being raised in the jungle she does employ some makeup around her eyes as well as having taken on some other human habits such as wearing earrings (though this is not consistent). The covers of the series also depict the character in a manner not necessarily consistent with the interior of the issues (for instance she is depicted utilizing a bow and arrows and carrying a knife, though she has never been shown to use these elsewhere.)