Batman Meets Beauty & The Beast in Newest Character from the Grimm Universe

The Grimm Universe is filled with heroes far and wide dealing with all kinds of threats, from vampires and werewolves to corrupt government organizations and ancient orders battling for control of the realms of power. But what lies in the deepest corners of our world could give the evilest creature nightmares. A threat since the beginning of time is rising, and only one person will be there to stop it from destroying everything. Introducing the newest ally in the war of monsters: Belle the Beast Hunter! Check out our interview with writer Dave Franchini below.

Ashley Kronsberg: Most people would recognize the phrase Beauty and the Beast, but you’ve created an entirely new and fascinating story for these characters. How did you adapt these iconic characters into this new backdrop? What was that process like?

Dave Franchini: Really the first step, which is always the most fun, was figuring out how we could make these iconic characters fit into our world if they existed today. Well, at least how we saw them existing today. The cool thing is with these being well-known characters already, it gives a little freedom to play with pieces of their stories that have been told for generations and mix them with a new twist, keeping enough of the original but being able to create something entirely new that fans of the original can connect with. For Belle it was taking the whole Beauty vs the Beast and making it pretty literal where our Belle actually hunts down and sometimes slays the beasts of myth and legend. It started with the idea that, what if her family has been hunting beasts for generations and it's more of a tradition passed down through her bloodline. After that, it was kind of like starting from that idea and working backwards on how would she do it today? Does she work alone? Has she herself been doing it very long? What is her everyday life like? That's when it gets exciting and you get to build and give life to Belle and her world.

AK: The monsters featured in this story are recognizable with a distinct style fitting for the story you two have created. How did you decide what creatures to include in this first volume?

DF: The monster choices kind of happened naturally starting with the first issue. With introducing Belle to the readers, we really wanted to showcase her intelligence but also her skill in hand-to-hand combat, and with that it only felt right to have her go up against a warrior-type monster like a centaur. After that each monster she encounters pretty much ties into the surroundings she is in which slowly is revealed throughout the series that none of this is coincidence. They all play a part in helping show how adaptable Belle is to her surroundings and really highlight why she is a beast hunter and has been able to do it as long as she has.

AK: How much influence did the household characters Belle, Beast, and Candlestick have on the series? Will there be more characters introduced in the future?

DF: The original story and characters definitely had an influence on the series in terms of building connections for the readers with some of the names, but we didn't want to let them drive the story or takeover. They are mostly nods for fans of the original to help them feel they are in a familiar place but also give them a new take on this new world they exist in. As the series progresses there are definitely more scattered throughout. Some of them are definitely more in your face but there are a few subtle ones that I hope people pick up on.

AK: We see Belle targeted for a war she doesn’t understand. How does her character develop as she deals with this isolation? How does she balance becoming reckless and sticking to her training while battling these mythical creatures?

DF: Not to spoil anything but this story is really about Belle going from having her “normal” if you can call it that, life, pretty much turned upside down which we see at the end of the very first issue. Alone at least in the beast hunting part of her life for the first time ever, she is going to be put to the test as she tries to deal with her new status quo. This is a much about her growth as an independent person as it is a bare-knuckle monster fight. A lot of what is going through her head while dealing with everything is revealed. It's definitely something new for her but we really get to see how she copes, even if it isn't always the right way. Throughout we see how her training and quick thinking play into her decision making as the story progresses. Now, will her life ever truly go back to the way it used to be? You'll have to read the whole story to find out.