Chapter 1 of The Hunters Guild: Red Hood “The Red Huntress,” introduces us to a familiar world many with knowledge of Disney or Grimm fairy tales would recognize. An old impoverished village is under siege from the ravenous werewolf. Another villager has gone missing. A little boy, Velou, steps up to hunt the beast. Armed with a musket and proof of his hunting abilities (a dead fawn), Velou isn’t taken seriously. Werewolves are mysterious in origin, but what is known is that “once a werewolf tastes human flesh it will hun humans for the rest of its life.” Despret the mayor requests aid from the Hunters Guild. An organization founded by Red Hood, the Guild is full of mercenaries that specialize in monster hunting. Expensive, the Mayor sells all his possessions to pay for them.
Grimm shows up and the villagers are not impressed. A little girl, Grimm is a self-confident young woman. When the villagers and Velou complain about her payment. The Hunters Guild: Red Hood presents its first theme, “hunters aren’t heroes.” Grimm is annoyed the villagers act as she should work for free. Would they expect florists or carpenters to work without pay? Why would hunters have to? I wonder if this series will explore the societal expectations that people come to expect from heroes. Is all the praise for the selflessness of heroism a good substitute for money? Velou seems to set up to be the typical tragic hero. His parents were both killed by a werewolf and he appears to embody the typical perspective heroes must-have. It’s common for series to create foils for characters. Grimm and Velou seem to be positioned to be opposites.
The werewolf is a villager
Velou is tasked with showing Grimm the hut. We further explore the mythology of werewolves. Werewolves can transform into humans, they can’t eat human food (it makes them sick), it’s rare that a werewolf can resist eating humans and exists in human society. When Velou makes the binary argument suggesting that werewolves are bad and humans are good, Grimm challenges him. She argues that werewolves are similar to humans. They must “eat, or they’ll starve and die.” If they can’t eat human food then humanity is asking them to commit a form of suicide. This sort of theme has been explored before. However, it remains an interesting question. Regardless, neither humans nor werewolves are going to allow themselves to die. So they must kill each other to survive.
There isn’t any justice
Grimm and Velou follow a human scream to the hut. Collecting the mayor’s ax and spotting blood along the way. Concerned and suspicious, Grimm takes out her Hunters 616 Tool: Hound’s Muzzle. A muzzle is a tool created by the Guild to “analyze the scent of blood and bones, and tell where they come from.” When they kick down the door of the hut they find a pile of human bones. Hiding in the closet is the mayor’s wife Belleau. She tells Velou the mayor is the werewolf and he escaped through a window. Unfortunately, the window is too small for the hulking Mayor and the cow webs remain intact. Exposed, Granny transformed into her werewolf form. It’s a clever play on the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale. In that story, the grandmother was eaten by the wolf and that wolf replaced her.
Hiding in plan sight
In this case, the old woman is the werewolf. Grimm, the little girl, transforms as well. She becomes an adult woman. Another theme in The Hunters Guild: Red Hood is transformation and concealment. Granny and Grimm conceal their identities, in the form of an old woman and a little girl. Both are underestimated by society. Women, children, and the elderly are considered weak. It makes sense that powerful beings like werewolves and hunters would use people’s assumptions against them.
Now they have very different end goals, but it’s interesting that they employ the same behavior. The werewolf has been used many times and it’s always intriguing how creators put their own spin on the creature. The Hunters Guild: Red Hood gives the werewolf an alien form. It has four arms and two legs, along with a mouth that opens in three places. Refusing to fail, Velou uses the Mayor’s ax to cut the wolf’s stomach open. This frees Grimm who had been previously been swallowed by the wolf. She leaves behind a bomb and blows the werewolf up.
Grimm mentions that witches and vampires exist, I want to see what they’re like. The art of The Hunters Guild isn’t the best but it’s good enough. I need to see more from this series before I determine whether I like it or not. It’s not completely original but does have enough distinction to feel new. I always loved the Grimm fairy tails and I’m interested in how this series will handle them.