Bluebeard: A Feminist Fairy Tale by Metaphrog
The dynamic duo Metaphrog have created a creeptastic reimagining of Bluebeard. Award-winning co-creators John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs have cast this traditional French folktale as a fantasy feminist story. Readers meet a girl who doesn’t wait to be rescued. She rescues herself.
Here’s how it happens:
Eve and her family live near an enchanted forest. Beyond the forest atop a high mountain is the castle of Count Bluebeard.
Eve's idyllic life with her family and her best friend Tom is disrupted when strange things begin to happen near the forest. Animals disappear. People can be trapped in the masses of dense vegetation. No one dares to enter this sinister wood.
After Eve reaches her eighteenth year, Bluebeard decides to select a bride from among the townsfolk. With a roll of the dice, Eve is selected to become his wife and live with him on the mountaintop. Following the marriage ceremony he takes her to his imposing, opulently furnished castle. Eve notices a long corridor leading to countless rooms. At the end of an extended hallway is a door opened only with a special golden key.
When Bluebeard leaves on urgent business he presents Eve with a ring of keys giving her access to all rooms in the castle. She is explicitly warned to never enter the door unlocked with the golden key. Alone and anxious, Eve roams throughout the castle, going from room to room.
Bluebeard returns to his home and finds that Eve has discovered the bodies of his murdered wives. In an intense climactic scene, Eve struggles to save her sister. Not waiting for Tom and her brothers, she courageously takes matters into her own hands, finishing off the count and setting both girls free.
Tension escalates with a series of panels that depict Eve gazing up a dizzying spiral staircase while Bluebeard stealthily inches nearer. Close-ups of razor-sharp teeth and talon-like extended fingers bring the terror into sharp focus.
Art is breathtaking. Intricately detailed dark silhouettes contrast against the soft jewel tone tints. The gorgeous backgrounds are enchanting.
Color plays an important part in the story. Some of the opening settings and coloring are reminiscent of the classic Disney fairy tales, such as Cinderella. Eve's world is a sparkling pink, while the appearance of Bluebeard is signaled with predominantly blue hues.