Kids fantasize about being adults, or at least they fantasize about having the freedom and power that adults seem to have. That’s why so much of media made for children features kids doing adult things: solving mysteries, fighting monsters, having adventures, thwarting adults. Oftentimes kids have the clarity and imagination to see the supernatural for what it is, while their parents are too stuffy and boring to see what’s in front of their eyes. In these stories, kids get to be the heroes by playing the part of adults.
Fairy tales adapted for older audiences are a modern ubiquity. TV, movies, comics, and video games have been tapping into the timeless impact and universal familiarity of children’s stories for almost as long as I can remember. Most often, it’s the mark of a lazy writer; instead of needing to come up with something original and make it convincing, one can simply take the instantly recognizable characters and plots and alter them to make them more “edgy”, creating a contrast with the perceived innocence of the source material that some people, I guess, like, consider interesting for some reason?
There’s a certain subset of webcomics that I’m going to call the Old Guard. These are comics that have been around since the early 2000s, survivors of a time when webcomics were… different. Different how, you ask? Well. Hmm. It’s honestly hard to explain to people who never experienced it, but I’ll try.