When the multiverse was created the universe containing the Earth was created as the central focal point between the other universes, yet also the only one without strong ties to magic. The people here lived an idyllic existence for times untold. The other four universes were each controlled by a powerful and benevolent king, each of whom decreed that the Earth universe remain untouched. A resident of one of these universes was unpleased with this and slayed the gatekeeper to come to Earth. When he got here he realized that the world was ripe for his manipulation. As a defense against his actions (he came to be associated with the devil or the underworld) a fairy tale book was created and given to an individual to help guide people away from his influence. The book was put in control of the Guardians and was given to Sela.
Sela's own specific history is often described but through fairy tale parables which obscure her actual history. It may be that at one point a sister sacrificed her life for Sela's and also that she was married to Rip Van Winkle.
Sela's experiences as a child are eventually revealed. She was a small child living in Germany in the early 1800s. At one point her father leaves her and her brother alone in a cart to go meet with some others. Here it is revealed that he was once a member of the council, and that he seeks only to live his life normally as Friedrich, and not as Drago. His is not allowed to leave, but eventually sacrifices himself for his two children. It is revealed to Sela in this way that she is a falseblood, a human with lineage from another realm.
Eventually it is revealed how Sela acquired her book. The evil witch Baba Yaga lived in a house in a forest where she lay in wait and laid traps for humans, so that she could eat them. Her favourite prey were children, but with none often available she ate instead the heroes and champions who sought to slay her. She would then take their bones and create a fence from them. She would later decide that she had only one champion left to vanquish, Alexxa. She is hunted down by the Black, white and Red Knights of Baba Yaga, but fights back with the aid of characters from her book. Baba Yaga counter attacks and Alexxa only has time to return to her house and tell Shang that Baba Yaga is back. He informs her to pass the book on the next bearer, who is Sela.
Sela was designed as the main character and narrator of the Grimm Fairy Tales. She appeared in the second issue (though her book of fairy tales appeared in the first one).
When Sela first acquires her book it is revealed by Alexxa that she was not yet fully trained in its use. This apparently caused some degree of loss of faculties in relation to her abilities. In her first appearances she thus struggles to find the right people to help and even when she does find them, she is not always successful at putting them on the correct path. She eventually comes to realize that Belinda has been affecting her and her abilities. She strives to regain the corrupted individuals from Belinda, but in so doing chooses to sacrifice herself to save one of them. With Sela temporarily out of the picture, Belinda begins corrupting more. Sela was not dead from this encounter, but was on the verge of death. When she was revived she was informed that she could not be killed because by sacrificing herself she reinforced the good inside her. She was also informed that she should have a better understanding of who to sacrifice for.
Major Story Arcs
When Sela is first introduced she is in the process of doing her granted task of guiding people by way of the book of fairy tales. Due the influence of Belinda many of these morality tales did not have the affect which she had intended. Generally speaking these stories occurred in single issues for each character, but the overall atmosphere of her tales was that something was very wrong. In some the characters chose the wrong path (as would later become clear with Cindy) and in others she chose to punish the characters herself to a point beyond simply teaching them a lesson (as was in Three Little Pigs.) A short time later Sela would be confronted by Shang and told of her proper place in the greater scheme, and how she has veered off her path. When she returns from this she finds that two people have been corrupted by Belinda - Timmy (the boy who cried wolf) and Samantha Darren. With Belinda acting as the Snow Queen, Sela first confronts Timmy and brings him back from his evil track, and then confronts Belinda after facing her own past (this portion of her story alludes to a sister, although this was in fairy tale telling mode, so it is unclear as to the nature of her existence.) When she confronts Belinda finally, the two battle, but while Sela beats her, Belinda reveals that she has the ultimate trump, that she can completely corrupt Samantha. Sela chooses to sacrifice herself instead so that Samantha can return to her regular life.
With Sela out of her way, Belinda beings corrupting more and more people, eventually turning them into her agents (though some would also later become agents of the Dark One.) In the meantime Sela is visited by Death who tells a story of his own, to a time when Sela was married (though again this is in story mode, so its actual veracity is unclear.) After Belinda unleashes Ted Mosley on Robin Summers, he begins to search for a new target in his serial killing spree. Seeing what he thinks to be a vain woman sitting at the bar, he follows her to make her the next victim, but she soon reveals she is actually Sela and she draws him into her book before leaving.
Sela spends the next while trying to save some of Belinda's victims, among them Mercy Dante, but is soon taken by Shang to hunt for a unicorn in Central Park. It is imperative that they reach the unicorn before others do as they wish to kill it and use its power for evil, while Sela and Shang want to keep it alive. They are ultimately unsuccessful and the unicorn's horn is eventually used to create Carnage, the sword of Cindy. Soon Samantha Darren returns and is at full strength and ready to protect the Earth by herself. At this point Shang, Sela and Nissa leave to face the armies of Orcus and the Dark One. After meeting with the Council of the Five Realms some of Sela's past is revealed, but they are soon betrayed as the forces of Orcus attack the awaiting heroes. After killing Shang and others, Nissa is captured and made a conduit for the inter-realm travel of the armies. Sela comes to her rescue, but Nissa informs her that the only thing she can do to stop the invasion is to kill her. Sela reluctantly kills her, but then is trapped in the other realm.
In the aftermath of the battle Sela is now trapped in Myst with Hakan dead, Thane missing and Blake severely injured. With the revelation that Sela was once pregnant she seeks to have Erik revived both so that she can get answers and because she still loves him. Morrigan appears and informs her that she must retrieve the Limbo Key which will free Erik from Limbo and allow him to return there. Sela discovers that Morgarzera is trying to kill her and before her journey starts she must confront him. As she prepares to leave Blake, though injured attempts to go with her. He proves unable, but instead calls an animal companion for her, a bird named Pyros. Some time after she leaves she is attacked by Morgarzera in the form of a bull. Pyros seemingly flees during the fight, but in fact summons Bolder and he soon appears and helps Sela. Afterwards he takes her to his cottage where she rests and the two eventually set out again for the Key. They find it when they encounter the Goblin Queen as she wears it on a necklace. They first battle but then Sela agrees to a series of tasks in exchange for the key. The last task was to survive a surprised attack from the Goblin Queen's army which Sela does, but only after she discovers new powers. She returns with the Key to Morrigan, who double crossed her. As he returns to Earth he does give her a clue - to seek out the priestess Druanna in Tallus. She, Blake and Bolder soon leave but find the city already under siege by Orcus' army.
After making their way inside the city, they meet Druanna and the king of the small fortress. The king is weak and lacks leadership or strategy. When Orcus appears he informs the castelfolk that he will go easy on them if they sacrifice the heroes inside. They seem ready to do so before the kind interdicts, but he too eventually decides to sacrifice them. Before doing this though Druanna intervenes and rescues them. She send Bolder and Blake away to help defend the fortress and after reveealing she is who Earth people referred to as mother nature, she uses Sela's magical powers as a conduit to restore her powers. They are able to use this magic to stop the oncoming orc army. Orcus subsequently unleashes Gruel, who has turned into a shadow dragon. he is in turn stopped in a desperate measure with Erik's bow, and the heroes have effectively won the day. Just as Druanna is giving them their rewards for partaking in the action, Belinda appears from nowhere and attacks them, abducting Sela as she needs her help against the Dream Eater.
After battling the Sea Witch together an omnipotent being (in the form of a child) reveals to them how the universe came to be created and that there was a creature created in case evil ever became too powerful the Dream Eater, who would consume all characters from both sides of good and evil. After the loss in the battle Thane traveled to set it free and unleashed it on the world. The combined forces eventually face it and Belinda is killed.
After finishing dealing with the Dream Eater she returns to her previous quest which takes her into limbo.
Powers and Abilities
Sela controls a fairy tale book in which she can provide morality tales to those in need of guidance. It is not up to Sela though if the individual chooses to use this guidance. In so doing she also has some powers of clairvoyance and the ability to seek out those in need. She has also been shown on occasion to transform people into fairy tale characters and interact with them in the stories. As well she has been shown to draw real weapons out of her book, and this often takes the form of a sword (and has been referred to as Excalibur on occasion.) She has proven adept at using these swords when required.
During the battle in Myst between the Council of the Five Realms and the armies of the Dark One, she is forced to destroy her book as it is one of the remaining known portals between the realms and one which could be used to launch an attack on Earth. In the aftermath of this battle it is revealed that Sela is a falseblood, and thus her powers in Myst are beyond what they are on Earth. While here she has an empathy with animals and can fire energy blasts which harm even the most resilient enemies. The longer she spent in Myst, the more powerful these powers became as well. Sela can also channel these powers through other magical characters and heighten their powers as well. She is also given an armband by Morrigan which can provide a temporary force field, though she later disposes of this as she knows it is used to track her.
The depiction of female characters in Grimm Fairy Tales is very much of two different approaches. The covers contain art which is reminiscent of the bad girl art of the 1990s, but the inside of the issues generally feature quite conservative female representation, especially as related to the comic industry as a whole. Sela is quite often depicted on the covers drawn as fairy tale creatures herself, and occasionally other famous legendary characters or historical figures such as Rosie the Riveter, Marilyn Monroe, Cleopatra or Lady Liberty. As the series progressed the depictions of Sela were increasingly sexually suggestive ones alongside Belinda or Samantha Darren (though the two have nothing even resembling a lesbian relationship).