Real Name: Agatha Heterodyne
Identity/Class: Normal human, mad scientist
Occupation: Mad scientist
Affiliations: Garon, Luilla, Torsti Lechwa, Zon (constructs, allies), Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, Krosp I, Zeetha, Othar Tryggvassen, Dimo, Ognian, Maxim, Master Payne's Circus of Adventures
Enemies: Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, Bangladesh DuPree, Geisterdamen
Known Relatives: Lucrezia Mongfish Heterodyne ("The Villain's Evil Daughter" a.k.a The Other, mother, possibly deceased), Bill Heterodyne (father, possibly deceased), Barry Heterodyne (uncle, possibly deceased); Dr Mongfish (maternal grandfather, deceased), Vlad Heterodyne (ancestor, deceased), the Red Heterodyne (ancestor, deceased), Adam Clay (Punch, foster father), Lilith Clay (Judy, foster mother), Theopholous duMedd (cousin)
Aliases: Agatha Clay, Girl Genius, Madame Olga
Base of Operations: Mobile across Europe with Master Payne's Circus
First Appearance: Girl Genius #1 (Studio Foglio, 2001)
Powers/Abilities: Agatha has "The Spark", the name given to the driving force of all mad scientists.
History: A Gaslamp Fantasy with Adventure, Romance, Mad Science. That's what the blurb says, and it's accurate. Imagine a world where the Industrial Revolution led to an all out war, fought with giant airships, constructs (think Frankenstein's Monster) and clockwork robot soldiers and other outrageous "steampunk" inventions. The political map of the world has been much altered from what we know. "Sparks", people with the inspiration and driving genius to be "mad scientists", rule the world. No one knows what has happened to the Americas, as no vessel that goes there ever returns - some blame this on a mysterious and monstrous entity known as The Other. Much of Europe is ruled from Transylvania by the dictactor Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, an incredibly powerful and ruthless Spark. The greatest heroes of the age were Bill and Barry, the Heterodyne Boys, adventurers undefeated in the battle of good against evil. But now they appear to be dead and gone, and there are no more heroes.
Into this world comes Agatha Clay, a student at Transylvania Polygnostic University, an orphan of uncertain parentage, and though many do not realise it, she has a buried Spark. Dr.Beetle, one of the senior scientists at the University has taken the young girl under his wing, for reasons known only to himself. Baron Wulfenbach runs the facility and the country as a way of cultivating and controlling others like himself, and advancing the science of his realm. Agatha, now grown up, is coming into her heritage, and her true calling as a battler of evil, like others in her family before her, will inevitably lead her into conflict with the powers that be.
Comments: Girl Genius is written and owned by Phil and Kaja Foglio, and drawn by Phil.
The Heterodyne Boys first appeared in a Munden's Bar back-up story in Grimjack #40 (First Comics, November 1987), then returned as guest stars in Phil Foglio's "Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire" graphic novel, and a cameo in his "Stanley and his Monster" work for DC Comics.
Thanks to Bill Pirrone-Brusse for naming Agatha's mother. Thanks to Bruce Dorocher for correcting me about where the Heterodyne's first appeared. Thanks to Henrik Olsen for additional information.
Ever issue of Girl Genius, as well as new pages continuing her adventures (published three times a week) are available for free on the Studio Foglio website - highly recommended.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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