The wastelands part, with Agatha's first meeting with the Geisterdamen: it happened right after she and Lars were passionately citing a fiery exchange between Bill Heterodyne and Lucrezia Mongfish. Thanks to the text and Agatha's voice, she was the one who had attracted them there. What then seems like random and incomprehensible bickering between the two white warriors is actually them debating whether or not it was actually their mistress, and concluding against it after one brings up the fact Agatha and Lars are probably "actors", which is the only word in our language they use in that conversation. Brilliant foreshadowing.
What is a "clank" exactly? The name seems to be applied to all kind of self-driven machines. Why not just call them robots? Girl Genius is set before Karel Čapek introduced the term "robot" in 1921.
Klaus' story about The Witch and The Wolf King seemed like a strange diversion from the plot, but it's actually incredibly important. The characters in the story are fictional counterparts to real people; Lucrezia is the witch, Klaus is the king who was turned into her obedient wolf, and Gil is the king's son who outsmarted the witch. This on its own is Fridge Brilliance — However! It gets better! After the story's done, Klaus tells the storyteller that not only is this story from a storybook thought Lost Forever, but that Gil might still have it! So now the storyteller has a motive to find Gil, and relay the story he just heard in order to find this book. Except when Gil hears the story, he'll realize it's actually a message from his father. Given the story's ending, that message is probably "Kill Me". Even better, he's telling it as the Origin Story of the Storm King — and though the jury's still out as to whether or not that title is inherited or awarded, this is Klaus Wulfenbach we're talking about. He knows Gil can spin his lightning stunt into the title. And there is one character in the story who is not played by a major character: The "giantess nurse" who would not let the "king's son" leave the mountain until he proved his intelligence by pulling out the copper pin in her hair. The story's message is not "Kill Me", it's "Go get Von Pinn, present her to this bitch, let her kill both of us, then use that stupid myth that's causing all this trouble to get the nobles to shut up and accept you." Possibly the last communication he will ever have with his son, and he's still taking him to school.
First time around this scene just seems that Gil started to get angry just because Wooster is a servant before he calms himself. Then we get to this strip.
"Grease trap duty until further notice" isn't a punishment for trying to sneak into the Baron's lab; it's a punishment for getting caught.
We hear about how obsolete, old-fashioned, etcetera etcetera the Fifty Families are, but in a world where every indication is that there have always been sparks, why does non-spark-based nobility even exist at all? However, after the Industrial Revolution, the power of sparks would have exploded! Think about it—before industrialization came into vogue, a spark would have either had to make all their parts themselves, or be beholden to an expensive team of blacksmiths and hope all the parts end up being the right size. Not to mention non-interchangeable parts! That'll hurt your ability to project power via clank army. Their power would still have been significant, it just wouldn't have been the only thing that mattered. And this also explains why so much of the nobility DOES have the Spark, even beyond simple conquest: pre-industrialization, it would be in the best interest of the nobles to try and breed the Spark into their own lineage, since a noble Spark has a huge advantage over someone who's one or the other. So throughout history, a lot of noble sons probably were set up with Sparky wives, and vice versa.
The revelation that Gil had been wasped seems to come completely out of left field, but back at Sturmhalten the Other was able to command Lady Vrin to die. So that establishes that vital signs can affected by these type of things. When Agatha ordered Gil back to life it foreshadowed that particular plot development, albeit subtly.
When Dupree sees people that look like Agatha and Gil in the time-windows, Klaus understands that they were actual windows through time, and worries whether Agatha could be the other, and could have gone back through time in order to cause the mess at the Heterodyne castle at the start. However, later on we are told by Von Zizner that he and his brother were trekking along in a clank when Dupree attacked them, and that he wasn't sure if the other people he was working with had gotten away. Agatha's time-windows are really just windows, not portals. What they were looking for is Dupree's attack on Von Zizner, so he could see if his friends had gotten away! (And they had)
We now know that Von Pinn was charged with three duties: to protect the Heterodyne girl, to keep her safe for these around her and to keep Lucrezia’s child alive. When Agatha’s identity as Bill’s and Lucrezia’s daughter is revealed Von Pinn screams to Klaus “She is mine!” She doesn’t mean “mine to kill” but “mine to keep safe/alive/protected.” After centuries of waiting and her last failure (failing to keep Klaus Barry alive), she is desperate to do her duty and Agatha is the only person so far who fulfills both the requirements for “the Heterodyne Girl” and for Lucrezia’s heir. That’s why she attacks Punch and Judy. If they take Agatha off Castle Wulfenbach she won’t be able to fulfill her orders.
During the defence of Mechanicsburg, Van is working very hard, with the Assistant showing enough concern for his well being to force him to go to bed "for the first time in days" - going back to the last time we saw him, there's a reason he's not been sleeping.
When Martellus managed to abduct Agatha, he makes his escape through a portal in the cathedral that leads to friendly territory. The reason it's there? Well, there's a sandwich named after it, and given that it was a bet, the Prince of Sturmhalten probably donated materials and staff to the project. The Prince of Sturmhalten got a backdoor into the most impenetrable city in all of Europa and all he had to do was eat his hat!
Given how the Jaegers make such a big deal of hats, it may seem odd that Klaus tends to go bareheaded. But then it clicks-Klaus is so incredibly Badass that he doesn't even need a hat.
After the timeskip, Seffie tells Tweedle that a fake Heterodyne is "no longer an option." While the obvious reasons are because Mecanicsburg is in stasis and Gil will ruthlessly hunt down any fakes, there's also the fact that due to the giant statues Gil has everywhere, everyone knows what Agatha looks like. The Knights of Jove have always proven adept at using propaganda to trick the people into fighting at their side—but in this case, they've been outmaneuvered.
The smoke knights' fighting techniques. The Sturmvoraus-von Blitzengaard clan is known for being a bunch of sneaky, deceptive, poisonous backstabbers... and they're so good at it, they made a whole martial art out of literal sneaking, deception, poisoning and backstabbing.
Here, when the torchmen are activated, one spies the pink airship, scans it, and proclaims "Heterodyne mark. False." The obvious assumption is that there's some secret to the Heterodyne sigil that the Knights of Jove didn't know. But pay attention to the speech bubbles—that second one is the same as the ones used for the Castle. So it ordered the torchmen to attack the airship, they said "Wait, it has the Heterodyne mark," and the Castle said "No, it's fake." The response to a fake Heterodyne mark is obvious.
Of the Quickthaw variety, and more FridgeSquick than anything else: Tarvek's devotion to giving his dying sister a new life in clank form is sweet, until you consider that the reason that she was dying in the first place is that her father tried to download the mind of Lucrezia Mongfish, a woman to whom he was sexually attracted, into his daughter's body. Given that she appears to return his interest, at least to the extent that she constantly objectifies Tarvek (who she identifies as looking almost just like his father), perhaps it's best that he failed.
In-universe. According to the one of the Jäger Generals, this is why the Other will be purged from Agatha's head.
Fridge Brilliance and Fridge Horror. During the escape from Castle Wulfenbach, Lilith/Judy tells Agatha that girl Sparks tend to 'disappear'. Later, we learn that the Sturmhalten rulers were attempting to find a suitable substitute to download Lucrezia into. An offhand remark is made of 'the others' that were put through the machine. And all three known subjects of the personality transfer were girls. The real Fridge Horror is this: exactly how many girls did they try this on? Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands? What we do know for sure is that he was desperate enough even to try it on his own daughter.
Lucrezia comes to the Geisterdamen while pregnant with her second child (most likely Agatha) and tell them to guard her after she's born. The history related by the Geisterdamen, commentary by Lucrezia, and random other bits lead to a chilling possibility: Lucrezia deliberately bred Agatha as a vessel to download herself into when the time was right.
Many observe that people have reason to go after the frothing mad lunatics releasing WMD For Science!! However consider the "grounded," well adjusted, self-controlled Sparks that are willing and able to think "It'd be (so) fun, but I don't want to risk anyone in the area" when contemplating something with offensive applications. Those are the ones least able to survive the locals doing the Torches and Pitchforks thing.
A rather hilarious one. The Other hates the wasp-eaters, for good reason. Over here, Agatha has given a wasp-eater 'The King's Touch' to counter Tweedle's little stunt meant to keep her on a leash. If or when the Other emerges again, she'll have to keep a hated animal near her, or suffer and die.
The small details in the art are frequently funny, but sometimes they're...not. Whatever Aronev is working on in this page, for example.
In this strip, newly anointed Lady Agatha has gone two whole minutes officially lording over Mechanicsburg without killing someone, apparently setting a new record. That means that Bill and Barry before her, despite being paragons of goodness to the rest of Europa, managed to kill someone within two minutes of being named the lords of Mechanicsburg. (Of course, within another two minutes, Agatha has killed someone, so..)