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Girl Genius:

 7576 Greybeard Fan, Sun, 17th Oct '10 10:37:10 PM Relationship Status: Mu
My Engine
Zeetha is bleeding externally very fast. I'd expect the worst of the bleed to be internal—not that I'm a doctor—but Hot Pink Stuff may have been especially vicious with the wound.

As to subduing Agatha, consider Oggie and Lars: Oh dear, I'm SURE that's wrong./Although I can't think WHY ....

So Agatha is knocked out, and Zeetha is Mostly Dead and rather badly damaged. Violetta and Higgs are about to pursue Hot Pink Stuff while Gil is fertilizing a Nepenthes Man Trap from within. And Der Kestle still needs to be re-capitated, and that sort of has to be Agatha's first priority.

What could go wrongright?

It's kind of funny that I mentioned the Hand-Cranked Runcible Gun. That's at least the second time that Phil Foglio has indulged in Fork Fencing; he did it for Buck Godot (Hoffmanite throwing fork. DON'T make me use the spoon./... .../Gee, it's a good thing you didn't use the spoon, Unc.) Now, if Violetta grabs Zeetha's forked sword and Higgs snatches it, we might see how fast and how accurately he can throw. And if we find out, and if the answer is fast enough and accurately enough we might find out what little girlsmonsters are made of.

edited 17th Oct '10 11:15:57 PM by GreybeardFan

If I were a landing thruster, which one of these would I be? Aaah!
 7577 Hippogrif, Sun, 17th Oct '10 11:20:35 PM from Headed Up
Hippogrif
I'm sorry. But what I love best about this page aren't the revelations, or the hope that Higgs will kick Pinky as she deserves. It's all the different kinds of love and care it shows.

Agatha loves Zeetha enough to go be stupid. Tarvek cares enough about Agatha to struggle to stop her. Violetta cares enough about Her Lady to stop her. Tarvek care enough about the cousin who "hates" him, and who he supposedly "hates back, " to be frantic that she's going into deadly danger. Violetta cares enough about her role as protector and defender to John Wayne up anyway...when she KNOWS she is a "bad Smoke Knight, " and KNOWS Zola has already kicked her butt soundly. And Higgs...Higgs "vas beginning to like" Zeetha. Enough to be devastated for her.

It's a page just chock full of people loving and caring about each other. Each frame is a little jewel of emotional engagement.

And THAT is the difference between our Heroes and Pinky. She may want Gil, but she LOVES no one so near as we can tell. She isn't just reserved and covering a lot, like Higgs, or Gil, or Tarvek, or Violetta or Agatha often do. Hell, even KLAUS is a raving bag of affections compared to Pinky. She just plain doesn't seem to give a good GD.

But our guys and gals? They care. And this page is all about the caring. And for that, I love it.


Violetta is a bad Smoke Knight. Zola has already beaten her — easily — once. And in spite of her love for Agatha, her rages at Tarvek, and her thing for Moloch, she's come this far with no real thread of her own that the readers expect to see finished out.

She MAY turn the tables and come through shining, a proven warrior at last. But...

I am very worried she's going to be the one they actually bury in the end. That would make me very sad. Unfortunately it would be very useful dramatic fodder, if only to see her death play out among the other players.

So...I worry about her. I may be alone in that. But I worry about her a lot more than I worry about Zeetha, who may be dead, who probably will be revived, and who would have considered a death fighting better than a lot of other options in any case. Poor Vi deserves to wear a pretty dress and dance with the boys. And I am not at all sure she's going to get the chance any more.

edited 17th Oct '10 11:28:38 PM by Hippogrif

Mostly Harmless.
Maddog like a fox
Violetta is awesome and practical. She does not need to tangle with and defeat Zola. My suspicion is that she will aim to get Zeetha to safety with maybe some first smoke knight aid along the way.

Violetta has courage and she has been so down to earth that it was her "hee hee" that clued us in to the laughing gas.

I still want to see what Higgs does.
Levity is what keeps airships afloat. Everything else is just ballast.
 7579 Hippogrif, Mon, 18th Oct '10 12:42:54 AM from Headed Up
Hippogrif
I'm hoping she's clever enough to use sneak and stealth to get to Gil without Zola realizing it, and to set him free to either join Higgs or help Zeetha, whichever he deems most crucial.
Mostly Harmless.
 7580 Greybeard Fan, Mon, 18th Oct '10 1:03:43 AM Relationship Status: Mu
My Engine
We don't see whose got the other sword. Could be Agatha. Could be Violetta.

What's happened to Tarvek and Violetta to change their relationship? Tarvek released her from her Smoke Knight duties. But that wasn't all of it. It's almost as though they kind of liked each other all along, but their relationship was forged in such a way that they couldn't like each other.
If I were a landing thruster, which one of these would I be? Aaah!
 7581 Hippogrif, Mon, 18th Oct '10 2:16:01 AM from Headed Up
Hippogrif
Aw, Tarvek and Vi get some of MY rash and largely unfounded head canon. I've imagined them for a long time as middle-school and teen-aged kids. Close enough that Violetta was bored to tears over and over by Tarvek's obsession with Muses. Close enough to regularly get to peek at the margins of his notebooks. Close enough for Tarvek to know how much Violetta wanted a "normal girl" life with dresses and suitors and all that stuff.Close enough for Violetta to know entirely more than she's comfortable with about Tarvek's inclination toward heterosexual activities.

But along with friendship/schoolmate stuff, there would have been all the baggage.

Basically I think when we first saw them Violetta was living her worst nightmare: being dragged back into Sturmvoraus complications and conspiracies, expected to be a hero when she doesn't feel much confidence in that role, and having to deal with...him. That confusing, chaotic, entirely impossible person. The guy who couldn't learn a basic kick in martial arts, which meant that someone like Vi would always have to look after him in a fight. The one she knew entirely too well, right up to having TMI about his sexual tastes, techniques and special talents with The Women. The Prince...her former class mate, her relative, and her DUTY. And she was scared absolutely inside out to find herself guarding him when he is injured, on the run, in the middle of the most dangerous place in the land, and apparently bug-house mad and obsessed with the Wrong Heterodyne Girl. Shall we say that a lot of hijinks ensued?

Cutting the cord of duty changed that a lot. Seeing him with a lot less role play helped. Learning he was scared, lonely, often miserable, brave, loyal, generous, not all that good at really holding a grudge once he's given a chance to just drop it and pick up a friendship again...There's a lot to like about Cousin Tarvek once you get to see him without the fake mustache and smoked glasses. And so help me, she was always the one with the real mad-on. Tarvek would fight back, but he didn't start the fights, he didn't escalate them, and he barely even defended himself against her worst.

And he kept showing he did know her...well. And that he actually cared, in his own odd, unstated, indirect way. And she was free for the first time to make up her own mind, rather than trying to force herself into an attitude imposed by birth and training and rank.

At bottom they trust each other. They know more than they have yet revealed about each other. And they've started to present that to the readers, as the old issues fell away. I dunno if they are too closely related to have a romance, or if they're even suited. But they are looking more and more like they have the potential to be Merry and Pippin, at the very least: Friends and compatriots, if nothing else.

If Vi does die, I am expecting to see a minimum of at least one frame of reaction from Tarvek...and I expect it to hurt. Maybe not to be a big, gaudy reaction. But one with a lot of weight and burden.
Mostly Harmless.
Incognito
I'd like to point out, that since Zeetha has a technique for being able to do without sleep for days, it's hardly improbable she has a technique for controlling the bleeding from a serious wound.

And Zola hasn't seen Higgs in action yet, hmm.
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. — George S. Patton
Bibliophile.
I like your assessment (as always, it's a good one), Greybeard Fan.

I don't think I've ever seen Higgs show so much emotion as he does in that last panel.

I guess Zola has a purpose in the plot now.

I'm thinking of just how many tropes that last panel could be: Wham Line, Pre-Mortem One-Liner (within two or three strips, somebody else will be dead), The Reveal, Not So Stoic, OOC Is Serious Business.

edited 18th Oct '10 6:56:05 AM by AlirozTheConfused

  1. Never be without a Hat!

Hot means heat. I don't care if your usage dates to 1300, it's my word, not yours.

My Pm box is open.
 7584 Greybeard Fan, Mon, 18th Oct '10 7:24:49 AM Relationship Status: Mu
My Engine
But Tarvek has such very bad luck with words! He tries to communicate and no one listens!

Well. At least Lu and the Geisters listened long enough to get him and Agatha out of Sturmhalten. He did do well there. But Agatha and Gil just sort of steamroller over his best efforts.
Hippogrif

Interesting that he can feed a line to the bad guys, but not to the good guys. Do you supppose that has to do with his long experience at Court Sturmvoraus?

edited 18th Oct '10 7:25:24 AM by GreybeardFan

If I were a landing thruster, which one of these would I be? Aaah!
 7585 Known Unknown, Mon, 18th Oct '10 7:31:51 AM from Here. There. Everywhere.
Fresh For 2014
It's almost as though they kind of liked each other all along, but their relationship was forged in such a way that they couldn't like each other.

I kind of figured this the moment they started fighting the first time - they fight like bitter siblings, not like people who truly loathe each other.

edited 18th Oct '10 7:56:26 AM by KnownUnknown

"My final prayer: O my body, always make me a man who questions!" — Frantz Fanon
 7586 Greybeard Fan, Mon, 18th Oct '10 7:54:21 AM Relationship Status: Mu
My Engine
Aliroz TC, it's true that Higgs has said more than he usually does. But he seems to have held to his rule of speaking when he has something to say. I don't think it's that far out of character—though it might be the wrong character for a graphic-format story.
If I were a landing thruster, which one of these would I be? Aaah!
Bibliophile.
I meant that it's out of character for him to be showing that much emotion in his face. He doesn't usually do that.
  1. Never be without a Hat!

Hot means heat. I don't care if your usage dates to 1300, it's my word, not yours.

My Pm box is open.
 7588 Greybeard Fan, Mon, 18th Oct '10 8:22:20 AM Relationship Status: Mu
My Engine
Last time was when he met Zeetha in Mama Gkika's. We may debate whether he had any physical fear at that moment, but he had some kind of fear. I suspect that, unlike Maxim and Oggie, he doesn't have much experience with the ladies.

Now he has had the best and worst. And somebody may foot a bill too big for her purse. Or maybe he'll end up Pinky's victim, too. But I can't see her getting off without some damage. And, given the nature of the story, that damage might be releasing her inner Lu. Lu may be more wicked than Zola (though Zola's highest ambition is to BE Lu), but Lu is hardly more cruel, and at least wraps her cruelty in a sardonic courtesy.

Ah, well. 36 hours.


I'm also a little concerned about the third panel, with Agatha in Tarvek's arms. Agatha in that position has a habit of waking up as Lu, and vice versa.

edited 18th Oct '10 8:41:59 AM by GreybeardFan

If I were a landing thruster, which one of these would I be? Aaah!
 7589 Hippogrif, Mon, 18th Oct '10 9:47:33 AM from Headed Up
Hippogrif
Interesting that he can feed a line to the bad guys, but not to the good guys. Do you supppose that has to do with his long experience at Court Sturmvoraus?
Greybeard

Well, part of it is that Tarvek's not trying to feed them lines, for the most part, so near as I can tell. He keeps handing them truth...and they keep not hearing it. Maybe it's that when he's spinning the bad guys he's telling 'em things they want to hear for the most part, but a lot of what he's trying to tell Agatha and Gil, they don't want to hear.

Mostly Harmless.
 7590 Gralien, Mon, 18th Oct '10 12:33:08 PM from Frostbite Falls
Evolutionary Byproduct
Well all I know is that Wednesday is going to be AWESOME.
Desperate for feedback, please visit Troper Page for links!
Unless they cut away for a side story again.

Of course, that would be pretty awesomely aneurysm-inducing.
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." - E. Gary Gygax
 7592 Known Unknown, Mon, 18th Oct '10 1:20:28 PM from Here. There. Everywhere.
Fresh For 2014
^^ Or very tragic - though, maybe that'll be Friday's or next Monday's.

^ Doubtful - this isn't a cliffhanger as much as a direct lead in to a reveal / character reaction.

edited 18th Oct '10 1:21:05 PM by KnownUnknown

"My final prayer: O my body, always make me a man who questions!" — Frantz Fanon
 7593 Hippogrif, Mon, 18th Oct '10 2:39:37 PM from Headed Up
Hippogrif
Greybeard, Agatha not only has her locket on, she's got a whole MESS of people she cares about back with the Pink Peril. The odds of Lu getting even a fingernail's hold on Agatha's brain, even taking the conk on the head into account, seem vanishingly small. Locket + Gil/Violetta/Higgs in danger, and Zeetha already stabbed? No, she won't let Lu get a mutter of complaint out.

edited 18th Oct '10 2:40:16 PM by Hippogrif

Mostly Harmless.
 7594 Greybeard Fan, Mon, 18th Oct '10 11:23:24 PM Relationship Status: Mu
My Engine
Another piece of evidence that should have clued us in to Zola: her skill with a pistol. Shooting a woman in the chest twelve or fifteen feet away requires skill, but not exceptional skill. Shooting Brother Cockroach in the knee required a good deal more skill. It's easy to toss it off as common story license, and maybe it is. But maybe it isn't, and in Foglio hands it probably deserved attention we didn't give it.


Since we are looking for a reveal about our Bos'on, I'd like to consult the wild burro: What if it is Higgs who goes all Sparky and repairs and revives Zeetha? In his Zolacidal fury, does he singlehandedly chop down the Nepenthes Man Trap? And does he keep deadly throwing sausage in his cap?

edited 19th Oct '10 4:26:11 AM by GreybeardFan

If I were a landing thruster, which one of these would I be? Aaah!
I agree with Hippogriff about Violetta and Tarvek—it never struck me she was sincere about hating him, just that she resented first, being OBLIGATED to protect him (especially when he seemed bound and determined to get himself killed) and having to be a Smoke Knight (which she claims not to be that good at) to do it when sometimes she would like to take a break and be a girly-girl instead. And as for Tarvek, well, she's family who isn't insane and overtly trying to kill him. He probably likes her quite a bit on some level.

And I don't know how much longer Pinky will be with us. Higgs has already shown he is VASTLY more than he appears to be, to the point of taking abuse that would have killed most of the other characters unless we're talking the Jaegers or Von Pinn. And one thing we have NEVER seen him be before is THAT ANGRY as he is in yesterday's last panel. In fact, up til now "the Implacable Higgs" would have been just as accurate as "Unstoppable." He didn't even break a sweat or crack a facial expression nearly getting smashed through the wall by the Castle Clank. He's apparently unaffected by the Nepenthe plant. Zola is, and is also drugged on something that Violetta thinks could kill a human of itself. And now he's not just cracked, he's ANGRY.

Pass the popcorn, this should be fun.

 7596 Ol Bear, Tue, 19th Oct '10 8:18:16 AM from So Cal Borderlands
wearer of many chevrons
I'm hoping for a Von Pinn style dismemberment, myself. Zola's facial expression as Higgs pulls off one limb after another should be priceless. *rubs paws together with an evil snigger*
If it moves, eat it!
 7597 Iaculus, Tue, 19th Oct '10 8:31:56 AM from England
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
At least now we know why the gang met Higgs in a Jager bar.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
 7598 Known Unknown, Tue, 19th Oct '10 10:38:01 AM from Here. There. Everywhere.
Fresh For 2014
In retrospect we should've been talking about that more. He was the only other human there. I assumed he knew about it because he was military, but now that I think about it that doesn't really make sense.
"My final prayer: O my body, always make me a man who questions!" — Frantz Fanon
 7599 Michael, Tue, 19th Oct '10 10:43:33 AM Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
So that's what this does
Well, we had been assuming that he had been fixed up by the jagers, but we never stopped to ask why they would do that.

Edit: It could always be that the accent is a result of the treatment they gave him. Mama did say there could be ... side effects.

edited 19th Oct '10 10:47:12 AM by Michael

Balance - the original sixth sense.
 7600 Known Unknown, Tue, 19th Oct '10 10:56:03 AM from Here. There. Everywhere.
Fresh For 2014
Giving you an accent you never had before seems like stretching it.
"My final prayer: O my body, always make me a man who questions!" — Frantz Fanon
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