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Girl Genius

Delta Prose: Agatha H and the Airship City

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Differences Between Prose and Comic Versions of the StoryEdit

What the Professors Foglio have done with Girl Genius is very likely unique. They first made a graphic version of the story and then produced a prose version of the story. Usually, this process is reversed with one author producing a prose version of a story and then someone else later uses the prose work to produce a comic book or a cinema or both. Usually, any differences between the prose version of a story can be construed as just another version with minor or major deviations from the original. The reason for this is that the author of the prose version of a yarn has never been known to produce a graphic version or the reverse. This is a unique situation and it remains to be seen if the differences are accidental oversights, or are purposeful deviations along another timeline.

AgHAirshipCity

Dust Jacket

Prologue: What we learnEdit

  1. In the prose version of the story, the novel begins sixteen years prior to the current time which, is different from the comic version by four to five years. The graphic version of the story begins later than the prose version.
  2. Barry has become the dominant brother of the two while Bill is slowly going mad. We cannot blame Bill for this, as his son is dead, his wife is missing, and his ancestral home, Castle Heterodyne, is now a dangerous ruin (Even before The Other War, Castle Heterodyne was dangerous to the two Heterodyne Brothers). We find ourselves in the Brothers Heterodyne's presence just as they learn how to predict and detect an attack by the mysterious "Other."
  3. Castle Heterodyne was attacked unexpectedly. One might say that the attack on Castle Heterodyne was Europa's Pearl Harbor over the next two-and-one-half years following the attack on Castle Heterodyne, the Other destroyed thirty-eight Europan Sparks. The prologue opens with the destruction of the 39th spark, a Lord Womack, the so-called "Lightening Eater." The Other's meteor bombardment makes short work of Lord Womack's gutta-percha fortress and Its wasps make ready to fall on the nearby town that had previously been under Lord Womack's control, but Bill and Barry break that party up in half an hour using phosphorus grenades.
  4. This is the first time that such an attack has been predicted and frustrated by anyone. The Brothers Heterodyne have done themselves proud.
Paragraph 30 of the Prologue says: Watching now, Barry could see that there were no explosives. The devastation was caused by the terrible kinetic force of the impacts themselves. That was the final confirmation of his unthinkable hypothesis.
From this, it is safe for us to assume that the Other resides off-planet. The asteroid belt is a likely solution, because you didn't need to achieve planetary escape velocity first to launch kinetic projectiles (asteroids) from here. Also, the Moon with its low gravity and proximity to earth is possible. The other planets (Mars, Venus, ect.) required a a lot of additional delta-V to reach escape velocity, and so less effective.
This could be done with a launch device of some sort, but it could also be done with the curious space-time windows used as machicolations in orbit. In the last case, the launches from the planetary surface may also be possible (the comparative movement of planets would provide the energy for the impact).
Also, the simple, old-fashioned ways, like rocket engines or solar sails could be used.

Chapter 1: What we learnEdit

Chapter One begins with the summary of a rather grim report to Baron Klaus Wulfenbach on the paucity of creditable sightings of the Brothers Heterodyne since they last took part in the clean up of Woggleburg, Lord Womack's former domain. In closing it says that the general population believes that the Heterodyne brothers are alive and will one day return, "despite the fact that their castle is in ruins, their lands are overrun, their servants scattered and indeed nothing remains but their name."

  1. Agatha's story begins before it did in the graphic version. She is in her bed asleep and dreaming of gear ratios and mathematical formulae.
  2. However, she seems to suffer from a mysterious form of apraxia just as she is beginning to understand the principles her dream is revealing to her. She wakens frustrated when she bangs her hand on the wall.
  3. The description of her room is nothing like the one we see illustrated in the graphic novel version of the story, nor is the depiction of her bedroom taking place at the same time as it did in the prose version. The prose version makes no mention of the prime numbers list around the bottom of the room's entablature. It makes no mention of the prominent decorative details of the picture. The only agreement between the graphic version of the story and the prose version are the plants growing in front of her window. The graphic version reveals not a trace of the three clocks described in the prose version, nor is there any evidence of the tiny machines built of wire and fish bones on her bench, nor is there any trace of anything she may have been working on prior to her departure for school. Nor is there any sign of prisms or a mechanical spider in the picture. The picture reveals only a few tools and some drawings on Agatha's workbench.
  4. Chapter One of the prose version next follows Agatha out onto the streets of Beetleburg just as the lamplighters are extinguishing the street lamps. No sign of them or anyone else wearing anything suggesting a "stilt-suit". There is, however, a great deal of traffic in the graphic version, just as is described in the prose version and there are many, many vendors out peddling their wares.
  5. In Paragraph Fourteen of Chapter One, Agatha spots a Jaeger. In the graphic version of the story a Jaeger can be seen here (lower center of the center panel. The Jaeger is not wearing a hat and has on a uniform that sports the Jaeger sigil on the left breast of his jacket which, by the way, does not appear to be "scrounged" as described in the prose version. The Jaeger's uniform appears to be in good shape and amazingly clean for a Jaeger. His face is not prickly with spines as described in the prose version.
  6. The prose version of the story describes an encounter between this Jaegerkin and a member of Professor Tarsus Beetle's Clockwork Army. The Jaeger does not respond with violence, despite Jagerkin's reputation for such behavior. He outwits the hapless clank instead, having carried a note for that very purpose. The thing is, there is no explanation for the note. Are such things part of standing orders for Jaegerkin? If so, who gave them? How long have the Jaegers been following such procedures?


Chapter 5: What we learnEdit

  • We get a description of Post-Revivification Trauma and the theory that Von Pinn, or The Von Pinn, is the revived Lucrezia Mongfish.

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