Girl Genius


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This article is about a member of the Clay Family. For others in the family or other uses, see Clay (disambiguation).

"That's different. Did Punch ever mention a Master Heliotrope?"
"No, because he couldn't talk."
"Oh my. Not many people know that."
"They probably also don't know that he hiccups after he encounters electricity."
Carson von Mekkhan and Agatha [3]

Punch is one of the constructs built by the young Heterodyne Boys, along with his wife Judy. Punch has been revealed to be very strong [4], but is flawed in that he shows obvious signs of being a construct, including his huge size and being a mute, although the last is not generally known and the Punch featured in Heterodyne Boy stories speaks. [5] [6] It is perhaps those flaws that might have helped disguise him and Judy in later years, for while some might see that he was a construct, they could not accept that this 'imperfect' work was the product of the legendary Heterodyne Boys. [7] Being active in the Heterodyne Boys' adventures, he has some impressive fighting skills, including being able to 'flick' what appear to be rivets at bullet speeds with a high degree of accuracy and control. [8]

After adventuring with his creator for a time, he went into retirement and took the name Adam Clay. The "Punch" persona remained popular as a dopey comic-relief character in Heterodyne stories, [9] much to the annoyance of Punch and those who knew him[10].

When Barry returned from parts unknown with a young Agatha, he and Lilith took charge of raising her. They eventually settled in Beetleburg, a town run by the old family friend Tarsus Beetle, where Punch worked as a blacksmith/mechanic. Their life was reasonably peaceful for a while, despite the uneasy knowledge that Barry had been gone too long and that an old friend they now suspected of something horrible was gaining more and more power. Toward the end, Beetleburg was independent in name only.

Eventually things came to a head when the Baron invaded, on the same day as Agatha's locket was stolen. While Punch and Judy searched for it, she ended up taken to Castle Wulfenbach over a misunderstanding. Fortunately the couple were skilled enough adventurers to steal an airship and track her down there, interrupting a less-than-romantic moment between their foster daughter and Gilgamesh Wulfenbach. Sadly, they were stopped on the way out by a Wulfenbach party [11] including Klaus and Von Pinn, who killed them both. Since then, Gil has revived them and it has been revealed that Punch now can speak[12], an improvement made by Gil (perhaps by accident, as he appeared startled when Punch spoke).

At this point Punch and Judy were stable enough for Gil to leave them unattended without fear of catastrophe. How soon they were ready for action and what they did then has not yet been revealed.

Time Skip (Approximately two and a half years after Bomb/Door)Edit

Agatha meets Adam/Punch in the Sneaky Heterodyne cave. At first she thinks he is an imposter because he can talk. Fortunately for the fans Gil gave Adam a voice, and now that Adam can talk he gives up a mother-lode of information. His skill with mechanics is further implied from how he dresses, and which roman god he names; the strong likelihood is that he made Dimo his new mechanical arm. Makes you wonder what the toys he made for the orphans looked like? On a side note, Adams skin is darker. Did Adam age?

Among other things, Adam reveals that Lilith/Judy has been caring for the children of Mechanicsburg descent who ended up stranded outside the time-frozen city due to the Baron's Take-Five Bomb, along with, to pretty much universal surprise, Adam and Lilith's biological daughter Maxinia; it appears when Gil fixes something he doesn't settle for half-measures.

Outside information and speculationEdit

When Punch and Judy kept Agatha in hiding with them as their child, they went by the aliases Adam and Lilith Clay. Adam was the name given to the first man in the Bible, and some myths refer to Lilith as the wife of Adam prior to Eve. Given that some creation accounts refer to humans being fashioned from clay, and that the medieval story of the Golem also refers to its being made from clay, it appears that the aliases chosen for Punch and Judy were intended as an ironic reference to their status as constructs. We have no explanation for why the name Lilith was chosen, other than that it would have been less obvious than Eve, though it does raise another interesting point for fan discussion on religion.

Their actual names, of course, are references to Punch and Judy, characters from a traditional English puppet show dating back to the 16th century in the real world. Similar shows actually exist in the Girl Genius universe[13], but whether the names are used in that context is unknown.


  1. Vol. III p. 103 Frunch!
  2. Vol. 5 p. 104 Gil's side project revealed
  3. Vol. VII p. 35 Carson testing Agatha with facts about Punch
  4. Vol. I p. 47 Adam is pretty strong…
  5. Vol. III p. 016 Punch quote from book Agatha is reading
  6. As Agatha and Carson discuss in the flavor quote
  7. See the Secret Blueprints article
  8. Vol. III p. 100 Punch using his rivet skills
  9. Vol. II p. 51 Theo mentioning 'dopey monsters'
  10. Vol. V p.36 Jägers describing Punch
  11. Vol. III p. 94 The Clays run into Klaus
  12. Vol. 5 p. 104 Gil's side project revealed
  13. Act 2 Vol. II p. 055 Wak! Wak! Wak!

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