I don’t remember how I stumbled upon Girl Genius but what I do remember is reading Mad Science in the banner and thinking to myself “Finally, a comic they’ve devoted to my very existence!”. The story is set in a Steampunk, fantasy filled realm with airships, moody robots and schmexy Jägermonsters. Our heroine Agatha starts out as feeble lab assistant who can’t seem to build anything that works. However, when she loses her heirloom locket, strange things start to happen around her. Mysterious clanks (robots) begin to appear on the streets and she discovers her true powers have been a kept secret for far too long.
Girl Genius was a pleasant surprise for me. The start of the comic seemed like it was going to be slow and I really didn’t like the whininess of the main character Agatha. She was being portrayed as “the princess” who needed to be saved and that was not what I had envisioned for this comic. Then she grew a well needed backbone and delved into her mysterious powers of science! After that I really enjoyed watching her character bloom, somewhat embarrassingly, into the MacGyver of mad scientists.
The other thing Girl Genius does very well is create fun and contradictory characters. Among my favorites were the three Jägermonsters, Maxium, Dimo and Oggie. Who viewed themselves as the most cunning of monsters who had a special gift with “the ladies”. Othar Tryggvassen an adventure extraordinaire, who is so lawfully good that he’s nearly killed himself several times just to banish the baddies. Oh, an let’s not forget about the talking Castle which constantly made me giggle in an evil overlord sort of way. That sassy bit of brick house was charmingly devious in all of her affairs.
Now down to the dirty parts of this review. The art in this comic is extremely cartoonish, which I understand does not appeal to everyone. In fact I usually shy away from comics like this since I enjoy very vivid and crisp art. However as I continued to read Girl Genus I began to feel like the overly cartoonish art work actually fit perfectly with the writer’s style. Granted there’s no breathtaking panels to look forward too but that doesn’t mean the characters weren’t visually interesting.
In all this comic continued to deliver a fine mix of adventure, comical romance and of course diabolical science. It reminded me of a Steampunk tainted Princess Bride. Quirky fun and clean. The single thing I really wish they had was merchandise. I would love get my hands on a Jägermonster shirt with Maxium on it.
So, if you’re looking for a fun-filled and quirky adventure among the rough then Girl Genus is for you. You can go to http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/ to read the entire comic or buy the books from their online store.