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Girl Genius, Vol. 2: Agatha Heterodyne and the Airship City (Girl Genius #2)

4.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,925 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
In a time when the Industrial Revolution has become an all-out war, Mad Science rules the World...with mixed success. At Transylvania Polygnostic University, Agatha Clay was a student with trouble concentrating and rotten luck. Dedicated to her studies but unable to build anything that actually "worked," she seemed destined for a lackluster career as a minor lab assistant. ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published December 1st 2004 by Studio Foglio (first published 2001)
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Soulless by Gail CarrigerLeviathan by Scott WesterfeldBoneshaker by Cherie PriestPerdido Street Station by China MiévilleThe Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Best Steampunk Books
115th out of 816 books — 3,786 voters
xkcd by Randall MunroeHark! A Vagrant by Kate BeatonWorm by WildbowGunnerkrigg Court, Vol. 1 by Thomas SiddellGirl Genius, Vol. 1 by Phil Foglio
Best of the Web
24th out of 213 books — 248 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,509)
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Agatha, free of the controls that protected her childhood, vacillates between being the butt of comedic set pieces and her reawakening spark. Given the name of the series, her real identity should be no surprise to any reader. It's fun, and sad, to see her frustration and delight in regard to being treated seriously as an inventor.
Jun 06, 2009 Rob rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2009
In the second book in the Girl Genius series, we receive a closer look into the workings of Baron Wulfenstein's empire; Agatha and Gilgamesh, the Baron's only son, become better acquainted; and, at the end, we meet an unlikely character who yet is destined to play a central role in Agatha's life story. Book 2 also includes a classic Heterodyne Bros. tale, The Heterodyne Boys and the Dragon King of Mars.

The artwork changes remarkably with the transition to color. I think I like the new color art
Jul 27, 2009 Jenny rated it really liked it
Full of intelligence, humor, mad science, characters you truly care about, and Girls Who Do Things. A must-read for graphic novel lovers.
James Bowman
Sep 04, 2015 James Bowman rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, comics, fantasy
A good second volume, with most of the same pluses and minuses as the first. Once again, the art is terrific, even beter than the first volume for being full-color. The plot developments continue to interest as well. However, each graphic novel so far seems like the equivalent of a single hour-long episode of a TV show. It's satisfying... but it just doesn't feel like enough. (I suppose, perhaps, that this was a deliberate sales strategy, but I've only got one more collection left to read!)

Jackie B. Forman
Things are picking up here in volume 2.

At the end of volume 1, we transitioned from a more baroque-steampunky-sepia-tone world into this one of full color. First of all, I really enjoy the transition. I found the art very heavily detailed in Vol 1. This was a point of extreme distraction to me. In this volume, the backgrounds of each pane often have some sort of pattern to them, but they are subtle and mixed well with the background color. This adds the same depth from the previous volume, but
For many years I have followed Girl Genius Webcomic as one of my daily rituals. I have been following the Foglio's quirky humour and idiosyncratic drawings.

What I really like of the series is the depth of scope and worldbuilding, with many details becoming obvious much later than when they appear. As such the recently appeared novels are the perfect complement, as you can finally be inside the head of Agatha, overcoming one of the limitations of comic: wordcount. So instead of being sparse with
Jan 02, 2009 Pdoe rated it it was amazing
A base-stock of Steam Punk
1 scoop of Drama
2 handfuls of Romance
1 dash of mystery
Add silliness to taste


And enjoy!
Coyora Dokusho
Dec 07, 2014 Coyora Dokusho rated it it was amazing
Read at least (2) times

I was amused! Very amused! It's really fun reading this already knowing where it's going...
Mary Catelli
The second volume is no more complete in itself than Girl Genius Vol. 1 Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank. But it certainly sweeps on with the story and leads to discoveries even before the surprise at the end.

Agatha wakes up. This time not in her father's workshop but in a room she's never seen before. She is, in fact, kept with all the children of nobility and royalty who are called students but are actually hostages. The Baron being convinced that Moloch von Zinzer made the clank, an
Jan 11, 2012 Miss rated it really liked it
THE BONUS STORY ON THIS VOLUME WAS SO RAD. It's like they tailored it exactly to my tastes: smirky badass lady knight defeating evil through the power of cleverness and King Arthur? Yes sir, I will gladly take more. I think this volume overall's a 4 but I need a minute to consider whether I want to upgrade it half a star. It's only three pages but King Arthur and lady knights! The difficult choices I am forced to ponder.

While I ponder that let me tell you about this volume! I liked it a bit more
Terry Price
Mar 12, 2014 Terry Price rated it it was amazing
Once again, a lovely, lovely story appropriate for students around 3rd grade and up.

I'm working hard not to spoiler in the Steampunk boiler room. I greatly appreciate the work of the Foglios and their colorist. I do in fact also follow their web comic where this story is continually being updated. Well worth a read. This story is one that sticks in my mind as being some of their best world-building work.

Once again, 5/5 isn't high enough for my tastes.
After Dr. Beetle is blown up and Agatha loses her place as a student, she awakens to find herself aboard the airship of the tyrant Baron Klaus Wulfenbach. Being a hostage of the Baron makes her no safer than when she was on the ground, apparently, as she runs afoul of a snooty princess, the dreaded construct Von Pinn, possessed beings known as revenants, a hideous extradimensional intelligence from another world, the bombastic self-aggrandizing Othar Tryggvassen and Jägermonsters who find her cu ...more
Fantasy Literature
Jun 12, 2013 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it
Shelves: kat, bill
Adventure! Romance! MAD SCIENCE!

I don’t read many graphic novels — though I’ve tried many of them, they’re just not my thing. In fact, I only read one graphic novel and that’s GIRL GENIUS by Phil & Kaja Foglio. I love this comic and I must not be the only one —it’s won the Hugo Award three times (and lots of other awards, too). Therefore, I was thrilled to see that Tor is releasing hardback omnibus versions of GIRL GENIUS because this comic is a work of art that deserves to be beautifully bo
Nov 05, 2014 SharlzG rated it it was amazing
I read all 12 volumes over the space of a few days so can't separate one from the other for the sake of reviews, but can say that I'm not disappointed at having had this pointed out to me, only that it took so long for me to get on the bandwagon.
Dec 28, 2011 Caleb rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
My local library is awesome. It (or at least the county library system) has this series, all sorts of other comics and manga, and even Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog on DVD.

I reviewed Volume 1 not long ago. I think Volume 2 is where this series really gets going. I love airships, too. The sheer amount of stuff happening and things to see and people to meet -- it's skillfully handled, never too overwhelming, but the art (especially in color) is amazing.

The end of the book has a fun bonus story th
Sep 02, 2015 Ashley rated it liked it
The world becomes more intricately woven in this volume. It is also becoming more populated and alive. The rough edges are still there but I can see this story blossoming into pure awesomeness soon.
Jun 12, 2011 Raj rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Steampunk fans
Volume two of the ongoing webcomic Girl Genius, this volume introduces us to the giant airship Castle Wulfenbach and a whole bunch of new characters as Agatha tries to understand this new world that she's been forcibly introduced to.

I've been reading Girl Genius for a while now but it's nice to go back and start again, and read it in a much more compressed format, rather than three pages a week. It makes it much easier to follow the story and remember the characters, not to mention flick back if
Dec 06, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
The tale continues!

In this installment, We slowly learn more about the past and present and it become clear that Agatha is going to do great things!
Nov 29, 2014 Kerry rated it it was amazing
Breezy, fun and inventive. Yes, a bit comic booky but that is the source for this material. I am particularly entranced by the Jaeger monsters.
Mina Khan
Jan 04, 2016 Mina Khan rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite-books
Fun follow up to the first book. Love this steampunky fantasy with it's awesome jaegers and fantastic circus. Now I want to build clanks!
Sheila Beaumont
The second entry in an awesomely entertaining steampunk series of graphic novels. On to the third!
Aug 16, 2015 Devin added it
I am absolutely enjoying watching this series unfold! Agatha Clay is awesome!
Jun 20, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing
Steampunk awesomeness at its finest!
Aug 27, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it
The plot thickens, and the world building expands. Good stuff.

It annoys me a little that all the ladies so far (and several yet to be introduced) are almost uniformly buxom and curvy. Thankfully all of them are well-written and the story is very much not about their visual appeal.

Girl Genius is ongoing and can be read online starting here. Volume 2 starts here.
May 20, 2014 Molly rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy, graphic-novel
Another fun read.
Mar 09, 2011 Emilyn rated it it was amazing
I am really enjoying these graphic novels. In vol. 2, Agatha is taken hostage by the baron. He believes the man she was with at the end of vol. 1 is the spark and brings her along as his assistant. Much of vol. 2 is spent with Agatha getting used to her new surroundings and hashing it out with Von Zinzer. She also seems to spend a lot of time waking up in public places in nothing but her underwear.

Wonderful, entertaining graphic novel.
Mar 10, 2012 Lori rated it really liked it
Originally published online as a Web comic (where it can be found at, this series follows the exploits of a young woman, Agatha, who discovers she is the lost heir to a long-feared dynasty. Instead of a terribly serious version of this tale, the author/artist stick to humor over horrors. Still friends and enemies die, leaving their mark on Agatha as she grows to understand who she is and what she can do.
Jan 09, 2012 Jay rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
The drawings in this book are much better, much more realistic, than the ones in the previous book from this series. The story has a little more depth, too. I'm more interested in seeing what happens next. I'll definitely read the next book in the series because I already have it in hand, but I'm not sure I'll keep on after that. There are some really funny parts, but not quite enough to really keep me picking these up.
Feb 27, 2011 Tabitha rated it really liked it
This volume was really tight but not suffocating. I liked the fact that they kept it to just a few specific locations within a slightly larger base area. What could have been a little overly-limited was just very very focused.
Story-wise, the Girl Genius world delivers fun and drama in a fantastic ratio as usual. I can't get enough of Agatha and her cohorts. Looking forward to more clanks!
Timothy Boyd
Feb 13, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it it was amazing
Incredibly funny and entertaining comic. The Foglios never fail to make me laugh till I hurt with their writing and art. Highly recommended
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A popular science fiction fan artist in the 1970s, Phil Foglio began writing and drawing cartoons and comics professionally in the 1980s. His work includes "Magic: The Gathering," "Buck Godot," and the popular series of comics and novels, "Girl Genius," co-written with his wife, Kaja Foglio.

Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist (1977 and 1978)
Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story (2009, 2010, 2011)
More about Phil Foglio...

Other Books in the Series

Girl Genius (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Girl Genius, Vol. 1: Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank (Girl Genius #1)
  • Girl Genius, Vol. 3: Agatha Heterodyne and the Monster Engine (Girl Genius #3)
  • Girl Genius, Vol. 4: Agatha Heterodyne and the Circus of Dreams
  • Girl Genius, Vol. 5: Agatha Heterodyne and the Clockwork Princess (Girl Genius #5)
  • Girl Genius, Vol. 6: Agatha Heterodyne and the Golden Trilobite (Girl Genius #6)
  • Girl Genius, Vol. 7: Agatha Heterodyne and the Voice of the Castle (Girl Genius #7)
  • Girl Genius, Vol. 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones (Girl Genius #8)
  • Girl Genius, Vol. 9: Agatha Heterodyne and the Heirs of the Storm
  • Girl Genius, Vol. 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse (Girl Genius #10)
  • Girl Genius, vol 11: Agatha Heterodyne and the Hammerless Bell

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