Of the regular cast of characters for Girl Genius, I must admit Zeetha is one of my favorites, partly due to the exuberance and confidence she often exudes. The latest update shows a more vulnerable side to her; given she had been badly hurt trying to protect Agatha from her newest antagonist, Zola, that is probably to be expected. One thing that struck me was just how fragile Zeetha looked in the fifth panel, as Airman Higgs brushed her hair from her brow. That’s when it hit me; I think this might be the first time we’ve seen Zola without her headband… and how young and exposed she looks without it.
As for Higgs, I’m still trying to figure him out. Given his brief lapse into a Jägerkin accent (and his later use of one of their trademark phrases), I half wondered if he might be some form of Jäger himself. (That, and he was also drinking with the Jägers.) Given we did learn that humans occasionally ride with the Jägerkin, I suspect this is a more likely scenario even given Higg’s extreme resistance to mortal wounds. I mean, he was able to keep fighting after taking a wound much like the one that took Zeetha out. And note that he’s still wearing his hat while stitching his own wounds up. Clues concerning Airman Higgs have been accumulating, and are painting quite the fascinating picture here.
While it’s taken second fiddle to the primary story with Agatha and Castle Heterodyne, I’ve rather had fun watching the growing relationship between Higgs and Zeetha (especially given their first meeting when the sparks began to fly). Part of this is undoubtedly due to Higgs’ backstory and its initial portrayal of him. But there’s also genuine chemistry between them, as shown with not only how concerned he was when she was hurt, but how he deliberately infuriated her to get her to stop beating herself up over being unable to protect Agatha. Given the subtlety of Higgs’ character, it’ll be fun watching the sparks continue to fly between these two.