As the first volume of Girl Genius begins, we see Professor Phil Foglio sitting down to tell a story. This volume recounts the fateful day a frightening entity appears to Agatha Heterodyne and she subsequently has her locket stolen, events which will change the direction of Agatha's life forever. This volume also introduces (and bids good-bye to) Dr. Beetle. More importantly, it established the characters of Baron Klaus Wulfenbach and his son Gilgamesh, who will both have major impacts on Agatha's future path. There is a great deal of foreshadowing and hinting in this volume, teasing readers about many of the long-running mysteries to come. (Thus it also foreshadows the teasing and foreshadowing to come.)
The story in this volume is covered in the novel Agatha H. and the Airship City.
This volume, unlike later collections, was done before the collaboration with Professor Mark McNabb, not to mention Professor Cheyenne Wright. All pages are in black & white (well, sepia and white, if you have the dead tree version), with inks done by Brian Snoddy.
The comics in this volume were first published in issues 1, 2, and 3 of the Girl Genius Comic Book.
The first volume has now been released in a new edition, colored by Professor Cheyenne Wright.