Girl Genius
Girl Genius

"I am told I can be very nice."
     —Mister Obsidian to Tarvek[1]

Little is known about Mister Obsidian, except that he seems to be impervious to physical attacks. His name wasn't revealed upon his first appearance in volume 3 of The Second Journey of Agatha Heterodyne; in fact, it was not mentioned until he reappeared in the next volume. Furthermore, it is far from certain that Mister Obsidian is his real name; it may be an alias or nickname based on his apparent invulnerability.

Physical Appearance[]

Mister Obsidian appears to be a relatively young man (approximately early thirties) with a dark complexion, black hair (what there is of it), a totally bald head and a goatee. He wears triangular pince-nez spectacles. He has a rather slight build and is of roughly average height. At first glance, you might take him for a college professor or government clerk.


However, appearances are quite deceiving in Mister Obsidian's case. He is actually an extremely formidable adversary with great strength and a seeming invulnerability to physical attack. He shrugs off a very forceful blow to the head with a large wrench. He is hit with such force, in fact, that the wrench shatters, but it leaves no mark on his skull. He is also unaffected and unconcerned when kicked in the throat and stabbed in the face with a dagger.

He is also a good actor. When he first appears in the story he convincingly portrays an easily frightened and somewhat incompetent guard. But he reveals himself to be arrogant, ruthless, fearless (admittedly with good reason), and brutal when opposed.

In the Comic[]

At first, Mister Obsidian seems to be working for the Library, as part of a group, led by the Lord High Conservator, kidnapping Tarvek Sturmvoraus from Gilgamesh Wulfenbach and spiriting him away on an airship. It soon transpires, however, that Obsidian is working with a party of Smoke Knights (although he appears not to be one) to kidnap Tarvek away from Library custody. The battle between the Librarians and the Smoke Knights apparently results in the death of everyone on the airship but Tarvek and Mister Obsidian. Tarvek, learning that he is to be returned to his family, struggles fiercely, but is soon overcome and rendered unconscious. Mister Obsidian next appears delivering Tarvek directly to his Grandmother at her residence in Paris as the big fancy-dress party is getting underway. He drops out of sight during the party and its chaotic disruption by The Queen of the Dawn, a swarm of Geisters, and finally Andronicus Valois himself, but as Tweedle celebrates his literal and figurative claiming of the crown of the Storm King, he resurfaces in rather ominous fashion behind Tarvek..

And indeed, he does kidnap him again, but it turns out he is now operating on orders from Seffie rather than Grandmother; the former woman (theoretically covertly) sends Tarvek off to England after Agatha, hoping he will win her hand thus leaving Gil free to Seffie's attentions. Grandmother evidently does not approve of this plan upon somehow learning of it, as she sends another team of Smoke Knights to retrieve Tarvek. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mr. Obsidian is not included in the operation this time around, and his current status and employer is unknown.


  1. Act 2, vol. 3, p. 102, panel 4.