Girl Genius
Girl Genius

"Well, well, what's this? Looks like our own angel of mercy has crash landed." [1]

Omar von Zinzer left his family farm along several of his brothers to serve as a soldier on one of the Duke D'Omas' walking gunboats, the Vienna 707. He was such a jerk that even his own brother, Moloch von Zinzer, didn't particularly like him. During the destruction of the Vienna by Bangladesh DuPree, he escaped with Moloch and eventually made his way to Beetleburg, where our story actually begins.

Mugging Agatha[]

Unfortunately but evidently typically for Omar, his first acts upon getting back to civilization are to spend the last of the brothers' money on some rotgut, and then mug Agatha Heterodyne in an alley. His brother manages to dissuade him from beating her up too badly, but Omar does insist on stealing her locket.


Later that day, Omar begins losing function for no readily obvious reason. By the afternoon he can no longer walk or recognize Moloch; he loses consciousness around sundown; and in the morning, he finally dies. (We only see the moment of death in person.) The doctor brought in to treat him is unable to offer a diagnosis; Moloch in a fit of anger hurls the locket against the floor, causing springs and gears to fly out of it. This leads him to believe that the locket killed Omar, and, seeing Agatha's address on the device, sets out to avenge his brother's "murder". This leads to ever-expanding plot-complications, but so far, Omar's part has been played.

This scene has also led to a long debate in Girl Genius fandom about whether Moloch was correct in his assessment.

Hypothesis #1:[]

Post-mugging, Agatha does flip out[2] at Omar, expressing, in what turns out to be her command voice,[3] her hope that he "die slowly like the miserable rat" he is. Late in Volume VI, the death of Lady Vrin at the metaphorical hands of a Lucrezia-possessed Agatha establishes that revenants[4] can die[5] from being ordered to do so. So it is possible Omar died as the result of Agatha's unintentional command rather than operation of the locket. Since the command is given after the thug has already departed the immediate area, if it reaches Omar it does so in an attenuated and distorted condition, which possibly explains why it takes him so much time to die rather than succumb immediately as Lady Vrin (evidently) does. In the strip in which Omar first appears, a "Report All Revenents" sign is shown, which may be authors' cue that revenants are present in the strip and Omar is the most likely candidate for this status.

Hypothesis #2:[]

And then there is the theory that the locket really was responsible. Since we eventually learn that the locket was created by Barry Heterodyne to suppress Agatha's Spark, it may be that with a person with normal brain-chemistry like Omar, it instead shuts down more vital portions of his brain. This leads to the question, if the locket really is this dangerous to normal people exposed to it, did Barry know of said danger when he created it? As noted, he or Agatha's foster parents put her address on the device along with an offer for a reward for its return, which shows they were naturally aware other people might end up in possession of it. But including the address might be a waste of time if any person who handles the thing drops dead. The danger of leaving a possible string of corpses also goes against the locket's whole purpose of staving off unwanted attention towards Agatha.

The question may never be definitively resolved; however, since we have seen[6] -- in what appear to be portals from the future -- Agatha, Gil, and Moloch searching for Moloch's lost comrades, it seems their fate becomes important to her; likely the topic will be revisited.

The Novels[]

The version of Omar who appears in Agatha H. and the Airship City is pretty much like what we see in the comic, though we're explicitly told (via Moloch's POV) that, yes, he has pretty much always been an impulsive jerk. The narrative is also clearer in establishing it is the locket which kills him, and not any unintentional command on Agatha's part.

The Works[]

Omar von Zinzer is a card in The Works with details Villain and Mechanic.

See also[]

Secret Blueprints: Moloch & Omar von Zinzer