Modesty Blaise - The Girl In The Iron Mask by Peter O'Donnell

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Modesty Blaise - The Girl In The Iron Mask by Peter O'Donnell

Category: Graphic Novels
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: Three more immodest Modesty dramas from the archives, with the usual high drama, high kicking and high leg-lines in the skirt department.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 104 Date: March 2013
Publisher: Titan
ISBN: 9780857686947

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In this volume our globe-trotting heroine Modesty and her faithful Willie land up at a jungle hospital, only to find the people providing it with useful drugs are also creating their own much worse drugs nearby; find the Mafia just one man away from taking over Australia – and therefore give him a male and female tag team back-up; and stumble into the wicked games of a pair of corrupt, evil billionaires in the Alps. There is no let-up in the global shenanigans, the daring-do, or the whipcrack action – and we wouldn’t want it any other way…

Peter O'Donnell was certainly very good, as I've said before, at providing variety and action for Modesty and her Willie to fit into. These three stories show that, however she maintains her fortunes, there is always a friend with a plane, or the funds to provide for a hard-done-by innocent, and of course there is always a nice handy weapon or particular martial art kick to put paid to the lowlifes in the way of justice. Yes there is something cheesy and shorthand about the way someone grasses to Modesty and her friends and forces her hand, but we have to get the dame to the drama, and both are very much present and correct.

Slightly politically incorrect, of course. Even though the middle story here dates from the 1990s even the good guys call the Australian natives abo. And Modesty never falters in finding a reason to reveal flesh. Here we move from the jungle (therefore cropped denim shorts and small top tied over her boobs) to the outback (a bikini bottom and nothing else) to the middle of the mountains – you'd think Modesty could dress like her name implies, but no, one climb up rocks and a bit of a scuffle and her long skirt is just shreds, showing her nicely drawn legs to the world.

Everything is nicely drawn here, of course, and whatever the deadline these creators faced, the punch on the page is hit to perfection. With three panels a day, the comics are a masterpiece in concise creation, dramatizing so many internal thoughts, evil intent and heroics, whatever was required, all with a suitably cinematic backdrop. All killer, no filler, as someone once said.

Despite the widescreen adventures, however, the final, title story is definitely the best – Willie is in a race against time to come to the rescue and get to the right hole on time (OK, enough with the single entendres) and Modesty is allowed room to become even stronger a character through us reading her thoughts, talking to herself as she fights to survive the iron mask and her captors. This is the most original tale, all told – but all three show that however trashy and disposable these strips were, however ridiculously family-friendly their evocation of sin, evil and iniquity, these comics are still well worth revisiting. You don't even have to undress for the occasion…

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

File next to the last volume in the series we reviewed, Live Bait, although there has been one in between.

Buy Modesty Blaise - The Girl In The Iron Mask by Peter O'Donnell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Modesty Blaise - The Girl In The Iron Mask by Peter O'Donnell at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Modesty Blaise - The Girl In The Iron Mask by Peter O'Donnell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Modesty Blaise - The Girl In The Iron Mask by Peter O'Donnell at Amazon.com.


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