Friday, May 13, 2011

Modesty Blaise: The Gabriel Set-Up, by Peter O'Donnell & Jim Holdaway


(pb - graphic novel; compiled and republished in 2004. First book in the Modesty Blaise graphic novel series)

From the back cover:

"Adventurer, spy, smuggler, racketeer and all-around bad girl -- that's Modesty Blaise! The cult creation of best-selling author Peter O'Donnell returns in this fantastic collection of rare and classic newspaper strips from the Evening Standard, the first volume in a new Modesty Blaise library!

"With her trusted right-hand man Willie Garvin and the underworld resources of the 'The Network' on tap, Modesty takes on the skilled killers of La Machine and battles to destroy a coven of blackmailers, proving once and for all that the female of the species is deadlier than the male."

Review:

The comic strip, which ran from 1963 to 1986 in various global newspapers, and spawned fourteen novels and two movies gets republished for the first time in many years: each chapter was written, illustrated and published as a three-frame newspaper comic strip, making this at once an enjoyably archaic and fresh read, separating it from most other graphic novels out there.

Fans of Sixties spy films, television series and books (Ian Fleming's fourteen-book 007/James Bond series, the Flint films, etc.) will likely appreciate the plot-twisty, action-packed stories contained in these Modesty volumes.

This well-drawn, well-written volume contains two thoughtful, well-researched introductions ("Blaise of Glory" by Mike Paterson and "Girl Walking", where Modesty creator/author Peter O'Donnell explains where the real-life impetus for Modesty originated); it also contains the stories: "La Machine", "The Long Lever" and The Gabriel Set-Up". Each story also gets a brief, half-page introduction from O'Donnell, where he reveals tidbits about the creation of each story.

Worth owning, this.

Followed by Modesty Blaise: Mister Sun.

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