Some years ago, I communicated with Enric Badia Romero concerning his long stint working on Modesty Blaise with that matchless heroine’s creator Peter O’Donnell. Apologising for his English, Enric confirmed details of something that I’d learnt from Peter himself – their strange long-distance working relationship for so many years on the strip involving (of course) translation and more than a few misunderstandings. But given the problems in this work set-up, the amazingly high standard maintained for so many years is, if anything, even more impressive. As Romero himself would be the first to admit, he did not have the stylistic fluidity of the artist who inaugurated the strip, the late Jim Holdaway, but Romero was always utterly professional and did great service to the O’Donnell scripts. In this latest issue in the welcome reissue series from Titan, there are three adventures: The Girl from the Future, The Big Mole and the eponymous Lady in the Dark. While none of them, perhaps are vintage Modesty (in terms of either the scripting or the illustration), they are still streets ahead of just about anything in the medium in terms of sophistication of characterisation and ingenuity of plotting. Those collecting the series need not hesitate.
Modesty Blaise: Lady in the Dark is published by Titan Books