There was a time (he once told me) when the great Peter O’Donnell considered that his matchless Modesty Blaise strips (initially drawn by the late Jim Holdaway, but later by other hands) would end up as chip paper — the fate of most newsprint. But that would have been to reckon without the enduring appeal of the strip, quite the most sophisticated and intelligent work in the genre produced in the United Kingdom. Now, of course, reprints of this material are relatively common, but by far the most deluxe treatment afforded to the adventures of O’Donnell’s durable heroine is the impressive ongoing series produced by Titan Books, who have done more to preserve this classic material than any other publisher. If there are signs of fatigue in the artwork of the otherwise talented Enrique Romero in Million Dollar Game, he nevertheless turns in a more than serviceable job — and no doubt the artist would be the first to acknowledge that Jim Holdaway was an almost impossible act to follow (of succeeding artists, perhaps Neville Colvin came closest to the Holdaway style). The plotting in all three stories here is as ingenious and satisfying as ever, and Modesty aficionados will pray that Titan books continue to make this material available.

Modesty Blaise: Million Dollar Game Peter O’Donnell, Enrique Romero

Titan Books

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