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August 20th, 2009
02:59 pm


The origin of Modesty and Willie
Posted on the old scans_daily but maybe some here have not seen it..)

This three page recap is from 1966. Peter O'Donnell and Jim Holdaway created it for newspapers who were beginning to run the Modesty Blaise strip. There are one or two points in the origin that I think might be emphasised. Modesty was not a private detective or anything, she ran an international organization called the Network, and she got rich from a variety of crimes. Not prostitution or drugs, she explicitly hated those vices; but even if the Network mostly specialized in smuggling, armed robbery, extortion and blackmail.. and even if she tried to target rich people who could survive having their valuables heisted... Modesty and Willie certainly hurt a lot of innocent people in their career. Some guards are going to get killed, some victims will put up a fight and be shot in the struggle, that sort of thing. These two are not candidates for sainthood.

Also, while Modesty certainly deserves the praise she gets for her later crime-busting and hostage-rescuing career, Willie merits more credit than he usually receives. He is after all her right hand man, has saved her life many times and a lot of her explots would have ended badly without him. The most important thing is that she can absolutely trust him with no thought of betrayal ever entering her mind. In the overlapping worlds of organized crime and espionage, a partner who will stand by you no matter what is almost unheard of, and Modesty has that in Willie. He would very likely have remained a two-bit thug without her inspiration, but she would probably have never been as well-balanced or happy without his grounding influence. (Or as much fun to read about)

And now here it is, story by Peter O'Donnell and art by Jim Holdaway, the beginnings of one of the greatest friendships and partnerships in adventure fiction...

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