Modesty Blaise
Bad Suki

Author: Peter O'Donnell
Artist: Jim Holdaway
Titan Books
RRP 10.99, US $16.95
ISBN 1 84023 864 X
Available 25 March 2005

The dark underworld of espionage and crime is lit up by the fatal charms of the gorgeous Modesty Blaise - high priestess of pulp crime and goddess of cult thrillers. Modesty's fanatical hatred of drug dealers plunges her into the grimmest levels of criminal purgatory in their pursuit. But who or what is "Bad Suki" and what will be the bloody cost of finding out?...

In Bad Suki a new adventure falls literally into the lap of Modesty and her right-hand man Willie Garvin. Aiding a young girl battling drug addiction leads Modesty into the deepest grimmest levels of criminal purgatory as she pursues her fanatical hatred of drug dealers.

And here's one thing that will whet any serious fan's appetite (but will probably make most people, including me, cringe with embarrassment). There are a few Jim Holdaway fantasy illustrations of Modesty in the nude. I might be accused of being a prude here, but I can't imagine Titan printing fantasy images of James Bond naked. So why is it okay for images of a curvaceous Modesty to greet the reader as they turn to the interior pages?

This graphic novel also collects The Gallery Slaves and The Red Gryphon. It is also packed with rare interviews, exclusive story commentary and masses of obscure and previously unseen artwork.

As with other collections in this series, this will only really appeal to Modesty fans. The stories have aged gracefully, but will not be to everybody's liking (obviously). Comic strip historians will be in their element, but most of the public will wonder what the fuss is all about.

Entertaining... if you like that sort of thing.

Pete Boomer

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