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Modesty Blaise (Neville Colvin)

Modesty Blaise was a newspaper strip featuring a multi-talented spy, created by writer Peter O’Donnell and cartoonist Neville Colvin. (Frank Hampson tried out for the strip, but his drawings were considered not sexy enough).It originally ran in the London Evening Standard, later syndicated to newspapers all over the world. It was adapted into films and a series of 13 novels and short story collections, beginning in 1965. In 1945, a nameless girl escaped from a refugee camp in Greece. She was befriended by a Hungarian Jewish refugee called Lob, who named her Modesty (she added the Blaise, after Merlin's tutor from the Arthurian legends) herself. Lob died when she was 12. In 1953 she took control of a criminal gang in Tangier and expanded it internationally. During this time she met Willie Garvin, who became her right hand man. There was no sexual element to their relationship, but Modesty's many lovers were jealous of his closeness to her. She obtained British nationality by marrying and divorcing an Englishman, and when she had made enough money she and Garvin retired to England, where they were recruited by the British Secret Service. This is where the strip started, and led to many adventures fighting eccentric villains in exotic locales.