Modesty Blaise is a fictional young female character featured in a British comic strip created by Peter O’Donnell and Jim Holdaway. The comic pursues the exceptionally talented and criminal Modesty Blaise and her sidekick Willie Garvin through a series of enthralling and exhilarating events. Created in 1963, the comic was so successful it was later adapted into films in 1966, 1982 and 2003, followed by one graphic novel in 1990 and thirteen novels and short stories produced in 1965. The latest adaptation of the comic is a series of wall murals released in 2012 featuring the two characters.
The 1966 film adaptation was categorically placed as a comedic spy-fi motion picture taking inspiration from the surrealist comedy-adventure cinematic trend of that time. The film is loosely based on the comic strip and sees Modesty Blaise, a former crime boss, recruited by the British Intelligence to put a stop to a diamond theft operation. The recruitment brings about conflict with other characters and sees the protagonist reunited with her accomplice. The noticeable differences for dedicated fans, in comparison to the comic strip, are Modesty’s hair colour, Willie’s hair colour and their romantic relationship that develops into marriage. Their relationship is the most significant difference as Peter O’Donnell set out to never allow romance to blossom between the two characters. Interestingly, the film includes a metafictional detail where the Modesty Blaise comic strip is featured on several newspapers in a characters apartment suggesting that the comic and film adaptation existed in two different time periods. The film was recognised with great success and is now categorized as a camp-classic.