Member Profile | FocusFeatures.com
Hanna Kicks Ass, As Do These Other Fine Ladies
Posted March 24, 2011 to photo album "Hanna Kicks Ass, As Do These Other Fine Ladies"
Hanna may be a teenage girl, but she’s also a take-no-prisoners assassin. The news is she’s not alone in popular culture.
Modesty Blaise, the British Bum-kicker
Left, Illustration by Enrique Badia Romero; right, Joseph Losey’s 1966 film version
The real-world kick-ass heroine like Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) of films like Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill has her origins in “Modesty Blaise,” the British comic strip character created in 1963 by writer Peter O’Donnell and artist Jim Holdway (and then by Enrique Badia Romero after Holdway suddenly died in 1970). Blaise is a pretty orphan with a criminal past who, fortune in hand, volunteers with her trusty sidekick Willie Gavin as agents for Her Majesty’s Government. In the 1965 novel based on the strip, Blaise was billed as “England’s fabulous, feminine answer to James Bond.” Foreshadowing female action heroes to come, Modesty is an expert at unarmed combat and a devote of unusual weaponry, particularly the Japanese yawara (what Modesty calls a konga), a short wooden stick you grip in your fist. The Modesty Blaise comic strip and the resulting 13 Modesty Blaise novels, have been put to film in 1966, 1982 and 2003, with no critical success.