Modesty Blaise–The Girl in the Iron Mask by Titan Publishers…
Modesty Blaise: The Girl in the Iron Mask by Titan Publishers collects three stories: Fiona, Walkabout and the titular The girl in the Iron mask , which are story numbers 70,71,72 respectively of the total of 92 stories of Modesty.
In Fiona, Modesty goes to a Bangladeshi jungle to visit a former Network accomplice, Sumitra. Little does she know that the area is being controlled by an old foe who is using an old, abandoned Bangladeshi jungle temple for his drug trade. Sumitra fears for the safety of Modesty and rightly worries that with her aversion for drugs, Modesty is sure to tackle the drug traffickers and decides to keep her in the dark. Along comes Willie with his lovelorn, jealous chimpanzee Fiona(who escaped from Willie's circus to be with him). With the assault on Willie and Modesty, Modesty suspects that something is amiss and so goes the story, which I found utterly predictable and to be on the weaker side of Modesty stories. There isn't too much going on in the first half of the story and even in the second half, it isn't exactly very exciting. If there is one beautiful thing about this story, it is the illustrations of Romero. Absolutely beautiful even for his standards. Nothing very original or exciting, but can be entertaining if you don't expect too much.
In Walkabout, we find Modesty going in a Walkabout (a sort of journey with hunting) with the aboriginal people in the deserts of Australia and later, trying to help her hospitalized friend stop the infiltration of Mafia into Australia and trying to exonerate an aborigine. The story, again, isn't very exciting or novel but for the walkabout itself (which isn't much delved into). Romero's illustration of the desert and the Australian beach, as opposed to his depiction of Bangladeshi jungle is a nice contrast. Again, just an entertaining read if you don't expect too much.
Image credits: http://www.atomicmoo.com/2013/05/02/atomic-moo-comic-book-review-of-modesty-blaise-the-girl-in-the-iron-mask/
In The Girl with the Iron Mask, Modesty finds herself the target of a nasty, sick revenge plot in which she is left in an abyss with her face encased in an iron mask in an attempt to drive her insane, all for the entertainment of her old foes, the Bone brothers, who watch her stumble around Live on Tv. Romero does the illustration for the bleak, dreary abyss and the hill terrain surrounding it and he does it well.
Of the three stories in the book, this one is clearly the winner. The pace picks up early and after Modesty is abducted and Willie is on the search, it only gets better. It would be a good idea to start with this one while reading the book and then to go on to the other stories, which are comparatively laid back.