Differences between comic strip and books

Although the books generally reflect the characters previously established in the comic strip, there are a number of detail differences. One example of this is how Modesty is initially recruited to work for Sir Gerald Tarrant – although the strip story La Machine (1963) and the book story Modesty Blaise (1965) have similarities, and in both Tarrant achieves his aim by putting her under an obligation, in the strip story this relates to the validity of her marriage (and therefore her right to British nationality and residence) while in the book he provides her with information that enables her to rescue Willie Garvin and save his life. The name of her husband is given in the strip, with the marriage taking place in 1960 and him dying in 1961; in the novel he is unnamed and the marriage took place in 1962.

There are also cases where characters first appear in the books and then subsequently appear in the comic strip – Steve Collier first appears in I, Lucifer (1967) and his future wife Dinah in A Taste for Death (1969) but they do not appear in the strip until Lady in the Dark (1989).