The news that Peter O'Donnell, creator of Modesty Blaise, possibly the greatest, non-super-powered female comics character, has died greatly saddens me. Inspired by a young refugee O'Donnell met during World War II, Modesty is a tough, skilled crimefighter who started on the wrong side of the law. After she and Willie Garvin, her loyal friend and helper, retired, they were convinced to use their skills to help bring all manner of bad guys to justice.
Along with the Modesty Blaise comic strip, O'Donnell also wrote a series of books using the characters. I discovered Modesty in the '70s when the strip was being reproduced in an anthology periodical that repro'ed a number of strips. It was instant love. Modesty and Willie loved each other, but it was platonic, the ultimate friendship between a man and a woman. Willie, owing his life to Modesty, would do anything for her, would die for her if he had to. Modesty was far from modest, and while the art, drawn over the years by a number of talented people, was sexy without being exploitive, IMO. The strip was one of the best action/adventure strips and if you haven't ever read them, you'd be doing yourself a favor in picking up one of the softcover collections.