By Stan Drake & Leonard Starr (Dargaud International Publishing)
The decades of creative expertise that marked the careers of strip veterans Stan Drake and Leonard Starr were rewarded by the one thing they had never achieved when they began their seminal crime-thriller for the European comics market: creative control. And blessed with that elusive prize they produced one of the most memorable women in comics: the frail, divinely human yet determinedly adamantine Kelly Green.
After the murder of her cop husband by his own superiors (Kelly Green: The Go-Between) the grieving and furious widow began a dubious career in the no-man’s land separating the law-abiding and felonious, aided by three of her husband’s reformed “cases”: con-man Spats Cavendish, thief Jimmy Delocke and colossal leg-breaker “Meathooks.”
In this tale however the job intersects disastrously with her private life as a new friend inadvertently draws her into a world of ruthless super-rich dynasties, blackmail, infidelity, exploitation and even serial murder. As this is a gripping mystery yarn of the “fair-play” variety I’ll avoid specifics so you can have a fair crack at deducing the killer, but I will offer this warning: you know those movies where a million people can die bloodily but your favourite actor and his dog will always escape unscathed? This isn’t one of those stories…
This spectacular thriller is powerful and uncompromising stuff, strictly for adults (and not just because of the casual nudity), falling into a rare category of crime-story in that it is unflinchingly character-, not plot-driven, and delivered with all the skill and artistry that these two veteran storytellers can command.
Copies of all volumes are still readily available (if a little pricey), but true quality has no upper limit and there are still rumours of a full revival of the character soon. Perhaps you could wait…
But can you?
© 1983 Dargaud Editeur. All Right Reserved.