Rip Kirby, Danger in Key Diablo (February-May 1953)
Rip continues its upswing—maybe scripture Dickenson got more comfortable—with this storyline. Honey’s a central character again (for the first time in what seems like a year), though she’s just the damsel in distress. She’s got a strange modeling job in Florida on a private island. It turns out to be a scam and it’s eventually Rip to the rescue.
Even though it’s far from her strongest characterization—and Dickenson makes Rip the one who’s moony, instead of the traditional vice versa—it’s nice to have her back. She’s genial and familiar, if occasionally stupid just to let the plot progress.
The tropical setting, not to mention an old Spanish fort, early twentieth century costuming and a parrot, give Raymond a lot to illustrate. Even during the extended action finale, it’s a joy to regard. While it doesn’t break the strip’s general genre, it frequently dabbles in other ones.
Writer, Fred Dickenson; artist, Alex Raymond; publisher, King Features.