Rip Kirby, Death on Four Wheels (May-September 1953)

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And it’s Rip off to the races. I think this storyline is just Raymond’s way to get to draw a lot of cars.

Any good will Dickenson’s earned is tested at this point, as the female lead of the storyline’s name is Jet Allyson. She’s a silly rich girl who loves racing—Jet, because she drives fast! She’s got to be the weakest character ever in a Rip Kirby strip.

Eventually, after there’s a murder, things get better. Dickenson and Raymond keep a fair amount of tension over the identity of the murderer. Though when Raymond gives it away in a strip, it’s a week before there’s confirmation. It’s too long a wait.

The racing art’s phenomenal, though Rip wins the big race, which seems rather unlikely.

Another disappointment is how Dickenson writes the women dumb and shallow. And Rip’s sexist for the first time ever.

But it’s not bad.

CREDITS

Writer, Fred Dickenson; artist, Alex Raymond; publisher, King Features.