Rip Kirby, The Hicks Formula (April-June 1946)

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For the second storyline, Greene and Raymond send Rip and company off to college. Honey doesn’t get a lot smarter this time around, but she definitely gets somewhat smarter and it helps a lot. While she’s not really Rip’s sidekick, just an odd addition to the cast (she has her own reasons for visiting the college, while he’s investigating something), she’s pleasant to have around. There are a lot more female characters (in small parts) who are reasonably vapid, but even without them, Greene’s making Honey a much stronger character.

Raymond’s art is, big shock, excellent. What is somewhat surprising is how much he plays with the strips, occasionally only doing two panels or even one. The story reads great in a sitting as well.

The sometimes unexpected twists and turns to the plot only increase the appeal. It’s an engaging read, even if there’s little character development for Rip.

CREDITS

Writer, Ward Greene; artist, Alex Raymond; publisher, King Features.

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