Greene and Raymond give Rip his first real nemesis here—the Mangler. Though we hear he’s called the Mangler for how he murders people, we never see it. The Mangler’s far more interested in elevating himself from crime boss to terrorist as he steals a biological warfare formula from Rip and proceeds to auction it to the highest bidding country.
The storyline is split into two parts—Rip getting kidnapped and tortured for the formula, only for the bad guys to realize threatening Honey will get him to cave. He does, which leads to the second part of the story, the hunt for the Mangler. The first part has a lot of implied sex; it’s funny to see a newspaper strip get away with it while a movie of the time could not.
The second half is better; the first half’s plot requires Rip to be really stupid, really often.
Writer, Ward Greene; artist, Alex Raymond; publisher, King Features.