Rip Kirby, Fatal Forgeries (November 1946-January 1947)

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Instead of an involved, complicated story, this time Greene and Raymond go for something far simpler. There’s a blackmailer using kids to get celebrity autographs to fuel his forgery endeavor. Rip accidentally gets involved and has to sort it out. There’s a murder, some intrigue and Honey and Pagan fighting for Rip’s affections.

Unfortunately, when presented with a simple “case” for Rip, Greene and Raymond unnecessarily aggrandize it. It’s not a simple case of blackmail, there’s the youth gang; it’s not some smart blackmailer, it’s another guy with a silly nickname and a secret base. When Pagan turns out to know the blackmailer, it works since it’s a comic strip and things need to be neat… but Greene and Raymond are giving Rip a rogue’s gallery. It’s too much. He’s not Dick Tracy.

The romantic conflict is a nice touch, however, though Honey and Rip’s relationship has, unfortunately, become chaste.

CREDITS

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

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