We began this year by launching a new occasional feature, “What Came Next –?”, in which we display the strips that came immediately after the last ones printed in some of our Library of American Comics volumes. The inaugural installment offered a look at Bert Christman’s Scorchy Smith; we did a May follow-up spotlighting more Myopia mayhem from King Aroo, by Jack Kent.
This time we return to another of our favorites, so journey back with us to the latter days of 1936 as we check in once again on Secret Agent X-9.
Our collection, featuring the earliest tales from the start of this long-running series, ended with this October 31st strip, as X-9 prepares to receive a new assignment, one that will have him all a’sea:
What came next? The FBI Director fills in X-9 on the particulars of his next case, and he greets — and gently rebuffs — some friends from his previous adventure:
Dorothy doesn’t have to worry — X-9 will be too busy to cross her path as he hangs around the scurvy waterfront docks and dodges the icy hand of Death as it reaches across the waves! With the series in the capable hands of cartoonist Charles Flanders, this story unfolds six days a week through January 23, 1937, and though the weed of crime bears bitter fruit (as another hero is known to say), Secret Agent X-9 makes sure the ship-scuttling scheme is destroyed, and all involved in it face justice of one sort or another — as the ominous last panel from the January 13, 1937 installment indicates …
If you missed our big Secret Agent X-9 collection, featuring more work by Flanders, as well as such stellar talents as Alex Raymond, Leslie (The Saint) Charteris, and Dashiell (Maltese Falcon) Hammett, it’s still available at fine booksellers everywhere: