Commissioned by the King Features Syndicate as an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Chester Gould's Dick Tracy, with artwork by Flash Gordon's Alex Raymond, Secret Agent X-9 ran from January 1934 to late 1935.
Artist Alex Raymond was a busy man in the early days of the X-9 strip. He was producing three strips: X-9 on a daily basis, and Flash Gordon Sunday with a Jungle Jim topper.
Hammett's authorship of X-9 was ended in 1935. Raymond is said to have temporarily filled the gap until another famous mystery writer, Leslie Charteris briefly took over the scenario. Then, Raymond too, left the strip to concentrate of his classic Flash Gordon. He was to create still another strip, Rip Kirby, after returning from his stint in the marines during WWII. All but Jungle Jim are still in production today.
The stark, stirring drama, grim humor and baffling mystery made Hammett's detective novels favorites of all America. The added thrill of SEEING the story in PICTURES bring readers the action with vivid, gripping realism.