The Fox is a crime fighter that appeared in issues #4-22 of the Golden Age title Blue Ribbon Comics. The Fox is part of the MLJ group of characters that includes the Archie franchise and was drawn by Irwin Hasen. Make note of that name because it will show up again associated with another famous comic character.
Debuting June 1940 in Blue Ribbon #4, the Fox appeared about a year or so after Batman and Superman were published. Their popularity spawned countless imitations throughout the industry both good and bad. While Batman was actually partly inspired by other characters the detective soon pulled out ahead of the pack and served as inspiration for others. Indeed, The Fox contains many elements that are similar to his contemporaries. The character and his settings are a blend of Superman and Batman, though it leans more toward the Dark Knight than the Boy Scout. But where millionaire Bruce Wayne became the Batman as the result of an omen, shutterbug Paul Patton became the Fox after listening to a catchy tune on the radio.
sans cape and utility belt. The only tool the Fox employs other than his quick wits and fists is a belt that contains a camera.
If some comic book fans are thinking that the Fox looks very similar to another Golden Age hero other than Batman then they would be correct. Artist Irwin Hasen teamed up with Bill Finger to create the Wildcat, who appeared in Sensation Comics #1 in January 1942. The Fox last appeared in the Golden Age in March of the same year. While the Wildcat is a DC Comics legacy character that is a mainstay of the line even today the Fox made only a few Modern Age appearances and has mostly been consigned to comic book limbo.
Here is a story from his last appearance in Blue Ribbon Comics #22 from March 1942. The obvious comparisons to other heroes aside the Fox would often have stories that were suitably noir if shallowly written to be complete in four pages. This story about theft and serial murders is pretty horrific. Though the story contains an Asian who is depicted as a 1940s stereotype in appearance, what is unusual for the era is that the villain speaks perfect colloquial English without the offensive literary device of transposing the L's and R's. There is no spy-busting involved in the story which was also pretty rare for the time.