Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The Glass of Poison, Part Six; ALMOST too late, I guess!

We left Speed and Saunders-Girl yesterdayin a Lacquer Lake cabin, at the mercy of "Big Shot" Bettini, unproved murderer of author Philippa Rowen. Ever-polite Bettini makes a oddly highlighted offer to Speed...

In all the zillions of comics I have read, this is literally the ONLY time I have ever seen text in a word balloon highlighted in this fashion.  Whatever innovation you imagine, it was probably done first in a Golden Age comic you just haven't seen it yet.


Suspicious of the highlighting, Speed, realizing that time is of the essence and determined not to be Too Late again, takes the liberty of SKIPPING VOWELS to get to the point.


NOW Speed has all the evidence he needs, so all HECK breaks loose!

Speeds distracts the villains by trapping them inside an enforced choreographic reproduction of Pablo Picasso's recently painted Guernica, NOW IN COLOR!

Bettini is the Bull; I think Speed is the Horse.
Red-stripe guy is the Floaty Face.

In the scuffle, Speeds takes advantage of his superior knowledge of contemporary art (gleaned no doubt from book in the Metropolitan Library or under the tutelage of his cousin, Slow Saunders, Ace Art Restorationist), to (somehow) regain his pistol and control of the situation...

just in time for the arrival of FRANK, the Safety Patrolman whom he earlier engaged as backup.

"You are worthless, Frank.  If it weren't for my weird fetish for burly strong-jawed mustachioed authority figures in leather sashes, I'd shoot you right now on the spot."

Speed remands the villains into Hank's strong, if tardy, hands, and prepares to be asked for: THE SPEEDSPLANATION!

Betty knows she has ONE job in this strip. It's STUPID, but she's going to do it.


makes sense. Like, completely.  

I mean, it's still unclear just how Bettini casually visited Phillippa Rowen and convinced the woman poised to destroy his reputation utterly to have a drink and a cigarette with him, but... it's 1938.  People didn't do ANYTHING without having a drink and a cigarette.  

But for a Speed Saunders plot it makes a SHOCKING amount of sense.  And we were actually given all the clues we needed to figure it out.  Lipstick on the body but not on the glass; Speed insisting that the glass be siphoned not poured (lest the LACK of lip marks be obscured by pouring). Sure, it would have been fairer if you'd seen an ashtray (not the used cigarette, which Bettini surely took with him) with the body, but, again, it's 1938; there's an ashtray EVERYWHERE.

Speed fooled us all by giving us a pretty fair chance of solving the mystery. Speed always wins.


Anonymous said...

Speed should investigate the death of Billie Joe McAllister. A lot of people think IT WAS MURDER!!

Bryan L said...

Saunders-girl is no lightweight. She's disarming Tommy Gun Thug while administering a left cross. In her evening clothes. When Speed summons a girlfriend into existence, he doesn't mess around.

Anonymous said...

The Guernica connection is inspired. That is all.

- HJF1

Scipio said...

" She's disarming Tommy Gun Thug while administering a left cross. "

Don't **** with gypsies.