Monday, July 19, 2021

The Killers of Kurdistan, Part 1: The Handker-Chiefs

I am inspired by recent events, including Dusty's monogrammed handkerchief, to pay a visit with the most iconic, interesting, and long-lasting character in Detective Comics #27: SPEED SAUNDERS, Ace Investigator.

Why does his logo use two colors? Shut up, you, who are YOU to question the branding of SPEED SAUNDERS?! Silence, lest the Killers of Kurdistan come for you, as well!

What is an "Ace Investigator" and why is Speed Saunders one, you ask? Well, as previously mentioned and  independently confirmed, Speed Saunders is an Ace Investigator because, like the Ace in a suit of cards, he outranks every other card, no questions asked. As in this scene where he pulls up to a cop and impatiently demands a report.

Yeah, that's right, flatfoot: MISTER Saunders to you.

In classic Golden Age overkill, the corpse was strangled, tied up, and thrown into the river before being fished out

"How dare you present me with a corpse in this condition, officer! Do you know who I am?"

That's not lipstick on the corpse's collar; it's very much NOT lipstick, as we shall learn later. He's been strangled with a jaunty little scarf, inscribed with a red crescent moon DELIGHTFULLY echoed by his adorable little red Pug tongue. I love Golden Age art.

"Decorative handker-chiefs interest me, whereas you are merely stolid and tedious.  I must away, not to any mere branch library, but the Metropolitan one, because branch libraries do not merit visits from Speed Saunders."

It's obviously the middle of the night, but that poses no obstacle, since libraries, even Metropolitan ones, simply open their doors at the sight of Speed Saunders. There, among the priceless portfolios of parasols and encyclopedias of ancient Etruscan snoods, he curls up with some bound volumes of the quarterly reviews of the Decorative Handker-Chiefs Journal.

When Speed Saunders wonders whether something is at all possible, it becomes possible, because such is his ontological and epistemological puissance that Speed Saunders is ipso facto Sufficient Cause.  And if he thinks about something long enough it starts to become Increasingly Likely.

Naturally, telephony cannot convey the magical authority of Speed Saunder's voice, so he must drop in on people directly in order to question them, including Eastern Lore Expert, Mr. Trelawney.


Trelawney is trés fawny and falls all over himself making sure everyone knows HEY SPEED SAUNDERS SHOWED UP AT MY PARTY BECAUSE WE ARE FRIENDS HEH YEAH THAT'S RIGHT.


Meanwhile, Speed, being an Ace Investigator and star of Detective Comics, notices the red crescents on a woman's dress:

Yes. Well.
It would be kind of hard not to notice, wouldn't it? 
I wouldn't be surprised if they light up. The red crescents, I mean.

The woman, whose name I must assume is Rhett Croissante, is so overcome by the very presence of Speed Saunders that she spontaneously generates a big honking clue out of thin air, which Speed then uses to confront ... 

not her but Trelawney, apparently directly tesseracting through space-time to do so, because as a godlike fifth-dimensional being Speed Saunders has no patience for your petty fourth dimensional limitations.

"Trelawney, I suspect you of providing medical assistance to the Ottoman Empire!"

I imagine Speed Saunders simply startling most people into confessions by just suddenly APPEARING in front them with no preface, silent shoving some clue in their face, like the Phantom Stranger's More Judgemental Younger Brother.  But who I am to question the deductive process of the star of Detective Comics

Anyway, Speed goes to beard the Trelawney in his den:

"Don't be stupid, Trelawney, I'm The Goddam Speed Saunders, of course I've heard of the Kurdistan Killers. In fact, before they even cut their first album, I saw them open for The Flips at the Clarkson Benefit Concert."

Tomorrow: Trelawney's... ... *snort*... "friend".


John C said...

So, when Trelawney introduces Speed, so we think that he pulled the "fake yawn-and-stretch" trick to get his hand on Speed's shoulder?

Anyway, maybe the scribbly line between red crescent hankie panels (or "the hankie pankels") isn't a printing defect, but a tiny encrypted notation that Speed uses to explain why he didn't consider the possibility that the woman who only owns copies of the murder weapon might have something to do with the murder. It's probably exactly like the JJSA codes, except that when you set the dial to "Speed Saunders," it just gives you the phone number for the Black Chamber and bursts into flames.

Bryan L said...

Huh. What if Speed was actually a 5th dimensional imp, Mr. Spdsndrs. Rather than tormenting Superman, Mr. Spdsndrs chooses to amuse himself by solving murders. So to him, Earth is basically a giant murder mystery dinner theater. It would explain a lot, not the least of which is why hapless Earthlings are compelled to call him MISTER Spdsndrs. You can't expect Mr. Spdsndrs to waste his time walking across the room like a lesser creature, so he shortcuts things.

C'mon. If you could, you know you would wander around the 30s in fabulous clothes, attending cocktail parties, and occasionally solving crimes.

John C said...

Oh, and I propose that the multi-colored logo is the proper spelling of his name, his father presumably being old enough to have been raised with Solresol as his native language. So, if "Speed" isn't intoned as an A-note and "Saunders" as C, you've got his name wrong.

(Also, typo in my first comment, should be "do we think...," of course.)