Saturday, August 19, 2023

The Glass of Poison, Part 3: Java Jive

Having Seen The Body and Alerted the Authorities, proceeds to dictate reality to the Lesser Beings.

Yeah, McGonigle, you're an idiot, and that's not your job.  I mean, who wears THAT to commit suicide and drinks prussic acid from a CHAMPAGNE GLASS?

You know what else leaves the odor of bitter almonds on your breath, Speed?  An Amaretto Sour, an Almond Negroni, an Alabama Slammer, or any of the host of cocktails you'd make with orgeat syrup or amaretto.  Sure, it would be a little odd to be drinking any of those from a champagne glass, but NOT AS ODD AS PRUSSIC ACID.

"Your petty administrative procedures do not concern me, CLYDE.  Just do as I say while Saunders-Girl  and I capture the MURDERER, you cigar-chomping clod."


Is the Speedmobile, which has always been a hard-top, a convertible now? Must be a nice night and Speed simply WILLED it to be a convertible.

A-ha! They are off to confront BETTINI. 

Wait, who's Bettini?

Editor's Note: this scene has been rendered in sepia tone to indicate a flashback!

Oh, right; the gangster who is the Prime Suspect.  Carry on, then.  You know, without six months of previews, vlogged rumors, promos, a 24-issue arc and a company-wide crossover, it can be a little hard to keep pace with these old Golden Age stories.  

Rather than use the door, Speed travels via his shadow-form with Saunders-Girl (we can't keep calling her "Betty"; it's too confusing, what with them saying "Bettini" in every sentence now) so as to easily pass through walls and windows.


The gangster Big Shot Bettini appears to be some sort of educated missing link creature or a relative of that caveman of song and story, Alley Oop.

Which, believe it or not, is STILL BEING PUBLISHED.

I'm afraid I find it difficult to trust you, Mister Oxmyx.

I assume what Fred Guardineer was going for here was a Sheldon Leonard type, a "Runyonesque" character; the over-obvious thug with pretensions who uses elevated language to disguise his unseemly origins.

"Will this take long?  I've a corn-rowing at the Ancestral Strands Salon in an hour and I'm loathe to no-show, being that appointments are so deucedly hard to obtain."

I love how Speed asserts "I'M ON MY OWN" while Saunders-Girl is standing RIGHT beside him. Apparently Useful Female Informants don't count as people, even when they are the ones holding a gun on the villain.

What Speed means is the Lesser Authorities are not aware of his visit, which is not on their authority; this is hilarious for two reasons. First, Speed needing the police's, or anyone else's, authority is laughable since Speed in the very instantiation of the Platonic Idea of "Authority".  Speed SWEATS authority, or he WOULD, if he ever sweat (and if he did, the LAST thing Speed would sweat would be... authority).  Second, he specifically told Clyde Homicidedivision what he was going to do just five panels earlier (no flashback here, just arrow up if you need to see it again).

There are SO many things going on here, and I don't know what ANY of them are.

 Tomorrow we'll see what amazing discoveries come out of Speed's fisting Bettini's wastebasket.


Anonymous said...

There's something about Speed Saunders that reminds me of kids playing with action figures. Like there are a couple kids in that dirt pile from all those G.I. Joe commercials, but they're playing with Speed Saunders action figures, cutting to the chase at every turn.

- HJF1

Scipio said...

It's has a freneticism that smacks of improv, and even though there is ALWAYS a goal (The Speedsplanation of the one piece of information that is the hook of the story), it never FEELS like it's aiming at some logical conclusion. It's easy to make fun of, but the rapid, idiosyncratic writing keeps you off-balance so that you NEVER figure out the solution before Speed does, making him seem amazing every time.

Bryan L said...

One fashion note: Speed has an orange fedora, a purple checked suit, and a black-and-red striped tie. I'm surprised Bettini didn't glaze over and pass out from sensory overload. Saunders-girl is a creation of Speed's via his personal reality singularity, and is thus unaffected by the dizzying display.

Bryan L said...

And I guess I'll need to do some research, but I don't remember Alley Oop wearing board shorts. I thought he was a loincloth kind of guy.