Monday, August 21, 2023

The Glass of Poison, Part Five: Speed Arrives Too Late and Just In Time

As we anticipated, Speeds arrives too late (as in tardy) to save Betty Palmer, confidant of Speed's late (as in dead) downstairs neighbor, author Phillippa Rowen, from being kidnapped by gangster "Big Shot" Bettini.

That panel belongs in a gallery. If Roy Lichenstein had ever encountered a Speed Saunders comic, we would live in a very different world indeed.

With characteristic Golden Age respect for saving shoe leather, we smash-cut right to Speed speeding away in the Speedmobile, which he somehow recovered after taking a subway and a taxi to Betty's place.

"I do wish Cousin Slow had gotten around to putting the top back on the car, for it is often cold there by Lacquer Lake!"

Why does Speed know that Bettini has a cabin on Lacquer Lake? Because it saves time, of course. Once he arrives at Lacquer Lake via swift traveling, he uses one of his special powers: conjuring a mustachioed mono-syllabically-named Safety Patrol officer as back up.

I envision this scene as performance utterance.  It isn't that Hank is there which causes Speed to speak. It is Speed's speaking that happens first, causing Hank to be there. It's how Speed creates the world; before his promotion to Ace Investigator, he was
 יהוה .

Speeds deduces (decides, really) that Betty is in Bettini's cabin because the lights are on. 

But, Speed, what if the lights are on but nobody's home? That would be pretty on point for a Speed Saunders' foe.

Just in time to save Betty from the old Injury To The Eye Motif, Speed arrives at the cabin... 

ot bad, Speed. "Up with 'em, Bettini" ALMOST sounds like English.

where Bettini is playing "poke her" with some friends and hoping Betty folds rather than call his bluff. Then Speed closes the case by arresting Bettini for murder against the background of the world's largest piece of red velvet cake.

Have you deduced yet why Speed had Phillippa's champagne glass SIPHONED empty of its contents, rather than poured out? There's still time.

Oops! Speed's arrest is cut short when one of Big Shot Bettini's goon gets the drop on him with a Tommy gun.

"And don't try none of that fancy Face o' Judgement crap on me, neither. Keep yer mug right where it is."

Bettini 'oh-ho-ho's condescendingly at Speed, still affecting a gentlemanly air that contrasts with his pug-ugly puss.

You can tell he's a bad guy because he's smoking a cigarette.  Good guys only smoke teeny pipes.

 Tomorrow: Speed is tommy-gunned to death and the torture of Betty resumes. Perhaps.


Anonymous said...

I just can’t stop thinking of that wall that’s made of red velvet cake.

Mmm. Red velvet cake.

If this was Zatara or Ibis or Sargon or the Spectre, the hero would summon a monster from Lacquer Lake, a monster that eats red velvet cake! Awake, O monster, awake! Eat the walls of red velvet cake! And save Speed Saunders for Betty’s sake!

- Hoosier X

Bryan L said...

I think Bettini and Norman Osborne go to the same barber.