Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Speed Saunders: The Grogan Case

 MEANWHILE, in Detective Comics #19:

Not to be confused with the SMILER Grogan Case.

For some reason, the Smiler Grogan Case is filed under "W".

It begins with that most unseemly of locations: a bodega on the Lower East Side.

Look, Speed doesn't have TIME for you to figure out the plot, so it's front-loaded in exposition.  AND MAKE IT SNAPPY!

Our rushed Runyonesques may be rough-hewn, but nothing seems amiss.

<William Dozier voice>: "Or DOES it?! What's THIS?!"

"C-c-cash? I'm sorry, did you forget your phone or your credit card?  I...I am not sure what to do with th is, how was it called.... 'bill'."  Okay, you got me, this is 1937 and people still recognized paper currency.  The clerk's hesitance is because the bill seems... DUBIOUS.

This is Dave "High Dudgeon" Grogan, Smiler's much touchier cousin.

The customer (he's the Grogan the case is named after) is peeved and who can blame him?  If you were wearing a hat two sizes too small shoved onto you enormous cranium like Sam Simeon, you'd be crabby too.  But Papa Bodega is quick on the uptake and takes the safe course:

"I apologize, sir; it just took me by surprise because counterfeiters seldom have such bold fashion sense."

SO, someone is trying to get rich quick using phony sawbucks, eh?  Naturally, Papa Bodega immediately contacts


"Yes, 'at once'. you ninny, it's Speed Saunders, everything must be done IMMEDIATELY."

My first reaction is: really? I'm not surprised Papa Bodega knows Speed Saunders, because EVERYONE knows Speed Saunders.Speed Saunders, finder of corpses, locator of giant jewels, savior of rare Oriental artifacts, and scourge of middle eastern death cults.  But this is who you need to deal with your fake ten-spot?  Still, it's hard to gainsay, since, as an Ace Investigator, Speed's purview and authority are universal.  Tear that tag off that mattress and you may find yourself taking the Big Sleep after Speed exposes you and pumps you full of lead five pages later.

And, sure enough, Speed does show up, no doubt tessaracting immediately to the scene, in the interest of time.

I think this caption provides the key, not to this story, but to Speed Saunders AS A WHOLE.  It's a mistake to think of Speed Saunders as a PERSON.  He's more like an instantiation of the CONCEPT of law enforcement.  This is why his authority is recognized and accepted everywhere and why he outranks any OTHER authority figure he encounters: he is not AN authority figure, he is The Figure of Authority.  A sort of "Speed Force", as it were, because Justice is swift.

And terribly dressed.

Papa Bodega lays out the case:

In all seriousness, it's important to remember that ten dollars had a lot more purchasing power in 1937.  Online inflation calculators put the value at some $217 in 2024 dollars, which is... insane, because who buys some cigarettes with two $100 bills?!

Naturally, Speed Saunders is way ahead of Papa Bodega because Speed Saunders is way ahead OF EVERYONE.

Speed Fact: Speed's hat is actually a powerful mobile anti-crime computer, feeding such information directly into his brain and empowered by the sheet circuitry visibly woven into his purple Glenurquhart check suit).  You don't want to know what the tie does.

Speed already knows who the criminal is and exactly where he can be found because that simply SAVES TIME.  He's the Vernon "Hinesy" Hines of law enforcement.

They even dress the same.

Tomorrow we'll visit The Bantam Club because

Speed is already there.  Way ahead of us.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

April 25, 2024

 We gather today to say good-bye to




Today is the day he disappears from the CW universe. 

Trapped forever in the otherworldly dimension called "Broadway".

Fortunately, in the DCU Proper Barry hasn't disappeared!

Oh, wait....

He kind of has. Into DCU's upstate farm of "the multiverse".

He's not DEAD (any more).  But recently the forces for Wally-nostalgia have won out, and, in the DCU's most recent multiversal soft reboot,  "The Flash" title (both the name and the series) have (once again) gone to Wally West.  And his wife and his kids and some girl in China and Max Mercury and (*snort*) "Inspector Pilgrim" and Impulse and (<eyeroll>) Ickto, and the Linear Men and a whole lot of other nonsense being spewed by some writer (Si Spurrier) who CLEARLY read (and worshipped) too much Grant Morrison in their youth.

"What?" indeed.

Thanks for whatever that is, 
Lovecraft-lover who wants to write The Doom Patrol.

Hermes save me from writers with a Kirby-pun fetish.
"This trade" is one no sane person will be buying in the future (which you have erased).

But even in literary world lousy with speedsters,

Somebody needs to outlaw new speedsters.
I mean, someone in OUR world, not Amanda Waller, who for the first time in my life, I agree with.

two things remain constant.

Wally's always in over his head, and...

Barry's going to have to save him AND the day.