"Speed Saunders: "The Glass of Poison"": Speed Saunders was sitting down in his home, at midnight, reading an issue of Detective Comics when Betty Palmer came in and informed him that her boss, Phillipa Rowen, had been killed after writing too much information


Quote1.png Something big's doin'! -- I can sense that all right! But I seem to be gettin' dense. So tell me, -- slowly of course, -- just what is in the wind? Quote2.png
Slam Bradley

Detective Comics #21 is an issue of the series Detective Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of November, 1938.

Appearing in Speed Saunders: "The Glass of Poison"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Big Shot Bettini (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Betty Palmer (Single appearance)
  • Phillipa Rowen (Appears only as a corpse)

Locations:

Synopsis for Speed Saunders: "The Glass of Poison"

Speed Saunders was sitting down in his home, at midnight, reading an issue of Detective Comics when Betty Palmer came in and informed him that her boss, Phillipa Rowen, had been killed after writing too much information that could expose gangsters. Speed and Betty went downstairs and found Phillipa's corpse. Speed deduced that Phillipa had been poisoned. He spotted a glass that he believed may have poisoned Phillipa. Speed phoned Clyde from the New York City Police Department and asked them to send a man to take a chemical report. Betty insisted that the police will assume that it was a suicide due to the presence of a glass of poison next to a dead body.

When Clyde arrived at the crime scene, Clyde announced that he was going to report Phillipa's death as a suicide. Speed advised Clyde to not pour liquor from the glass and to siphon it out instead. Speed decided to go after the murderer with Betty. In order to prove that Phillipa was murdered, Speed drove them to the residence of Big Shot Bettini. Betty claimed that she saw Bettini threaten Phillipa. When Speed and Betty encountered Bettini, they informed him that Phillipa Rowen was dead. Bettini denied any involvement in Phillipa's death. However, Speed threatened to kill the gangster if he made a move. Betty pointed a gun at Bettini while Speed searched the gangster's home for evidence. No poison was found; however, Speed found a book on poisons with the chapter on Prussic acid underlined. Speed came back to Betty and insisted that they leave as he believed that Bettini was innocent. As they drove away, Betty still believed that Bettini was, in fact, the murderer of Phillipa. When they arrived at Betty's apartment, she insisted that Speed stayed with her for the night.

The next morning, Speed was reading a newspaper on the way to work and found an article that said only Phillipa and Betty knew of Bettini's hiding place. This worried Speed as he believed that this could get Betty killed. Speed got into a taxi and went to Betty's apartment, in which she was gone from. Speed believed that Bettini could have taken Betty to his cabin on Lacquer Lake.

Speed arrived at Lacquer Lake, where he found Bettini and his men torturing Betty. Speed attempted to arrest Bettini for the murder of Phillipa Rowen, but as he tried to arrest him, a gunman came from behind and pointed his gun at the detective. Bettini offered Speed a cigarette. Then, Speed dropped the cigarette and punched Bettini in the face, starting a fight until the state trooper arrived. Speed ordered the state trooper to arrest Bettini and his men and that he had evidence tying the gangster to the murder of Phillipa Rowen. Speed explained that Phillipa didn't drink from the poisoned glass and that she inhaled the Prussic acid in the glass, which kills when inhaled; he also revealed that the cigarette that Bettini offered him was also poisoned with Prussic acid.

Appearing in Larry Steele: "The Accident Racket"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Tony Hayworth (Single appearance)
  • Doctor Avery (Single appearance)
  • Colby (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Paula (Single appearance)
  • Tom Harrison (Single appearance)

Synopsis for Larry Steele: "The Accident Racket"

Larry Steele was sitting down, smoking from his pipe when his friend, Paula, came in and told him that she was in a "terrible jam". Paula explained that two weeks earlier, she was driving home from a cocktail party on a wet road and accidentally hit a man who had stepped in front of her car. She added that she was not intoxicated and that the roads were slippery, but she could not avoid the man, and that she attempted to help the man, but another driver was already helping him. The other driver was a doctor and attempted to turn her into the police for driving under the influence. Larry commented that Paula should have contacted her own doctor, but she said that she didn't because she was afraid that she may get charged for drunk driving. Paula said that two days after the incident, Tony Hayworth, an infamous bail bond broker, called her. She deduced that Hayworth and Avery, the doctor, are attempting to blackmail her.

The next day, Larry drove to visit Tom Harrison, the man who had been hit by Paula's car two weeks prior. When Larry arrived at the door, a woman appeared and informed him that Tom Harrison had relocated. Larry arrived at Harrison's new residence and found that he had been crippled. With Harrison, was a man named Colby. Later, Colby phoned Hayworth and asked him when he was going to get paid. Some time later, Larry a call to Doctor Avery, posing as Colby, claiming that Hayworth had another job for the two of them. Next, Larry called Paula and told her that she didn't need to worry anymore. Later, Larry came to the chief of police and asked him to come with him to help him expose a blackmailing racket. Larry and the chief arrived outside the office of Tony Hayworth, who was talking to Dr. Avery inside. After Larry and the chief overheard Hayworth and Avery's conversation, the two policemen came in and arrested Hayworth and Avery. Larry left the two criminals in the hands of the chief while the former left to inform Paula that Hayworth and Avery have been arrested. Next, Larry and Paula shared a kiss.

Appearing in Buck Marshall: "Bullet Trap"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Pepper
  • Sheriff

Antagonists:

  • Deputy (Single appearance)
  • "The Mexican"/"Mex" (Only appearance; dies)
  • Smythe (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Lank Devitt (Single appearance)
  • Doctor (Single appearance)

Locations:

Synopsis for Buck Marshall: "Bullet Trap"

Buck Marshall was riding on his bronco along a trail that lead to the Rio Grande. He spotted a stage coach nearby that was being held at gunpoint by a criminal. Buck intervened and stopped the criminal. The sheriff ordered his deputy to put the criminal on the stage coach, so that he could be executed later. Buck and the deputy deduced that the criminal may be affiliated with a gang.

Buck went to the sheriff's office in hopes of talking to the criminal. Suddenly, the doctor entered the office and informed them that the criminal had escaped. After a brief examination, Buck deduced that somebody helped the criminal escape. Buck decided to follow the tracks with Pepper. Suddenly, Pepper stopped and Buck got off of the horse to see that they had found the criminal dead. Buck learned that the criminal's gun was still fully-loaded. Next, he climbed up a steep bank. Suddenly, a man who was hiding behind some bushes shot a gun at Buck, causing him to fall down.

Several hours later, a man named Lank Devitt found Buck's unconscious body and took him to a cabin. Lank informed him that he had been unconscious for two days and insisted that Buck rested until he recovered from his injuries. Suddenly, Buck heard a voice outside telling a man named Smythe and Lank about a planned heist, who threatened to burn down the cabin unless he joined them. After Smythe and the unidentified man had left, Buck asked Lank about the man, but Lank responded that the man who threatened him wore a mask and that he did not know his identity. Buck left and rode for the sheriff's office and told him to be near the bank in thirty minutes. Later, Buck arrived at the bank and found that the deputy was holding the bank teller at gunpoint and was the one who threatened Lank. Buck fought the deputy and defeated him. Afterwards, Buck and the sheriff brought Smythe and the deputy to justice.

Appearing in Bart Regan, Spy: "The Affair of Baron Von Huldorf"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters

  • U.S. Spy Service Chief

Antagonists:

  • Ambassador to Bataria (Single appearance)
  • Baron von Huldorf (Single appearance)
  • Lorenzo Rica (Single appearance)

Synopsis for Bart Regan, Spy: "The Affair of Baron Von Huldorf"

At the headquarters of the U.S. Spy Service, the Chief informed Bart and Sally that the Baron von Huldorf was arriving from his native country to work at the Batarian embassy. The chief ordered the two to feed non-essential information to the Baron, but at the same time, prevent him from stealing anything valuable.

Bart and Sally met with the Baron von Huldorf at the pier and offered to show him through the city. The Baron recorded what he saw as the two spies showed him the new coastal defenses, the X-RM mystery plane, and a doll factory that had been turned into a munitions works. The Baron spotted a laboratory and asked what it was. Bart insisted that there were other things to see in the city and insisted that he couldn't tell him about the building. The Baron, however, decided to enter the laboratory, despite Bart's objections. Bart grabbed the Baron and ordered him to drive away. As the Baron drove away, he told Bart that he would see him again.

Later at the Batarian embassy, the Baron was talking to a man who offered to sell America's secrets to him. That evening, the two ambassadors entered the laboratory and were met by a muddy water trap. Von Huldorf and the other ambassador realized that they had been tricked. The next day, the newspapers read that the Baron von Huldorf had returned to Bataria due to him being "homesick." In reality, this was due to Bart and Sally delivering a blow to his pride with the muddy water trap. Meanwhile, Lorenzo Rica, an international spy was reading about the Baron leaving America and learned that Bart and Sally were behind it. Rica decided to go after the two spies.

Later, Bart and Sally were given two weeks of vacation. As the walked out of the office, Rica fired a gun at them, but missed. The two got on the ground and Rica fled. The two spies entered their car and decided to pursue Rica and as they drove, they realized that their brakes didn't work. Their car stopped when it crashed into a fire hydrant. Bart suspected that whoever tried to shoot them also sabotaged their brakes. Meanwhile, Rica was inside of Bart's apartment, waiting for him and Sally to enter . When Bart and Sally arrived, Rica pointed his gun at them and informed them that he wanted to kill them because that they were interfering in too many plots against America. Rica attempted to shoot Bart, but missed. Bart, then took out his belt and used it to grab Rica's arm, interfering with his aim. Next, Bart and Sally punched Rica, defeating him.

Later at the headquarters, the chief applauded Sally and Bart for getting rid of both Von Huldorf and Rica.

Appearing in "The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu"

Featured Characters:

  • Denis Nayland Smith

Supporting Characters:

  • Dr. Petrie

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Inspector Weymouth (First appearance)
  • Detective Cadby (Appears only as a corpse)
  • Sir Crichton Davey (Flashback only)

Locations:

Synopsis for "The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu"

Smith and Petrie were reading a newspaper when the former received a call from Inspector Weymouth of Scotland Yard. Next, the two went to Wapping River Police Station to meet Weymouth. When, Smith and Petrie arrived at the police station, they saw Weymouth looking over Detective Cadby's corpse. Petrie pointed out that fingers on Cadby's corpse were the same as Detective Mason's a week earlier. The three men believed that Fu Manchu may be behind the killings. Next, Weymouth sent Petrie and Smith to Cadby's residence. When they arrived at the residence, they informed Cadby's landlady that he had died. The landlady allowed them to enter the house.

Appearing in Bruce Nelson: "The Song of Death (Part II)"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Mrs. Warren (First appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Ned Renick
  • Billie Bryson
  • Opal Jackson
  • Johnny Purvis (Mentioned only)
  • Great Zambini (Mentioned only)
  • Holly Lawson (Mentioned only)
  • Lola Maine (Mentioned only)

Synopsis for Bruce Nelson: "The Song of Death (Part II)"

Bruce Nelson and Billie Nelson were standing together when somebody suddenly cut a rope holding a sandbag, causing it to fall. The sandbag would have hit Bruce if Billie did not push him out of the way. After Bruce was nearly hit by a sandbag, Renick approached them and was told that somebody may be trying to kill him. Billie implied that Zambini may have been the one who attempted to kill Bruce as she recalled that he swore revenge on him for delivering a punch. Bruce told Renick that he would look through Holly Lawson's and Lola Maine's dressing rooms. Renick pointed out that both women occupied the same room before they died. When Bruce and Renick entered the dressing room, the former discovered an exposed door inside, which the former said lead to the wardrobe department. Renick told Bruce that the head of the wardrobe department was Mrs. Warren and that their personal maid was Opal Jackson. Renick brought Opal to Bruce, who learned from her that Johnny Purvis had brought supper for both of them on the nights that they were poisoned. and that a Western Union boy came in with a telegram for Lola. Next, Renick brought Mrs. Warren to Bruce for questioning. Mrs. Warren gave Bruce a pin that resembled the one that he found under the cut rope that held the sandbag from earlier. Mrs. Warren also gave Bruce a book that belonged to one of the victims. Bruce asked Renick to ask Zambini if any of his knives were missing, which they later learned none of them were. Next, Bruce offered to take Billie to dinner. Later, at the police headquarters, Bruce learned that it was Mrs. Warren who tried to drop the sandbag on Bruce earlier.

Appearing in The Crimson Avenger: "Mystery at the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Miller (Single appearance)
  • Grave Robbers (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Ann Stevens (Single appearance)
  • Charlie (Single appearance)
  • Johnny (Single appearance)
  • Slug (Appears only as a corpse)

Locations:

  • New York City
    • Globe Leader, newspaper office
    • Mt. Pleasant Cemetery

Synopsis for The Crimson Avenger: "Mystery at the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery"

A newspaper article read that Mt. Pleasant Cemetery had been looted by thieves. Meanwhile, Lee Travis told one of his employees that he had offered a $100 reward for anybody with information on the grave robbers. Ann Stevens, an employee at the Globe-Leader, told Lee that there was a man named Miller there to talk to him. Lee responded that he had no time to talk with Miller and that he was hungry and wanted to eat with her.

Lee and Ann walked along the sidewalk and noticed that they were being tailed by a man. The two hid behind a corner and waited for the man before Lee attacked him. The man told Lee and Ann that he was Miller and that he had information on the grave robberies. Lee took Miller with him and Ann to an Italian restaurant. Miller said that he would not tell anything to Lee until he got paid. Suddenly, Charlie came with money for Miller, but Lee told him to not give the money until he finished checking on something. Lee made a phone call and called Wing, asking him to bring the car, mask, and cape to 1st and Water St. Miller received his money and told Lee that a bank robber named Slug was killed in a gang war and was buried at Mt. Pleasant with $50,000 with him and that grave robbers would come to his grave later that night. Lee wanted Miller to come with him to prove that the money was there, but the latter protested as he believed that the grave robbers would kill him and stormed off. Lee ordered Charlie to go back to the office and also ordered Ann to go home and that he would confront the grave robbers on his own. Suddenly, Wing pulled up in his car and informed him that he had caught Miller trying to run away. Wing drove them to the cemetery as Lee held Miller at gunpoint. But on the way, Miller jumped out of the car. Lee also got out and ordered Wing to take the car back home.

At the graveyard, grave robbers had already started to dig up Slug's grave. Lee, as the Crimson Avenger, came out of hiding, sprayed the looters, and tied them up, leaving them for the police. The police arrived and attempted to pursue the Crimson Avenger, put he escaped with the help of his gas gun. Next, the police took the criminals into custody.

Appearing in Steve Malone: "The Pigeon Smugglers"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters

  • Police Officer

Antagonists:

  • Ferrini's gang (Final appearance)
  • Luigi Ferrini (Final appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Jeanne
  • Big Jim

Synopsis for Steve Malone: "The Pigeon Smugglers"

After Steve had defeated the Ferrini gang, Jeanne insisted that he took a vacation. Suddenly, Steve received a phone call and informed that Big Jim's body was floating in the river. Steve, however, did not know the identity of the caller. Steve and Jeanne went to the river where they found, Big Jim, who had contributed to the fall of the Ferrini gang, shot, apparently dead, laying on a log on the river. Steve jumped into the river to recover Jim's body. Jim regained consciousness and mentioned an opium den on Pell Street before losing consciousness again. Next, Steve rode a taxi to Pell Street where the opium den was. Steve paid money to enter the opium den, giving him the opportunity to investigate the building. When Steve arrived on the rooftop, he found that somebody had been using messenger pigeons. Suddenly, a man came in, prompting Steve to hide. A pigeon flew into the man's hands with a package. The man went to a room where Ferrini's men were discussing their boss' imprisonment as Steve overheard their conversation. Lee saw the gangsters load the pigeons into a boat and followed them inside. Suddenly, some policemen came to investigate the criminals' boat. The policeman found nothing incriminating on the criminals, but Steve suddenly emerged and attempted to arrest the gangsters, but was thrown into the water. As Steve was in the water, he grabbed onto the exhaust pipe, stopping the motor. Then, he climbed back into the boat and took the smugglers by surprise, arresting them. The criminals were later taken to prison and Steve and Jeanne visited Jim by his bedside.

Appearing in Slam Bradley: "Seth and the Slave Ring"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Seth (Only appearance; dies)
  • Hassan (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Kathos (Single appearance)
  • Lord Atherton (Single appearance)

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • passenger steamship

Synopsis for Slam Bradley: "Seth and the Slave Ring"

In the Royalty Penthouse Suite of a top-tier hotel, Slam Bradley, blindfolded, throws a dagger at a map of the world, randomly selecting a destination, which turns out to be Egypt. Slam and his partner Shorty Morgan are checking out and traveling, to the great dismay of the hotel manager, who had also got quite a fright during that knife-throwing stunt. Slam and Shorty have run through their last $10,000 in the past week, and now must go get a new pile of money.

Their voyage to Cairo takes over a week. Slam and Shorty have both been to Cairo before, in fact, a loitering Arab gangster recognizes Slam, and sends a colleague to warn their boss (Seth, the Slave Trafficker) that his old enemy is back in town. Seth sends two knife-wielders to jump Slam and Shorty, in an alley, but they just get punched out. Wait, there's a third knife-man behind Slam, wait, a fourth Arab, in a business suit and a fez (Kathos), gets behind the knife-man and strangles him with a cord. The police are on their way, so Kathos leads Slam and Shorty to a good hiding place, from which they see one of the knocked-out assassins regain his wits, and swallow a pellet, then die in shrieking, foaming agony. Kathos then leads them to the British Embassy, where the Consul turns out to be Slam's old pal, Lord Atherton, for whom he's done a number of delicate jobs, incognito.

It turns out that their mutual old enemy Seth, despite being driven out of the drug trade and seemingly killed, is back in Cairo, and can't be found by Atherton's agents, some of whom have mysteriously disappeared. Slam walks around in Cairo, shadowed by Shorty, and soon a horse-drawn carriage comes along, with a veiled harem girl inside, who kidnaps Slam at gunpoint, much to Shorty's amazement. Inside the carriage, Slam snatches the gunwoman's veil off, and plants a big kiss on her. She likes it.

The carriage soon arrives at a palatial, walled estate, and Shorty is still following but now is locked out. Slam is roughly escorted into Seth's presence, insults are exchanged. Shorty gets caught sneaking over the wall, and is thrown into a cell. Seth offers to hire Slam, gets rudely rebuked, and tells his muscular henchman Hassan to crush the detective. There's a full page of fighting, at the end of which Hassan is unconscious, so Seth orders his gunmen to shoot Slam. A hand reaches into the room, through a curtain, and gives Slam an automatic pistol, with which he disarms one gunman, while the rest flee. Slam yanks aside the curtain, and the pistol-giver turns out to be the veil-less harem girl, who has now switched sides. Slam takes down a scimitar-wielding bodyguard, and then chases Seth through his own mansion. Seth ambushes Bradley and breaks a lamp over his head; this completely fails to faze him. Slam chokes down Seth until he tells where his incriminating records are, then while Slam is looking over this treasure-trove of evidence, Seth presses a hidden button and opens a trapdoor under Slam. He catches the edge of the hatch with one hand; below are several score of sharpened stakes. While Seth gets ready to stomp on Slam's fingers, the rebellious harem girl runs in and jumps on Seth's back, which works out badly for them both, as they tumble into the trapdoor, and are killed.

Slam gets an $8000 reward from Lord Atherton, and several weeks later he and Shorty are back at the hotel, wanting their old suite back.

Notes

Trivia

  • No trivia.



See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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