Not referring to the golf club – Chap. 5, Act 4, Strip 68

Well, he only said it had to look like an accident – he didn’t say it had to look like a small or even remotely plausible accident.

And, let’s face it, common sense never applies to that part of a B-movie plot were the villain is at the cusp of ultimate triumph and only needs to get the helpless heroes out of the way for good. I think the pros and cons of just taking a gun and shooting them have been discussed publicly and exhaustively enough between Scott Evil and his father, so it should be enough to just point out that Kaiser William naturally comes down on the ‘style’ side of the ‘style vs. practicality’ divide. Royals are big on style.

And speaking of big, choices were limited as to which impractical means of hero-disposal William would end up using. He’s got to live up to his own stereotype, after all, so it essentially came down to three possible choices: poison gas, a red Fokker Triplane, or the 16.5 inch siege howitzer officially known as “Kurze Marinekanone 1914” or “M-Geraet”, but much more famously known as “Big Bertha”.

That his first mention of that name would be misunderstand as a reference to Ms. Bertha Krupp von Bohlen-Halbach, for whom the howitzer was allegedly named, is another mandatory part of having the Big Bertha show up in a work of fiction. She wasn’t actually very big, though, and would probably not have been too much use in helping to dispose of pesky heroes. Let’s assume William had invited her along for the company (which could be either the company she was or the company she owned, the huge Krupp industrial empire).

More on Thursday.

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