Cyril "Speed" Saunders was introduced in Detective Comics #1 (1937) as a two-fisted "ace investigator" who seems to have some weird, unspecified occupation that allows him to operate independently of the police, as a private eye would, and yet order them around. He was presumed to be Federal agent. His first adventure had him called in to investigate the appearance of several bodies found floating in the bay, and credit for the story is given to E.C. Stoner (text) and Creig Flessel (art). Saunders made his final appearance in Detective Comics in issue #58 (1941), Of some note, Speed Saunders is the first continuing original character to appear on the cover of Detective Comic with issue # 4.
In 1999, 58 years later, he was sprung from comic book limbo, popping up a DC Comics one-shot called Sensation Comics, where he was revealed to be Hawkgirl's (Shiera Saunders) cousin. Kendra Saunders, the current Hawkgirl, is his granddaughter. According to his modern history, "during the 1930s, Cyril was an ace police investigator for the River Patrol and in New York City, and was one of the best officers of his time. Later, during World War II, he joined the Office of Strategic Service (O.S.S.), and was a frequent ally to the Justice Society of America. He is the cousin of Sheira Sanders, the first Hawkgirl, and grandfather of Kendra Saunders, the current one (who is also the reincarnation of the original), whom he encouraged to train to become a superheroine when realizing that she's now inhabited by the original Hawkgirl, who entered her body as she lay in danger of dying from suicide when she was 17 years old. Though probably in his 80s by now, Speed is still quite active and efficient as an adventurer, and helps out Hawkgirl and Hawkman on many of their own adventures whenever he can.