|First appearance||All-American Comics #61 (October 1944)|
|Created by||Alfred Bester (writer)|
Paul Reinman (artist)
|Alter ego||Cyrus Gold|
|Team affiliations||Injustice Society|
Injustice League Dark
Legion of Doom
Secret Society of Super Villains
Black Lantern Corps
Solomon Grundy (Cyrus Gold) is a supervillain and occasional antihero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. He was originally depicted as a murder victim brought back to life as a corporeal revenant or zombie, though subsequent versions of the character have occasionally depicted a different origin. His name is taken from the 19th century nursery rhyme "Solomon Grundy".
Grundy was introduced as an enemy of comic book hero Alan Scott (the original Green Lantern), but has since become a prominent enemy for a number of superheroes such as Superman, Batman, and other members of the Justice League. As a revenant whose backstory often involves coming back to life after being deposited in the swamp, later writers have also given him ties to Swamp Thing, one of DC's horror-fantasy heroes.
Solomon Grundy appeared in the DC Animated Universe, where he first became an antihero. The character made his live-action debut as Cyrus Gold in the second season of the Arrowverse series Arrow, and Butch Gilzean on Fox's television series Gotham. Solomon Grundy also appeared in CGI form in the first and second seasons of the television series Stargirl for DC Universe and The CW network.
Created by Alfred Bester, he first appeared in All-American Comics #61 (October 1944).
Grundy is the focus of one of the four Faces of Evil one-shots that explore the aftermath of Final Crisis, written by Scott Kolins and Geoff Johns, with art by Shane Davis. It is the introduction to a seven part mini-series featuring the character.
In the late 19th century, a wealthy merchant named Cyrus Gold is murdered and his body is disposed of in Slaughter Swamp, near Gotham City. Fifty years later, the corpse is reanimated as a huge shambling figure (composed partly of the swamp matter that has accumulated around the body over the decades) with almost no memory of its past life. Gold murders two escaped criminals who are hiding out in the marsh and steals their clothes. He shows up in a hobo camp. When asked about his name, one of the few things he can recall is that he was "born on a Monday". One of the men at the camp mentions the nursery rhyme character Solomon Grundy (who was born on a Monday), and Gold adopts the moniker. Strong, vicious, and nearly mindless, Solomon Grundy falls into a life of crime—or perhaps returns to one, as his scattered residual memories may indicate—attracting the attention of the Green Lantern, Alan Scott. Grundy proves to be a difficult opponent, unkillable (since he is already dead) and with an inherent resistance to Scott's powers (which cannot affect wood, a substance of which Grundy's reassembled body is now largely composed). He apparently kills Green Lantern, who gives off a green flash. Liking this flash, Grundy commits murders hoping to see the flash again. However, the first fight ends when, engaging in fisticuffs with the monster because of the ineffectiveness of his ring, Green Lantern hurls Grundy under a train.
A criminal scientist calling himself the Baron of York kills his brother and takes over his gang, stating to them that he knows where to find the body of Solomon Grundy. Once the body is found, the Baron of York injects Grundy with concentrated chlorophyll upon knowing his background. The side effect turns Solomon Grundy into a plant. When the Baron of York bluffs about him being worshiped and served, Solomon Grundy kills the Baron of York and takes over his gang. While noting that Solomon Grundy is more invulnerable to his ring due to the chlorophyll, Green Lantern chases after Solomon Grundy until he becomes exhausted in the petrified forest in Arizona. Using his ring, Green Lantern traps Grundy in a green plasma bubble for a time.
A freak weather occurrence releases Solomon Grundy from his prison. Making his way across country, Grundy heads for the headquarters of the Justice Society of America. Green Lantern arrives early for the meeting and when the other members arrive, they find their headquarters smashed to pieces and Green Lantern missing from the ranks. Johnny turns on the radio, which blares the warning that Solomon Grundy is on the loose; the members believe, based on a large, muddy footprint on the floor, that Grundy got to HQ and took Green Lantern. The radio continues its report, listing cities where Grundy was seen, so each member picks a city and heads for it to try to find Green Lantern while Wonder Woman stays behind. The scene now shifts back to the moment at JSA HQ where Green Lantern had opened the door. To his surprise, Doiby Dickles walks in, and informs him that Grundy has freed himself and is on the loose. Green Lantern leaves immediately, hoping to find Grundy before any of the JSA members are hurt going after him. Minutes later, Grundy arrives at JSA HQ, and, not finding the Lantern there, he smashes the place up, then leaves. Green Lantern and Doiby use a special radio-like device Alan Scott had developed that is attuned to the mental wavelengths of Grundy himself; Green Lantern calculates the path of Grundy and announces over the radio in JSA HQ where Grundy will strike. When Green Lantern and Grundy meet, Grundy rips a tree out by its roots and smashes it into the Lantern. Green Lantern fights back with his power ring and fists until both men fall into a nearby stream and over a small waterfall. The Lantern is severely dazed and tries to ward off Grundy with his ring, but he is much too weak. Grundy grabs Green Lantern by the throat and begins to squeeze the life out of him, holding his head underwater. However, Hawkman strikes Grundy with his mace, and Doctor Mid-Nite revives the Lantern. A combined attack brings down Grundy, and Green Lantern deposits Grundy on a distant, lifeless planet.
A battle soon commences when Grundy's body gravitates towards young astronomer Dick Cashmere as he learns to ride light waves, resulting in his assuming Cashmere's identity for a time while leaving the real one bound and gagged, though the Society finds him soon after. In this incarnation, he gains intelligence, which he subsequently loses when Green Lantern defeats and buries Grundy in 1947.
At this point, Grundy is freed and enlisted along with several other supervillains by the time-traveling criminal Per Degaton in his second appearance, who has traveled to 1941 to capture the Justice Society of America on the day of the attack on timeline, hoping to change history and take over the world. Grundy encounters Green Lantern, Flash, and Wonder Woman in Echo Park, whom Grundy knows from 1947. Grundy bests the costumed trio, and is summoned by a mysterious voice to deliver them or "pay the penalty". The All-Star Squadron comes to their rescue, and Grundy is the last villain to be transported back. He is thrust back to the moon, where he remains for over two decades, as this timeline is erased once Degaton is defeated.
After many years, Grundy is knocked loose from his planet prison and returns to Earth to battle Green Lantern, Hourman, and Doctor Fate. At this point, he has temporary mastery over all wooden objects. Solomon Grundy is imprisoned orbiting the Earth in a stronger bubble created by the combined powers of Green Lantern and Doctor Fate.
Grundy was once pulled to Earth-One and substituted for the superstrong Blockbuster due to a machine that was accidentally pulling the Earths together in warp-space and substituting people. During this event, he had absorbed some of Doctor Fate's magic, is stronger than before, and is even able to telekinetically lift Flash into the air. He hates Green Lantern so much he thinks everyone he sees is Green Lantern. He is imprisoned inside a mountain by Earth-One Green Lantern after being lifted up by Earth-One Hawkman and dazed by blows from all the heroes, but when the machine is turned off he is substituted for Blockbuster on Earth-Two and renews the attack, defeating numerous heroes. However, the JSA and JLA went to battle an Anti-Matter being that was threatening both Earths in Warp-Space after being summoned by Doctor Fate, who had sensed the threat due to the Spectre. As the heroes return, they find Green Lantern had placed Grundy and Blockbuster together to occupy them, and the two have knocked the hate out of each other. Grundy is then taken back to his Earth by the Justice Society.
In his next appearance, Solomon Grundy battles the combined might of both the Justice Society, and later their counterparts the Justice League, nearly to a standstill at Slaughter Swamp, when he develops an affection for a lost alien child who has accidentally been sent to Earth-2 and is dying due to separation from his pet. Having absorbed magic from Doctor Fate and Green Lantern, Grundy is easily able to defeat the combined might of Superman, Flash, Earth-Two Hawkman, Earth-One Hawkman, and Green Lantern, until he is defeated by both Green Lanterns and sealed in Slaughter Swamp. The alien child is finally reunited with his pet and sent back to his own dimension.
While imprisoned, Grundy incorrectly deduces that the second Green Lantern's Earth must contain a second Solomon Grundy and crosses over from his Slaughter Swamp prison on Earth-Two to Earth-One where he overpowers that Earth's Superman before being tricked and stranded on the moon.
Solomon Grundy briefly works with the Injustice Society when the Fiddler retrieves Grundy from the moon of Earth-One to attack the JSA. The two defeat Hawkman and Wildcat before Grundy is thrown into a cooling volcano by Power Girl and Superman.
Grundy goes on to afflict Green Lantern and his teammates, including the Huntress who is the first female for whom he develops an affection. After Solomon Grundy is rescued from a glacier by Alan Scott's daughter, Jade, Grundy becomes loyal to her and, for a while, is an ally of Infinity, Inc. Eventually, this affectionate relationship turns tragic as the villainous Marcie Cooper, a.k.a. Harlequin of the Dummy's Injustice Unlimited, uses her illusion powers to disguise herself as Jade. Harlequin manipulates Grundy to attack the members of Infinity Inc., one by one. She convinces him to press the unconscious Mister Bones' bare hand against Skyman; since Bones's skin constantly exudes a cyanide-based compound, this quickly leads to Skyman's death. Once Grundy found out that Marcie had duped him, he savagely beat her within an inch of her life. This is the beginning of the end for Infinity Inc., and for Grundy's quasi-heroic career.
When Earth-Two's Solomon Grundy visited Earth-One, he left behind some residual cells in the sewers. The Earth-One Solomon Grundy is born when Parasite uses an enhanced crystal to metabolically hasten the growth of residual cells which becomes a new, much more bestial version. During a clash with Superman, it is determined that his might is too much for the Man of Steel, so Superman flies the monster to an alien world inhospitable to all save the hardiest life as the zombie propels himself through the air mimicking his one-time adversary.
This version repeatedly plagues Superman for years until during an encounter wherein multiple Grundys are spawned, Superman and the Swamp Thing both encounter the clones. Soon, Superman obtains a compound from S.T.A.R. Labs which causes the Grundys to become inert, in effect killing the seemingly unkillable man-thing. Swamp Thing attempts to cry out for Superman to stop as he believes Grundy to meet the definition of life, but Swamp Thing is unable to express this due to physical difficulty in speaking. This version of Grundy returns one final time, without explanation, leading a gang in the Earth-One Gotham City. He is apparently destroyed yet again when Batman tricks the creature into a blast furnace, where it is apparently consumed by the flames.
This version of Grundy was retroactively erased from history after the revamping of Superman in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
The Post-Crisis version of Solomon Grundy has a similar history to his Earth-Two counterpart and debuts during the "Batman: The Long Halloween" storyline. Grundy and a newly disfigured Harvey Dent strike up an odd friendship after Dent escapes the slaughterhouse to plot his revenge on Carmine Falcone. Grundy also appears earlier in the story while Batman pursues one of the suspects who bombed Dent's house into the sewers during Thanksgiving. Grundy attacks both of them, but Batman drives him off by blinding him with a shot of mace. In the feature-length animated film adaptation of The Long Halloween Part One, Batman gently persuades Grundy to cease hostilities toward the bomber and allow Batman to assume custody, removing the undesirable intruder and resuming Grundy's status quo of relative tranquility, successfully appealing to Grundy's simple desire for peace, quiet and solitude in his humble sewer lair. Later as a somewhat humorous twist, Batman provides Solomon Grundy with a Thanksgiving dinner.
After Infinity, Inc. disbands, Solomon Grundy loses his loyalty towards Jade. A clash with Alan Scott and Jade in the pages of Green Lantern Corps Quarterly ends with Grundy turning into a statue of petrified wood. The heroes believe the threat of Grundy to have ended once and for all, but they are mistaken.
Shortly thereafter, Grundy reappears in Gotham in the pages of Batman: Shadow of the Bat, battling Batman once again and killing the female descendant of one of the killers of Cyrus Gold.
Grundy's next major appearance is in Starman, lurking in Opal City's sewers. Jack Knight befriends Grundy, who has become innocent and childlike. Grundy also becomes friends with previous Starman Mikaal Tomas, and dies while sacrificing himself to save Jack Knight from being crushed by a collapsing building. When Grundy appears again, he has returned to his malicious persona; the joint efforts of Jack Knight, Batman, Alan Scott, and The Floronic Man are needed to stop him.
The origins of Grundy's resurrection come from the fact that the Parliament of Trees, a high council of Plant Elementals, tried to turn him into the newest Plant Elemental. However, the process was missing one vital piece: fire, as a Plant Elemental cannot be fully created unless it died in flames. Since Grundy's death did not involve fire at all, the process is not complete, and he becomes a sort of half-functional Plant Elemental. Grundy has been seemingly destroyed on several occasions, only to rise from the swamp again in a new incarnation. Each version of Grundy has been somewhat different from the last, depending on the medium used to dispatch him (and the drawing style of the current artist. The original Grundy, for example, had prominent front teeth). Some have been truly evil; some much less so. Some versions are more mindless than others; some are moderately intelligent, recalling the literate, well-spoken monster of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
Grundy hides out for a time in the Arrowcave, the long-abandoned former headquarters of Green Arrow. While searching for artifacts of his former life, Oliver and his former ward, Roy "Arsenal" Harper, stumble onto Grundy's new hideout. The story, accurately and humorously entitled "Grundy No Like Arrows in the Face!", is found in Green Arrow (vol. 3) #18. Green Arrow notes that this version seems much more violent, and manages to kill him by choking him with the string to his broken bow (despite the fact that Grundy does not have a heartbeat, functional veins, or need to breathe). In Green Arrow (vol. 3) #53, "Solomon's Revenge", Green Arrow helps Dr. Chrissie Cavendish, a S.T.A.R. Labs employee, who claims she is the great-great-granddaughter of the man the monster spawned from, to find and cure him. Her cure warps her into a monster much worse than Grundy. Green Arrow subdues the new monster, and leaves Grundy be. It is not known if Grundy is still using this building.
In the first issue of Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers of Victory, Issue #0 of the same name, one of the Seven Unknown Men of Slaughter Swamp recounts the death of the miserly pedophile, Cyrus Gold, killed at the hands of an enraged mob, but also mentions that Gold could just as easily have been the innocent victim of a misunderstanding, as Slaughter Swamp is a point in space where time means nothing. In the final issue, the same Unknown Man punishes another of his group – the Eighth Man, Zor – by dressing him in Cyrus Gold's clothing and leaving him for the mob to find, implying that Zor – an extremely vain character, notable for attempting several times to overthrow the Universe and for having defeated The Spectre – would later become the first Solomon Grundy.
Grundy is manipulated by Gorilla Grodd via mind control into attacking Batman and Superman for President Luthor for the bounty of one billion dollars in Superman/Batman. Batman is able to stop Grundy.
While no specifics are given during the "Infinite Crisis" storyline, Solomon Grundy is also coerced into joining the Secret Society of Super Villains. He participates in the final strike against the Secret Six. Ragdoll II encounters Grundy in a doorway. Ragdoll's scarred face relates to Grundy, and Grundy goes on to turn against the Secret Society. The aftermath of that battle is inconclusive, but Grundy evidently survives, as he was last seen in a murky swamp in JSA Classified. In it, he is convinced by Icicle to help Wizard, who is in trouble.
After helping Icicle free Johnny Sorrow from Prometheus' cosmic key, Grundy stays with the newly formed Injustice Society.
Solomon Grundy is seen fighting against the Blood Pack in the Battle of Metropolis, until he is vaporized by Superboy-Prime's heat vision, which apparently kills the Blood Pack and destroys Grundy's current incarnation.
In Brad Meltzer's Justice League of America, Grundy is reborn with intelligence after being killed in the Battle of Metropolis. He is revealed to be the mastermind behind the abduction of Red Tornado's robot body (it is revealed he gained this intelligence when he was reborn after being burned by Prime). Grundy expresses a desire to stop his cycle of dying and being reborn and so it appears he enlists the help of Professor Ivo to build him an Amazo body to live in forever. The Red Tornado kills Grundy with F5 tornado winds, ripping him apart.
He later appears in the Salvation Run mini-series as one of the villains exiled to another planet. He is killed during a battle with Parademons. His body, awaiting its inevitable resurrection, is left behind when the villains leave the Hell Planet. However, when the villains exit, Grundy's hand trembles, accompanied with a groaning sound.
In the one-shot Faces of Evil: Solomon Grundy (March 2009) by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins, Cyrus Gold returns to life in Slaughter Swamp, as he was prior to becoming Grundy. He returns to Gotham City, but is shot by police after attacking a charity worker. In the police morgue, he transforms into Solomon Grundy. Grundy is once more an unintelligent monster, repeating the opening line of the nursery rhyme. A week later, having retreated to the sewers, he has a fight with Killer Croc. At the end of the fight, exhausted, he reverts to Cyrus Gold again. He finds himself in front of his own grave, where the Phantom Stranger tells him he has seven days to undo his curse, as "There is an unholy night coming, as black as the dead's blood. And it's best if Solomon Grundy was not around for it" (a reference to the upcoming Blackest Night storyline). Alan Scott serves as his reluctant guide, as the story continues in the Solomon Grundy miniseries.
In the countdown to Blackest Night, Cyrus Gold was given one week to discover the truth of who murdered him, so he could repent for all of his sins and gain absolution. Alan Scott and the Phantom Stranger were given as his guides throughout the week, while Etrigan was trying to take him to Hell. Gold had a habit of getting killed. No matter how much damage was done to his body, he resurrected as a complete Solomon Grundy, driven to kill. Eventually it is revealed that Gold committed suicide, meaning he forced the curse of Solomon Grundy on himself. The end of the series' run shows Grundy reanimated as a Black Lantern, and Cyrus Gold in hell. Grundy then tracks down and attacks Bizarro, using a past friendship they had to stir up the creature's emotions. Bizarro eventually defeats Grundy by flying him into the sun, which completely incinerates him, and the black ring.
The Prime-Earth Solomon Grundy is introduced in DC Rebirth. His appearance resembles that of his pre-Flashpoint depictions. Solomon Grundy was briefly seen fighting Arkillo of the Sinestro Corps and Saint Walker of the Blue Lantern Corps.
Solomon Grundy is pursued by Batman in Gotham City before the former incapacitates him. Grundy recites the Solomon Grundy nursery rhyme while being pursued before Batman finished it for him when he defeats Grundy.
During "The War of Jokes and Riddles" arc, Solomon Grundy is among the villains on Joker's side in his war against Riddler.
The sorceress Selena created a mindless clone of Solomon Grundy from his DNA sample to serve as the muscle for the Fatal Five and fought Supergirl.
In a flashback, Solomon Grundy is among the villains that protected Ingrid Karlsson during a riot at Arkham Asylum. Before Ingrid was killed by an inmate using a rogue Batarang despite the villains getting her away from the riot, she gave birth to Astrid Arkham who would later become Arkham Knight.
During "The New Golden Age", Solomon Grundy was seen as a member of Huntress' makeshift Justice Society of America lineup 15 years from the present. When Per Degaton attacks, he rots Solomon Grundy. In 1941, Doctor Fate and Salem the Witch Girl come across Mister Miracle fighting Solomon Grundy while his Justice Society Dark teammates Zatara and Diamond Jack are having a spat. After Solomon Grundy is chained up, Mister Miracle suggests to Doctor Fate and Salem the Witch Girl that they should go apprehend Bride of Grundy.
Solomon Grundy has superhuman strength and stamina. His strength has varied greatly through the years; for instance, in the Long Halloween story arc, Batman beat Grundy, while at various points his strength is roughly on par with Superman's. He is virtually indestructible and immortal thanks to the elemental energy that imbues his form with pseudo-life. He is nearly invulnerable to physical, magical, and energy attacks and he is not affected by fire or low temperatures. He has proven highly resistant to the effects of the original Green Lantern's power ring (which is attributed to his part-plant essence; originally because he had absorbed plant matter from the swamp, and later because he was a partial "plant elemental" like Swamp Thing).
Grundy possesses a healing factor. While he has occasionally been destroyed, he has always returned to life sooner or later, though often with different personalities and powers.
Solomon Grundy had a counterpart on the Crime Syndicate of America's Earth called Sir Solomon Grundy who was a member of Quizmaster's Justice Underground. Sir Solomon Grundy is a distinguished, poised mountain of a man. During an aerial bombardment of Dover, he is blasted to life out of the rock from the white cliffs. Sir Solomon appears to be identical in physical appearance to the mainstream Solomon Grundy with the exception of a trimmed mustache and a small goatee. In keeping with his educated personality, Sir Solomon dresses himself as a 19th-century Englishman would, and speaks accordingly. His super strength and invulnerability made him a formidable hero, until Ultraman renders him inert on a Saturday.
The Skulk is a hero of the Amalgam Universe. He is an amalgamation of Solomon Grundy and Hulk.
Bruce Banner was a scientist working with gamma rays. He was testing his gamma bomb out in the desert, but a tall figure walked out into the testing area. When Banner went out see who it was, the man turned out to be Solomon Grundy. The bomb went off fusing Grundy and Banner together. When Banner gets angry, he becomes Grundy. The creature chose a new name calling itself Skulk.
In Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers series, the Witch-People of Limbotown (who are descended from the immortal Melmoth) bury their dead, and later dig them up, at which point they become animate and are used as slave labor. These zombies are called "Grundies" or "Grundymen", and resemble Solomon Grundy. It has also been established that the Spawn of Frankenstein is partly animated by the immortal blood of Melmoth, making him a Grundyman.
In Cullen Bunn's Sorcerer Kings storyline in Superman/Batman, The Creeper leads an army of Grundymen in a battle with Batman, Superman, and vampire Nina Skorzeny.
In the JLA/Avengers crossover, Grundy is among the villains enthralled by Krona to defend his stronghold. He is shown being defeated by Thor.
In the Justice Riders reality, Solomon Grundy is featured as a normal human. His entire gang was put down by Kid Baltimore with a single bullet each except for Grundy who took two.
In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Solomon Grundy was invited by Lt. Matthew Shrieve to be the new member of the Creature Commandos, but Solomon Grundy then betrays him, killing his family. It is revealed that Solomon Grundy had been working by General Sam Lane who is responsible for the deaths of Miranda's family.
During the Emperor Joker storyline where the Joker warped reality, Solomon Grundy was the warden of Arkham Asylum.
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Solomon Grundy is once again a villain for Alan Scott. First appearing in Earth 2 #3, Grundy personifies "The Grey" life-destroying forces and opposes "The Green" forces that choose Alan Scott as their champion. He attacks Washington DC to get Alan's attention. Flash, Hawkgirl, and Green Lantern fight him, but Atom brings him down temporarily by jumping onto him at giant size. The battle continues until Scott once again exiles Grundy to the moon where neither he nor the "Grey" can do any damage.
Eventually, Grundy's origin was revealed in a flashback. Grundy was a slaughterhouse worker in 1898, his wife Pinney Grundy was raped by his callous foreman Henry Pittance and she killed herself on the job. When Henry made the workers feed the body to the crocodiles, Grundy snapped, killed Henry, and everyone else in the slaughterhouse, then committed suicide while reciting the "Solomon Grundy" nursery rhyme he would often sing to his infant son. Apparently, something happened immediately afterwards. In the present, Solomon Grundy somehow returned to Earth, went on a decaying rampage, and fought members of the World Army where he was briefly dissolved. He then reformed his body and continued to go after Alan Scott.
When it came to his next encounter with Solomon Grundy, Alan was reunited with Sam Zhao who has become an avatar for the White. Following their brief fight with Solomon Grundy, the Parliaments ended their feud where they instructed Alan, Sam, Grundy, the Clear's avatar Azathoth, and the Red's Yolanda Montez to work together to combat the invasion from Apokolips.
When Apokolips starts to approach Earth 2, the Parliaments advise their representatives to join forces and fight this threat. While in Earth's orbit, Solomon Grundy, Azathoth, and Sam Zhao sacrifice their lives so that Alan Scott can receive their combined Parliament abilities to stop Apokolips from destroying Earth 2.
Solomon Grundy appears as a boss in the Batman: Arkham franchise, voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
Cyrus Gold/Solomon Grundy, Arrow, 2013, season 2/episode 9: "Three Ghosts"