|Real name:||Cyrus Gold|
|First Appearance:||All American Comics #61 (October, 1944)|
|Created by:|| Alfred Bester|
Black Lantern Corps
|Portrayed by:|| Mickey Morton|
Jimmy Weldon (Voice)
Mark Hamill (Voice)
Bruce Timm (Voice)
Kevin Grevioux (Voice)
Diedrich Bader (Voice)
Corey Burton (Voice)
David Jennison (Voice)
Cyrus Gold, Solomon Grundy is a Zombie supervillain who has clashed with many heroes over the years, including Alan Scott, Superman, Batman, the Justice Society of America and the Justice League. Solomon Grundy frequently dies and resurrects in new incarnations, each of varying levels of strength and intelligence; although primarily evil, some of his incarnations have shown the capacity for heroism.
Cyrus Gold was born some time around the early to middle 19th Century. Although accounts of his origins differ, it is fairly consistently told that he was a Gotham City gentleman of ill repute who came to his death in Slaughter Swamp, and resurrected some years later as a horrible creature. Stories of his origins include:
- The most common origin of Solomon Grundy is, in the late 19th century, a wealthy merchant named Cyrus Gold was murdered and his body disposed of in Slaughter Swamp. He reanimated fifty years later supernaturally, and parts of his body were actually composed of parts of the swamp.
- Another origin tells that in the year 1895, he was killed in Slaughter Swamp by the pimp of a prostitute who was trying to blackmail him with an unborn child that is supposedly his. Gold refused to yield to blackmail, he was bludgeoned over the head and buried in the Swamp where no one would think to look for him. Over the span of fifty years, Gold’s body interacted with the detritus and vegetation of the swamp.
- The origins of Grundy's resurrection are said to come from the Parliament of Trees, a high council of Plant Elementals, who 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 was not complete, and he became a sort of half-functional Plant Elemental.
- Another possibility is given by a mysterious group called the Seven Unknown Men of Slaughter Swamp. They recount the death of a miserly pedophile, Cyrus Gold, at the hands of an enraged mob. However, they also mention 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. The same Unknown Man who tells the tale 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.
In the original Multiverse Solomon Grundy existed on Earth-Two, home of the Justice Society of America and the All-Star Squadron. Cyrus Gold's corpse was first reanimated in 1944, as a huge shambling figure with almost no memory of its past life. Gold murdered two escaped criminals who were hiding out in the marsh and stole their clothes. He showed up in a hobo camp and, when asked about his name, one of the few things he could recall was that he was "born on a Monday". One of the men at the camp mentioned the nursery rhyme character Solomon Grundy, and Gold adopted the moniker. Strong, vicious, and nearly mindless, Solomon Grundy fell into a life of crime or, perhaps returned to one according to his scattered residual memories attracting the attention of the Green Lantern. Grundy proved to be a difficult opponent, unkillable (since he was already dead) and with an inherent resistance to Scott's powers (which could not affect wood, a substance of which Grundy's reassembled body was now largely composed). Their first fight ended when Grundy was hurled under a train.
The third battle with Grundy involved Green Lantern and his fellow members of the Justice Society of America tracking him across the country, depositing Grundy on the moon once he was defeated. A subsequent battle between the two ended up with Lantern burying Grundy in 1947. At this point, he was pulled back to 1941 by the time-traveling criminal Per Degaton, who had enlisted the aid of several super-villains to capture the Justice Society of America on December 7, 1941 (the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor). The All-Star Squadron came to their rescue, and Grundy was then thrust back to the moon where he remained for over two decades. Grundy eventually mastered the use of stored up emerald energy he had absorbed over the years from his several battles with his arch-foe, and returned to Earth to battle Green Lantern, along with Hourman and Doctor Fate. At this point, he had temporary mastery over all wooden objects, although he subsequently lost this power with his next death. He was briefly a member of the Injustice Society of the World, a group of villains banded together to fight the Justice Society. In the interim, he had battled the combined might of both the Justice Society, and later their counterparts the Justice League, nearly to a standstill, although he was eventually defeated once more.
Grundy went on to afflict Green Lantern and his teammates, including the Huntress who was the first female for whom he developed an affection. After Solomon Grundy was rescued from a glacier by Alan Scott's daughter, Jade, Grundy became loyal to her and, for a while joined Infinity, Inc., a team of younger superheroes. Eventually, this affectionate relationship turned to tragedy as the villainous Harlequin, Marcie Cooper of the Dummy's Injustice Unlimited, used her illusion powers to disguise herself as Jade. Harlequin manipulated Grundy to attack the members of Infinity Inc., one by one. She convinced him to press the unconscious Mister Bones's bare hand against Skyman; since Bones's skin constantly exudes a cyanide-based compound, this quickly led to Skyman's death. This was the beginning of the end for Infinity Inc., and for Grundy's quasi-heroic career.
A version of Cyrus Gold (Earth-One) also existed on Earth-One, of the Justice League, although this Grundy was a result of Parasite meddling with leftovers from the real Grundy's visit to Metropolis when he fought Kal-El (Earth-One). This version of Solomon Grundy was erased during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and the original became a part of the New Earth merged from the previous ones.
Solomon Grundy consistently haunts Gotham City, and has been known to take residence in the Gotham sewer system. Over the years, his primary enemy was Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, although he would also fight Batman in his earlier years. During The Long Halloween, he struck up an odd kinship with Harvey Dent, as Dent was on the path to becoming Two-Face. Grundy's appearances were not limited to Gotham, however. He fought Superman several times in Metropolis. While he lurked in the Opal City sewers, Starman, Jack Knight befriended Grundy, who had taken on an innocent, childlike aspect. Grundy also became friends with Starman Mikaal Tomas, and sacrificed himself to save Mikaal from being crushed by a collapsing building. When Grundy appeared again, he had returned to his malicious persona; the joint efforts of Jack Knight, Batman, Alan Scott and Floro were needed to stop him. Grundy joined the new Injustice Society, led by Johnny Sorrow and fought the JSA once again. During the Joker's Last Laugh, Grundy was jokerized and fought the JSA again.
It is known that Grundy hid out for a time in the Arrowcave, the long abandoned former headquarters of the Green Arrow. While searching for artifacts of his former life, Green Arrow and his former ward Arsenal stumbled onto Grundy's new hideout, where he tried to kill them. Ollie notes that this version seems much more violent, and manages to kill him by choking him with the string to his broken bow. Later, Arrow helped a Dr. Chrissie Cavendish, a S.T.A.R. Labs employee who claimed she was the great, great granddaughter of the man the monster spawned from, to find and cure him. Her cure, however, warped her into a monster much worse than Grundy. Green Arrow subdued Cavendish, and decided it was best to leave Grundy to be. Grundy helped attack Superman and Batman when a bounty was placed on both of them by Lex Luthor, although he was being mindcontrolled by Gorilla Grodd at the time. He was defeated by Batman. During the Infinite Crisis in Villains United, Grundy joined the Secret Society of Super-Villains. He turned on them briefly when Rag Doll of the Secret Six compared their disfigurement and convinced Grundy to join his side. In the Battle of Metropolis, Grundy fought alongside the rest of the Society again, but was killed once more by Superboy-Prime, along with the Blood Pack. Solomon Grundy returned from this death to fight the Justice League, in a much more advanced form. He is depicted as intelligent and sophisticated, seemingly serving as the brains behind a complex operation to willingly transfer Professor Ivo's immortality to Grundy. Through the interference of the Red Tornado, his wife, and the Justice League, Grundy's scheme failed to achieve its ends. In later appearances, he seemed to have lost this intelligence. He was exiled to the Prison Planet during Salvation Run, where a large number of supervillains were exported several lightyears into space, and left to fend for themselves on a foreign planet. He joined Lex Luthor's camp, but was killed in the gigantic Parademon raid shortly before the villains could escape.
The Blackest Night
Even millions of miles away from Earth, upon his death Cyrus Gold was resurrected once more in Slaughter Swamp with a strange new level of perception. Noticing that Gotham City had changed much, Gold went to a mobile home, where he killed the owner. Walking to his former house, he had a flashback to his murdering his Uncle John, expressing remorse over it. Suddenly, Cyrus remembered his past as Solomon Grundy, and becomes terrified of dying and becoming Solomon Grundy again. He attacks a woman who offered him help, then assaulting two police officers who try to stop him. In the process, Cyrus is shot through the chest, discovering that he still has no physical heart. Running away, he jumps into the highway, where he is run down and killed. Gold is resurrected as Solomon Grundy again, and flees into the sewers. A week later, he encounters Killer Croc, battling him and eventually breaking his jaw. At dawn of Sunday, Grundy transforms back into Cyrus Gold at the cemetery which holds his tombstone. Here, he is found by Phantom Stranger, who became aware of his resurrection and change last week. He is unable to help Cyrus in these changes, but had drafted Green Lantern Alan Scott into helping. Though Green Lantern was hesitant to help, the Stranger insisted: there was an unholy night coming, and it would be best if Solomon Grundy were gone before another could claim him for themselves. Grundy and Alan Scott are now on a quest for Grundy's redemption. It is his mission to find the person who is responsible for killing him the first time... and forgive them. Cyrus discovers shockingly that in a fit of madness, he actually committed suicide in Slaughter Swamp, taking his own life... he is unable to forgive himself, and pass on to the next world. Instead, he receives a Black Lantern Ring and is commanded to RISE. His corpse is destroyed when Bizarro drives it into the sun. With Cyrus Gold in Hell, and Solomon Grundy's corpse destroyed, the curse on Solomon Grundy is finally broken. He is no more.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Strength: Solomon Grundy possesses tremendous strength and stamina, the level of which varies with his different incarnations. Sometimes, he can be held by a group of normal humans. On other occasions, even Superman has not been able to defeat him.
- Superhuman Stamina: Grundy can perform physically strenuous tasks for an indeterminate period of time before tiring.
- Mystical Invulnerability: The weird elemental energy that imbues his form with pseudo-life makes him virtually indestructible he is impervious to bullets, fire, and extreme cold, and can survive indefinitely without food, water, or oxygen. The only thing that has ever been able to hurt him was the Mist's special toxins, developed to take out Grundy's plant tissue body.
- Resurrection: Even when he is destroyed, he has always been reborn sooner or later. The soul of Cyrus Gold enjoys his pseudo-life through Grundy, even though Gold's whole personality is never present in Grundy's "life". Grundy's personality differs from incarnation to incarnation, but he seems to retain some memories of his experiences from one time to the next.
- Energy Absorption/Manipulation: Grundy has also proven to be able to absorb certain forms of energy and manipulate them at will. This ability has always been subconscious to the point of being accidental, though, but it would suggest that Grundy is even more powerful than he has the intelligence to realize.
- Chlorokinesis: The version of Grundy that ended up on the blue planet gained normal human intelligence, and made contact with the Green, thereby being able to control the planet's plant life. In the Solomon Grundy series, Grundy has been seen resisting the mind control kiss that Poison Ivy uses on people. In addition, he is able to kill all plant life that he touches. Grundy also possess some type of poison that he gave to Poison Ivy through a kiss. It seems she was just knocked out by the poison.
- Coming Soon
- Class 100+ ;Assumed to be on par with Superman's and sometimes even surpassing him in strength. Grundy's upper strength levels have fluctuated depending upon his present incarnation. However, he can still lift 100 tons with minimal effort.Template:Citation Grundy has been strong enough to crush the Green Lantern Alan Scott's lantern into pieces,and in other incarnations fight the Justice League on brute strength alone.
- Low Intelligence: Grundy's below average intellect makes him easy to fool and manipulate.
- There are several individuals who claim kinship to Grundy's human alter ego, Cyrus Gold. None of them however are confirmed to be direct relations. It is known that Cyrus Gold was a married man at the time of his death in 1894 (or 1895 by some accounts). Records show that he carried on an affair with a woman named Rachel Rykel a woman who claimed to be pregnant with Gold's child. A possible descendant of this issue, Karin Rykel, appeared outside Slaughter Swamp nearly a century later. Ironically, Karin Rykel was ruthlessly murdered by Solomon Grundy. Some time later, a scientist for S.T.A.R. Labs named Chrissie Cavendish claimed to be Cyrus Gold's great-great granddaughter. All of Chrissie's accounts concerning Gold's history and personality contradict previously established facts. She saw Gold as a philanthropic genius, who developed a serum which unfortunately transformed him into Solomon Grundy. In lieu of Cavendish's biased ideals towards Grundy, as well as her questionable sanity, any information that she provides as it relates to Solomon Grundy is considered unreliable.
- In keeping with his plant elemental heritage, Solomon excretes tree sap rather than blood when injured.
- In Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers series, the Witch-People of Limbo Town (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 Frankenstein is partly animated by the immortal blood of Melmoth, making him a Grundyman. Since Melmoth gained his immortality from the Cauldron of Rebirth, which he found in Slaughter Swamp, it is likely that this is also the explanation for the reanimation of Solomon Grundy.
- An amusing story in Bizarro Comics, Solomon Grundy Bored on a Monday, tells of Grundy's struggles with the tedium of not being able to die. It's quite funny.
- In Tangent Comics, Grundy is a brand of jeans. Their slogan is "Nothing comes between me and my grundies.
In Other Media
- Solomon Grundy made his small-screen debut in 1978 on the Hanna-Barbera animated series Challenge of the Super Friends. Voiced by actor Jimmy Weldon, Grundy distinguished himself from his peers due to his Appalachian-inspired accent. In manner and aspiration however, he bore many similarities to his comic book counterpart. Grundy first appeared in the premier episode entitled "Wanted: The Super Friends", where he joined twelve other infamous villains as part of the Legion of Doom. Like many of his evil cohorts, Grundy typically lured members of the Super Friends into a trap, usually while wearing various disguises (which consisted of little more than pullover latex masks). Grundy was one of the few Legion members whose canonical comic book nemesis (Green Lantern (Alan Scott)) was not a member of the Super Friends.
- In 1979, Solomon Grundy appeared as a live-action nemesis for the first time. On January 18th 1979, NBC aired a television movie called Legends of the Super-Heroes. Actor Mickey Morton played the role of Solomon Grundy, who functioned as a crony under the leadership of the evil sorcerer, Mordru. Mordru equipped Grundy with a special workman's cap, and sent him out undercover working at an automobile repair shop. The cap altered Grundy's appearance, making him unrecognizable to others. Throughout the movie, various super-heroes approached the auto-garage asking the disguised Grundy for information. Invariably, Grundy would accidentally remove his hat, negating it's effects, and thereby exposing his concealed identity. He fought several established heroes and even managed to capture the Black Canary, Huntress and Hawkman. By the end of the film, Batman and Robin succeeded in rescuing their defeated colleagues and apprehending Grundy. Due to the target viewing audience of the film, Solomon Grundy was portrayed as more of a loveable goon, rather than the menacing misanthrope commonly seen in the comic books.
- In 2002, Solomon Grundy appeared on the WB animated series Justice League. Voiced by veteran character actor Mark Hamill, Grundy appeared as a member of the Injustice Gang in the two-part episode "Fury". The leader of the Justice Gang, a deposed Amazon named Aresia, recruited Grundy to aid her in the theft of various Amazonian gemstones. Aresia used the stones to facilitate a plague that attacked only members of the world’s male population. Grundy later returned with his Injustice Gang cohorts (now led by Lex Luthor) in the two-part episode, Injustice for All
- In 2004, Justice League changed it’s title and format to include a larger roster of heroes known as Justice League Unlimited. Solomon Grundy returned in the episode Wake the Dead terrorizing a college campus in Louisiana. Hawkgirl, Aquaman and Doctor Fate arrived on the scene, and Hawkgirl attempted to temper Solomon Grundy's mad rampage. Failing that, she was left with little choice but to end Grundy’s tortured existence once and for all. This incident represented one of the few occasions where an animated series killed off an established noteworthy character.
- An altogether different version of Grundy was referenced in the Grundy's Night episode of the 2004 animated series The Batman. In the episode, the Grundy character was treated as a local boogeyman and urban legend. A being calling itself Solomon Grundy rose from the dead on Halloween night and began terrorizing the citizens of Gotham City. By the end of the episode however, it was revealed that this version of Grundy was in fact the shape-changing former police officer Ethan Bennett, aka, Clayface.