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Supervillain Origins: Solomon Grundy

VO: Dan
He is the creature that haunts Slaughter Swamp, on the outskirts of Gotham City. Once a wealthy man named Cyrus Gold, he was killed and his body disposed of in the swamp. Reanimated by the forces of nature, Grundy emerged with sparse memories, limited intelligence and incredible strength. Falling in with gangsters, he helped them go on a crime spree before ultimately being stopped by the Green Lantern. Afterwards, Grundy became a regular foe of Batman. Join as we explore the origins of Solomon Grundy.

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Supervillain Origins: Solomon Grundy

He was born on a Monday. Welcome to and today we’ll be exploring the origins of Solomon Grundy.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginings and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen to primarily follow the storyline, which unfolded in 1944’s All-American Comics #61 and was expanded upon in 1995’s Batman: Shadow of the Bat #39.

This monstrous creature was first introduced on a foggy Monday evening when two escaped prisoners took refuge on the outskirts of Gotham in the remote, and supposedly haunted, Slaughter Swamp.

The pair had figured that they would be safe as no one ventured there due to the legend of Cyrus Gold, a wealthy man that was blackmailed by a prostitute and murdered before being disposed of in the swamp fifty years earlier.

To their surprise, Gold’s walking corpse did emerged from the quicksand. As it shambled towards them, they fired their guns in on the creature in vain before meeting their end.

Stealing their clothing, Grundy wandered into a nearby camp filled with criminals. Instead of being attacked, he was asked for his name. Responding with the phrase “I was born on a Monday”, he was told that the phrase barred a similarity to a nursery rhyme about a man named Solomon Grundy.

Pleased with the comparison, the zombie took on Solomon Grundy as his new name. However, when one of the men tried to touch him, the mindless creature threw him through the air, demonstrating his enormous power. Standing in their burning campfire, he also showcased that he could not be harmed. Amazed by what they saw, the criminals decided to make Grundy their new leader.

Taking Grundy to the city to begin a crime spree, they dressed him in a suit and armed up by stealing guns from a sports store. During their hold up, Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern, showed up and attempted to thwart the crime, before the police arrived and opened fire on Grundy with their tommy guns.

Unable to harm the monster, Alan Scott became the Green Lantern and summoned the power of his ring. Remarkably, it’s green rays proved completely ineffective as well. As the Green Lantern stood aghast in disbelief, Grundy made his escape.

Trying to piece together the mystery of Solomon Grundy, the radio came on and revealed that the only piece of evidence found at the crime scene was a silver ring engraved with the name Cyrus Gold.

The following day, Solomon Grundy robbed a jewelry shop’s safe before committing a large-scale crime spree around Gotham.

When the Green Lantern tried again to stop Grundy, he was quickly incapacitated. Ordered by his henchmen to kill the Green Lantern, Grundy threw him off of a balcony. Amused by array of Green Colors that followed the Green Lantern’s fall, he began to kill his own men in an effort to do it again, and only stopped when the remaining henchmen instructed him to stop.

Fortunately for the Green Lantern, he didn’t die, but had instead landed on a car and fell into a coma before being taken back to his apartment by his sidekick, who heard about Grundy’s murderous spree on the radio. Fortunately, the Green Lantern soon awoke and returned to continue the fight, despite being dazed and forgetting his power ring.

Finding Solomon Grundy at the train yard; the Green Lantern fought him with his bare fists, ultimately defeating him by flinging him into an incoming train.

After Grundy’s defeat and disappearance, the Green Lantern met up with his sidekick and pieced together that the silver ring had been the key to Grundy’s identity. They also deduced that Cyrus Gold’s re-animated body had fused with the rotting wood in the swamp, making him immune to the Green Lantern’s powers. Wood, of course, being the original Green Latern’s only weakness.

An un-killable zombie super villain, Grundy returned to threaten the people of Gotham on several occasions, joined the Legion of Doom, and faced off against countless heroes including both Batman and Superman.

In recent years, this super villain has gained a wider appeal, and has become recognized as one of the strongest villains in the DC universe. He has appeared across various media, including cartoons and as a boss in the Batman Arkham City videogame.

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