“Earth 2 #15.2: Solomon Grundy,” the second of the “Earth 2” related Villains Month tie-ins is written by Matt Kindt, drawn by Aaron Lopresti and focuses on Grundy, the hulking avatar of the Grey who served as the first foe for the wonders of James Robinson’s “Earth 2.” What sounds like an instant hit proves to be less than advertised in a disjointed story that bounces back and forth through time with no true connective tissue.
While technically sound, the two parallel tales are disconnected and mundane. A man named Solomon witnesses his world crumbling apart and reacts in the most horrendous way possible in a tale of times past while the “modern-day” shambling Grundy emerges from the desert following a meteorite’s strike. Neither tale provides the spark of true origin and there is absolutely no connection spelled out to weave the stories together. It seems as though Kindt presumes readers know the rest of the story, but Grundy hasn’t been given much backstory before now. He was empowered by the Grey to counter the new champion of the Green in the pages of “Earth 2.” The real problem is that “Earth 2” #15.2 is completely incongruent with Grundy’s appearance in “Earth 2” proper where the character was only referred to as Grundy and appeared to have no history prior to his appearance in “Earth 2” #3.
On the art side of things, Lopresti turns in some of the cleanest work of his career here. Kindt’s dialog is minimal and letterer Travis Lanham does an admirable job keeping unobstructed with well-placed balloons that rarely contain more than a dozen words, if that many. Lopresti’s art is mostly credible and not buried in nuance or painstaking detail. His Grundy is ugly, but expressive, an inspired choice in a story that should underscore the events shaping the origins a monster. The world around modern-day Grundy is wide open as the resurrected monstrosity seeks vengeance, a choice that focuses on Grundy and his ability to suck the life from creatures prone to his grasp. The story from “Then” is clean, but some of the anatomy and detail of inanimate objects is off. Boss Henry looks very much like a Muppet as he yells at Solomon, who wields a knife with a shape-changing blade. The cleanliness of the work is very nice, but the finer points of the story shift just a little too much to be overly consistent.
Constructed to end dramatically, “Earth 2” #15.2 leaves me wondering why I need another comic book that adds nothing to the canvas of “Earth 2.” The issue is a lot like drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa. Some might get a chuckle out of it, or find “art” in the effort, but there’s no denying that “Earth 2” as a concept gains no extra support or individuality from this piece.