Apparently, there’s some kind of buzz surrounding the release of this issue. Or, if not “buzz,” then at least an awareness that this minor little miniseries off in the corner of the DCU will have some kind of connection to the “Blackest Night” event helmed by Geoff Johns.
Well, it does have a connection, but you don’t need to actually read the issue to find out how. Plastered right on the cover, you get to see the words “Prelude to ‘Blackest Night'” along with that image of Grundy wearing a Black Lantern ring. And, oh yeah, just in case you aren’t paying attention to the giant image on the cover, DC also provides the words “Black Lantern” right beneath the title of this comic.
So Grundy is a Black Lantern now. It happens at the very end of the issue, and it’s the type of thing that I might not normally even talk about in a review because it might be considered a “spoiler” and readers might get e-mail huffy about me ruining their reading experience. But clearly DC wants you to know about how this comic ends, and I can see why: it’s the only thing of consequence that happens in this entire seven-issue series (and it doesn’t even happen until the epilogue).
The Solomon Grundy “story” — if you want to call it that — we find over the course of these seven issues has been little more than a bunch of wailing about Cyrus Gold’s curse (from which Solomon Grundy was born) and a series of punching matches between Grundy and an array of DC monstrosities. A guest star in every issue! So we’ve had Grundy vs. Amazo, and Grundy vs. Bizarro, and Grundy vs. Frankenstein, and this issue brings back the Demon and the Golden Age Green Lantern and the Phantom Stranger (all of whom have been circling around the events of this miniseries) and we find out the shocking truth to the mystery of “Who Killed Cyrus Gold?”
Should I spoil that too? It doesn’t mention that bit of info on the cover of the book, so I’d better not. (But I will tell you that the revelation isn’t much of a surprise, especially because there are literally no other suspects presented in the entire series.)
I will admit that this series evokes some visceral thrills at times. It’s overdramatic, laughably hyper-serious “Mystery of Cyrus Gold” subplot is almost a complete failure, but when the freaks of the DCU pop up and trade fisticuffs with Grundy, it’s been kind of fun. Scott Kolins has been using a different art style on this series — a souped-up version of the cross-hatching and feathering he’s begun employing after years of his clean-line style on the “Flash” series with Geoff Johns. Kolins’s art has been a real treat here — not just in issue #7, but throughout the entire series. It’s blocky and bold and the noodly little details add an almost abstract quality to the figures, like they’re a collection of interesting lines and shapes, woven together for a dynamically aesthetic appeal.
Which is good, because Kolins doesn’t give us much in the way of story to hang these drawings on. And, perhaps most offensive of all, the story doesn’t even reach a conclusion by the end of this miniseries. Just like the earlier “Faces of Evil: Solomon Grundy” one-shot ended with a lead-in to this series, the final pages of the “Solomon Grundy” series ends with an announcement that the story continues in upcoming issues of “Superman/Batman.”
At least Scott Kolins will be doing the art on those issues as well. (And, sadly, the writing too.)