We all have our favorite heroes among the pages of DC comics; but, you have to think about who your favorite villains are, too. Who comes to mind? For me, it is the lovable (not so much), undead giant Solomon Grundy. Well, frankly, he probably is the scariest villain out of the entire DC universe and quite possibly the most ruthless. Some of our favorite heroes couldn’t even keep Grundy down when it came to straight up fights. From the swamp where he rose from the dead to the streets of Gotham, Grundy got his street cred as a stone cold killer.
So, the truth of the matter is that Grundy can kick some serious butt – no matter who he's fighting. In fact, some heroes couldn't stand to take a punch head on and, whenever they would, the end result was massive damage. And, as dedicated fans, we should give this villain from the Golden Age the applause he’s entitled to for all his undead greatness. Solomon Grundy made some of us root for the villain in his escapades. Not only being one of the longest running villains to still exist in the DC universe today, but all for these following 15 reasons which can show you how badass Solomon Grundy (a.k.a. Cyrus Gold) really is.
In 1976, the Pre-Crisis Superman met his match when he faced Solomon Grundy in issue #301 of the original Superman comics by Gerry Conway and José Luis García-López. Wanting a friend whom he could trust implicitly, Grundy realizes that there could be another Solomon Grundy – like himself – on Earth-One. Therefore, he travels from Earth-Two to Earth-One in search of the other Earth’s Grundy and instantly engages with the Superman.
Superman is clobbered and held at bay by Grundy for the majority of their fight through the streets of Metropolis. Grundy became more powerful than he was when he was able to travel from Earth-Two to Earth-One, prompting his ability to serve as a major nuisance and opponent for the Earth-One Superman. Still, an undead guy seriously clocked Superman – several times.
14 BLACK CANARY
Black Canary (a.k.a. Dinah Drake), the motorcycle riding bombshell heroine introduced to the DC universe through Flash Comics #86 in August of 1947, had a wonderful scrape with Grundy one night in downtown Gotham.
In the second issue of the 1991 Justice Society of America, writer Len Strazewski and penciler Grant Miehm puts Black Canary in a compromising situation when she has to face Grundy. The situation was so compromising that, after expertly handing Grundy’s butt to him, she got over-confident and ended up getting smashed against some trash cans and a protruding brick wall. The impact was so great that Canary broke one of her ribs; however, in an amazing turn of events, she managed to fight back with the cracked ribs. But still, she got cracked ribs!
13 RED TORNADO
Red Tornado faced Grundy throughout “The Tornado’s Path” story arc in the first six issues of the second volume of the Justice League of America comic by Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes.
What could possibly be one of the most disturbing depictions of Solomon Grundy reveals that the undead villain had masterminded a plan to weaken the Red Tornado by getting the mechanical superhero to inhabit a human body. After then getting into a brutal scrap with the intelligent Grundy, the human-bound Red Tornado witnessed his arm being torn from his body by the handsomely dressed zombie. Then, to make matters even more disturbing, Grundy forces the Red Tornado to watch as he eats his arm before him. That probably added to the trauma of losing an arm.
12 WONDER WOMAN
Grundy made a triumphant return in the tie-in comic book series of Injustice: Gods Among Us (from a creative team led by writer Tom Taylor and artist Mike S. Miller) as a brute, unrestrained villain that could easily rival Marvel’s Incredible Hulk. He was so massive that he towered over his superhero opponents and easily dealt with most other challenges.
In the 16th chapter of the series, Grundy managed to pull a sucker punch on Wonder Woman as she was trying to release Robin from a stranglehold (more on that below). Let’s just say that the end result – after Wonder Woman thrusted her sword into the arm that was manhandling the Boy Wonder – was Ms. Diana Prince flying through the air at excessive speeds. So excessive, in fact, that the Flash had to go “catch her.” The end of that fight prompted the beheading of this rendition of Grundy as Batman and Superman ultimately finished the job in the end.
How is this not a surprise, am I right? I mean, come on, it’s Robin! Like mentioned above, in the same chapter of the Injustice prelude, the Boy Wonder was held by the head by the undead terror that is Grundy. Even though Wonder Woman tried to free him from Grundy’s grasp, Robin is ultimately left to the whim of Superman after Ms. Diana Prince was flung through the air like a wet towel.
Superman uses his heat vision to slice through the wrist of Grundy’s hand that is clenching Robin and then flies right through the villain’s chest. And, to make matters worse for Robin (and his ego), he has the audacity to say that “I had it under control.” This even came after Nightwing had to help Robin out of Grundy’s still-clenched, chopped off hand.
10 GOTHAM GIRL
Remember when Tom King and David Finch (and their team) introduced us to the obscure Gotham and Gotham Girl in the second part of the "I Am Gotham" storyline (seen in Batman #2 during the Rebirth era)? It is pretty safe to point out that Gotham girl got more than what she was bargaining for when she and her flamboyant hunk of a partner decided to cut a rug with Grundy and Batman.
During the fight, at the base of the Gotham City Statue of Justice, Gotham Girl flew in for a sucker punch right across Grundy’s face. However, Grundy – with his extremely bizarre strength – backhanded Gotham Girl across the sky as she yelled a fitting “GGNNN.” And all the while, Grundy kept reciting his iconic “Born on a Monday!” poem.
Just like Gotham Girl, Gotham also got a little more than he was expecting. But, let’s be fair, he got the worst Grundy beating between the two of them. After Gotham Girl was thrusted across the sky, Gotham goes in and plants a nice big punch across Grundy’s face to shut him up. Rather than let the punch take him down, Grundy swats Gotham into the Statue of Justice with a enough force to crack it in half.
Gotham quickly recovers to try and catch the statue, but immediately finds out that he needs the support of Gotham Girl. After calling for her, Gotham and Gotham girl are able to save the statue from falling, but Grundy runs off. Unfortunately for him, Grundy encounters Batman as he is thrown onto his back and is strangled to unconsciousness by the Dark Knight trampling his windpipe.
8 INFINITY INC.
Roy Thomas, Jerry Ordway and Mike Machlan gave us the Infinity Inc. comic in the mid to late eighties as the off shoot of the “younger” heroes that came from the members of the Justice Society of America (JSA). Infinity Inc. #39, “The Saga of Solomon Grundy,” (Roy & Dann Thomas) was even released to show how Grundy struggled with flashbacks from his fights with the Green Lantern and the other members of the JSA.
And, believe it or not, Grundy had a semi-heroic run with the Infinity Inc. after Jade (Green Lantern’s daughter) rescues Grundy from a glacier. He soon becomes overly infatuated. However, Marcie Cooper (a.k.a. Harlequin) of the Injustice Unlimited group is able to disguise herself as Jade and deceive Grundy, manipulating him into attacking, in a one by one fashion, the other members of Infinity Inc.
During this same stint with the Infinity Inc., and when he was still under the influence of Harlequin, Grundy was pushed to such extremes that he committed one of the darkest killings of a hero in all of the DC universe. You can read it for yourself in Infinity Inc. Vol. 1 #51, which was written by the team of Roy and Dann Thomas, with art by Michael Blair and Lou Manna.
As Harlequin was able to manipulate and deceive Grundy’s relationship with Jade, he was convinced to force an unconscious Mister Bones' Cyanide touch onto Skyman, killing the hero with its poison. But, soon after, the real Jade and Infinity Inc. attack and Grundy eventually realizes that Harlequin deceived him with her powers of persuasion and manipulation.
6 POWER GIRL
As you probably have seen, Grundy has a track record in getting into it with the various heroines of the DC universe. This is definitely the case in the first issue of the 2005 Supergirl series.
In this issue, Supergirl finds herself entranced in observing a battle between the Justice Society of America struggling to fend off Solomon Grundy. Power Girl finds herself in a compromising situation when, at one point, Green Lantern goes in for a swing on Grundy. Our villain strikes back and crashes Green Lantern into the ground, preparing to smash him until Power Girl comes in (at just the right moment I may add) to stop Grundy’s smashing motion. The force of Grundy’s blow serves to be too much for Power Girl as she begins to collapse under Grundy’s fists. Her strength was spent as Supergirl, still watching in observation, comes in and breaks up the fight with a powerful punch.
You wouldn’t think that a comic starring Stargirl could go dark, right? Well, Geoff Johns and Peter Snejbjerg pushed that envelope when Grundy made an appearance in the 29th issue of the rebooted Justice Society of America.
Suddenly – as Stargirl and Jakeem Thunder were in the middle of arguing with each other – Grundy, under the influence of the Joker, attacks them. Stargirl whooped Grundy initially, however, the villain managed to escape. The pair of young heroes follow him for some time, but then Stargirl is instantly thrown off guard as she is crushed into a tile wall by Grundy’s overpowering strength. The events that then ensue almost cost Stargirl an intact head, and her life. Grundy even, scarily, said “Okay. Be Like Grundy... Stargirl be dead!” Luckily, Jakeem was on standby to summon the demon Yz who burns Grundy to ash from the inside out.
One of Grundy’s more notable interactions with the varying heroines included an affectionate, friendly relationship (of sorts) with Hawkgirl, as portrayed in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series. However, the loving embrace of friends wasn’t enough to prevent a reanimated Grundy from smashing Hawkgirl into a wall. It appears that “bird nose” didn’t have her charm anymore.
We cannot forget, either, that Hawkgirl and Grundy had a nice, violent melee in issue #11 of Injustice: Gods Among Us Year 5. Hawkgirl engages Grundy after he is forced out from the trailer of a semi-truck on Intestate #10 by armed fighters. Naturally, the undead giant is angry and begins to go in to an all-out rampage. Desperate for support, Hawkgirl orders the men she’s accompanied by to call for the Justice League but, in her stupor to hold him off, Grundy thrusts Hawkgirl into oncoming traffic, then into the ground, and then into the ground again.
Peter Tomasi and Viktor Bogdanovic placed Batman in a situation that is pretty unique in itself. In between issues #29 and #30 of the Batman: Arkham Knight comic prequel to the hit video game, Batman is forced to face off against seven clones of Solomon Grundy, created by Calendar Man, to assist in defeating the bat vigilante of Gotham.
First, when he just has to face one Grundy, a fight ensues that results in a couple of major blows into the ground and walls. The Bat recovers; however, only to be faced down by the haunting, glowing eyes of the other Grundy clones who awaited the order to jump Batman. Batman got banged up some more, because as we have learned, you aren’t coming away from a fight with Grundy in the shape you entered it.
2 GREEN ARROW
Even though Grundy and Green Arrow fought in the Injustice comic and the Arrow television show had a character named Cyrus Gold, fireworks between the undead monster and the hooded archer really took place in the third volume of the Green Arrow comic series from early in the 2000s.
In Brad Meltzer’s adaptation of the Oliver Queen Green Arrow, for the six-issue “The Archer’s Quest” story arc, Ollie eventually comes across Grundy when it is revealed that he is squatting in the Arrowcave (below Queen’s manor). Off the bat, Ollie unleashes as much as he can on Grundy; however, the fight takes a turn for the worse as Grundy manages to get some good strikes on the archer. At one point in the fight, Grundy grabs Green Arrow and throws him into a nearby rock, nearly breaking his back. Needless to say, Green Arrow takes a major beating in his encounter with Grundy.
1 THE GREEN LANTERN (ALAN SCOTT)
Solomon Grundy was first introduced by Paul Reinman and Alfred Bester in All-American Comics #61 (released in October of 1944) as a reanimated, zombie–like villain and enemy of the Golden Age Green Lantern (created by Bill Finger and Martin Nodell).
After rising from the Slaughter Swamp outside of Gotham from over of 50 years of dormant sleep, the mindless villain draws the attention of the Green Lantern (a.k.a. Alan Scott). When Scott went on to face Grundy, just the mere fact that he was undead and ultimately un-killable proved to be more than what was bargained for in an opponent. Grundy was even made out of wood, a substance that Scott, through his magical ring, cannot manipulate with his powers, making the fight, wholly, very challenging. Despite Grundy posing such a formidable challenge, he was eventually thrown in front of a train by the Green Lantern, “killing" him.
Who else in the DC universe got totally destroyed by Solomon Grundy? Let us know in the comments below.