This is a feature called "Live By No Man's Code." As you presumably know, in the mid-1950s, most of the major comic book companies (including DC Comics and what would eventually be known as Marvel Comics) agreed to form a Comics Code Authority that would dramatically reduce the amount of violence and gore that could be shown in a Code-approved comic book. It effectively put EC Comics comic book line out of business, as they relied so much on horror and crime comics. Of course, since the "Golden Age" of comic books began in the 1940s, then that means we had over a decade of Pre-Code comic books. So, in this feature, we examine Pre-Code comic books to see the amusing levels of gore and violence that they let them get away with at the time.
Today, we look at a disturbing quirk that Solomon Grundy had when he first debuted in comics.
Solomon Grundy debuted 75 years ago last month in All-American Comics #61. I wrote about that issue for my Look Back series, but I mentioned then that there was a facet to the character's first appearance that I found interesting enough that I would give it its own article. This is that aforementioned article.
Alfred Bester and Paul Reinman were the creative team for the story.
Basically, a man named Cyrus Gold shows up from the dead in the muck of the Slaughter Swamp, so named after HIS VERY MURDER...
The resurrected Gold decides that he will become a criminal (probably some residual memory from Gold's murder). His zombie-like invulnerability made him a powerful criminal...
Green Lantern tries to stop him and in a shocker, he just beats Green Lantern up easily!
Meanwhile, in one of the robberies, Cyrus Gold's ring is found and that's a total curiosity for everyone...
Green Lantern tries to stop him again and he again easily defeats Green Lantern.
Here's the kicker, though, he throws Green Lantern off of a balcony and Lantern only survives the fall through his ring cushioning the crash. That, of course, gives off a green light. Grundy then thinks that killing GIVES OFF A PRETTY GREEN LIGHT! He then decides THAT HE NEEDS TO KEEP MURDERING TO GET THAT GREEN LIGHT BACK!
But of course, killing DOESN'T give off green light, but Grundy is now obsessed with seeing the light again, so he starts going on a MURDER SPREE to get to see that green light again!
How amazingly disturbing is that?
On the next page, we learn that Grundy has murdered ELEVEN PEOPLE so far searching for that green light!
You have to also love Doiby Dickles thinking, "Well, if Green Lantern is too hurt, I guess I have to take out this murderous monster."
Luckily, Green Lantern revives himself and goes to fight Grundy. He realizes that he has to fight him withOUT his ring, so instead uses a sort of judo throw to toss Grundy into a passing train...
This is when Green Lantern figures out that the reason he couldn't beat Grundy with his ring is because his ring's only weakness is wood and Cyrus' body was created using the mass of the swamp, so basically he was made out of wood...
kay, folks, feel free to send me suggestions for comics from the Golden Age that you found interesting in just how bloody and violent (or sexual, I guess, but that was less of an issue) that they were!