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Solomon Grundy(pop culture)
“Solomon Grundy, born on Monday, christened on Tuesday, married on Wednesday, took ill on Thursday, worse on Friday, died on Saturday, buried on Sunday, this is the end of Solomon Grundy.” DC Comics' zombie supervillain Solomon Grundy has enjoyed a much longer “life”span than the Grundy in that nineteenth-century nursery rhyme, although sci-fi writer Alfred Bester, who created Grundy for All-American Comics #61 (1944), was inspired by the children's poem. With artist Paul Reinman, Bester fishes Solomon Grundy out of Gotham City's Slaughter Swamp as the decadesold skeleton of Cyrus Gold, mired in its murk, is resurrected by an uncanny botanical metamorphosis. Lumbering from the bog is the chalk-skinned, 7-and-a-half-feet-tall Solomon Grundy, an incredibly strong but dim-witted behemoth that is easily coerced into crime after encountering a band of hooligans who use the swamp-man as muscle to rip bank vault doors off their hinges. The Golden Age (1938–1954) Green Lantern (GL) finds Grundy difficult to stop, as the zombie is impervious to the hero's power ring (as well as policemen's bullets), but GL disposes of the beast by tripping him in front of an oncoming train. It took more than a speeding locomotive to destroy Solomon Grundy; he frequently battled GL, harboring such bitter hostility that the mere sight of the Emerald Crusader drove the simple-minded brute to gutturally snarl, “Hate Green Lantern! Kill Green Lantern!” He was slowed by the end of comics' Golden Age, but during the superhero renaissance of the Silver Age (1956–1969) Grundy returned to feud with Dr. Fate, Hourman, the Justice League and the Justice Society, Superman, Infinity, Inc., Batman, and Green Lantern I and II. Grundy's limitless strength and stamina and his artificially generated lifeforce—he requires neither air, food, nor water—makes him a virtually unstoppable menace. He is difficult to incarcerate: GL has banished Grundy into space by imprisoning him in a power ring–generated sphere, and Superman once dumped him onto a remote planet, yet he still managed to return to Earth to wreak havoc. Grundy has occasionally shown affection to those who have befriended him, including the superheroine Jade (the daughter of his arch-foe GL), and he was briefly a member of the Injustice Gang. He has been destroyed on several occasions but resurrected. No matter the incarnation taking root, one thing is certain: Solomon Grundy is never a welcome presence. Solomon Grundy, voiced by Jimmy Weldon, was one of the Legion of Doom in ABC's animated Challenge of the Super Friends (1978–1979). After being considered for but never appearing on the WB's Superman cartoon (1996–2000), Grundy shambled through episodes of the Cartoon Network's Justice League (2001–2004) and Justice League Unlimited (2004–present) as one of the Injustice Gang, with Mark Hamill as Grundy. Kevin Grevioux portrayed Grundy in a second-season episode of The Batman (2004–present), and DC Direct manufactured an action figure and a miniature of the villain in the 2000s. The monster has also been celebrated in music. The Crash Test Dummies' 1991 “Superman's Song” featured the lyrical bridge, “Superman never made any money, for saving the world from Solomon Grundy.”
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.