For a lot of people, Solomon Grundy is a very iconic Batman villain. However, it is important to note that Solomon Grundy has fought a wide range of superheroes over the course of his existence, which has included but has by no means been limited to Batman. In fact, his first outing saw him being pitted against the first Green Lantern Alan Scott, who had serious problems with the villain because his very existence played into Scott’s weakness against wood.
With that said, it is worth mentioning what Solomon Grundy is supposed to be in greater detail. In short, the character was once a rich man named Cyrus Gold who was murdered and then dumped into a location called Slaughter Swamp, which perhaps unsurprisingly, was situated close to Gotham City. Eventually, the corpse of Cyrus Gold is resurrected as a huge shambling revenant, which is made up of huge amounts of swamp matter. The resulting creature remembers very little about his past, but when he mentions that he was born on a Monday to a collection of homeless people, one brings up the nursery rhyme “Solomon Grundy,” which featured a character who was born on a Monday as well.
Unfortunately, the now named Solomon Grundy is both strong and vicious. Combined with his near mindlessness, it was perhaps inevitable that he would fall into a life of crime, which in turn, ensured that he would go up against Green Lantern and other superheroes. One of the most curious properties of Solomon Grundy is that each time when he rises from his “death,” he gains a new personality, which can see incredible variation in strength when compared to its counterparts. For example, while most versions of Solomon Grundy have been rather vicious, there has been gentler versions of the character. Likewise, while most versions of Solomon Grundy have been near mindless, there has been at least one version who was a criminal mastermind. On the whole, this was a clever way to make Solomon Grundy an appropriate threat for a wide range of superheroes with a wide range of capabilities, which was necessary because earlier comic book writers were not exactly concerned with power rankings and the like.
Nowadays, Solomon Grundy is still a curious example of a villain who can be matched against a wide range of heroes. However, he has come to be identified with Batman in spite of the fact that his first foe was a Green Lantern. Still, this does make some sense, seeing as how Slaughter Swamp has always been written as being situated close to Gotham City. Something that makes excellent sense considering said city’s reputation for being cursed.
Who Is Solomon Grundy on Gotham?
Gotham went with a version of Solomon Grundy who was villainous before he was reanimated, which is by no means unprecedented in the comic books. In short, we came to know its take on the iconic villain as Butch Gilzean, who was a mob enforcer who worked for a number of the show’s villains until he was shot in the head as punishment for an attempted betrayal. Said moment caused a fair amount of excitement among the fans because it came with the reveal that his true name was Cyrus Gold, thus paving the way for him to make a return.
In Gotham as in the comic books, his body was dumped in the swamp, with the result that he was reanimated as a shambling corpse-like creature by chemical waste. Initially, Gotham‘s version of Solomon Grundy remembered nothing of his previous life because of his head wound, which was how he winded up with the name. In time, Butch Gilzean recovered more and more of his true self, thus pushing him more and more in the direction of finding a cure for his condition. Eventually, he succeeded with Oswald Cobblepot’s support. After which, Oswald promptly shot him for the purpose of hurting Tabitha Galavan, thus resulting in the character’s final death on the show.
Given that Gotham is wrapping up soon, it is difficult to imagine Solomon Grundy making a return. However, it is nonetheless a fun scenario to think about, even if it will never happen in canon.