Solomon Grundy frequently dies and resurrects in new incarnations, each of varying levels of strength and intelligence. Although primarily evil, some of his incarnations have shown the capacity for heroism.
In 1894, a wealthy merchant named Cyrus Gold was murdered and his body disposed of in Slaughter Swamp. Gold's corpse was reanimated in 1944, as a huge shambling figure with almost no memory of its past life. Gold murdered two escaped criminals who were hiding out in the marsh and stole their clothes. He showed up in a hobo camp and when asked about his name, one of the few things he could recall was that he was "born on a Monday." One of the men at the camp mentioned the nursery rhyme character Solomon Grundy, and Gold adopted the moniker.
Strong, vicious, and nearly mindless, Solomon Grundy fell into a life of crime — or perhaps returned to one, according to his scattered residual memories — attracting the attention of the Green Lantern. Grundy proved to be a difficult opponent, unkillable (since he was already dead) and with an inherent resistance to Scott's powers (which could not affect wood, a substance of which Grundy's reassembled body was now largely composed). Their first fight ended when Grundy was hurled under a train.
He was revived by a criminal named Baron of York, using concentrated chlorophyll, which left him green. The now green Grundy, along with the Baron gang, started a wave of crimes across the USA, until Grundy killed Baron. Alan Scott was able to defeat him when, after a long chase, they arrived at a place with a petrified forest. Something about Grundy's altered physiology with chlorophyll made him as immobile as the trees around him.
Learning the anti-gravity secret in 1947, Grundy used it to return to Earth. He had also learned magic by unknown ways, and used it to assume the place of the long lost son of a millionaire, seeking his fortune. A subsequent battle against Green Lantern ended up with the hero burying Grundy.
At this point, he was pulled back to 1941 by the time-traveling criminal Per Degaton, who had enlisted the aid of several super-villains to capture the Justice Society of America on December 7, 1941 (the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor). The All-Star Squadron came to their rescue, and Grundy was then thrust back to the moon where he remained for over two decades.
Grundy eventually mastered the use of the stored up emerald energy he had absorbed over the years from the many battles with his arch-foe, and returned to Earth to battle Green Lantern, along with Hourman and Doctor Fate. At this point, he had temporary mastery over all wooden objects, though he subsequently lost this power with his next death.
He was briefly a member of the Injustice Society of the World, a group of villains banded together to fight the Justice Society. In the interim, he had battled the combined might of both the Justice Society, and later their Earth-One counterparts, the Justice League of America, nearly to a standstill, though he was eventually defeated again.
Grundy went on to clash with Green Lantern and his teammates again, including the Huntress, the first female for whom he developed an affection. After Solomon Grundy was rescued from a glacier by Alan Scott's daughter, Jade, Grundy became loyal to her and for a while joined Infinity, Inc., a team of younger superheroes. Eventually, this affectionate relationship turned to tragedy as the villainous Harlequin, Marcie Cooper of the Dummy's Injustice Unlimited, used her illusion powers to disguise herself as Jade. Harlequin manipulated Grundy to attack the members of Infinity Inc. one by one. She convinced him to press the unconscious Mister Bones's bare hand against Skyman; since Bones's skin constantly exudes a cyanide-based compound, this quickly led to Skyman's death. This was the beginning of the end for Infinity Inc. and for Grundy's quasi-heroic career.
Powers and Abilities
- Zombie Physiology
- Energy Absorption: Grundy has also proven to be able to absorb certain forms of energy and manipulate them at will. This ability has always been subconscious to the point of being accidental, though, but it would suggest that Grundy is even more powerful than he has the intelligence to realize.
- Invulnerability: The weird elemental energy that imbues his form with pseudo-life makes him virtually indestructible - he is impervious to bullets, fire, and extreme cold, and can survive indefinitely without food, water, or oxygen.
- Resurrection: Even when he is destroyed, he has always been reborn sooner or later. The soul of Cyrus Gold enjoys his pseudo-life through Grundy, even though Gold's whole personality is never present in Grundy's "life." Grundy's personality differs from incarnation to incarnation, but he seems to retain some memories of his experiences from one time to the next.
- Superhuman Stamina: Grundy can perform physically strenuous tasks for an indeterminate period of time before tiring.
- Superhuman Strength: Solomon Grundy possesses tremendous strength and stamina, the level of which varies with his different incarnations. Sometimes, he can be held by a group of normal humans. On other occasions, even Superman has not been able to defeat him.
- Grounding: Solomon could establish a mystical link with the Earth itself, and if he wishes, nobody could lift him.
- Dimensional Travel: Some supernatural energy in Slaughter Swamp endowed Solomon with the ability to travel across the Earth-Two and Earth-One. He could only use the power while in Slaughter Swamp, and the waters of the place also would be transported to the other dimension.
- Slaughter Swamp Plague: Solomon Grundy's very presence could cause the spontaneous and inexplicable emergence of marshland plant-matter in his vicinity.
- Diminished Intellect: Grundy's below average intellect makes him easy to fool and manipulate. However, due to the fluctuations of his power levels, he has occasionally possessed adequate intellect.
- This version of Solomon Grundy, including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
- 38 Appearances of Cyrus Gold (Earth-Two)
- 7 Images featuring Cyrus Gold (Earth-Two)
- 5 Quotations by or about Cyrus Gold (Earth-Two)
- Character Gallery: Cyrus Gold (Earth-Two)
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