Villains Month: Solomon Grundy #1


Having been a long time Solomon Grundy fan, this week’s Villains Month title featuring the lumbering undead giant had me excited. Being from the Earth 2 series, this Solomon Grundy isn’t tied to any of the Forever Evil narratives, allowing for more freedom in the story. The problem is that DC Comics takes advantage of none of those freedoms. Earth 2 #15.2: Solomon Grundy is a mess, an incoherent rambling of flashbacks and current timeline that never quite clicks.

Writer Matt Kindt has two jobs here – one to show Solomon Grundy returning to Earth 2 in order to rekindle his feud with Green Lantern, and to give us a back story on where the creature comes from. While Kindt pens an entertaining story, he never really does justice to either story. The opening is Grundy returning in glorious, destructive style. After crash landing into two romantic teens snuggling on the hood of a truck, Grundy pulls himself out of the wreckage and begins his quest to rebuild his lost power through death. On Earth 2, Grundy is the force of death, drawing life for himself by stealing it from others.

In the flashback sequences, we meet Grundy as a common man, a slaughterhouse worker living with his wife and newborn baby. They’re poor, forced to work long hours from bum pay and all under the thumb of scumbag boss. The humiliations and tortures come to a head when Grundy’s wife is raped. Unable to face life after the attack, Grundy’s wife kills herself in a most grueling way. Solomon goes berserk, kills the boss and his henchman and then himself. Sinking deep into the back bog, where the entrails and blood of the slaughtered animals wash to, Grundy dies.

That’s really where the problem lies with this issue. Matt Kindt never shows us how Grundy transforms into his present state. Instead of giving us a deeper look into Grundy’s past, or a look at how he went from human to natural force, Kindt wastes pages on a fight between Grundy and some local cops. The action here is great, but uncalled for. The meat of this issue is Grundy’s history, which Kindt fails to explore with any real depth.

Helping matters are the pencils from Aaron Lopreseti, which nail both settings perfectly. On the side of modern Grundy, the panel layout is used for maximum carnage. The battle between Grundy and the cops is epic, and while Lopreseti’s lines and detail work help here, it’s really his pacing that makes the battle work. During the flashbacks, Lopreseti reins it in. These panels are brutal, simple, and harsh. Lopreseti manages to bring the desperation and poverty into the story visually.

Solomon Grundy’s issue wasn’t bad, it just didn’t measure to what it could have and should have been.

(2 Story, 4 Art)