Poor, Solomon Grundy.Â Born on a Monday, died on Saturday.Â Ever doomed to reborn again and again, each time with a different mental state.Â One life he could find himself a rampaging brute, the next a gentle giant, but always the undead brought back; forever cursed, never to find rest.Â Until DC got a hold of him.
In DCâ€™s Faces of Evil: Solomon Grundy one-shot, Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins tell readers just about everything they need to know about the hulking brute who has brought nothing but headaches to generations of heroes (going as far back as Alan Scottâ€™s Green Lantern).Â In this issue, readers not only get a glimpse of Cyrus Gold, a man so obsessed with filling his pockets with the stuff, that he is ultimately murdered and buried in the swamps outside of Gotham City, but his eventual return from the dead as well.Â It is interesting that Johns undoes the work grant morrison did in Seven Soldiers of Victory, where Gold is portrayed as a pedophile killed by a rampaging mob, but then again this is comic book continuity, and it is going to change at the whim of the writer.
I believe Johns is taking Grundy back to his Pre-Crisis Earth-2 roots with this retelling of his origin (all one page of it), to show readers how the character has changed over time.Â As the years pass, readers get to see Grundy evolve and devolve, and it is an excellent homage to the James Robinsonsâ€™ Starman to see the docile Grundy cowering away from the cosmic rod.Â Itâ€™s only been since Post-Crisis DC that readers learned of the elemental nature of his resurrections, and why sometimes he comes back as a drooling monster, and other times well spoken and intelligent.
This one-shot has him coming back the mad monster and finding himself in the sewers of Gotham once again.Â Through his travels through the underground world, he stumbles upon Killer Croc and the two battle it out.Â Itâ€™s a pretty graphic fight that ends when Grundy snaps Crocâ€™s jaw, taking him down for the count.
Iâ€™m not yet clear on the nature of Grundyâ€™s curse, as Johns implies Grundy is doomed to liveÂ for one week only before dying again.Â This is clearly not the case as weâ€™ve seen over the years, but Iâ€™m willing to let this slide, as it builds up to the whole point of the issue. Grundy reverts to his near human form and is instantly approached by Alan Scott and the Phantom Stranger who tell him his curse can be broken in seven days if Grundy helps the two deal with an unholy night filled with the black blood of the undead.
Well there you have it – even though there is a Solomon Grundy mini-series arriving in March, it is clear Grundy is going to play some kind of role in the coming Blackest Night series written by Mr. Johns.Â If this is indeed the case, Iâ€™m a little disappointed he would state it so plainly in the closing page, as it would be more interesting to have it revealed in the mini-series.Â If Iâ€™m mistaken, and thatâ€™s not what Johns means (although it is hard to think this is wrong as the man is writing nearly every story tied to the next major event in the house of DC), then thereâ€™s even more reason to read the mini-series to clear things up.
I did enjoy the art by Scott Kolins.Â It is well laid out and drawn, and I like how he is able to pay tribute to past artists who have conjured up this monstrosity.
There are a few plot holes that need to be resolved for this to be a perfect issue, but Faces of Evil: Solomon Grundy is an excellent prequel to the things that lie ahead.Â Iâ€™m giving this issue 4 out of 5 Stars.