“Oh, The Villainy!” Take Four : “Solomon Grundy” #1

Posted: September 18, 2013 in comics
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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Talk about yer diminished expectations — DC has succeeded in setting the bar so low for their various “Villains Month” books that a comic like Solomon Grundy #1 (or Earth 2 # #15.2 if you want to be pedantic about things) actually seems pretty good at at this point even if it’s not, in and of itself, any great shakes on its own terms.

To his credit, writer Matt Kindt (whose Mind Mgmt series for Dark Horse I actually enjoy quite a bit) lays out a decent enough, if unfathomably lazy, story here — back in the 1800s some poor swamp hick named, you guessed it, Solomon Grundy, has a pretty bad day : he catches his old lady screwing the boss-man at work, she hangs herself right then and there, and he then proceeds to  kill everybody at the mill (what kind of mill? Don’t ask, it’s never actually explained) before offing himself. Oh, and somehow his hellbent-on-vengeance spirit or soul or whatever manages to transfer itself at the moment of death into his infant son, who also shares his name, and now his boy’s all growed up and is some sort of immortal force of nature that brings instant death to everything he touches. And he’s somehow been propelled into the Earth 2 “universe.” I don’t know how or why, but I suppose (no, wait, I know) it doesn’t really matter.

Yeah, okay, it’s a confusing read. And it’s a quick one — Kindt’s entire script is probably less than 500 words in length. And unless you haven’t been paying attention to the news for the past, oh, decade or so, the idea of centering a character’s origin story around a workplace mass-murder/suicide is going to come off as being tone deaf in the extreme. But shit, at least the whole thing’s reasonably readable and the art, by the veteran pencil-and-ink team of Aaron Lopresti and Art Thibert, is generally well-executed.

It’s a grim book, to be sure, but at least it holds true to the spirit of ol’ Sol being an ultimately tragic figure, and while he never says “Born On Monday” once himself, it’s still a central part of the overall proceedings.

So — a good comic? I dunno. I guess Solomon Grundy #1 really isn’t. But it’s not completely atrocious — which, sadly, is more than enough to give it a leg up on the rest of its “Villains Month” counterparts right there. It’s pretty obvious that this book’s main selling point is still its 3-D holographic cover and that more work went into that than its actual contents, but at least I didn’t feel like a complete sucker for buying this one.

That is, until I looked at the $3.99 cover price again. Yup — turns out  I’m still a sucker after all.

Comments
  1. Victor De Leon says:

    Yikes. I was looking forward to this one. Too bad. I’ll pass. Thanks!

    • trashfilmguru (Ryan C.) says:

      It’s better than a lot of the other “Villain” books, to be sure, but all in all it still pretty much sucks.

  2. Smash says:

    Oh man, I am just loving these Villains Month posts. You’re such a talented writer.

    • trashfilmguru (Ryan C.) says:

      Thanks so much, I appreciate the kind words — too bad they didn’t get any talented writers to work on these books!

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