Gotham: Solomon Grundy Backstory & Comic Book Changes

Solomon Grundy in Gotham

This week's Gotham was packed with big moments, as Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and Ra's Al Ghul (Alexander Siddig) finally got the showdown that they've been building to since last season began. Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) is still trying to bring the last criminals of Gotham under his wing, Jim (Ben McKenzie) is still opposing him as hard as he possibly can, and Sofia (Crystal Reed) is doing all kinds of quiet manipulation of them both.

While all that's going on, there are some other criminals making changes this week. Barbara (Erin Richards) had to say goodbye to Ra's, and Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) is still struggling with his new, unimpressive, brain power. In addition, two characters made shocking returns in 'The Blade's Path'. Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) was revealed in the final moments of the episode (and is sure to make things very interesting in the rest of the season), but the biggest reveal of all was the return of Butch Gilzean/Cyrus Gold (Drew Powell)... as Solomon Grundy.

The Original Solomon

Solomon Grundy from DC Comics

In the comics, Solomon Grundy isn't specifically a Batman villain, but a character who has gone up against multiple heroes over the years (as well as other villains, from time to time). Originally a young boy by the name of Cyrus Gold, Grundy had a horrifying upbringing and terrible life. He was beaten and abused by his drunk father, and abandoned by his mother. His father even went so far as to bury him alive to remind him that he wasn't 'worth the dirt over him'. When his father was killed in an accident on the docks, Cyrus watched as another worked laughed and tossed the man into the water, leaving Cyrus entirely alone.

After that, Cyrus struggled on his own, but eventually rose to power in the underworld. He became a gangster, and sought revenge on all the people who had hurt him and his family over the years. He murdered plenty of people, dumping them all in the swamp, but was eventually brought down when a mob came after him for all his evil deed. Rather than be killed by someone else, Cyrus killed himself, and fell backwards into the swamp with his victims.

This should have been the end of Cyrus Gold, but the chemicals in the lake (and the mystic power of The Grey) resurrected the gangster into a hulking brute. Emerging from the lake, he killed the first people he met, and then headed into the city. He was incredibly strong, but had no memory of who he was and a much simpler mind. All he knew was the day he was born, and when he told this to a couple of homeless guys, he was told about the old rhyme of Solomon Grundy, and took the name for his own.

Grundy isn't a villain who comes up with complex plots or who has any particular morality, but he is dangerous because of his rampages and utter lack of concern for the lives of others. Much of the time, he would like to simply be left alone, but he can also be motivated by self-preservation or vengeance. Super-strong and durable, Grundy cannot be truly killed, as he will always resurrect himself, and is one of the most physically powerful heroes in the DC universe. At times, he has also had the ability to revert to being Cyrus Gold, although he doesn't have control over these transformations.

Who Is Butch Gilzean?

Drew Powell as Butch on Gotham

Butch Gilzean was revealed to be Cyrus Gold at the end of Gotham's third season - when he was also shot in the head by Barbara Kean. Before that, however, Butch was assumed to be nothing more than a common gangster, one of the dozens that live in Gotham city. Little is known of his early life, although it's been established that he has never had it easy, and turned to a life of crime at a young age.

He started out working for Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett-Smith), but became a henchman for Penguin after being brainwashed into it. Later, he had his brainwashing reversed and teamed up with Tabitha Galavan (Jessica Lucas), falling in love with her. After a short attempt at ruling the underworld of Gotham himself, Butch went back to working for Penguin. Eventually, he left Penguin and went into hiding with Tabitha, working with both her and Barbara, before Barbara turned on him and shot him in the head.

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