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Brave and the Bold 115
"Solomon Grundy Goes On A Rampage!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND October/ November, 1974

Story: Gardner Fox Art: Murphy Anderson

(Originally Reviewed On 07/19/02)

In Salem, there is a stone tower, where dwells the man known to Earth-2 as Doctor Fate! Versed in the mystic sciences, his will moves him all over the world where he is needed. After discovering Miraclo, a pill which gives him super-power for an hour, Rex "Tick-Tock" Tyler is the hero known as Hourman, JSAer and terror of the underworld! With the JSA out of retirement, the two heroes have teamed up their talents against the refugee from Slaughter Swamp, as "Solomon Grundy Goes On A Rampage!"

From the sky it came, crashing to earth in a burst of flame and roar of thunder, causing an area of ground and vegetation is thrust upwards by the impact! In the silence, there is the question of the identity of the object from space... is it a meteor? a sputnik? an asteroid or a being from another world? Matter from outer space does fall to Earth, but this is unlike anything which has reached our world! From the dissipating remains of a wrecked globe, a creature emerges with a hate-filled face! He was sent into space by Green Lantern, but now, Solomon Grundy has returned to Earth! Heading away from the crash site and through the wooded area, he is possessed of one thought... HATE GREEN LANTERN -- FIND GREEN LANTERN -- KILL GREEN LANTERN! He walks through a lake, heading underneath it, not needing to breathe, until he comes to a stone barrier which keeps him from the marshlands which were once known as Slaughter Swamp!

The wall falls before the might of Solomon Grundy, revealing the marshland, into which the swamp monster dives headlong! In the hills of Salem, there is a stone tower, which sends a pulsating glow into the night sky, and Inza Nelson tells her husband, Kent, of it, as they drive towards the tower, and he knows that it is from the crystal ball within. The archeologist and his wife enter the tower, which is without a door, but it does not bar them from entering through the wall, nonetheless! On the top floor, Kent Nelson peers into the crystal ball, as he sees the marshlands which adjoin The Tyler Chemical Company, and wonders what could possibly be amiss there. Inza brings him his costume, and soon, Dr. Fate instructs the crytal globe to show him where the evil has come from!

He soars from the tower and wills the very fiber of his being with the wind, and Doctor Fate soon arrives at the point where the globe shattered upon the ground! Using the wisdom of the Chaldeans, he reforms the force bubble, which was crafted by Green Lantern, and which means that he must head for the radioactive marsh pool at once! At Tyler Chemical, Rex Tyler enters a vault and dons the garb of Hourman, who seks to learn who or what entered the marshland where they empty the radioactive waste from their cyclotron! Taking a handful of Miraclo, The Man of The Hour resolves not to take one until he has seen the cause of the threat in person! At Slaughter Swamp, the waters are filled with radioactive waste, and as Solomon Grundy advances, Hourman takes a Miraclo pill, and remembers how The Emerald Gladiator exiled his foe on a distant world, supposedly forever!

He leaps into the air, determined to stop Grundy, but Solomon Grundy is determined to find Green Lantern, striking Hourman, not with his raised right arm, but with his left! Hourman is slammed back into a tree bole -- just as Doctor Fate has arrived, with lightning bolts flowing from his very fingertips! He, too, has heard of the monster of Slaughter Swamp, but had never met him in battle, unlike his fellow JSAers. He causes the swamp trees to attack Solomon Grundy...

Enraged, Solomon Grundy rends and tears the trees from the earth itself, using one as a weapon against Doctor Fate! The mystic uses his magic to change the tree to powder, even as he knows that a pseudo-life being such as Grundy would not be as harmed by his magic as a human being would. His next attack freezes Solomon Grundy in his tracks!

The monster of Slaughter Swamp is caught in an ice block, but as Doctor Fate heads to check on Hourman, the ice begins to crack from Grundy's strength! Now free, he heads for Doctor Fate, who wills his magic to enter the swamp monster when he lifts the mystic above his head! The magical energies enter Grundy, while a dazed Hourman sees that Doctor Fate needs his aid, and intends to take down Grundy with a single punch!

Solomon Grundy stands motionless, held by the mystical energies of Doctor Fate, but with one single punch, The Man of The Hour has undone Doctor Fate's plan, and his Miraclo has worn off before the hour is up! The two heroes collide with one another, and are helpless before the monster from Slaughter Swamp!

He stares at their inert forms, then heads off into the night. Lurching down the road to Gotham City, Solomon Grundy's body glows with a strange brilliance, which attracts nearby wooden objects, which follow in his wake! Several wooden objects are behind Grundy, when he arrives in Gotham City! Placing an axe-handle into his pocket, Solomon Grundy tears open a bank's steel door!

His fingers claw open the bank's vault, as Solomon Grundy intends to attract The Green Lantern's attention, as he fills his pockets with cash, then heads outside the bank, where the floating wooden objects are his only company for the moment. Soon, The Emerald Gladiator arrives on the scene, and he wonders how the creature from Slaughter Swamp could have returned from his exile in space? The power ring glows, and Solomon Grundy is once again surrounded by an emerald bubble, designed to contain him, just as an editorial note reminds the reader that we are on Earth-Two, where Alan Scott is Green Lantern, as well as being President of Gotham City Broadcasting!

Grundy uses the axe handle to free himself from the impromptu prison! Green Lantern sees that Solomon Grundy has learned and remembered that wood is his nemesis and weakness! Waving his monstrous arms, the swamp creature sends his "wooden troops" on the attack, and The Emerald Gladiator summons a cyclone to deflect some of the objects, as well as flames to burn the rest!

Green Lantern is struck by wooden boards, and Solomon Grundy cheers his morbid victory, as the hero falls into his hands, just as Doctor Fate has arrived on the scene, having followed Grundy's radioactive footprints! The wooden objects are sent at the mystic, but Doctor Fate reshapes their very atoms into a giant wooden hammer to deal with the villainous example of pseudo-life!

Hourman has arrived, and since two hours have passed since he took a Miraclo pill, he takes another, as he watches Grundy seize the wooden hammer! The next moment finds Doctor Fate and Hourman facing each other, consumed with the desire to attack one another! The mystic summons a curtain of mystic energy, while The Man of The Hour charges headlong!

Hourman leaps into the magical curtain, while Doctor Fate watches as his fellow JSAer's body begins to slow, but even as The Man of The Hour is sent into unconsciousness, his momentum has sent him through the curtain, and lands a solid punch to the mystic! Solomon Grundy grins, as he watches both of the heroes fall to the ground, and he heads off, carrying the unconscious body of his enemy... The Green Lantern!

Trudging towards Slaughter Swamp, Solomon Grundy is caught in the glare of headlights from a car driven by his old gang from time's past! They recognize each other and see the helpless form of Green Lantern, and he tells them how a shooting star pulled him from the world he was exiled on, then how he guided the green ball through space, feeling cold, but not freezing! It took a long time, but he managed to guide it home!

The gang encourage Grundy to break into a jewelry store -- for old time's sake, and he leaves them to their work, while Doctor Fate and Hourman revive, and the mystic realizes that their fight began when The Man of The Hour swallowed a Miraclo pill! The Miraclo has affected Fate's magic and vice-versa whenever they are near one another, first weakening them, then sending them against each other, and Hourman theorizes that the radioactivity Solomon Grundy absorbed had something to do with it, as well! Dr. Fate takes to the night sky, with Hourman being carried by a non-gravitic pathway, so that they can keep their distance! As they soar through Gotham, Hourman calls to Doctor Fate about some activity on the city's streets!

He tells Doctor Fate to follow Grundy, while he takes care of the crooks robbing the jewelry store! Hourman drops in on them from the sky, dropping to his feet, then punches with a super-powered fist, and dodging a bullet, then leaping over it, and knocking out the last thug!

Doctor Fate heads over Slaughter Swamp, seeking the radioactive waters for signs of Solomon Grundy, but there's no sign of him! From the radioactive waters comes the swamp monster, who seeks to grab his flying foe, but Doctor Fate tells the enraged Grundy that he has to deal with Green Lantern, as well! At the edge of the swamp stands The Emerald Gladiator, but Grundy bellows that he placed him in the swamp in order to make Green Lantern like him, and fight their enemies! Unbeknownst to the swamp monster, Doctor Fate conjured an image of Green Lantern in order to learn where the real one is! Maddened by the sight of of his foe, Grundy intends to drag him back into the radioactive waters to make him into a man-thing like him! He discovers that this magical "Green Lantern" has a strength all its own, as he is knocked back!

Dr. Fate has parted the waters, revealing the transformed Green Lantern, who has become a form of pseudo-life like Grundy, and as he lurches forward, the mystic sees that his fellow JSAer is not himself in form or mind! From the power ring comes a giant mace, with which the former Green Lantern intends to KILL! With a mystical left hand, Doctor Fate catches the mace, while his right hand goes into action with a spell!

Minature suns glow onto the monstrous form of The Emerald Gladiator, as he strains to escape their rays, and is bathed! Finally, he is now his former self, and is on his knees from the ordeal! The magical Green Lantern fades, as Solomon Grundy turns and faces the real one, with Doctor Fate standing in his way! The mystic uses his magic to cause Grundy to fall backwards from a battering ram, and at the other end comes Hourman, who intends to engage in this tag-team match!

The Man of The Hour lands a solid punch, which sends Grundy flying across the swamp, and back into range of Doctor Fate's magic, which sends the swamp monster whirling back towards Hourman, each intent on taking turns with their foe! While Solomon Grundy pauses to clear his ringing head, Hourman leaps into the air, then comes crashing down to deal another punch to Grundy's jaw!

Green Lantern is back on his feet and tells his fellow JSAers that Solomon Grundy can take what they can dish out, and they must imprison him in a modified force bubble, since the one he made years ago was weakened from years in space, and its fiery landing on Earth! Doctor Fate adds his mystical might to Green Lantern's power ring, and together, they create a giant ball of alternating bands of magic and emerald energy!

Hourman lands a solid uppercut, which sends Grundy into the magical prison which they have built. With their combined might, the magical ball containing Solomon Grundy is sent into orbit around the Earth so that they may keep an eye on him, and Doctor Fate's crystal ball, as well as The Emerald Gladiator's power ring will shine brightly if he ever escapes from that prison. The Man of The Hour doubts that Grundy will ever bother them again, but Green Lantern, as he did the first time he fought Solomon Grundy at the trainyards, has his doubts.

A classic confrontation between a trio of JSAers and Solomon Grundy by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson! Grundy is quite the bestial foe, while Doctor Fate, Hourman, and Green Lantern are quite the heroes, as rendered by Messrs. Fox and Anderson!

Solomon Grundy's prison would find its way from Earth's orbit to a world where Swamp Thing briefly visited, and there, Grundy would undergo a subtle transformation, as the son of Ted Knight and The Starman of the 70's would encounter him there, and recap this tale during that confrontation on the blue planet during James Robinson's "The Stars, My Destination" story arc of Starman.

If this tale took place today, Tyler Chemicals would probably have to explain the dumping of radioactive waste into swampland.

Doctor Fate seemingly uses passive resistance to counter Solomon Grundy, that is until Hourman comes barreling into them!

Again, I wonder what would have happened if a certain Dynamic Duo on Earth-2 had arrived on the scene at the bank, instead of The Emerald Gladiator! Holy Wooden Nickels, Batman!

This story has an edtor's note which shows that it takes place on Earth-2.

An interesting thing is that all the heroes were capes and masks, two of them can fly, while Hourman has super-strength.

Per Degaton pulled Solomon Grundy from 1947 to 1941 to serve in his pre-emptive battle on The Justice Society, which inadvertantly led to the formation of The All-Star Squadron!

Hourman is faster than a speeding bullet and can leap from tall buildings in a single bound!

This Review Is Dedicated To Robert Faires and Rich Goldberg Like Me, I Hope You Enjoy The Memories of Reading and Re- Reading The Story.

Steve Chung
"Solomon Grundy Goes On A Review!"