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Warning: major spoilers ahead for Episode 5 of Gotham Season 4, called "The Blade's Path."
Fans of Gotham have known for a while that legendary DC Comics zombie villain Solomon Grundy was on the way. The character was teased back in the bonkers Season 3 finale, and one producer revealed earlier this month that Grundy would debut in the fifth episode of Season 4. We got to see a little bit of the character in a promo, but Gotham held back on giving a clear look at the baddie ahead of the introduction. Now, "The Blade's Path" has introduced Solomon Grundy in all his undead glory, and it was totally awesome. Take a look!
For a show that glories in tweaking comic characters' origin stories, Gotham played Solomon Grundy's origin pretty straight in "The Blade's Path." In DC Comics lore, Solomon Grundy was a 19th century man by the name of Cyrus Gold living in Gotham City. He was murdered and dumped in a mystical swamp in the outskirts of Gotham, and his corpse underwent... well, a change. After 50 years, he rose from the swamp as a zombie villain with superhuman strength. He murdered a couple of fugitives to steal their clothes, then showed up at a homeless camp only able to remember that he was "born on a Monday." One of the men called him "Solomon Grundy" after the nursery rhyme, and what would become a legendary villain got his name.
Gotham combined a few elements of the comics origin story, omitting the fugitives altogether. After waking up in a swamp that was polluted by chemicals from Indian Hill, the creature that was once Cyrus Gold/Butch Gilzean killed the men in a swamp-adjacent camp to steal their clothes. The men were listening to a record playing the "Solomon Grundy" rhyme, and the zombie version of Cyrus/Butch was able to process enough of it to decide that his name would be Solomon Grundy. The Gotham version of Grundy even looks like how the comics version of Grundy was often represented. This origin story seemed designed to delight comic fans and newbies alike.
Grundy made his way back to Gotham City to form an unlikely partnership with the very confused Riddler. Although Ed was hesitant to work with a bizarro version of Butch, he was impressed by the incredible physical strength shown by Grundy, and he decided that he could use Grundy to make a lot of money. He convinced Grundy that they had been the very best of friends before he was dumped in the swamp, which...wasn't all that hard.
Grundy doesn't exactly have all the wits around him that Butch/Cyrus did. It should be fun to see how these two work together. It's a partnership doomed to come to a violent end, but it should be a wild ride in the meantime. Gotham excels at crafting crazy relationships between villains, and there's a ton of potential in the Riddler and Solomon Grundy palling around Gotham together. Who knows? Maybe Penguin will be jealous.