#1131: Solomon Grundy

SOLOMON GRUNDY

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA (DC DIRECT)

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“Solomon Grundy; Born on a Monday…”

How many comics characters can claim they come from an 19th Century nursery rhyme?  Not many, if you’re using that rather specific qualifier.  There’s a few, I’m sure, but the most prominent, for me anyway, is Solomon Grundy.  Grundy is one of DC’s older super villains, first appearing as a Golden Age Green Lantern foe, before making his way around a few of the DC rogues galleries.  He’s appeared in both Challenge of the Superfriends and Justice League.  His appearances in the latter show got him a fair bit of notoriety, since he was used as a very cool ersatz Hulk for a few stories.  He’s had a handful of figures over the years, but today I’ll be looking at his very first!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

grundydcd2Solomon Grundy was released at the very end of 2001, technically as part of DC Direct’s then running Justice Society of America line.  Grundy, given his size, was released as a stand-alone deluxe figure.  The figure stands about 7 1/2 inches tall (with the hunch; without, he’d be about an inch taller) and he has 9 points of articulation.  Like a lot of figures from the pre-Marvel Legends era of collectibles, he’s pretty much just a plastic statue, with only one real pose he works in (unless you really like him craning his head like his neck is broken).  The sculpt is unique to this figure, and it’s decent enough.  It’s not really based on any specific artist’s take on the character, but it does a reasonable job of summing up the basics of the classic Grundy design, though he’s clearly got some late ‘90s aesthetic to him.  There’s definitely some odd proportions going on, especially on the legs, which are rather on the gangly side, but then finished off with a rather large set of feet.  Honestly, Grundy’s legs almost feel like they’re from a different figure than his top half.  They’re not only built differently, but textured differently as well.  The coat and shirt have a tone of texture work, but the legs are comparatively very smooth, which seems a little out of place.  Grundy’s paintwork is definitely up there.  There’s not a lot of variance in colors, but he’s got some really clean work all around, and a lot of nice, subtle accent work.  DC Direct really knew what they were doing with paint at this point.  Grundy’s main accessory was a big club of wood, which he could hold in his left hand.  It’s a pretty fun piece, even if it’s not totally essential.  Grundy was also packed with a “preview” figure from DCD’s then-upcoming Pocket Super Heroes line, which was a Silver Age version of Wonder Woman, and was actually one of the major selling points of this figure, oddly enough.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I always wanted a Grundy figure when he was new, but never got one for whatever reason.  I ended up picking him up several years later from a vendor at Baltimore Comic-Con, for well below his original retail value (which looks to be even more a of a steal nowadays).  There have been a number of Grundy figures in subsequent years, of varying quality.  This one isn’t a perfect figure, but he’s pretty strong, especially for early DCD. 

#0388: Alan Scott & Solomon Grundy

ALAN SCOTT & SOLOMON GRUNDY

DC POCKET HEROES

Before Minimates made it onto the scene, minifigures hadn’t yet settled on being “block” figures. In 2002, DC Direct decided to do a line of smaller scale figures, which were inspired by Mego’s Pocket Super Heroes line of the 80s. Instead of dedicated character sculpts like the original figures, DC Direct opted for a basic body with add-on pieces, not unlike Minimates or LEGO Minifigures (or Kubricks, a contemporary of DC Pocket Heroes.) The line never really hit it big, but it was successful enough to get seven assortments of two-packs and four larger boxed sets. It covered characters from all over the DC Universe, but tended to focus more on “classic” characters and looks. Today, I’ll be taking a look at the line’s versions of Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern, and Solomon Grundy.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Alan and Grundy were released in the third assortment of the first series of DC Pocket Heroes, released in December of 2002.

ALAN SCOTT

Alan Scott isn’t really anybody’s default Green Lantern, but he’s the original, making him very important. His figure is about 3 ½ inches tall and features 6 points of articulation. He’s based on Alan’s original appearance, back when he was THE Green Lantern. Admittedly, it’s a goofy design, and it doesn’t have the sleekness of the Silver Age design, but it’s not bad. He makes use of the standard Pocket Heroes body, with add-ons for the hair and cape/collar. Unlike Minimates, these pieces aren’t removable, making him a more traditional action figure. The hair and cape are both basic pieces for the line, but they suit the character well, so the re-use is certainly warranted. The base Pocket Heroes body is an interesting piece. It’s a lot clumsier in terms of design than other such bodies. It wasn’t as versatile as DC Direct wanted it to be. However, Alan is one of the characters that fits pretty well on it. The only real issue I see is that the sculpted boots don’t line up with Alan’s actual boots. I don’t know why they didn’t just leave the boots off the sculpt, but I guess that’s what they went with. The paint on Alan Scott is serviceable. It’s nothing amazing, and there are definitely some issues, especially on the color overlay of the boots (the green bleeds through the red, and the red bleeds through the yellow). He’s also got a gash of paint missing on his right eye. However, the paint is mostly bold and colorful, and it looks good for the character. Alan Scott included no accessories.

SOLOMON GRUNDY

Solomon Grundy. Born on a Monday. So, yeah… Grundy is technically a zombie, I guess, and he was a recurrent foe for a few of the Golden Age DC heroes. He had more than a few run-ins with Alan Scott, so this pairing is sensible. Grundy is about 3 ½ inches tall and he sports 6 points of articulation. He’s based on Grundy’s classic, more reserved design. Like Alan, he makes use of the standard Pocket Heroes body, with an add-on for his hair. The hair was new to this figure, though it would eventually see re-use on the line’s version of Bizarro. The body doesn’t work as well here as it did for Alan. The body is very clearly meant to be used for characters in tights, wearing boots. Grundy has neither of those, resulting in an odd looking figure. Obviously a generic suit body wouldn’t have really worked either, but this looks silly. The figure’s paint isn’t too bad, given that they had to work around the base body. Everything is relatively clean, and the detail lines are pretty sharp. The face is kind of gooney looking, though. An, to top it all off, my Grundy figure’s …uhh…backside… fell off right out of the package, which makes him look even sillier!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Golden Age Green Lantern. When I was in 2nd grade, I even dressed up as him for Halloween. So, it’s no surprise that I picked up his Pocket Heroes figure. He actually wasn’t as easy for me to get a hold of as some of the others, though. I actually ended up having to special order this set through a local comicbook store because it had sold out. All in all, Pocket Heroes are a sort of a goofy little set of figures. Some of them didn’t really work, but some of them really did. This set includes one of each.