With no full-fledged Blackest Night crossovers this week, I did notice this “prelude,” and I thought it would be worth a look. The Solomon Grundy miniseries, written and drawn by Scott Kolins, has been a mixed bag. Solomon Grundy, for those who aren’t steeped in the history of the DC Universe, is a bizarre undead creature that is reborn in one of several different incarnations every time he dies — often a mindless killing machine, sometimes a brilliant evil mastermind, and on rare occasions, as a gentle soul who despises his other, evil selves. Grundy, once a man named Cyrus Gold, has been cursed to go through this cycle. This time, however, Gold’s spirit is once again given control with one chance to break the curse: find the man who killed him… and forgive him.
The plot is really very strong. Kolins has put together a pretty good murder mystery, and I’ve always been a fan of his rather loose, wild art style. It worked in his run on Flash (and I look forward to his work on the upcoming Blackest Night: Flash miniseries), and it works for Solomon Grundy. The dialogue, however, is very weak. It’s hokey, dated, and really incredulous. Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern, makes an almost co-starring appearance here, but the way he talks feels like it’s straight out of the golden age.
The Blackest Night connection comes in at the end, and really just exists to set up a two-issue crossover that Kolins will write and draw in DC’s Superman/Batman title, and as such, it feels a little like a cheat. This is the conclusion of a seven-issue miniseries, after all, but to get the complete story, fans really should have started with the Faces of Evil: Solomon Grundy one-shot that preceded it, and will have to go on to the two issues of Superman/Batman that follow. In fact, if the collected edition doesn’t include those three issues, it will really feel incomplete.
If the last three pages had been held back and published in the crossover proper, it would have been fine and allowed this book to feel finished. As it is, it’s not really the end.