JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA (DC DIRECT)
“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
Solomon 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.